This is where my little bit and I were last Sunday:
What on Earth?
Is that a freakin’ awesome closet?
I’m not jealous because this is my best friend, and I’m sure if I ever lose 40 pounds she’ll let me borrow all those cute blazers!
Seriously, this woman has a great eye. For her 40th birthday, we spent a weekend in Manhattan and had a blast eating and shopping our way through one of our favorite cities. She has accumulated quite a collection of handbags, shoes, work clothes, and fun clothes. She doesn’t change sizes like I do so her outfits have multiplied.
She has had a walk in closet, you’ll see from the before and after pics her closet didn’t change sizes, but it just was poorly organized. She’d walk in and feel messy because of the piles of shoes on the floor and no good way to organize them. Plus she had a bunch of wasted space and no idea how to make functional use of it. Here’s some shots of the throngs of baskets and shoe racks that weren’t doing the trick:
So for her Christmas/Birthday/Valentine’s present, her darling husband (who is a seriously master gift giver) hired a closet organizing company to come make over her closet! Those companies aren’t cheap so that’s why it was her big gift this year, and boy has it made getting dressed in the morning easier.
I sat her down for a Q&A about her closet, so listen in to the great tips she shared about what works and what doesn’t work. You could easily incorporate aspects into your closet with just a focused shopping trip to Target or The Container Store.
Me: What feature(s) do you love most about your new closet lay out?
Mary: The section that holds all of my purses, with acrylic dividers, and the baskets that hold my clutches and smaller handbags. In my old closet, all of my purses were in plastic bins on high shelves. It was a huge pain to get a ladder to bring down a bin and rummage for a purse (then put it back and the ladder), which made me just use one purse most of the time. I don’t have expensive purses, but I have many that I really like and now I can interchange them with what I’m wearing pretty easily.
Me: What did they suggest that you never would have thought of?
Mary: To make use of space up high, I wanted a closet rod that had a handle that pulled the rod down, but there wasn’t enough wing-span. The designer suggested using instead a reach pole like they have in department stores. So I can still access clothes that are up high without bringing in a ladder. I put clothes up high that are seasonal, like now I have the summer stuff up there, and I will move them around as it gets warmer. But since Houston weather goes from cold to warm so quickly, I can still easily grab a pair of shorts if I need.
They also suggested valet rods, which are rods that pull-out to hang dry cleaning or an outfit for the next day. So I try to put my outfit together the night before and hang it on a valet rod which makes getting dressed in the morning so easy.
I have some really handy jewelry drawers that pull out at the back of the closet and those also help me to keep my costume jewelry organized.
Me: What doesn’t really improve functionality all that much?
Mary: The fact that I just have too much stuff, and a lot of it is similar. We all tend to gravitate to certain brands, colors, and I found that I have many duplicates. I struggled because they’re nice pieces that fit, so I didn’t want to get rid of them. For example, I love a denim trouser for work. It’s not really denim, but it’s blue and is a lightweight denim-looking fabric. Well, I have four pair and that’s overkill. So this process made me think about what I need and what I don’t need and just because it’s a good deal or is on sale, I don’t have to buy it. (Commentary from the Peanut Gallery – Wiser words were never spoken!)
Me: How do you make sure you rotate what’s in your (pretty extensive) wardrobe?
Mary: It’s hard to really figure that out. I heard someone say that they would turn the hangar the opposite way after they wore an item so you could tell it was recently worn. I’ve started to do that. I’ll try to pass over something in my closet that I’ve recently worn and go for something else.
(Can y’all tell little bit LOVES her some Aunt Mary?) So come on, it’s your turn – what works in your closet? What definitely does not? What item in Mary’s closet would you love to have?