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  • Writer's pictureUshma Agrawal

Give the Gift of Organization

Updated: Jan 23

About 15 years ago at Christmas my husband handed me a gift-wrapped box with a piece of paper in it. The "gift" inside was to upgrade the small closet in our then-bedroom into an Elfa closet system. I would say it felt like "it was Christmas!", but it literally WAS Christmas and I was ecstatic. Later that week, the two of us went to The Container Store with our closet measurements in hand and worked with a consultant to design the ideal closet based on my needs.

Consider the Purpose and Function of the Space

We considered things like how many long-hanging clothes do I have? How many drawers would be ideal? Would I want to keep some free space below the drawers/shelves for my cabin-sized suitcase as I traveled quite a bit for work? I liked having it handy and not in the basement with all the other luggage. Honestly, I wouldn't have thought of things like that had I planned the space on my own at that time my life. I was so excited when we left and was assured they would call me when my items arrived in the store, with an approximate date.


True to The Container Store style, they called earlier than expected and said they would hold onto the items until I could pick them up. When pick-up day arrived, I went there straight after work. They went through my entire checklist of items and counted them off to ensure I had all I needed to tackle the project successfully.

That weekend, armed with a crowbar, I removed the old shelf in the closet and single hanging rod, patched the area, let it dry, painted the closet and let that dry too. The next day, I got my measuring tape, laser level, and power drill and got to work. I have to say, the installation was the easier part of the process. The patching and painting were definitely harder work. Putting up the system was easier than expected and the plan they provided me helped go through the process step-by -step. I LOVED the new set-up. That room is now my daughter's room and she loves it too. It's been over a decade and everything looks and functions as well as it did when I first installed everything. The quality is AMAZING!

When we moved to a bigger room in the house with a walk-in closet, Elfa did not have walk-in closet solutions available at that time and with a baby on the way and a limited budget, we put up a Rubbermaid system instead. It still functions well, but just doesn't have the look/feel/functionality of Elfa. One day, I will get Elfa back into my master closet, but in the meantime, I am able to supplement with things like the standalone drawers etc. I love the glide they have - so smooth! My mother-in-law lives with us and she loves Elfa too, having a system installed in her closet several years ago, that I was able to configure and order over the phone/email. It was such a smooth process and the phone consultants were so helpful and knowledgable. I probably sound like I work for The Container Store, but I tell you, their quality, simplicity, and function are perfect for me. Of course, there are other companies that offer configurable closet systems, like Ikea. I haven't tried them out yet, but I'll never say never. I'm always open to trying something new.

The Gift of Organization Shows Love, Care, and Respect

If you ever need to buy a memorable gift for someone you love, consider the gift of space and organization. My husband did all those years ago and while I no longer use that closet, just the memory of it brings a huge smile to my face! He understood my frustration with the space and helped me take steps to transform it. It doesn't have to be Elfa. I have had a great experience using Elfa, which is why I wrote this post, but any help with organization is a good idea, even if it's sitting down together to sort through built-up paperwork or clearing out the junk drawer. Taking on those tasks that stress out a loved one, or providing help to do so shows care and respect, and can transform the space and the person you helped. Knowing my husband considered how he could make my life better by transforming my closet made me feel so very loved. I actually think my experience with planning that closet put me on the path I am on today. The process really made me think about the purpose and function of the space in question and what success for that space would look and feel like for me - and that's exactly how I like to approach my organization projects.

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