The Closet Fashionista
By: Mandi Pimental
As women, we all have many things we are constantly juggling. Our careers, our families, our social calendars, charity obligations and, if we are lucky, time to shop to keep a wardrobe fresh. With all of these tasks one might wonder, when do we have time to organize such things, let alone do them all?
Any girl with a fabulous collection of clothes, shoes and accessories deserves an organized home to keep it all in and I’m here to help you find a simple way to put your closet together nicely. First, you need to take inventory. Choose a day to sort through what is currently in your closet. Everything, every single thing. It may get worse before it gets better but I promise you it’s worth it. You will be making three piles: keep, donate and throw away. I know as a woman I get sentimental when going through this process, and I can tell you it’s taken me a few of these sit-down sessions in front of my closet to make myself purge the unnecessary items. For instance, I had a hard time parting with maxi-dress that I purchased while in the Caribbean. It no longer fit since my slim down, and I knew I never wanted to wear this dress again but I was determined to keep it because I felt it held memories of my trip. I finally compromised by pinning the postcard from the tropical locale to my office corkboard, said farewell to the dress and moved on. Once you’ve done this task, and I will you tell you it’s probably one of the most time consuming tasks of all, you can celebrate that the hardest part is behind you and now we will work on the closet interior itself.
Making the space. This is your space, so make it uniquely yours. Unless you cohabitate with a spouse or roommate in which case you should get permission before making any permanent changes. A great place to start is with storage and shelving. If you have a traditional walk-in closet or sliding door closet, rods and shelves should already be installed. When deciding to add additional modular storage cubes or shelves take inventory of what you mainly use your closet space for. If you have a lot of shoes and handbags but not many dresses you could use more of your space installing shoe racks and upper shelving than long open spaces. If your collection is mainly long dresses, or work suits, use the higher storage for shoes and let the longer items hang freely without interference from beneath them. Once your storage set-up is in place, add color! Paint the back walls, or even just a coat of paint on an accent wall will make the space pop. Add a small mirror, a chandelier, or use a nice shelving paper to line your shelves. This doesn’t just help protect your shelves it also looks pretty. A word of advice: simpler is better in such a small space, so use a lighter palette. Your clothes are the main attraction, this just gives them a nice backdrop.
Neat and tidy. One of the easiest ways to keep your closet looking organized and clean is to keep the floor clear. Resist the urge to use the closet as storage or drop shoes inside the closet on the floor. Pair shoes together on a rack or in boxes on higher shelving. It will protect the shoes as well as keep your space clear. Having a space for folded shirts, or jeans, is a great addition as well and gives it a clean retail feel. Who doesn’t love feeling that they are shopping every time they get dressed in the morning? Save the hangers for your dresses, suits, pants, wrinkle prone items and delicate pieces. I would advise investing in some nice hangers, a wood, satin or at the very least matching colors in plastic to help bring unity to the arrangement. Resist bunching clothes close together, as you want the fabrics to be able to breathe. This will also decrease the chance for wrinkling. Another added touch that is esthetically pleasing is displaying your items by color. It is pleasing to the eye and will make it easier to locate items when putting together your ensembles. Make sure you clean your closet regularly as well. When I am tidying my room I do a light dusting of my closet and run the vacuum throughout to keep it nice and clean so dust cannot collect around my clothing.
Adding special touches. If you have a walk-in with space in the back as I do, you can add a simple vanity. It makes additional space to keep make-up and perfumes and allows you to have a mirror and small stool in the closet, which is convenient for seeing outfit pieces together or putting on shoes. If you have a walk-in that opens to the bedroom or bathroom, hanging a lace camisole, or feminine gown adds a luxurious touch to the overall look.
Jewelry. If you are like me, you may have an abundance of accessories. Scarf, jewelry, and sunglass collecting seems to be my favorite hobby. As I mentioned earlier, I have a small vanity set up in the back of my closet, which is home to a nice jewelry dresser. I have my necklaces hung on decorative hooks to add a vintage feel to the overall look of the space as most of my necklaces are antique. Decorate hooks can be purchased at any craft store. You can alternatively use a beautiful wood frame with the glass removed. Insert chicken wire, or string thin metal wire behind and secure to the back of frame. This makes for a great earring or sunglasses holder. Scarves hang nicely on hangers or can be kept in small boxes.
Remember: clean, efficient, and beautiful makes for the best space. This is a great rule for your closet or any room in your home. The closet is where you start your day to feel the best about you! Make it a place you are happy to be.
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