Step 1- Edit, edit, edit.
Chances are, you have TMS: Too Much Stuff. Be mindful that you probably have more in your space than you wear regularly, so make the hard decisions on what to keep FIRST, so that the end result is designed around the items you actually use.
Step 2- Consider hiring a closet system expert.
I use almost exclusively Cutting Edge Closets here in Utah, but there are many sources for closet organization wherever you live. They can help you design your space using their experience in maximizing closet spaces in ways you may have not thought of! They can create adjustable shelving for different sizes of shoes and purses, add seasonal storage, build ladders and rod systems, and offer many jewelry display options that can make this space one that functions for you. Experts in design often SAVE you money by preventing costly mistakes in the first place, so don’t dismiss this step because of budgetary reasons alone.
Step 3- Slow your roll… don’t shop yet!
There are SO many storage options out there, but first think about how you use your items, what you want to store out of reach and what needs easy access, what gets the limited rod or shelf real estate in your closet, and what gets put up high or down low. When you have an idea on what you want to put where, THEN you can shop. Consider cubbies which keep things contained and allow for easy, labeled access. Clear cubbies will let you see what you have, whereas fabric or closed storage will hide visual clutter. Using an expert to determine how much shelf space you’d like for things such as shoes, sweater storage (don’t hang your sweaters, you’ll get shoulder bumps from your hangers!), and jeans will ensure that your space can contain your items well. And consider built-in drawers for exercise gear, underwear, swimwear, and t-shirts so that everything has its place! A velvet-lined drawer is a must-have for anyone who likes jewelry, watches, and shades and allows one to see what options are available when getting dressed.
Step 4- Putting it all back.
Storing seasonal items away can keep your closet from looking overstuffed and can create some breathing room that appeals to the eye. Also visually appealing is the rainbow system; hanging by color, long sleeves to short sleeves, starting with whites and creams, moving in rainbow order toward grays and blacks etc. Ideally, you’ve created enough room and organization to mimic the department stores, showcasing your beloved items and storing them in a way that is both accessible and beautiful with room that whispers, “Aaaaaahhhh”.
Step 5- EXTRA EXTRA!
Don’t forget the finishing details; lighting, flooring and the nice-to-haves. Lighting is an often overlooked detail in a closet space. Both decorative AND task lighting is best; such as can lights and a beautiful chandelier for example. Nice-to haves are items such as seating, a small island that contains drawers, jewelry storage or laundry hampers. Custom items can include built-in tie racks, belt racks (I use these for long necklaces too!) and valet rods for dry cleaning, packing for a trip, or just planning the next day’s outfit. High upper shelving can store hats, shoes, winter boots, etc. and are easily reached with a “pull down rod”. I often include a single unit washer/ dryer and even a pull down ironing board in many luxury homes for easy cleaning in primary closets, which makes for less back and forth to the home laundry area and keeps your clothing maintenance in one place. Lastly, a good plush carpet under your feet is an inviting way to start the day and is a great option for warmth and luxury. Treating yourself in these small ways pays off big time!
You are now just 5 steps away from a closet that sets the tone for your day in a way that functions well AND looks like a million bucks! Get out there, girl!