Pro clutter cleaner Lili Pettit is known for transforming and organizing several celebrity wardrobes, including Jessica Alba’s. Each month, we ask Pettit for her expert opinion on a new closet-related topic. Scroll down for this month’s tips!
No matter your roommate situation, whether it’s a good friend, a Craigslist find, or your S.O., if you share closet space, it’s without a doubt a challenge. That’s why we reached out to Pettit, our resident organizational expert for advice on how to make it work.
Scroll down to learn six tips for sharing mutual closet space gracefully.
“Some areas are easier than others to split up individually and evenly. If it can be done, do it! Whether it’s a shelf in the pantry, individual mail slots, or one side of the dresser, if you can allow somebody to have their own territory in small ways, it will definitely decrease the overall friction around the house. The more clear and definitive those boundaries are, the better the whole home will function.”
“When it comes to the flow of activity in the closet, make sure you take the time to think logically and plan out the best possible routes and schedules. Take advantage of the differences in personal routine that your roommates or S.O. may have. Is somebody else a frequent early bird, while you can hardly be pried out of bed before 10? Everyone comes with a different natural rhythm; planning in advance with those in mind will ease the stress of cohabitating. When you get together to find a schedule that works for everyone, make sure you take your time, listen to everyone, and be clear with your wishes. Careful, thoughtful discussion now can spare you tons of future drama.”
“This is one situation when it becomes especially vital to lead an efficient, intentional life. The less mess, disorganization, and chaos around the house, the better everyone will be able to breathe. So when you move in together (or add another little somebody to the family), make sure everyone involved is letting go of their unnecessary junk. You don’t want needless clutter to take up your valuable personal space when it’s already in short supply!”
“Before you begin organizing your shared closet, have a collaborative planning session with your significant other or roommate. Is it more important to use the closet for storage, or for staging? Do you need to have your jewelry with your clothes by any means necessary? Maybe your S.O. needs to have the high shelves due to your height difference. Whatever it may be, clear communication will let you think ahead and solve problems before you even reach them. That way you'll end up with a thoughtful, practical setup that works for everyone.”
“Color-coding is great because it helps you easily keep track of your own belongings, but it can also be super chic! The Container Store now carries storage bins and hangers in a dazzling array of colors, so you don't have to sacrifice style for organization. You can pick just the right hues to capture your individual personalities, coordinate, or even pick an entire palette just for yourself. The options are endless, so get creative!”
“With a shared space, it's important to check back in every so often to assess what's working, determine which areas need help, and donate old/out-of-use items you don't need. Keep in mind that if you stuff your closet with new purchases, forget to keep up your systems, or constantly encroach on your friend's territory, it could cause a very tense living situation. Nobody needs that kind of negativity, so instead be sure to keep the dialogue open and adjust your organization as needed—so you can both breathe easily.”
The Container Store Black Huggable Hangers Value Pack ($20)
The Container Store Natural Cotton Gusseted Hanging Bags ($13)
The Container Store Walnut 2-Tier Stackable Mesh Shoe Shelf ($30)