How I Made My Closet Work for Me
News flash, friends... the most important thing about creating an organized home is finding ways to make it work for you and the way your brain functions.
When I got the opportunity to design the master closet in my new house, I was so excited to be able to create something that would not only look beautiful, but would also be a functional space that I would be able to maintain for a long time coming. In this post I would like to share how and why the organizing system I developed in my master closet works for me and hopefully provide you with a little inspo on how you can begin creating a clothing storage space that you love walking (or reaching!) into.
When designing our closet, my husband and I began by ensuring that we included a mixture of elements that would be visually pleasing to us (ok, to ME... he couldn't care less what it looked like!). On each side of our small but comfortable walk-in closet, we added two stacked medium-length hang bars, open shelving, closed drawers, and wire pull-out drawers. By including these different elements in our design, we were able to diversify and bring some dimension into the space.
Quick Side Note: I don't want to lose you by talking about my fancy-schmancy closet design... You can create systems that work for you in any space you currently have!
Side-Side Note: My closet system was from IKEA... not too fancy-schmancy, but fully customizable!
Deciding What to Put Where
After the closet was installed and I was unloading my clothes into it, I thought about which categories of items I had to make space and determine sensible zones for. The categories I identified were as follows:
Everyday jackets (the ones I wear over tanks and a pair of leggings)
With this list, I thought about which items would make the most sense to keep on the open shelving, which would look nice in the see-through wire drawers, which pieces needed to be hung, and how I could set up the closed drawers for "functional beauty behind the scenes".
...and as someone who becomes easily distracted and stressed by visual overstimulation, it was super important for me to be thoughtful about the decisions being made here.
I went with the easiest decision first: filling the hang bars. I knew I had to designate a whole hang bar to my dress shirts and everyday jackets as well as to my work pants in order to keep them from being creased by folding and placing them inside of a drawer or on a shelf. Naturally, then, the two hang bars in my closet became the space where I could easily see, organize, and access these particular items. In order to satisfy my brain, I chose to put my items in rainbow order and, within that, from sleeveless to long-sleeved shirts.
Next came the open shelving and wire drawers. In order to accommodate my visual needs, any article of clothing on the open shelving or in the wire pull-out drawers would need to be able to hold its shape, be easy to maintain, and be nice-looking. So in knowing the categories of items I had left to store, I chose to create a pant and denim bar on one of the shelves and to place my organizing wardrobe--which is matchy-matchy and makes me happy to look at--in the see-through wire drawers.
I used two open-top round bins on one of the shelves to store my undergarments in: one bin for undies and the other for bras and socks. I’m not the type of person who needs to fold or roll her undergarments to be happy… Throwing them into a basket and being able to grab-and-go with them is the best solution for me. Adding these bins that I found in Target's Dollar Spot to one of my closet's open shelves helped to 1) break up the monotony and monochromatic nature of the shelving unit while 2) allowing me to store otherwise scattered garments into well-contained spaces. Win-Win, baby.
On the lowest open shelves I places seasonal shoes, and on the uppermost, hardest-to-reach shelf, I decided to store seasonal items (like bathing suits and my ugly Christmas sweater) in a beautiful natural bin from The Container Store. Even though lidded bins do not work great for me because of requiring the extra step of taking the lid off to access and put items away in (which is just annoying to me), knowing that I could use this for garments I hardly ever needed turned out to be the perfect solution. Additionally, adding one more natural element to the open shelving helped to balance out the overall look of it.
Then came the closed drawer storage. The items I had left to store were tees, tanks, workout clothes, and pajamas. But was this possible to achieve with only two drawers left?
The answer was yes. This was where my more minimalist nature really assisted me, because I do not own a huge amount of clothing in these categories. In the top closed drawer, I used adjustable drawer dividers to separate my tanks, tees, and workout sets, and in the bottom closed drawer, I stored my pajamas sets. By rolling and filing my clothes, I was able to not only fit all of the aforementioned items into the drawer, but I was also able to keep my entire stock in full-view at all times.
Whew, that was a long one! I hope that giving you the rundown of how I created the functional closet system of my minimalist, adhd-mama dreams will help you to begin tackling any challenges you may be facing in your own clothing storage space! Just start by writing a list of the categories of clothing you own, designate specific zones for each category (and stick to them!), and consider mixing bins or baskets into your design to eliminate visual clutter!
If you're looking for an organizing buddy to guide you with decluttering and organizing those drawers of yours, I'd love to be the one to help!