Peri Wolfman has been organizing things for a long time. As a child, she kept her clothes neatly folded on a chair beside her bed, deciding it was easier to see everything at a glance that way. Then for many years she arranged striking displays at her noted store, Wolfman-Gold & Good. Here, she peeks into the closets, drawers, and medicine cabinets of willing victims to find answers to organizing the clutter of everyday life. The attractive photographs showcase a fashionable country approach: distressed cupboard doors, old canning jars arrayed on gleaming shelves, collections artfully arranged on a weathered table, timeworn wooden benches piled atop one another to hold books or assorted items, lots of wicker baskets. Also prevalent is a kind of industrial chic featuring banks of wire shelving systems, streamlined kitchens in which even the refrigerator is camouflaged, open shelves supporting row upon row of identical items (fluffy white towels, bottles of water, stacks of white china). If that style has appeal for you, you'll find plenty of good tips on what to do with lots of stuff in A Place for Everything. There are clever tips on how to make the detritus look decorative: family photos, for instance, are adeptly corralled in a commercial postcard display rack; silver cups or other interesting containers hold makeup accessories while adding a touch of glamour to the dressing table; a line of sturdy glass vases on a buffet holds silverware; a grid of corked test tubes makes a nice spice rack.
There's really not much here on actually getting rid of clutter; the emphasis is on concealing what needs to be hidden and skillfully organizing the rest. This is not a fix-it-and-forget-it solution--maintaining these arrangements takes some work. "Like a garden," Wolfman tells us, "a closet requires regular tending and care. It won't keep itself in order." --Amy Handy
From the Inside Flap
There's something about a closet door that stimulates curiosity. Who among us doesn't want to take a peek behind it, especially when it's in the home of a friend who has a real eye for design and who also possesses the keys to being organized?
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Peri Wolfman and Charles Gold have those very friends, and they persuaded them to open their doors and share the secrets of stylish storage. Their aim was to provide original and creative solutions for the problem of keeping up with all the things that accumulate in our lives.
What they found was that you don't need to build new storage (though there is a plan for an "everything closet" to cover all needs). Once you start arranging by shape or color or you invest in some great old cabinets or baskets, what was once clutter can become a collection. Vintage or new pegs and hooks are great to look at and can hold it all, from necklaces in the bedroom to coats and hats in the mudroom. Old benches can be stacked as bookshelves. Runners can be installed on the bottom of kitchen shelves, doubling your storage space for stemware. Drawers can be retrofitted with special slots for your silver, or you can amass a collection of pressed glass and use it to display your cutlery.
A Place for Everything is filled with stylish and sensible advice for clutter control in kitchens and dining rooms, living rooms and dens, bedrooms, baths, sheds, and basements. And tucked between the chapters are special sections with ideas for coping with photographs and collections, paper and pencils, and countless other little items. What's more, A Place for Everything gives you a chance to peek behind all those closed doors.