Tune Up! Part 2

Closet Love

In my last article I shared my three-step approach to a seasonal closet tune up.  I love how great I feel when I have fine-tuned my wardrobe and re-focused on the stuff that I like and that likes me.  But sometimes I find that my closet itself needs a little boost, too. All these lovely garments, shoes and accessories need to be happy in their homes. 

I am a big believer in investing, as the budget allows, in good hangers, bins, garment covers and other closet organizing items.  These tools will pay for themselves in the long run as they help you take care of your clothes so they last longer, they make it easier for you to use what you have, and an organized closet that looks nice, feels simply wonderful. 

Here are my go-to tips for keeping my favorites happily housed:

  • Avoid over crowding – this prevents clothes from getting squashed or lost – I love the flocked, slim hangers, they take up less space, are very strong and hold shape, and best of all things don’t slide off the hangers and onto the floor.    
  • Sweaters and delicate knits should NOT be on hangers – they stretch and get odd bagging at the shoulders from hangers.  Shelves or drawers are a much better place for these guys to live. 
  • Use shaped hangers for jackets and coats, especially those in softer fabrics and leather – it will help them keep their shape.   
  • Hang pants and skirts using proper hangers designed for the purpose so they won’t be bunched and creased. If the hanger sags or buckles its not the right hanger for the job!
  • Shoes and handbags are happiest on shelves – if they are on the floor they can end up getting scuffed and they collect dust bunnies.
  • If your snazzy shoes or bag came in a protective bag, use it!
  • Use boot-trees in your boots – they help them keep their shape and prevent the leather from creasing and cracking.
  • Keep hanging items that aren’t worn often, such as evening gowns or off-season suits and coats, in garment bags – I prefer the breathable cotton canvas ones.
  • If you have a dusty closet (mine is mysteriously so) – shoulder covers are a must-have for your darker colored hanging garments. 
  • Store accessories for ease of use – if you have them in a tangled jumble in a box or drawer you won’t use them as much and may miss some great looks.  There are some great hanging solutions for belts and scarves – I found “hangers” that have hooks for belts and loops for scarves.  You can also fold scarves into stacking divided trays. 

Lastly, at the risk of sounding like a crazed, aging actress, lose the wire hangers!  These puppies are not meant to hold clothing long-term, they start to buckle under the weight and all that money you spent on pressing will go out the window.  Many dry cleaners provide nifty hanger boxes to store the wire hangers, so you can move your clothes to their proper hangers and then recycle the wire monsters back to the dry cleaners – a much better solution all around.

Now is a terrific time to upgrade closet essentials as the back to college sales events are in full swing with closet related goodies like hangers and bins are ON SALE!   One of my favorite non-fashion retailers, The Container Store – a sort ofMeccafor us OCD-types, is having their Organized Home Sale right now.  The Container Store has essential closet items such as Huggable Hangers (my favorite), shoe racks, and other great clothing, accessory and jewelry storage options on sale.  Several clever solutions I found on sale: a hanging jewelry organizer called “The Little Black Dress”, an adjustable “adder” rod that you can use to add double hang space where you need it, and a rolling shoe rack.   

Needless to say, the marriage of my fashion and my organization obsessions cheerfully occupies a few of my hours on a regular basis.  And not everyone enjoys this like I do.  However, the results are sooooo worth it!  During the week, when I am tearing through my morning getting ready for the office everything is where I can see it and ready to roll with me.  You don’t have to be as super-organized as I am, but try a few of these ideas and see how they work for you, you may be pleasantly surprised!

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