"If you can’t find an article of clothing you want, or get easily dressed in the morning, your closet isn’t working for you—it’s working against you,” asserts Carson Tate, certified professional organizer and founder of Living Simply (livingsimply.net), a Charlotte, North Carolina-based home- and business-organizing firm.
Tate, a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers, has organized literally hundreds of closets over the years, and says proper organization is key to reducing stress and simplifying your daily routine.
“A few of the challenges for women’s wardrobes are volume, a lack of accessibility, and a lack of clarity about what pieces to wear together,” says Tate. If a closet isn’t arranged in a way where pieces are easily accessible and retrievable, or too many items are hung or folded, navigating it will be difficult.
A closet organization system like Rubbermaid’s expandable and customizable HomeFree series™ is a great way to create room. Here’s how to organize the space, according to Tate:
Ask yourself how you pull together an outfit
“We ask our clients, ‘Do you choose your top first or your bottom first?’” says Tate. “If they pick their top first, the tops will be front and centre and very visible in the closet. If they pick bottoms, the pants and skirts will be front and centre on the top double-hung rod, with tops hanging underneath,” she explains.
Put all your shoes on display
Shoe shelves are very helpful. Install as many as you need to keep your entire collection on display, in sections for each season, and then grouped by color. “We like to put one shoe from a pair toe forward, and its partner heel forward, so you can quickly see the heel height and details on the front of the shoe. That way you can quickly tell different black shoes apart,” says Tate.
Display your accessories
“Women have more shoes, more scarves, more belts and more jewelry than men,” says Tate. Keep your finishing touches visible and accessible so you don’t forget about them. Consider sliding baskets, as well as custom hangers like tie-and-belt organizers, which can also hold scarves and necklaces. “Or, hang the accessories next to their matching clothes,” suggests Tate, such as a pair of trousers with their “perfect” belt.
Group by size and color
“Women often have multiple sizes of clothes in their closets. Group the same size pieces together, and then color coordinate the entire closet,” says Tate.
Tate promises that these tips will make your closet easier to manage, and take some of the guesswork out of the morning routine. “I used them in my own closet, and hundreds of others,” she says. “They’ll work in yours, too!”