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Maeve’s Method Guide to Closet Organization, Part 2

Last week I posted Part I of my two part Maeve’s Method Guide to Closet Organization. Were you able to get started? I hope so! If not, no worries, now that you have both parts in your hands it will be much easier to move things along.

Part I was filled with tips about how to take apart your closet and review what you own. Part II will take you through how to put things back, with a mindful eye on how to maximize space, keep things looking polished, and of course personalize so that your closet is all you. Here goes!

Do The Math To Reduce

Last week we we focused on how to pare down a closet as well as sort the items you wish to keep into ‘categories according to you’. But before you put any items back it’s important to do one more ‘look-see’ review.

The reality is, sometimes as we prepare to put things back we realize we still have too much stuff. Clothes that tend to build up with volume are items like cozy t-shirts, casual shirts, sweaters, around-the-home loungewear and socks and stockings. We can easily collect these as we go along in life, so now is your chance to review and reduce.

Take note of how many items you have in each category. If there’s more than you need, ask yourself, “how many can I use in a week, month, or year?” Then select enough of your favorite items for its cycle, and release the rest.

Be both generous and realistic in your guesstimates, and consider factors like how often you do laundry, how often you can get to the store, and how much space you actually have to comfortably store overflow or bulk. When our closets spill over the issue usually tipping the balance is volume, so be realistic about what you need in the present, then pare down the rest.

Make It Personal

Personally, I love to introduce artwork in my closet, and I teach my clients to do the same. Creating an enjoyable closet is they key to having it stand the test of time. So hang a colorful painting behind your clothing, or a photo on the wall that makes you smile.

You might also add a fresh layer of paint, contact paper on the shelves, or a doormat on the floor. We’ve been taught to keep closets neutral to showcase our clothes, but a little color and personality really helps. So go for it!

Finally, as you place items back into your closet, do so with care. Try keeping your categories intact. So, instead of hanging all shirts together or all dresses together, hang your categories together, like placing all ‘work’ clothes on one side of the closet and all ‘play’ clothes on the other. In the end, closets are personal spaces as well as high traffic zones. So store less active clothes up high, including off-season clothes or special occasion wear, and keep your day-to-day wear front and center.

Unify Your Hangers

As for the secret to a perfect-looking closet – it’s simple, it’s matching hangers. If you want a closet that looks like a million bucks select one style of hanger and use it exclusively for all your clothes. Using a variety of hangers means your clothes will hang at differing heights and distances from each other, and this makes things look messy. So as a finishing touch, replace your hangers.

Look for a hanger that fits your style, and stick to it. If you have a lot of clothes, try a slim hanger, as it will allow you to fit more of your treasured clothes. But if you’re prone to overstuffing, then limit yourself with wider wooden hangers. Avoid using wire hangers from the dry cleaner, as they are too thin and clothes clump together in unrealistically tight bunches. Transfer your clothes onto new, uniform hangers when you get them home and stop using wire altogether – your clothes will thank you for it.

With hanger value pack prices low these days, you can transform your closet for no more than the cost of a new dress. And as you place your clothes back, face all your hangers in the same direction. Doing so with give your closet that picture-perfect look.

Add a Second Shelf

For one last fix, look up. Most closets are designed with a single shelf above the closet rod, and that’s it. This is done to allow room for large items (like suitcases or storage boxes), but the reality is that most of us need that space to store clothes.

The best fix for this is to is to introduce a second shelf into your closet, placed 10-12 inches above your current top shelf. You might think there’s not room, but if you are already stacking boxes one on top of the other, then you likely have the space. Or, if when you reach for clothes up high you experience the “tumble down” effect, then you likely have space.

A second shelf will put an end to this, as top-most items will have their own shelf to rest on, no longer dependent on items below for support. And if you don’t want to install a shelf, you can try a shelf riser or stacking shelf instead. These sit on top of existing shelves, come in a range of widths, and with no installation required, leave plenty of flexibility for shelf arrangement.

That’s it, our 8 top tips to easy closet organization. I hope you enjoyed our Guide. Let us know if you have any tips you’d like to suggest. We love hearing from you!

Do you have any top closet tips you like to use? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo Credits: Domas at Morguefile, Maeve Richmond, Jeff Sheldon, The Container Store

Maeve Richmond is the founder and head coach of Maeve's Method, a home organization system based in New York City. She specializes in parents & kids, couples, small space solutions, space planning and decorative elements for the home. Contact her at [email protected] or @MaeveRichmond.

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