Do you ever look at those beautifully organized closets in magazines and pictures, with clothes draping beautifully over their hangers, shoes racked neatly on shelves like little soldiers ready to take on the day, and wonder “why does my closet not look like that?”
Well…for one, most of us don’t live in magazines…or at The Container Store. So don’t beat yourself up too much! Noone’s closet can look that pristine all the time.
That said, there are a few things you can do to make your own closet look and feel a bit more like a magazine spread and a bit less like a Hoarders episode.
If you look at those beautifully organized closets closely, you’ll notice that they all have two things in common: space and uniformity. Sweaters are folded neatly in short piles of three or four, shirts hang beautifully coordinated by color, and everything just looks like it has room to breathe.
Read on for four steps to add space and uniformity to your closet.
1. Clear out the excess
I know, I know…you’ve heard it a thousand times. If you haven’t worn it in X amount of time, donate it. But it’s true! If you haven’t worn something in over a year, it’s definitely time to donate it. It’s serving no purpose other than taking up space and getting in the way of you seeing all the other wonderful pieces you have in there.
If you are on the fence about a clothing item, make a deal with yourself: in order to keep it, you have to wear it in the next week. Then do it and assess. How do you feel when you are wearing it? Are you comfortable? Is it itchy? Does it ride up or creep down? If you have to pull on it, fidget with it or just plain don’t like how you feel in it, it’s time to say good bye.
2. Then, assess your closet organizing needs
Before you start reorganizing, take a good look at what it is that you actually need to organize. What does your wardrobe mostly consist of? Pants? Dresses? Shoes? Do you need more shelf space or more hanging space? Do you have a place for your scarves? What about your belts? Looking at what you have will help you determine your closet needs and figure out what kind of storage you need more of. Generally, sweaters and jeans are best folded, while shirts, dresses, dress pants, and jackets are best hung.
If you need more hanging space, consider adding a double hang closet rod like this one. If you don’t have enough shelving, consider adding a cube-style organizer to your closet floor. Alternatively, if you can compromise some hanging space for folding space, you might think about using a hanging closet organizer like this one. If the top closet shelf is all you have to work with, acrylic bins like these will help you separate stacks of sweaters while also enabling you to go higher without everything toppling over.
3. Create uniformity
Once you know your closet needs and you are ready to implement your closet organization plan, you’ll need to do some visual planning. Adding some consistency in color and material will go a long way in creating visual cohesiveness to your closet.
Start with your hangers. The two options I’ve found that create the most visual cohesiveness are these black velvet hangers or these wooden hangers (both from Target). The first option is quite a bit slimmer and allows you to hang your clothes closer together. This may be the better option if hanging space is at a premium. The second option allows your clothes to hang a little farther apart which helps keep your closet uncluttered.
Depending on which color option you go with, plan your other accessories around that. For example, a closet with black hangers, black hanging organizer and black shelving will look a lot more cohesive than a closet with black hangers, white shelving, and a beige hanging organizer.
Lastly, don’t forget to group your clothes in colors to maintain that cohesiveness throughout.
4. Finally, know when to expand.
“But isn’t this contradictory to what you said in #1 above, Chrissy?”
I am so glad you asked! I know this is basically the opposite of number one, but if you’ve followed all the steps above and you still don’t have space, it may just be time to invest in additional storage.
If you have ample floor space, I am a big fan of garment racks like this one from Urban Outfitters. As long as you don’t overly stuff it, it can add a boutique vibe and style to your bedroom.
Trading out your nightstands for drawer chests, adding a free-standing wardrobe or upgrading to a larger dresser are also some great ways to add extra storage and expand your closet space.