“Just imagine getting up in the morning, walking into your closet, and knowing where everything is—and that you will feel fabulous in any outfit you choose,” says Amy Bloomer, owner of the Baltimore, Maryland-based organization company Let Your Space Bloom. While that may sound like a stretch for most of us, it can, in fact, be a reality, provided you follow the right steps. Here, Bloomer shares the secrets to achieving a beautiful, organized, and functional closet filled with clothes that you actually want to wear.
Make sure the contents of your closet meet key criteria. “When working with clients, my goal is to get to the point where they can ‘shop their own closets,’” says Bloomer. This means:
- Items should be clean and ready to wear. Whether that means heading to the dry cleaner or reaching for the sewing box, everything in your closet should be spotless, wrinkle-free, and in wearable condition.
- Clothing should fit well. While Bloomer acknowledges that it can be difficult to face the reality of items that once fit, letting go of those pieces can be freeing. Additionally, if you’ve bought items that need to be altered, now is the time to visit the tailor.
- Pieces should make you feel stylish and confident. Due to fashion’s cyclical nature, it is almost inevitable that an item will eventually come back into style. However, that doesn’t mean that outdated pieces deserve to take up space in your closet indefinitely. The same goes for any item that makes you feel self-conscious when you put it on.
Create a storage system for keepsakes. “Any keepsake items, such as prom dresses, graduation gowns, wedding dresses, etc., should be removed from general circulation and placed in airtight containers that are impenetrable from pests,” says Bloomer. However, she does allow for one exception: “They may be stored in your closet if—and only if—you have ample room for them and looking at them on a daily basis brings you happiness.”
Use coordinating hangers. “Even the most gorgeous custom closet can be dulled by mismatched hangers,” Bloomer says. Create a uniform look by investing in hangers that are all the same color and material to instantly give the space a lift. Bloomer’s favorite option is the felt Huggable Hanger created by Joy Mangano (of Miracle Mop fame). “They are space-saving and garment-saving,” she notes. “And they were developed by a female entrepreneur!”
Organize your items by category. Having your garments grouped by type will instantly make getting dressed much easier. According to Bloomer, it will also make the process of culling items go much more quickly. “Let’s say you are cleaning out a closet and discover 25 belts,” she says. “Rather than make a decision about each belt you find when you find it, it’s most efficient to wait until all of the belts have been discovered and then sort through the pile.”
Make use of every inch of space. “The top third of most closets aren’t used effectively and efficiently, because it’s difficult for most folks to reach,” says Bloomer. To ensure that you take full advantage of every bit of vertical storage space available to you, she recommends investing in a foldable footstool you can tuck in a discreet corner of the closet or under your bed.