Not everyone can own a home with a large walk-in closet, but we can incorporate the same details that make closets glamorous into our own smaller spaces—fancy lighting, painted or papered walls, glass shelving, fun and funky décor.
Clean . . . redo . . . organize
- Edit your wardrobe. Keep only those things you love and get rid of the rest. Think quality instead of quantity. There’s no point in cluttering your closet with a lot of clothes you will never wear.
- Before you put anything back into the closet, clean it. Ceiling, walls, floor, shelving. Remove all dirt and dust. You want to make a fresh start.
- Be creative. Paint or paper the closet walls in a color you love. It’ll make you feel good every time you see it.
- Remodel, if necessary. Sometimes a closet isn’t configured in a way that maximizes space. Install an extra hanging bar or put in more shelving for a quick DIY fix. Or you can go pro and opt for built-ins and a custom solution.
- Glam up the lighting. Chances are you have a boring bulb or light fixture. Jazz it up with something romantic, like a small chandelier or glittering pendant. But check with an electrician about your choice first to be safe, not sorry.
- If you don’t have it already, install a full-length mirror on the wall, on the door, or somewhere in close proximity to your dressing area.
- Toss the wire hangers and opt for wood, molded plastic, or slimline metal. Whatever your personal preference, matching hangers looks more organized than a tangle of wire.
- Hang and organize your clothes. I like to organize mine by color. Keeping colors together makes items easier for me to find. For instance, I don’t have to search long for my favorite tan sweater—it’s right there with the other tan items. Some people, though, work best with their clothes organized into complete outfits or shirts and sweaters and pants grouped together. This is a personal choice. Choose a system that works best for you.
- Use tie and belt racks. They are a good option for hanging silk scarves, too.
- Decorative hooks work well to keep necklaces and bracelets organized and accessible.
- Wicker baskets and decorative hat boxes are perfect for storing loose items and items that should be folded, not hung; and they look great on closet shelves.
- Put seasonal—winter or summer—clothing in a storage container and label it. When the season comes, break out that container. Or utilize the guest room closet for seasonal stuff. No use keeping clothes you are not currently wearing in your closet the whole year round.
[above left to right] 1. Classy boutiques always have beautiful clothes on display, so why not use a valet rod to hang that gorgeous cocktail dress to rarely get to wear; 2. Consider using a tie rack to show off your favorite gems. It’ll decorate your closet and make accessories handier. (Photos: ClosetMaid via HGTV)
- Put coats and outerwear—woolen scarves and gloves—in your entry closet. Use decorative boxes for smaller items.
- Shoes are best stored on shelves that tilt slightly forward so you can see the shoe. Or you can hang a shoe rack. It’s best to keep shoes visible and handy, especially those you wear all the time. If space is limited, leave the shoes in their original boxes and stack them on a shelf—just be sure to take a photo of the shoes and stick the photo on the front of the box, so you don’t have to open boxes every time you’re trying to find the right pair. Consider purchasing clear shoe storage boxes for a more-uniform look.
- Hang handbags on purse hooks or let them sit on shelves. Put rolled tissue paper inside, like a shoe-form, to help them hold their shape.
- Keep the closet floor clear if at all possible.
- Be clean. Scent the closet with something fragrant and fresh; and keep the laundry basket, with your dirty stuff, in the laundry room.
Share Your Thoughts