the closet cut
june 2021

fitting your clothes into small closets in more than a challenge!

so how do i help my clients streamline their closets to allow for a lot more visual space to see what they wear? the need to thin out a closet isn’t just for small closets.  i find that when we take a good look at what we’re holding on to, a lot of the extras take up visual room and don’t allow you to see what you actually love to wear.  by removing those items from your closet, and organizing them for maximum visibility and flow, you can really begin to make fun versatile outfits without having too much stuff.

here are a couple of quick tips to make the transition a lot easier.  

1.  velvet hangers are 100% worth it!  this question seems to come up a lot with my clients and generally when i walk into a closet, (including my own), there is a mish-mash of hangers that have been collected over the years.  although conservation does prompt me to always keep things that i have rather than upgrade to the latest model, when it comes to creating space and visual simplicity in a closet, uniform hangers really do make a very big difference.  velvet hangers are the gold standard when it comes to saving a lot more space.  their low profile really thin design allows clothes to save a startling amount of real estate.  there are a couple of different shapes that you can choose from but i prefer to stick to one standard style, with a 360 swivel hook, notched shoulders and then add ones with clips so dressy pants can hang straight with no creases. folding pants in half on the hanger is not advisable because i find the thickness takes up too much room and also conveniently creases many pants exactly where you don’t want them to.  the secret to wearing things in your closet is that they should be grab and go.  no need to steam or futz about with it before putting it right on.  

2.  closet organization and flow.  the quick and dirty is that i arrange all my clothing into categories by sleeve length.  it’s important that you see everything that’s in your closet from your visual vantage point.  that often means that items disappear into the depth of a cloest simply because they’re hidden by the item in front of it. 

so the flow goes like this... strappy tanks in front, into wider neck tanks, into short sleeves by sleeve length, into midi length sleeves and then long sleeves.  the flow is by sleeve length first and then color in each category (lightest colors go first).  i use prints to transition from one color to the next in a color group.  i find that people gravitate to similar colors in prints so the transition is pretty seamless.
if the sleeve length is idential between two garments, i’ll put the shorter ones in the front with the longer ones behind it and generally thicker fabrics will end up grounding each separate category at the end.  it’s sort of a give-and-take but usually works out just fine.  then i’ll move on to skirts, pants, dresses, etc following the exact same flow as above, lightest to darkest fabrics in each category. 

here’s a quick video that explains my visual method of organizing closets.

3.  i organize all my folden items by sleeve length and style.  if you don’t have enough space to hang most of your favorites, try organizing your drawers or stacks by category.  i put all my tanks, short sleeves, long sleeve, sweatshirts together so that i always know where to find what i’m looking for.

4.  i believe in the vacation box and also the forget-me-not box!  do you have stuff that you only where on a tropical vacation like hawaii or mexico? if you’re like me and live in a climate where you can rarely where your gauzy holiday destination favorites, pull them out of your closet and put them in a clear storage box.  this will make packing for your trips a snap and you’ll also know exactly where to find them on on those rare warm days.  if you also have things that you rarely wear or that hold sentimental value, i also pull these out of closets and put them in a forget-me-not box.  saving as much room for the stuff that you truly do wear will help make finding it a lot easier.

5.  don’t worry about the “what if it comes back in style?” question.  the truth is oftentimes when things do come back in style 10-20 years later, they’re always better the second time around.  if the item is designer, silk, a fine knit or in perfect condition and you love it but totally out of style for right now (and you’re a trend-oriented person) pull it from your closet and store it in your forget-me-not box.  you should only save items that you absolutely love and in that case, i personally think we should always be wearing the items that we love and look good on us, regardless of whether they’re ‘in’ or not.

6.  get a coat rack!  i absolutely love this idea for organizing the coats and jackets that we gravitate to on a regular basis.  having them organized by the door will help make grabbing the top layer a snap.