Many readers had comments and questions about the recent Closet Consultation post, so here are some of my favorite resources and organizing tips:
1. That RACK – the one we put all the client’s clothes on so we could “shop” from the items she already owned – is available from storesupply.com. It is heavy duty, height adjustable, has telescoping rod ends and collapses easily – flat enough to slide under the bed and out of the way.
I found a similar rack at The Container Store for $20 more; you may save that much on shipping charges depending on your location. But don’t cheap out and buy a lesser quality rack if you plan to keep using it.
And how might you use it? After your closet is organized, the rack is great in the laundry room, for out-of-season storage and for organizing your travel wardrobe before packing for a trip.
#2 – Scarf Hanger – there are loads of different styles out there, and being a scarf addict myself I’ve tried many of them. Although the one with lots of holes look like a great idea, I’ve found I only use the top row to avoid burying some styles under others. A better idea is this one from Hangers.com with a single row of openings. It’ a little pricier, but easy to justify – even if you need more than one – because you’ll use them for decades. The smooth finish is very important because any rough spots could snag fragile scarves.
Another option is a wooden or even a tubular plastic hanger with a bottom bar. Loosely know each scarf over the bar like you see at the very top of the picture below. This works better for wrinkle-resistant poly scarves than for silks.
#2 – Jewelry Storage. You’ll use your accessories more effectively if they’re visible and accessible. I like getting clients’ necklaces out of the jewelry box and hanging in plain sight – in rainbow order, of course. Depending on your space you can choose between a “belt organizer” with pre-formed hooks (which are too closely spaced to handle most belt buckles – huh?) or the DIY approach with cup hooks.
TIP: In my own new, shared closet, space is seriously limited. (Who knew I could marry a man who owns more clothes, shoes and accessories than I do? And looks darned good in them, I might add!) With inadequate wall space to hang my little belt rack, I discovered it fit nicely on a diagonal and still functioned just fine.
#4 – Combined accessory storage – this idea shared by a reader. If you have back-of-the-door or blank wall space available, consider mounting a display grid like this one from storesupply.com and hanging all your accessories from it. (Note that these grids are sold in sets of two – so if you can’t fit both in your closet, use the second one in the basement or garage … of split the pair with a closet-organizing buddy.) Short hooks like these make access most convenient and protect scarves from snagging on the corners of the open squares.
#5 – A little light on the subject. I work in so many closets where it is difficult to determine garment color because the lighting is so dim – leading to mistakes like a navy top and black skirt combo. (Yes, you can occasionally mix the two, but it requires great intention to pull it off well.)
The two easiest solutions involve either removing the frosted glass globe that often covers the bulbs (sometimes just washing it makes a big difference!) and/or switching out the bulbs for brighter ones. But my favorite solution is shown below – replacing the single small fixture with a strip of bulbs. One client did this when she remodeled a bathroom and removed the strip lighting. If you don’t happen do be in bath-renovation mode you can pick up a light strip for tiny cost at most any Habitat For Humanity ReStore location.
With any lighting updates, check local codes for the amount of wattage that is safe for the space in your closet. Happily the newer bulb types burn cooler so you should be able to be both bright and safe. I’d hate for you to burn up your newly-organized wardrobe!