Thursday, March 27, 2008

(Closet) Case In Point

You should know that, while my current closet has worked well for me, it is by no means my ideal. Before we moved to our current house, we lived in a just-built condo in midtown and, despite its serious space challenges, we had a small walk-in closet professionally built in. It was very practical, and nice to look at. If only I'd taken a picture of that one...

So K, if I understand her correctly, is looking for some pointers about how best to set up one's closet. And, while I do love to tell people exactly what to do all the time, it seems - given my deeply held opinion that the closet is an expression of one's true self - I can only speak for my own process.

First let's start with the pics:

Yes, that's how much space I have, to store my clothes, my husband's clothes, a bag collection (it's up above the top of the door frame - the ceilings are high - so you can't see it, just like I can't reach it...), shoes, belts and other assorted accessories. And you know how I like to shop.

I should disclose that I also use a part of my daughter's closet (what?, it's bigger than mine) and this chest of drawers, also shared with my husband:

The other closet is, for example, where the hideously extensive collection of boots is stored.

The keys for me are colour-coordination, season-sorting, keeping the dresses all together (in the other closet) and folding things perfectly. Perfect folding makes your clothes look better - like you're in your own fancy shop every morning getting dressed. It also allows you to fit in more per square inch than you ever thought possible. What could be wrong with that?! Of course, if it manages to be an overblown expression of your OCD, well all the more "real you", I say.

My excellent friend Sandra, who is a stylish vixen bar-none (and whom I love dearly, to be sure) has the worst way of folding shirts I've ever seen. I mean, it's a torture to me. She actually puts them away INSIDE OUT - like it's a strategy or something...

And I know that some, K being one of them, like to organize the closet by "thin" and "forgiving" sizes. I suppose I do that too, but it's not my overriding hierarchy.

One other thing I am very careful about: Culling. As per my previous post on this, when something comes in - within reason - something goes out. Or, more to the point, when you run out of space to store things beautifully/cleanly/easily/enjoyably, then you've got to stop bringing in the new stuff, or start recycling the old. Now you know which model I prefer...

So, fabulous fashion bloggers and readers, do you arrange your closet in some way that will give us EITHER a new, great organization pointer OR deep insight about you?


  1. I still have no clue how to fold shirts. my bf does it for me. he doesn't get why i have no practical skills...!

  2. I love a beautifully folded closet, but, considering I have three tiny moppets to clothe every day, I have to cut corners. Like your scandalous friend ;) I'm known to put an inside-out folded shirt in a drawer. Sometimes we even live out of a wicker laundry hamper until, well, laundry calls again!

    But I am quickly tarnishing whatever good impression you might have had of me. Let me redeem myself by saying that my cashmere, at least, is all folded in my closet and that my shoes are all in their boxes, stuffed with appropriate paper!

  3. Every time I reorganize my closet, I use a magazine to fold my tops so everything lines up perfectly. I do the same when I travel.

  4. Oh, I'm a nut about my closet. My bags are stored in their fabric sacks, and stuffed with tissue. I store all my shoes in their original boxes (except for Havis). I stack them according to what height they are. All skirts go together, and are stored left to right in ascending length order. All t-shirts go togehter, but they're done first by sleeve length (short to long), then sub-categorized by color (light to dark). Camis and tank tops are done by color (light to dark). Everything is done left to right. I'm OC, all the way. This is to say nothing of my chests of drawers.

  5. I need order and things folded and tucked away neatly. I organise by type and colour, my shoes are in their boxes... My whole home is the same. Yes, it's OC, but it makes me happy!

  6. Riz: I appreciate your honesty. That's why having a man around is so important :-)

    Miss C: My impression of you could never be tarnished. And, now that I've held myself up as a paragon of organization, it will be tough for me to admit that we've lived out of the laundry hamper for a week at a time. (I say, at least you know it's clean.)

    Yulanda: I LOVE that. Riz should come over for a quick lesson :-)

    Enc: I want pictures - especially the gorgeous designer bags in their sacks. It's like closet org porn!!

    Miss W: You're my kind of girl. Something tells me you are child-free if you've got the whole home whipped into shape!

  7. Since my folding habits are being attacked, I feel compelled to respond.

    For what it's worth, I generally have a well-organized closet. Like items are together, things are grouped by colour, and I never have to wonder where anything is.

    But one cannot be a slave to organization (ok, I suppose one can be, but I refuse to be). Hence my underwear is thrown into a drawer unfolded, my socks are often put away inside out, and t-shirts are folded however they came out of the laundry, which often means they are inside out.

    Chaotic, perhaps, but it frees up substantial time and energy for things that matter more to me... like learning new eye make-up tricks, trolling the web, chasing boys 10 years younger than me, and rocking out.

    Life, as my father tells me, is all about trade-offs. :-)

    Much love,
    The Scandalous Sandra

  8. I'm meticulous about folding shirts so they have absolutely no wrinkles. I also store all bags in their original dust bags, with tissue for shape. And cashmere, in a cedar chest. Moths are my worst nightmare!

  9. Haha! Yes, child-free with a well trained boyfriend!

  10. Scandalous S: It seems that the backhanded insult is the best way to get your response! Of course, it frees you up to do other things in life (and I applaud your putting the emphasis on the important things). And I know you can always find what you're looking for but, really, your methodology is so brazenly devil-may-care:-) What happens if you start dating some attractive, Prada-obsessed OCD ad man (for example) whose own closet org puts yours to shame?!

    I Heart: I love cedar. My mother had her closet built in and made it all cedar and I feel like I'm in some sort of sauna when I walk in there. Moths are so awful - esp. if you are as addicted to knits as I am.

    Miss W: I an tell by your cupcakes that you have some quality time on your hands.

  11. I often think about one's closet (as I think about one's handbag or desktop, even if it's maybe too much to consider)giving away much for the person in cause. However, I find myself, even order freek as I am, with a closet slightly out of order (for lack of space) and with a handbag not too organized (for not "child-free"). Most of the time, the closets (for I carry the wardrobe coordination for everyone's closet) are ordered by color and short/long sleeve (oh, and age, where the case). T-shirts are folded like in boutiques, shirts, dresses (by lenght and color) hanging in their side of closet, where shoes reign in their boxes, all cleaned up and filled with papers or special accessories. Also there's a hanging accessory,much like your blue one, from the picture, where I have the belts. Scarves are all in a carton box, aside, on the top of the closet itself, socks, lingerie also in boxes, part of which are in the actual closet, part out. Looking at your wardrobe and reading how you don't have much space in, it makes me wonder how I manage to keep my closet all stuffed up like this, being so small and offering so little from an organized storage point of view.

    The only thing helping me when talking wardrobe is I do the laundry every day...(big family, small laundry basket ;) )

  12. KPriss: I've never come across your blog before. Now I'll have some fun new reading! My hat is off to you for doing laundry every day - and, as Miss Cavendish tells us - it's good storage space in its own right. I love that you fold like they do in a boutique. I really enjoy looking at neat edges in my closet because it makes me feel like I'm putting on something for the first time. Love how you box up your lingerie. I really need to work on how I store my (very expensive) underwear. Thanks for your comment. K