As much as I love clothes, my closet has always been a source of stress for me (i.e. unorganized and stuffed to the gills). My husband and I recently built a house in Raleigh, North Carolina and truth be told, a sizable closet was a priority. Upon searching for an existing house before deciding to build, I quickly discovered that it was going to be tough to find one with a closet big enough to house my hefty wardrobe. After cramming my jeans, sweaters, coats, shoes, bags, etc., into tiny spaces for years (visions of clown cars come to mind), I was giddy at the thought of having space to actually see what I own when getting ready.
A beautiful, functional closet doesn't come to be by having a big space alone, so luckily, The Container Store Custom Closets came to my rescue. As someone who is passionate about organizational accessories (yes, passionate), I've been a longtime fan of The Container Store and was particularly excited to see that it just launched a new closet system that perfectly suited my modern aesthetic. This one is called Avera, but it offers a variety of options that fit any style, budget, or closet size. (If you live in L.A. or Dallas, you can visit newly opened The Container Store Custom Closets stores, which help you visualize your future closet IRL.)
One of the nice things about the custom closet process is that you can be involved as much or as little as you want. I chose the color (Cloud, a soothing white) and provided my closet measurements and basically just told them that I have a lot of bags and shoes and needed space to hang long things, and they took care of the rest. The process was unbelievably easy, and I couldn't have been happier with the end result.
Now that I have an organized closet for the first time in my life, I've quickly picked up a few tricks that are highly effective, no matter what your closet size is. Keep scrolling for my tips and to see how my new closet turned out (and shop the accessories that are helping me keep it organized).
The Trick: Invest in slim hangers that match exactly.
I've been using slim velvet hangers for a long time, but it got the point where I was purchasing them from a number of different stores over the years, so they didn't really end up matching anyway. This time around, I'm buying the exact same type and color in bulk. It really makes a world of difference, as you can see.
The Trick: Create stacks that are neat-looking and won't cause wrinkles.
It's inevitable that you're going to have to stack some of your clothes if you want to use your space efficiently. Things can get messy easily, but to avoid this, make sure to keep the stacks small, fold everything in the same direction, and put the heaviest items at the bottom of the pile, which will also help avoid wrinkles.
I've come to learn that there will never be enough drawers to house everything that we own, and bins are a smart, stylish solution. Just be sure not to pack them with too much stuff, or you'll never be able to find what you're looking for. If you want to take it a step further, stick a label on the back of the bin that lists its contents.
The Trick: Keep all of your shoes in the same place.
This might seem like a bizarre trick, but as someone who had all of their shoes in entirely different parts of my former apartments, I ended up wearing the same shoes all the time because I'm always getting ready in a hurry and never knew where a certain pair of shoes was or didn't have time to find them. (Shoes get especially forgotten when they're kept in the shoeboxes.) Even if you don't have a lot of space for shoe storage, my best advice is to line them up on the floor along the edges of the closet or invest in shelves or racks to keep in your bedroom or by the back door.
The Trick: Make sure you can see everything you own, especially smaller items.
When I was packing to move out of our apartment, I can't tell you how many bags, pieces of jewelry, and other small items I came across that I'd completely forgotten about. The expression "out of sight, out of mind" couldn't be truer. To remedy this (and actually wear those tiny treasures), I've made a point to invest in accessories that put them on display yet keep them contained.