Tips: Conquer Your Closets
It’s said that clothing, like other areas in life, follows the 80:20 rule—we wear 20 percent of our wardrobe 80 percent of the time. Cull your clothes and organize your closets, and you’ll wear more of what you own more often—and have a closet even your mother would love.
1. Set aside time to clear out your bedroom closet and sort through everything in it. This could easily take a full day.
Organize what’s left
See if your closet fits your newly pared-down wardrobe. Is there an area for long garments as well as short ones? Is the shoe storage adequate? Is there room for hats, ties, belts, purses and other accessories? If the closet is largely OK, skip to Step 4.
Call in a professional if your needs are great and time is short. Look in the yellow pages under “Closets and Closet Accessories” for a company near you. Many custom closet design companies offer free in-home consultations.
Go to a specialty shop if your closet needs help, but you think you can do it yourself. Many organizing stores, such as the Container Store and California Closets, offer free closet- and space-planning services. Bring your closet measurements and the amount of different spaces you need. (Planning and purchasing a system may involve several trips.)
Head for a department store, a home-improvement center or online retailers such as TheContainerStore.com if your closet just needs a minor tweaking. Look for second rods, additional shelves, hanging shelves (with and without drawers) and zippered bags for sweaters.
Group your clothes in your new closet system. Options include organizing by type (all pants, shirts, skirts and blouses together), by use (work clothes, casual clothes, formalwear), by tone (light to dark) or by color. Choose a system that makes sense to you and that will be easy to maintain.
Take a picture of your finished closet and hang it inside the door for future reference and inspiration. (Send a copy to your mom.)
If you’ve kept a lot of clothes for several years because you think they may fit again, choose just one favorite piece (as an incentive) and get rid of the rest. When you shed those pounds, reward yourself with a new wardrobe.
Use plastic or wooden hangers, not wire. Wire hangers don’t support clothing well and make for a messy-looking closet.
Some city housing codes require fluorescent lights in closets to save electricity.
For long dresses, allow for 69 inches of hanging space; robes, 52 inches; dresses, 45 inches; pants, 44 inches; men’s suits, 38 inches; women’s suits, 29 inches; skirts, 35 inches; blouses, shirts, 28 inches; and pants (double hung), 20 inches.
Add a valet hook outside of your closet for hanging dry cleaning or just-ironed clothes, or for planning outfits.
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