That Dream Closet
The closet is where you start many mornings. Having an efficient closet system is crucial to making your life easier, especially when you’re in a rush. Keeping your closet tidy, clean, and easy to browse through makes a difference in how you start your day.
This particular space should be your inspiration, not a morning drag.
So, let’s organize your closet and make it inviting. Respect your shoes and love your clothes. Give your closet contents the care and attention it deserves.
Out With The Clutter
A thorough purge is critical. Your closet should support the person you are at this point in your life. It should not be the dumping grounds of clothes that have not fit in 15 years or clothes past their expiration date.
The closet is not some storage space for all those things no one wants or knows where to place. It is impressive the things people keep in their bedroom closets, just because they have some space available. The space available is good! Be at peace with empty space rather than rush to stuff items that should not be in that space (and then complaint about lack of space in the closet). Learn what your closet should contain and let all other items find their proper place in the home.
First, go through the contents of your closet and remove from the space anything other than clothes, shoes, handbags, travel bags, accessories, and other things you wear. Leave in suitcases, though.
Once everything that does not belong in your closet is out of the space and reallocated, it is time to sort through what should go in the closet.
Discard clothes that don’t make you feel fabulous. Discard what looks old, dated, damaged beyond repair, or does not fit you. You will not wear these things, no matter how long you keep them. Besides, having a closet full of petite clothing or something you don’t like wearing does not support you. Rather than inspire you, these clothes will subconsciously remind you of all the stuff you can’t wear. That is not an ideal way to start the day.
You’ll be amazed at the space you get back if you take an objective look at your clothes and purge.
And from now on, stay on top of your closet management. When you realize that a clothing item is unflattering, unwanted, in bad shape, or no longer fit, remove it from your closet immediately. Practice keeping a basket or nice-looking bag in your closet to place these items at once.
Outfitting The Space
Chandelier, track lights, light inside closets, and under-shelf illumination are some of the options that make a closet look magical. At a basic level, the closet space needs good lighting. The lighting system you choose must increase functionality but also enhance the ambiance. That ambiance is all in the lighting! Usually, a mix of yellow light and white light works best.
A body-length mirror is a must in every closet. It serves a practical purpose because you need to see the whole outfit on your body. But a long mirror also helps create that elegant atmosphere that we all admire in amazing closets. The location of this mirror will depend on the space available. It could be hung on a wall, behind the closet door, or free-standing against the wall. However, the larger, thicker frame, the more elegant your mirror will look.
Finding the proper storage solutions is always tricky, especially if you don’t have a walk-in closet.
A common mistake is to buy containers before doing the work with decluttering, sorting, organizing, and allocating spaces for your things. First, you need to assess what you’ll need to contain and where these things will live. To determine this, you need to remove what does not belong in the closet and re-evaluate the clothing. This is the only way to know, realistically, how many hangers your need, how much long hanging, short hanging, or double hanging space you’ll need, for example.
Consider the type of item you’ll hang versus what you’ll fold, the number of items in each category, and the area where each group should go. These elements determine the type of containers, sizes, and style.
Accessories will probably also end up in baskets or containers. So, where will those be? You want to get solutions that look like they belong in the closet, not like a random selection of last-minute solutions. You need to measure the spaces to decide on factors like pattern, materials, and color scheme.
In considering storage space available, it is common to neglect vertical space. However, some wall areas and behind doors are suitable areas where we can store many items. Just make sure that things placed behind doors don’t interfere with those doors opening freely.
There must be space to express who you are. Make the closet your special place, an area where you are glad to be. Use framed pictures or knickknacks that remind you of notable people and moments in your life. Use these strategically and tastefully.
What You Need
A trashcan is a must in every closet (and in every home space, actually!). Get a trashcan that complements the space décor. To make things easier, consider a trashcan with no lid.
Have one hamper per person sharing the closet. Make the hampers look good in the space. If closet space is limited, place hampers in the bedroom. However, hampers should preferably be where you change clothes. Note that hampers and laundry baskets are not the same and have different purposes. Your laundry process determines how the closet remains organized or not.
You probably need a place to sit to put on your shoes. This seat could be as simple as the tiniest ottoman or stool to the most oversized armchair (space and style permitting). Ensure that your seating option goes well with the room in style, size, and color.
It is incredible the difference it makes to have all the hangers look the same.
We recommend space-saver hangers because they prevent clothes from falling off the hangers or losing their shape. In addition, they save at least one-third of the space in your closet (just by switching hangers!).
And if you get the appropriate clips to transform these hangers into a skirt or dressy short hangers, all hangers will look the same in the space.
Having the same hangers throughout prevents hangers from tangling and provides a more efficient experience in your closet.
Sports shorts will usually go in drawers, along with other sportswear, but dressy shorts and cargo shorts are better hung to avoid wrinkles and save space in your drawers.
Replace your plastic garment bags with fabric ones. Plastic is detrimental to your clothes!
If you have drawers, you need drawer dividers. It is that simple. Dividers make a considerable difference in the maintenance of drawers and hold us accountable for the amount of stuff we keep in those drawers. Measure drawers before buying dividers because these come in different widths and lengths to fit every kind of drawer.
Baskets, bins, containers
Use the same type of basket throughout the closet. Measure the spaces where these will go to ensure the right fit. Use baskets to contain anything folded on shelves and small accessories. The use of baskets on shelves and niches will give your closet a uniform look.
Best Practices in Managing Your Closet
Go for it if you can hang most of what you usually fold. It is easier to see all your clothing when everything is on hangers. And thus, you wear more of your clothes more often. It is also easier to put the laundry away by hanging than folding. But, of course, underwear, PJs, sportswear, swimsuits, and socks should go in drawers.
In hanging your clothes, classify them by type and then by color. For example, place all casual tops together, jackets and blazers together, skirts together, denim, slacks, and so on. You will efficiently select your outfits and enjoy how everything looks in hangers.
Place all your hangers in the same direction. Then, when hanging back those pieces, have the hanger facing the opposite direction. This system will let you know that you wore that item. In addition, the system allows you to notice what you do not regularly use, giving you a clue on what to discard. It also helps you rotate your wardrobe more often and get creative with mixing and matching your wardrobe pieces.
Pro Tip: Always place empty hangers in a single location to avoid having to fish them out when putting laundry away. Also, your closet will look better if you isolate empty hangers.
People seem surprised to learn they should remove plastic covers from their clothes when they bring them home from the cleaners. This is because the plastic used by cleaners is detrimental to the clothes’ fabric.
When you bring home clothes from the cleaners, also switch out the hangers. First, cleaner hangers always come facing left, which is the opposite direction of what most people desire (if right-handed). Second, cleaners use wire hangers, which lose their shape, get rusty, get tangled, and make the clothes lose their shape. Wire hangers are the least desirable kind of hangers. Besides, you want your hangers to match in your closet. And by the way, the cleaners would like their hangers back!
Whether you have drawers in your closet or these are in a dresser in the bedroom, some clothing categories are simply better suited to live in your drawers. These categories are loungewear, sleepwear, sportswear (including swimsuits), underwear, and socks.
Drawer dividers have a stellar role when dealing with these categories. They will keep the contents of your drawers organized and manageable.
Spend the necessary time to fold things appropriately, though. There are also options in terms of folding. You can go Konmari-style or roll each piece of clothing. Rolling is quick and avoids wrinkling of the clothes.
And whether you believe that the dryer “eats socks” or socks run away from you, your missing socks are probably not coming back. So, stop wasting space and effort keeping an assortment of unmatched socks. Socks are cheap and your time trying to match them is much more valuable than the cost of a replacement pack.
Also, consider donating all your mismatched socks to a shelter. Did you know that socks are among the items shelters need the most? And when the weather is cold, having socks on your feet is invaluable. Nobody would complain of mismatched socks at that point.
If seasonal clothes take up too much space, consider packing them away in air-tight bags to store underneath the bed or on a higher shelf. Since those bags get random shapes when the air is removed, consider placing them in bins that fit the area where you will store them. Bins stack neatly.
Travel bags and suitcases
Never put away your suitcases and bags without emptying them first. The amount of trash collected from our clients’ handbags and suitcases is astonishing. Things get easily lost this way. Emptying suitcases and bags after every trip makes it easier to pack for the next one. It is easier to start fresh than to grapple with all the junk and expired products that remain in the bags from your last trip.
Organizing Your Closet Stuff
Organize accessories in soft baskets that go well with the closet décor. These baskets are ideal for collecting items in some closets’ built-in niches. If you do not have those in your closet, these baskets can live on shelves. They will still provide an easier way to group accessories by category and allow easy access by pulling out the needed basket.
Consider dedicating at least one of those baskets or bins to little items needed where you get dressed such as the lint roller, extra bras straps, collar stays, chaffing tape, heel tape, body and cloth tape, insoles, handbag replace items (like small hand sanitizer, breath mints, mini note pad…), and the like.
Handbags stored in a drawer or a closet cubby or wilted on a shelf can quickly lose their shape or become ruined by creases or rubbing against each other. However, you have options to preserve your bags and make them look fabulous.
You can stuff your handbags with quilted shapers that preserve their shape, protecting your investment and giving the closet that coveted boutique look. In addition, it will be a more joyful experience to look at your bags while deciding which one you will take out for that day.
If you like that idea but do not feel the investment is for you, achieve the same result by inflating Ziplock bags to the appropriate size and stuffing your bags with them. Packing paper and bubble wrap do an excellent job as well.
You could also place your bags on special purse hangers or put your folded handbags in baskets or bins on your closet shelves. However, this last alternative is better for synthetic material bags.
There are many products in the market to preserve the shape of your boots. But the same company that makes the quilted stuffers for handbags also makes them for boots. These are called Innies.
But despite the number of products available for this purpose, rolled magazines and stuffing paper will do just fine.
When no shelving or cubby space is available to display your boots, hang them with special boot hangers.
Shoes should be off the floor, preferably on shelves. This way, they are easier to access and don’t get lost in the infinite depths of your closet, gathering dust. You are more likely to rotate their use this way as well.
Some closets already have unique shelving or cubbies for shoes. But if this is not your case, you can incorporate a shoe rack that makes selecting your shoes more accessible.
Sometimes, it makes sense to remove a closet rod and make space for a shoe wall. We know of an excellent company that specializes in walls of shoes! 😊
When space is an issue with the closet, a clever shoe solution is the over-the-door hanging shoe bag. This bag utilizes the door space to store your shoes. Please note this alternative works best when the shoe collection is small!
If your closet has shelves available, particularly the highest shelf, you might want to have stackable shoe boxes. These protect your shoes from dust, but let you see the contents. You might incorporate shoe boxes with lids or boxes with front lids that eliminate the need to remove boxes above, to get that fabulous pair you want to take for a stroll. The shoe box option makes the most use of the vertical space above your highest shelf.
Scarves can go on hangers in your closet, in front, or behind your tops section. Hanging your scarves prevents wrinkles and gives them greater visibility, so you might use them more often. Try using a hanger per piece.
There are specialty hangers for scarves that make a beautiful display.
You may choose to store your scarves in a drawer. If so, fold them neatly or roll them to avoid wrinkles. Then, place them in a shallow drawer, preferably. The dividers you use for the scarf drawer should be appropriate for the item size.
Belts & Ties
If you or your partner wear belts or ties, you need belt hangers and tie hangers. Belts bunched up on a wire hanger or ties sliding off improvised solutions don’t work.
Drawer space permitting, you could roll each one of these items and place them in a shallow drawer fitted with the most suitable dividers for the job. Rolled ties and belts in a drawer create a colorful, accessible display.
When the only option is a deeper drawer, get the smallest, stackable containers to make two or three layers in the drawer. Place each tie and each belt individually on containers.
There might be shelf space available in your closet to place your hats on display. If you own large hats, consider using hat boxes. These preserve your hats’ shape and protect them from dust.
When space is a concern, use available wall space to install hooks to hang your hats. This idea works great for caps as well.
Would you prefer your jewelry in stackable trays in your closet or your dresser in the bedroom? Or would you rather have a utility board on the wall to enjoy an artsy display of jewelry?
If your closet is ample, you might have space to create a jewelry section. There are countless ideas to design this space so that you can enjoy your jewelry. Just check on Pinterest and be overwhelmed!
On the other hand, if your closet lacks the space to include jewelry, consider the use of stackable trays. Stackable trays are versatile, adaptable to your needs, and sit over your dresser or another flat area.
Before you decide on a jewelry system, though, make sure to edit your jewelry collection. All too often, jewelry is a forgotten category of items, and we tend to accumulate without ever purging.
After deciding what is still relevant for you, select the system that will hold the kind, size, and amount of jewelry pieces you keep. The critical factor is to have all your jewelry in one area, preferably using a single storage system.
Befriend Your Closet
Avoid a closet that laughs at you in the morning and yells, “Ha! good luck finding something nice to wear here.” Instead, every day your closet should invite you in. But it is up to you to make this happen.
Regardless of your closet size, keeping it in order is essential for your peace of mind. Getting ready in the morning sets the tone for your day.
Start your day with a beautiful and organized closet.
Not sure you can do this on your own? You don’t have to! Contact My Space Reclaimed, LLC to get professional organizing assistance.