how does your closet make you feel?
seriously. go take a look at your closet, then come back here.
when our client looked at her closet she felt overwhelmed, and like most of us, felt like she had nothing good to wear. with a few hours and a little motivation, she now has a walk in closet that feels less like a closet and more like shopping in a boutique.
today i'm sharing all the tips and tricks we put into action to make it happen.
"my house was just getting away from me. elise swooped in and assigned order to the place." - jessie (couch street project)
1. before you start, go buy matching hangers. it seems unnecessary, but it's number one on my list for a reason. if you're on a smaller budget or if you have more clothes than you want to admit, you'll want to opt for thin, velvet, non slip hangers. you can pick these up at target for $10 for a 30 pack. if you have more of a minimal wardrobe and a bit more to spend, you can go fancy with some wooden hangers like these which are $7.99+ for a 6 pack. for this project, we opted for two packs of the thin hangers, bringing the project cost to $40.
2. if you have a moderate, overstuffed closet, you'll want to dedicate about 8 hours to this makeover (plus or minus a few hours depending on your unique situation). decide if you have the energy to bang it out in a day or if you'd rather do this over the course of a few days. we're heading into a stormy three day weekend, so this is your kick in the butt to get it done.
3. take everything out and start to categorize your clothing in piles. i'm not going to tell you hug each item and decide if it brings you joy, but you do need to take every last item out. everything. i mean it.
4. think about your morning flow and problem areas. for most of us, we have one closet that we're working with. for our river road client, she had a closet in the bedroom with a balcony room which was being used for overflow clothes and storage space. she showed me the bedroom closet doors which drive her crazy, how the balcony was too dark to get ready in, and some other pain points. we talked through how to optimize the space she had and what small changes we could make. we decided to keep all lightweight, seasonal, business and formal wear in her bedroom closet. these are the pieces that she isn't really accessing/wearing day to day, so it made sense to keep this tucked away in an area she didn't love. for the rest of the clothes, i wanted to utilize the incredible balcony space.
5. the next step is the sometimes overwhelming, sometimes emotional, sometimes difficult task of deciding what stays and what goes. as we sorted through each item of clothing, we made new piles to get a sense of how much clothing she had and how much space we would need.
here's the breakdown of each and how we managed them:
keepers: the wear all the time, absolutely love pile. these were the pieces showcased on her
hanging rack in the balcony.
donate: the stash of gently worn, dated, or over-loved clothing that would be dropped at a local
sell: even if you no longer love something, it's hard to part with it if you spent a good amount of
money on it or if it still has the tags on it. knowing that apps like poshmark make selling clothes a
breeze, our client was able to purge double the amount of clothing knowing she could make back
some of that money.
friends: some things are sentimental, special, or would just look better on your bestie. we opted to
make a pile just for clothing being passed on to friends.
fix: for the stained, ripped, and torn items that just need a little mending.
specialty: our client had sentimental clothing from her family, themed wear, and vintage items.
for each of these, we purchased clear bins with lids. and tucked those in the back of her closet
she can now easily access them and see what each bin contains, but doesn't need to take up
valuable real estate with clothes she won't be wearing.
6. we boxed up and cleared out all the piles, and then got to work on organizing the keepers. i sort by color, pattern, material (heavy wool vs satin blouse) and by sleeve length (so blouses, short sleeve, long sleeve). remember i said how my client always felt like she never had anything nice to wear? not any more. each piece of clothing really stood out, and looked so much more appealing when we were done. when you sort your clothes this way, you can really see what all you have. when you look in your closet and see 6 of the same style chambray tops, maybe next time you're out shopping you'll pass it over (and save the money, or put that money towards something you don't have).
7. stay within the limits defined by your space. sure, you can squeeze more hangers and jam more clothes in, but should you? having the limited amount of matching hangers really helped us. i'd remind her, you only have 5 more hangers, so pick wisely! a general rule of thumb i have is that any time you bring in one new item (hat, scarf, t-shirt), you have to donate one. even my t-shirt consuming husband likes this rule. when you (are able to) open a drawer or see your closet floor, you're going to start to feel better.
8. shop your house for products you can put to better use, like baskets, statement pieces, or sentimental items. we grabbed a table that was overstuffed with mismatched shoes, and ended up using it for a lamp (to fix the dark balcony issue) and for storing accessories like belts and scarves. instead of having these items all scattered around, we made one home for everything. when i was passed a big bin of belts, we stopped, took the time, and again, sorted through one by, ditched the old, and stored the new properly. in the clients basement i found a killer chair, a cute pillow, a mannequin and some baskets which all got put to use for storing her items and made her walk in closet feel like a boutique. one of my favorite elements was draping a ladder with her everyday tote, and her grandmothers scarf.
ready to tackle your closet but not sure if you can do it on your own?
shoot us a message and we'll get you on the books!