Reconfiguring Edna’s Closet
With a fantastic body to showcase clothes and a genuine love of dressing beautifully, Edna has been a fun client for many years and we’ve built an extensive wardrobe over time. Recently she decided to consolidate from multiple closets upstairs to a single walk-in on the main level of her lovely home. That meant some serious discussion about ways to organize garments and accessories for efficiency and visibility …
Remember “out of sight is out of mind” and we didn’t want any of her great pieces to be forgotten, as they sometimes were with the prior multiple-closet system. Here’s a look at the storage strategies we utilized. More about the outfits we reconfigured in another post. Or two or three!
First we tackled accessory storage:
She was originally putting her shoes on the closet floor, where they were honestly a tripping hazard. We found this door-mounted shoe rack (left, above) from The Container Store that is very sturdy and holds an astonishing 36 pairs. Some reviewers said it wouldn’t hold a very large shoe size so well, but for her 8.5s it worked like a dream.
With a long, lean torso Edna had a nice collection of wider belts, so we had to be sure our hanging rack had the prongs spaced fairly far apart. This pair (center, above) just fit into a narrow section of empty wall with one hung above the other.
She also had loads of fun fashion jewelry. But stored in their boxes, stacked inside a drawer, lots of the items weren’t getting to come out an play. These wonderful hanging racks (right, above) with shelf space on top for coordinating earrings, got everything out in plain sight. They are also from The Container Store, but I can’t find them on their website now — check your local store because they are GREAT.
I’ve used various methods for keeping scarves visible in clients’ closets – clear-pocket over-door organizer (left – really designed for shoes) and towel bars (center) mounted to door frames work well too. But we were entirely out of wall space in this closet, so a hanger arrangement, similar to the one pictured on the left, saved the day.
We transferred every top garment to a flocked hanger for good support with minimal thickness. Then we sorted print under-layer tops, solid under-layers, all over-layer tops and all single-layer sweaters into their own groupings, hung in color order.
There was one longer hanging area – just enough to accommodate all her pants and jeans on clip-style hangers. Skirts and dresses (she had only a few in each of those categories) had their own spot along another wall – not pictured. Purses were along the shelf above the pants.
With all the current season items in one place we were ready to start building new, fun combinations. And that’s a story for another day. Meanwhile, what can you do to optimize the visibility and convenience in your own closet?
Very interesting and informative as always.
Thanks Diane – this was a particularly interesting closet challenge so it was great to be able to share it.
Nice I dear. I have 2 questions. One, how does she keep her jewelry dust free in an open area like you show. Two, What about the stretch of knit items when hung on any type of hanger? I use the fold down the center and lay a hanger at the underarm seam, fold the sleeve over on shoulder of the hanger and the body over the other. It works for bulkier and tunic length sweaters.
I noticed she’s using dust protectors on some of her tops, maybe jackets, to control dust problems but what about all the other pieces she doesn’t rotate, at least every month? What about dust on shoes? I keep mine in men’s size plastic shoe boxes from the Container Store. I wear a 12 so that rack wouldn’t work for me, anyway.
Thanks for sharing all the info.
First the dust question – perhaps that issue is related to geography. In our area it simply isn’t a problem. In fact, before I let the trainees (see related post) into my own closet I checked for “dust-bunnies” along the edges and on items and there was hardly any. Although we didn’t make any special accommodations in Edna’s closet, the ones you suggested are certainly viable. It is always my goal, though, to keep things as visible and accessible as possible in the client’s circumstances.
About hangers: the flocked ones do a great job of grabbing the garment fabric along the shoulderline to prevent stretching out of shape. And in this closet, their compact profile was mission-critical. I do love the fold-over method you referenced, and often use it when side-to-side space isn’t at such a premium.
I don’t use many of the flocked hangers in my own closet because their grip-factor makes it more tedious to grab a garment to put on and I’m a very impatient personality. But they are a great fit with Edna’s more precise and deliberate demeanor.
Bottom Line: No single set of storage strategies can be right for every woman and every space. So it is great when readers like you chime in to share their own favorites.
Thanks for the timely article! A closet refresh is a perfect remedy to this week’s Black Friday shopping blues, the old what am I missing feeling. I’m always surprised at how many clothing treasures I rediscover in going through my closet with fresh eyes. Also, once a closet is organized – it is much easier to spruce up. Now I am inspired to relook at how I display my accessories. A great gift to myself “self care,” again great ideas thank you!
So true. I spent some time on my own closet this weekend too — a bit of weeding out and a handful of mini fix-its needed now that I’m actually having more opportunities to wear all my fun outfits! Have a lovely holiday season.
Hi Nancy. Great suggestions! Off the subject, a friend of mine is a “Spring,” and is having difficulty find her colors in stores. Any suggestions?
All colors roll in and out of the retail scene with much greater frequency than most women realize. That’s the reasoning behind my new “Retail Revonnaisance” feature – to call out colors beyond the trite black/white/red combo when and where they pop up. You might invite your friend to subscribe to this newsletter to tap into that resource.