Katie Buchanan of Little Rock Paper Scissors has 13+ years experience in fashion, retail and event management, so it’s no surprise her business (organization, event planning, style consultations, holiday gift wrapping and delivery, you name it!) is exploding! We love her chipper personality and are thrilled that she allowed us a view of her own closet clean-up. Aren’t the results fabulous?
Thanks, Katie! (When can you come over to our house?)
Although I happily spend my time in a profession that involves organizing other folksâ messes, I rarely make time to sort out my own junk properly! Do as I say, not as I do, if you will. But with 2010 brewing, I decided to âhireâ myself to get my own disastrous closet in tip-top shape. After all, I had recently moved into my own house…ahem…eight months ago, and the shoes on my dining room table were making it difficult to serve a decent meal.
I have a philosophy when it comes to organizing the useful yet rarely-seen closet/pantry/attic spaces in a home: We all go to such lengths to make the obvious rooms in our homes look beautiful with well-chosen colors, fabrics, furniture and fixtures, yet when it comes to the closet we personally enter 85 times a day, we treat it like a trash heap. There is absolutely no reason that our private spaces shouldnât be as lovely as the rest of the home while remaining functional. After all, YOU are using that trashy closet, and YOU deserve to look at an extra-pretty space as much as sweet Aunt Hilda who has tea in your decked-out living room once a year!
To begin, I decided to paint the inside of my closet the same shade of pink as my adjoining bedroom. (Because, fun, hot single girls can get away with that sort of thing.) While a paint job is not a necessary step in this process, it did get my lazy ball rolling.
Painting the closet not only made me love it more, it forced me to TAKE EVERYTHING OUT OF IT. Removing absolutely everything is the very best way to really get down and dirty and purge what you donât need, hate, or, letâs face it, can never fit in again. I was resigned to only put back what I truly loved and needed, including my Mt. St. Mary high school uniform, but not including the dress I wore to Sigma Chi formal senior year in college. You see where Iâm going with thisâ¦..prioritize wisely!
The one downside of removing everything is that, well, everything is removed. This made the task look daunting! But it also forced me to get myself into gear, unless I wanted to sleep in a hotel.
…much less walk anywhere in my house.
When it was time for the actual closet re-organization, I followed the guidelines that I use when re-vamping closets for my clients:
1. Only keep what I really love or need.
Check the denial at the door and be ruthlessly honest with yourself. The cost of letting clutter pile up in your life far outweighs what it might cost to replace a silly skirt you havenât worn in 6 years.
2. Hang as much as possible.
Jeans, t-shirts, slacks, all of it. More often that not, if you canât see it, you wonât use it.
3. Use thin, sleek felted hangers; your space will double.
Although plastic and wood hangers make a closet look great, they are far bulkier and do not grip clothing well (without ugly hanger marks on the shoulders).
4. Hang pants and skirts on tiered, clipped pant hangers.
5. Only fold things like sweaters, lounge wear and pajamas.
Use extra drawer space for accessories.
6. Keep out-of-season items, eveningwear and rarely used specialty items in a guest room or spare closet.
Doing this will force seasonal rotation and purging.
7. Store out-of-season or specialty shoes, hats and handbags in safe, mildew and moth resistant containers.
Place containers in alternate closet or under beds. Do not store in attics that are not climate controlled!
8. Did you hear me when I said be ruthless????