There are a number of alternate titles I could have used for this post like "How to Make Wire Shelves Look Less Hideous" or maybe "How to Make the Most of a Small Walk-In Closet". They would equally work well. But really, this post probably has the most to do with my take on "How to Share a Closet With a Man" - not just any man - a clothes loving man. I've mentioned before that I'm married to a well-dressed man which means he has just as much if not more clothing than I do. (I know this is a hard concept to grasp, but they do exist.)
I've showed you before how I maximize our clothing storage by thinking outside the closet. Since I do a closet clean-up-clean-out about twice a year and just finished up the January session I thought I'd share a few tips and things I've learned over the years about how to keep your closet organized, how to handle sharing your closet space, and how to maximize every inch of a small closet while keeping things looking pretty and not too cluttered.
First and Foremost - Be Choosy
Hanging and shelving space is limited in my closet. We each have one hanging rod and one shelf.
So before I purchase any article of clothing I ask myself, "Is this worth the closet real estate it's going to use?" Basically, do I really need it and will it fit in my closet? More often than not, I edit as I bring in new things. If I buy a couple of new blouses I will take an inventory of what I already have and decide if I should donate anything. This makes it so that I never have more than I have room for, and it also helps me make better clothing purchase decisions. Rather than just buying something because it's on sale; I only buy it if I really, really love it and it's worth the closet real estate. So I end up with a closet of clothing I love, and I avoid those "why did I buy this purchases?". I also believe the jewelry makes the outfit (like how a cake is nothing without the frosting), so I think "less clothing more accessories" which is helpful when you have a smaller sized closet as accessories take up much less space than clothing.
Thankfully, my hub also subscribes to this method of wardrobe editing, so while he has a thing for dress shirts he typically only brings in new when he has a few old to discard/donate.
Maximize Your Vertical Space
Our closet, while it is a walk-in, has a fairly small footprint. To really get the most out of it we use as much of the vertical space as possible. Last year I lined one wall with fabric scraps to add a little pretty to an otherwise boring wire-shelved closet. This year I decided to get the most out of that wall by using it as a giant pin board for jewelry, shoes, belts and handbags.
|DIY Shoe Rack|
Make It Convenient to Put Things Away
Okay, so I know all men aren't slobs, but if you know of one that isn't I'd love to his name. ;) In all honesty, I don't think my hub is necessarily "messy". He just doesn't like to put in too much effort to put things away. If he has to jump through hoops to make it happen - it ain't going to happen. This is the main reason I have a chair in my closet. We use it as a step stool (though, I'm not recommending that you use a chair as a step stool - it can be dangerous, but this particular chair is quite sturdy).
|Goodwill Chair Makeover|
Having this chair conveniently available to use makes it near impossible for him to have an excuse not to rehang his clothes which in turn keeps our closet from looking like a dumping ground.
I also have a few hidden fabric bins for "stuff" and for dirty clothes. Having an easy to reach designated dirty clothes spot means I don't have to deal with boxers on the bathroom floor. ;)
Re-evaluate & Re-adjust
If an organization system has any chance of staying organized it needs to be re-evaluated and re-adjusted from time to time. This is one of the main reasons I do a closet clean-out about twice a year - once in January and then again in June or July. It's good to rethink things that aren't really working out and make any necessary changes. One thing that had turned into a bit of a problem for my hub was his ties. He has a lot of them. He was using a wooden tie hanger that hung on his closet rod which made it difficult for him to see them and put them away - which means there were ties all over our bedroom and bathroom. I decided to ditch the hanger all together and use a cafe rod instead.
Now he can see them all very easily and the bonus for me - he can put them away just as easily.
I also recently labeled the fabric storage bins at the very top of our closet. I've used them for a few years now to store out of season items. However, I'd often forget what was in each bin. I bought some dry erase ceramic labels to solve that problem.
Now I can easily see what each bin contains and can make changes as the seasons change.
Shop Outside of the Storage Department
Some of the best organization items are those that don't come from the storage department of the store. I've not only used a cafe rod for neck ties as I mentioned above, but I'm also using a drapery rod and a piece of moulding for heels.
These shoe shelves did come straight from the organization area of Target (a few years ago) but even a bookcase would work.
Trays, bowls, jars, empty containers and even cup hooks are being used for accessory storage.
|Cup hooks for hanging scarves|
Do you have any closet organization ideas, tips or tricks? Maintaining an organized closet keeps me sane - am I the only one who feels that way?
If you're a small closet owner you might appreciate this post here for more clothing storage ideas!
Need some help figuring out how to keep your wardrobe well edited? Check out this series on wardrobe essentials here!