How to Get Your Closet Under Control

An overstuffed closet is a daily frustration: sweaters falling off the shelves, shoes that start disappearing into a black hole, closet sticks closed with multiple hangers that would require the strength of the hernia to squeeze one more is. So we force ourselves to close the door and try to ignore the problem, even as we accumulate more stuff.

But there is a solution – and it’s not just about getting rid of clothes. If you design your wardrobe to suit your needs, you can maximize the space and make your storage more functional.

“Should never be after a closet,” said Jessica schuster, An interior designer in New York. “Your clothes are an important part of your identity and how you present yourself to the world, so I always try to create a place that feels like it is an extension of the house.”

Of course, it is easier said than done. Maximizing closet space can be so daunting that even professional interior designers like Ms. Shuster sometimes call on specialized wardrobe designers or organization experts for help. “There are some amazing systems and organization tips and tricks that these people can teach you,” she said. “I have learned a lot.”

We asked some of them to share some of their knowledge.

If you do not know what you need to organize, you will not be able to build a skilled closet.

Director of Insiders Hannah Baxter said, “Too often, people design their quote-dream closet, starting based on what they want it to look like.” Horderly Business Events. “When we run into problems.”

So before you buy those nice looking drawers or baskets, figure out what you have to store. Ms. Baxter said, “Take everything out of your closet, categorize it into categories, edit through those categories and get rid of donations and trash.” “Then you can take stock of what you have.”

It does not require a super-cheap or useless purse, but if you have clothes that you have not worn for over a year – and it is not something you are burning for special occasions – it is probably worth giving it a go. there is time.

Los Angeles-based CEO Lisa Adams La closet design, Said she itemized the remaining pieces by creating a list on a spreadsheet.

“It means counting and measuring every pair of shoes and every garment,” she said. “It’s really important to take inventory, so that I know how many pairs of shoes need to go there, and what is short-hanging in the ratio of medium-hanging to long-hanging.”

If it looks like you still have too much stuff to fit in your bedroom wardrobe, consider whether some of it can be stored elsewhere.

“If your family is a family where everyone takes off their shoes as soon as they arrive at the door, then you probably need an entry closet for coats and shoes instead of replacing your master closet for such things, “Suggested Ms. Baxter.

Or think about using free standing furniture for additional storage space. “The easiest thing is to buy a chest of drawers for your bedroom,” said Carolyn Musher, vice president of sales California Closet, in New York.

If you’re pressed for space and “you have space for drawers outside the closet,” he said, “you shouldn’t waste space inside your cupboard.”

A basic closet with a single hanging rod and a high shelf is not doing you much good. “People will have all kinds of items that pile up on top and fall all over the place, some things are hanging and then there are a bunch of shoes on the floor,” Ms. Musheer said. “This is not a way to live.”

By introducing more rods, more shelves and – if you have space – a few drawers, you can store in a more orderly manner.

Opening the closet door should feel as good as stepping into a store. Ms. Musheer said, “The goal is to be able to shop for your wardrobe.” Without digging through piles, you wish you could walk in and see everything you had.

Working from your inventory, identifying how much space you need to hang small items like clothes and small items like shirts while creating a little extra space for new arrivals.

For small objects, “double-hang is the way to go,” Ms. Musher said, “because you really open up the space.”

He usually left 40 to 42 inches between the floor and the low rod. She then adds a shelf above it and measures another 40 inches for a higher rod.

His rule of thumb for other items? “If it doesn’t go on a hanger, it goes on a shelf,” he said. “But if it falls from a shelf, it has to go into a drawer.”

This means that most heavy items, such as sweaters and jeans, must be bent and stacked on the shelves, but underwear, socks, pajamas, and T-shirts can go into the drawer.

Shelves should be at least 12 inches deep, he said, “but ideally, you want your clothing shelves to be 14 to 16 inches deep.”

Closet designers at container stores prefer to use a mix of depth, said Courtney Lomonko, the store’s home operations manager – 12 inches for higher shelves because they are more difficult to reach (especially in cupboards that are walk-in. These are not), and 16 inches for the lower shelves, where the additional depth is more accessible.

Adjustable shelves are best, as they can be lifted or lowered in the future, but shelves usually need to be separated by about nine to 11 inches as they rise, Ms. Musher said: “Because if the stack is too long Go, then it’s just going to start falling – and then you’re in a mess. “

Your shoes do not stay on the floor, or in a pile of boxes. Lining them in rows on the shelves will help keep things streamlined, while finding what you want to wear is easy.

Although angled shelves are often promoted as a shoe solution, Ms. Musheer is not a fan. “They are incredibly inefficient,” she said, because they take up more space than a flat shelf and limit what can be stored. Flat shelves can be spread together (or away for shoes) separately, and allow each shoe to be stored on more shelves while staggering on each shoe.

Handbags can also be stored in rows on shelves. But because they have a tendency to fall, they may need a little extra help. Ms. Shuster worked with the Container Store to create an alpha closet in her Manhattan apartment using clear polycarbonate dividers between her stores.

He said, “They make a little pocket for everything.”

Once the primary components of your wardrobe are in place, there are any accessories and extra accessories that can make it easier to use.

Ms. Adams of La Closet Design, sometimes includes a slide-out surface for folding clothes. She also creates squares hanging in small pockets of leftover space for scarves and ornaments.

Ms. Musheer prefers slide-out hook systems to belts and ties, and is particularly fond of retractable wallet rods that pull straight out to form a hook where you can dry-clean, a suit jacket, or a blank. You can hang whatever you are wearing waiting for the hanger.

“It’s something I always keep in every closet, no problem,” he said. “There are a lot of uses for this.”

Inside the drawer, he adds dividers to keep underwear, socks and bras in separate compartments.

There is a frequently forgotten location behind the door that can be used to mount full-length mirrors or additional storage. “There are a lot of systems right now where you can have shoe storage behind your door, or hold extra items, such as hats, that free up more space inside the closet,” said Philip Hoard, founder of Hordley. . “

Ms. Lomonko said the sweater boxes are good for storing and protecting weather clothes on high shelves. And if you choose the obvious ones, it will be easy to see what’s inside.

Even your hangars deserve some attention. “Using a thin hanger really helps you fit more in a smaller space,” Ms. Lomonko said. “And having uniformity in the hangar really helps to have a consistent experience in the bus closet.”

A label maker may also be useful. Organizers often label ordinary-rod dividers, bins, and baskets to help their customers keep things organized over time.

Closets should not be devoid of personality. Even the smallest ones can be painted a vivid color, for a little pop every time you open the door. In a walk-in wardrobe, it is often possible to add a small piece of furniture, rug, art or sculpture mirror.

For example, Ms. Schuster decorated her walk-in closet with blue, framed art on the wall and a generous ottoman on the parchment rug.

“When you are ready in the morning, or missing at night, you want it to feel like home,” she said. “Looks good in your space so that’s what I do, and the closet is part of that.”

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