If you know me at all, you know that I’m very neat and organized; perhaps a little too much. However, when it comes to small spaces, like a closet, good organization skills are a well-proven asset. As fashion stylist Amy Salinger states,
“If you don’t see it, you won’t wear it”.
I discovered this video by Amy where she takes you into her own closet (which is relatively small for a stylist but maybe it’s only one of many spaces where she stores her things) and she shows you and offers the best suggestions for keeping your closet neat, accessible, and updated. In my own opinion, having a well-organized closet maximizes your wardrobe. I know that sounds strange considering your wardrobe is as big as it can be at any given moment in time so how could you expand it by organizing your closet? It’s simple really; as Amy said, if you don’t see something, you won’t wear it because odds are, you forgot you had it and by unintentionally shoving things away in dark spaces and not having a system to where your things are, you’re actually eliminating options that you’re not realizing you have and you’re neglecting half of what you own.
In the video, Amy comes up with some great ideas that I can vouch for.
For one, she shows you how storing bulky items, like boots and other larger shoes with a lot more mass than a flip-flop, is beneficial if all put into a laundry basket. This is a great idea because they’re all in one, concise place. I personally have freely stored tall boots in my closet because they don’t stand well and you have to somehow lean them or fold them down. A laundry basket is good because you’re not creasing your leather or suede boots. A personal suggestion of mine is to find some tissue paper or newspaper and bunch it up and maneuver it into the leg of your boot to keep it stiff so that the shape stays and it doesn’t bend.
She also shows how having an internal door-hanging rack creates a lot more space for other items on your closet floor. I don’t have one of these myself but rather a shoe stand with two large shelves where they’re all evenly placed. I also think that her idea for a similar hanging jewelry organizer is awesome. She bought hers from The Container Store for less than $30. It’s convenient because you can see what is where due to the transparent pockets and it keeps things from getting tangled and lost.
She also has a great idea of storing bangles in a drawer box. I think that the large boxes that perfume gift sets come in work as great alternatives.
Amy shows her purse rack mounted behind her closet door. This is another organization trick that I use too except that mine isn’t on the wall adjacent to my closet. It doesn’t make a difference, as long as it’s organized. I like hanging purses and scarves from the hooks of the rack. On a side note, if you also don’t have inner closet hooks, you can always hammer a nail or hook on the inside of the door frame to create another space to hang belts or more scarves, long necklaces, etc.
I think that it’s pretty imperative to refrain from storing non-clothing/accessory items in your closet. A closet is meant for storage of any kind but if you have a large wardrobe, you may want to consider storing miscellaneous items in plastic air-tight bins under your bed, in a basement, in your bottom dresser drawer, or if you have to, designate one-third of an upper shelf to keeping items non-wardrobe related.
As Amy mentions, it’s good to have your in-season clothing hanging within reach and your off-season clothing stored elsewhere. As Amy does, I also tend to hang long garments, like dresses and jeans, toward the right side of my closest to the wall so that there’s more hanging room.
MOST IMPORTANTLY, when organizing the main focus of your closet, your clothes, you need to have some sort of coordinating system, whether it’s color-coordinated, by style, brand, whatever. I keep all pants together, all sweaters together, all basic tops together, all camis and tanks or halters grouped together, “going out” clothes together, blazers and jackets or vests together, collared dress shirts grouped as one, cardigans, cute embellished tops – you get the idea. I wouldn’t be able to remember half the stuff I have or easily figure out an outfit in the morning if my closet was in a complete state of disorder.
One last thing worth mentioning is if by all means possible, avoid wire hangers for your clothes and use either velvet-wrapped, coated, plastic, or any type of soft or rubber hanger instead. The reason being is because thin wire hangers pull on the shoulders of shirts and create weird lines in your clothes as well as distort their shape. This especially holds true with hanging a thin cotton shirt or anything with sleeves that isn’t thick or bulky. If you must, must, must use them, make sure that they’re specifically used to hang something with a fabric or quality that isn’t easily manipulated by the shape of the hanger such as a blazer, wool sweater, cami, hoodie, etc. I suggest that everyone invest in a few tree hangers where you can vertically hang 5-6 garments in layers one over the other to save room so that clothes aren’t crushed together and hard to get to. They also sell trees for pants as well.
I hope that my recommendations and tips as well as Amy’s clever video help you out the next time you go through your closet! On an ending note, I personally clean out my closet for new arrival items and a new way of organization 2-3 times per year. Trust me, it doesn’t hurt to do so!