We’re firm believers that behind every stylish, successful woman is a well-organized closet. Presentation is key, of course—the outfit choices you make in the morning can definitely factor into how confident you feel in the office later on. And a curated wardrobe needs a closet to match. When our co-founder and CEO, Katherine Power decided it was time to organize her own, she enlisted the help of organization guru Lili Pettit of Clutter Healing.
"Katherine is an easy client to work with, as I adore people who know what they want and have a clear vision," says Pettit. That vision led them to The Container Store's TCS Closets team to customize a closet for Power's new Los Angeles home.
Once the project was underway, building out a space that could perfectly house all the amazing clothes, shoes, and accessories Power had collected over the years became quite simple.“Katherine’s design sensibility and organizing goals resonated with me. A neutral color palette keeps a closet—or any design, really—feeling timeless," says Pettit. See how Pettit and The Container Store team brought Power's dream closet to life (shoe wall, and all!). Keep reading for Pettit’s tips on how to power-organize your own closet.
If you’re running out of space, you might assume it’s time to get rid of excess or outdated items, but that actually might not be the case. “You can easily store off-season clothing in upper cabinets or in an attractive basket on a high shelf above the hanging sections,” Pettit says. “Ample hanging space for longer items is not included in many closets. If you like long coats, maxi dresses, and formal pieces, you will need to account for an adequate hanging bar.”
“There is nothing worse than not being able to see your outfit before you walk out of the closet,” Pettit told us. “For this reason, a full-length mirror is key!” This customized mirror in particular has another clever use: It's retractable and tucks neatly away inside the closet when it's not in use. Brilliant space-saver!
Forgetting where you placed something, and scrambling to find it is the last thing you want to do before you leave for the day. “Whether you charge a cell phone in the closet or leave your work bag there after work, make sure your items have a counter or bench to land on at the end of the day,” Pettit advises.
Start by mapping out your closet and designating spaces for different occasions, seasons, or categories. “For example, if you exercise every day, make sure everything you need is all in one area of the closet,” Pettit says. “You don’t want to have to go to three different parts of the closet for one outfit. In Katherine’s closet, her workout clothing is in a drawer below her sweatshirt section, so it’s very easy for her to quickly get out the door.”
To avoid having to dig your favorite printed blouse out from under a pile of dark denim, organizing clothing by color is key. “With any closet, the ultimate goal is to be able to see everything and make the dressing process as easy as possible,” Pettit says. “If you can’t see all of your clothing and accessories, you won’t wear them. Period.”
Stop storing your shoes in the boxes they came in. Boxes look bulky and prevent you from instantly identifying the pair you want to wear that day. “Sort shoes by heel height and color, and make sure they’re all facing forward,” Pettit advises. “Most people look at how pretty the closet will be instead of what they actually need to store. If you have 100 pairs of five-inch inch heels, make sure to plan accordingly. Don’t forget space for your tall boots and wellies, too.”
Here’s a bonus tip for those who share a closet with their S.O. and are undergoing an update after moving into a new home like Katherine and her husband, photographer Justin Coit. “I’d suggest using as many of the same type of organizing supplies (drawer dividers, hangers, baskets, etc.) for each person so that when clothing and accessory quantities change, the supplies can be used interchangeably. This gets tricky with hangers. Men’s clothing tends to work better on thin wooden hangers, whereas women’s clothing works better on Huggable Hangers,” advises Pettit.
The Container Store Black Huggable Hangers (case of 40) ($30)
Always, always invest in felt hangers. They prevent heavier fabrics and delicate blouses from sliding off or warping. Bonus tip: Stick to one color (black is our favorite) to add uniformity to the overall look of your closet.
How do you solve your closet hang-ups? Tell us in the comments below.