With fall weather arriving any day now and all that entails from new routines and seasonal clothing swaps (let’s hear it for sweater weather!), we couldn’t be more pleased to announce our partnership as a preferred vendor with Garde Robe. They provide a modern solution to the age-old issue of having lots of clothes and not enough storage.
Letting go of items that have accumulated can be hard but many of our clients find it easier to let go of things if they know that those items can be donated and have a life and purpose with someone else. So, if you are looking to make donations for stuff that is accumulating in your home, check out our quick tips and the list below for some of our favorite donation spots in and around the city.
- Many organizations reserve the right to refuse pieces that are being donated so make a call if you aren't sure if a piece will work out. There is no point in bringing it across town only to have it be rejected.
- If time is on your side, some donation spots will come pick up your furniture and other items but this service is often booked up for weeks in advance so it isn't a great option if you need to get the stuff out of your home quickly.
- If you can't donate a piece or just don't want to deal with it, consider calling JunkLuggers who for a relatively reasonable fee will haul your stuff away without any fuss on your part. And, the good news is that they try to donate everything first so you don't have to worry about all of your stuff ending up in the garbage.
FOR BOOKS: Housing Works Book Store
Location: 126 Crosby Street, New York, NY
Accepts: Books, DVDs & CDs, LPs and Textbooks (less an 1 year old)
FOR WORK CLOTHING (WOMEN): Dress for Success
Location: Manhattan - 32 East 31st Street, 6th Floor New York, NY || Queens - 114-14 Jamaica Avenue
Richmond Hill, New York
Accepts: See full list of accepted items here
Note: Donations are accepted in Manhattan every third Saturday of the month and in Queens every second Saturday of the month. However, professional clothing in plus sizes (16-24) is in such high demand that they are accepted in the Manhattan location during the week as well as on donation Saturdays.
FOR WORK CLOTHING (MEN): Career Gear
Location: 125 Maiden Lane, 3B New York, NY
Accepts: See full list of accepted items here
Note: Donations are accepted in-person on six dates throughout the year so check their website before making a trip. However, donations can also be made via the mail if you are inclined to ship the items during times that fall outside of the donation day windows.
FOR CLOTHING & FURNITURE: Housing Works Stores
Location: Multiple locations around the city
Note: Furniture must be in excellent condition as determined by the shop manager
FOR CLOTHING, FURNITURE & HOUSEHOLD GOODS: Goodwill
Locations: Multiple locations around the city
Accepts: See full list of accepted items
FOR ART SUPPLIES, OFFICE FURNITURE AND HOUSEHOLD GOODS: Materials for the Arts
Location: Northern Boulevard between 33rd and 34th Streets, Long Island City, NY
Note: All donations must be approved before dropping them off. Please reach out to email@example.com or 718-729-2065 to confirm that they will take them.
FOR BABY THINGS: Room to Grow
Location: 7 West 30th Street, Floor 3 New York, NY
Accepts: All donations should be new or nearly new, clean and in truly excellent condition (click here for a list of acceptable items)
FOR OLD SHEETS AND TOWELS: Veterinary Offices & Animal Shelters
Note: Many veterinary offices and even animal shelters will accept donations of old sheets and towels to help line the cages, etc. so try making a call to one of your local spots when deciding where to donate them.
What are your favorite donation spots in and around the city?
Living in New York City often means that you have to get creative with your storage and space. This week we were organizing a bathroom that had shallow built-in shelves -- less than three inches wide -- and we needed to find a storage solution for beauty products. Our client didn't have a huge collection but she had enough that we had to put a little thought into it.
After much deliberation and a trip through the Container Store, we were able to create a beauty storage hack that we loved so much we wanted to share it with you. This idea or something like it can easily be recreated for other small spaces in almost any room so read on if you are in need of a small space storage fix.
We love using these narrow storage bricks. They are the perfect solution for small, narrow spaces since they are under three inches wide.
These pods are perfect for when you need to eke out extra storage in a cabinet as they can adhere to almost any smooth surface without damage.
Using these two products, we able to create a self-contained make-up storage solution that fits in even the narrowest of spaces. To recreate it yourself, use the Like-It bricks as the foundation and stick the StickOnPods to the bricks for extra storage.
How do you store your beauty products with limited space?
As city dwellers, we know how to make the most of small spaces because we have been living in them and helping other people live in them for years. Being organized is definitely helpful when living in a smaller space but that doesn't solve all problems - that is where space planning comes in. So, learn how to make the most of your space with these suggestions.
Trundle Bed: Growing up in the suburbs, I loved having a trundle bed for sleepovers and guests and it is still a great way to make the most of a smaller bedroom. We use them in kids rooms so that they always have a place for friends to sleep and the best part they are easy to "install" just slide them under the bed and they are good to go.
Murphy Bed: Space is at a premium in the city so don’t make that extra room just a bedroom. Install a murphy bed so you can actually use and enjoy the space when guest aren't around (which is likely most of the time).
Banquette: Save some space in your eat-in kitchen or dining area by building a bench against the wall and moving your dining table next to it. This will give you extra space in the room and a little extra flexible seating on the bench.
How do you save space in your home?
If you are looking for more general tips on making the most of a small space, please check out our other post here.
Our kitchen day dreams are filled with visions of see-through refrigerators filled with beautiful produce (We’re looking at you, Yolanda Hadid!) and huge, bright pantries. However, the realities of New York living (think small apartments and cramped kitchens) dash many of those dreams and frankly a see-through fridge really isn’t practical. I mean I don’t think we want half-eaten pizza and last week’s Chinese takeout boxes on display for all to see - right?
Even if smaller space living is your reality, don’t despair! There are many ways to make the most of it and below are some of our favorite product picks for a beautifully organized kitchen regardless of size.
Lazy Susan: Make the most of every nook and cranny of your kitchen by using a Lazy Susan. They can be placed in hard to reach corner cabinets or on deep shelves to make items more accessible.
Shelf Liners: Make cleaning inside cabinets easy with plastic shelf liners like this one. Liners are particularly helpful in food storage areas in case of spills or drips.
Shelf Pullouts: Accessibility is an important part of organization. Add roll-out cabinet organizers to your lower cabinets so that you can easily reach items without straining your back and to maximize the space.
Small Appliances: If space is really at a premium, try purchasing reduced size appliances to save room in your cabinets and/or on counters. The products function the same but the bowls are typically smaller - 3.5 quarts versus 5 quarts.
Clear Storage Bins: Not everything needs a bin but they are helpful for keeping smaller “like” items together in your cabinets and drawers. Use them in drawers to organize your kitchen tools and cutlery and in cabinets and pantries to make organizing food stuffs easier.
Canisters: One way to make your space look cleaner and more organized is by using the same style organizing containers. If you are looking for new options, we are big fans of using clear canisters for cooking and baking supplies like flour, sugar and mixes. Not only do they look nice but clear containers show you when you need to restock.
Step Stools: Make good use of your upper cabinets and even the space between the cabinets and the ceiling with labeled storage bins. This will keep supplies out of sight but not out of mind. And, keep a step stool in the kitchen to making accessing those high up spaces a little easier. Folding step stools are good for saving space but we also love a rolling option as it is much easier to move around and it can stand in for an extra seat in a pinch.
Labels: The level to which you use labels to organize in your home is a personal decision but we do recommend them as an organizing tool. Clearly labels are great for containers holding specific items whether it is food or supplies but labels can also be helpful for creating designated areas in your home. For example, create sections in your pantry for breakfast foods, snacks or drinks. By sticking to categories on your labels, it is more likely that your family can and will help out and maintain it.
What are your favorite ways to keep your kitchen organized?
One of our clients is moving into their new apartment this week and we all know that moving makes for stressful times. However, even after all of your bags are packed, there are a few things you should consider doing in your new home before the big move. Check out this list of items that may not be at the top of the list but should be!
Pantry Prep: Clean your cabinets and pantry space and consider lining the shelves - particularly in pantry areas - to make cleaning up messes easy. You can use either paper or plastic liners - we like non-adhesive liners such as Plast-O-Mat Ribbed Shelf Liner and Con-Tact Premier Non-adhesive Shelf Liner.
Deep Cleaning: Consider doing a deep clean in your new home before the move. Unadorned and unfurnished rooms are a luxury that you only get once so take advantage of it either by cleaning yourself or hiring professionals. Additionally, this deep clean process should include any of the household appliances that aren’t being replaced.
- Dishwasher: Here (via ApartmentTherapy) is information on how to deep clean your dishwasher.
- Washer & Dryer: Click here (via ApartmentTherapy) for tips on how to maintain both machines.
- Oven: Follow these directions (via ApartmentTherapy) to clean your oven without harsh chemicals.
Clearing the Air: Literally clear the air in your new home by getting the ducts cleaned and changing out all of the filters in the house including the vent filter above the stove and the air filters in the heating/air conditioning. It is even worth it to check out the dryer vent to ensure it isn’t clogged. Lastly, if you have fireplaces, get the chimney cleaned so you are free and clear to enjoy fires in the upcoming fall/winter season.
Privacy Please: By no means do you need to buy curtains for every room of your home before you move but it is important to remember that you may want some privacy for your first night in your new home. To that end, it is a good idea to source window treatments for some key rooms - even a tension rod and some fabric will do - to help guarantee that you can function in your home and get a good nights sleep without the feeling of being on display.
Keep it Handy: Set up an appointment a week or so after move-in with a local handyman (consider finding someone via Thumbtack or TaskRabbit if they operate in your local area) to hang pictures, shelves or make small repairs. This will help inspire you to unpack a little faster and will ensure that small tasks that pop up get taken care of sooner rather than later.
Do you have any other tips to share regarding prepping your home for move-in day?
Moving is one of the stressful times in our lives. It is actually right up there on the stressor list with losing a job and even a loved one. But there are things that we can do to make the process easier. Mitigate the stress by taking your moving preparations seriously and considering the tips below to help prepare for the big day.
Purging & Packing: Start the purging and packing process at least a few weeks before the big day so you avoid a last minute rush. Don’t avoid the purging part of the process as there is no need to bring everything to your new home -- try to be thoughtful about what items you do and don’t need so that you are only bringing the essentials. When it comes to packing, create an inventory of all items being moved and pack those items in carefully labeled boxes. Labeling is key to an organized move as you will want the kitchen boxes placed in the kitchen and living room boxes in the living room with minimal effort on your part.
Moving Day Box: To save time and patience, pack a box with items that will help with last minute move-related issues. Ideally this box should include: a hammer, screwdrivers, scissors, box cutters, tape, duct tape, dust cloths, basic cleaning products (for touch ups), paper towels, glue, sticky notes and pens, snacks and trash bags. Having these items readily available will make the day go a little smoother and hopefully faster — with less trips to a local store for supplies.
Just the Essentials: You will likely not be able to unpack everything the first day so pack your overnight essentials in one box so that everyone has what they need for a comfortable evening. The kit contents should include: sheets, towels, cups and plates and essential overnight toiletries including soap and shampoo. Basically anything to make the nighttime and morning rituals as normal as possible.
Setting up Service: It may seem obvious but setting up your services - gas, electric, phone, TV and internet - before you move will make the transition easier. If live close-by, try to set them up the day or two before the move for a seamless transition. Otherwise, see if they can come the day of the move so that you can wired from day one.
Animals and Children First: Make childcare and pet care arrangements ahead of time so that you can focus on the move in day. Nobody needs little ones or our favorite furry friends getting underfoot in the chaos of moving day.
Have a Spare: Outside of replacing all of the locks, invest in extra spare keys now so that you have plenty to share with family and any friends who live nearby the day you move in. You will likely be out of sorts being in a new space so it is best to have extras should one set be misplaced for a bit - there is nothing worse than being locked out on your first day!
Ensuring Your Insured: Make sure that your home insurance covers your move days both out of your old place and into the new. This will give you a little extra peace of mind as you go through the process.
Who Knows: Informing friends and family with a cute “We Moved” card is only one part of the change of address process. Prior to the move, be sure to inform the following of your new address: post office, credit card companies, banks, doctors, schools and subscription services for magazines or newspapers.
Focus on Furniture: Take time before you move into your new home to think about where your furniture is going to be placed. The movers will likely only have time to place it once so really think about how you want to room set up so that they place it right the first (and perhaps only!) time. There are plenty of websites that can help with this such as RoomStyler.com or PlanYourRoom.com.