We all have the same problem when it comes to clothes—they have an irrepressible tendency to end up in piles. We pile clothes on our closet floor, atop our dressers, in the bathroom, on a chair—almost any flat surface will do. But in my opinion, clothes clutter is the worst clutter of all. It makes a room instantly feel dirty and unkempt, and seems to take forever to tackle appropriately.
In order to address this common concern, we first have to understand where our particular problem lies. Look at the clothes you have in piles. Are they:
Clean clothes you decided not to wear?
Dirty clothes you didn’t put in the hamper?
Clean clothes you haven’t yet folded and put away?
Clothes you wore once and want to wear again sometime soon?
Clothes that can’t be laundered with the rest (hand wash or dry clean only)?
Once you’ve figured out which problems plague your wardrobe the most, you’ll be able to address each of them in turn with a standard plan of action. Start with a great custom closet, use the tools you have, and address unwanted behaviors. Before you know it, you’ll have a living space that’s completely clear of clothing clutter.
A Functional Closet Keeps Clothes Off The Floor
In most cases where piles of clothing are a severe issue, the closet is the primary culprit. If you struggle to wrench the closet door open because it’s so stuffed with clothing, that’s a neon sign that something is wrong. Finding the clothes you want shouldn’t have to cause twenty different items to fall off their hangers onto the floor or tangle up with countless other wardrobe pieces. And of course, few things are more frustrating than having to shove four feet of hanging clothes aside to get to the dress or suit you wanted, only to find that it’s wrinkled beyond recognition and you have to throw it in the “to be washed” pile and start all over.
A traditional single-rod-and-shelf setup is usually to blame for such an infernal mess. Yes, you may have too many clothing items in general—but if you could double the available space in your closet, it would make a huge difference.
Creating more closet space is actually very simple with a custom organization system. As designers, we can add dual hanging rods, wardrobe lifts, and customized shelving that runs to the ceiling. Designate one space for each type of clothing, and voilà—everything suddenly has a home. Getting the slacks you want to wear becomes much less of a hassle with custom cabinetry on your side.
Use Your Accessories For Good
If you’re like my best friend, every hook in your home is covered with five or six items of clothing that constantly fall to the floor when you pass by. Luckily, a custom closet comes with accessories that are specifically designed to help you (and your wardrobe) function better. No longer will stray hooks and over-the-door hangers become the monsters of your clutter nightmares. With custom cabinetry, you can:
Install a tilt-out hamper for dirty laundry and a separate one for dry cleaning or hand washing. This way, your nicest items don’t end up living on your floor for months at a time while you wait to accumulate a full load.
Keep a closed-off bin on a singular shelf somewhere out of the way that you designate for donations. When an item no longer suits your needs, throw it in there. It will remain out of sight until you’re ready to make a run to your local Goodwill.
Install three small and sturdy hooks somewhere discreet inside your closet (and no, we don’t mean on the back of your closet door). If you’re partial to re-wearing clothes, these three individual spots are your go-to. Make these hooks small enough that you can’t hang an entire week’s worth of blouses from each of them.
Use a valet rod to lay out your planned outfit for the next day or to store the items you reach for most. I keep my cozy robe there for the nights when I get out of my work clothes and just want to relax at home.
Build New and Healthy Habits
As humans, we are prone to developing what psychologists call “pairings.” When we walk in the door, we automatically take off our shoes. When we finish a meal, we put our dishes in the sink without even thinking about washing them. We enter our closets to change clothes and throw whatever we’re wearing straight on the floor. Pairings like these are bad habits that can build up a lot of clutter in a short amount of time.
It’s time to make newly beneficial pairings that will help your space stay clean and organized. When you walk in the closet, make a habit of either hanging up the clothes you take off or placing them directly in the correct hamper. Organize your clothing by category or season, and replace each item exactly where it came from. Acquire enough hangers for every item of clothing so that you don’t have to shuffle around every week. Before you know it, these habits will get your clothes off the floor and where they belong, ready to wear again.
Know Where to Start
With a beautifully designed custom closet, functional accessories, and a handful of new good habits, you’ll be all set to tackle your clothing clutter once and for all. It’s actually quite simple to get everything in its place, perfectly, as long as you know where to start. And custom design can be the impetus that gets your organization game going strong.
Want to know more about how you can get a custom closet installed in your own home? Reach out today to schedule your free design consultation with one of Closet America’s design experts. We’ll work with you to create the beautiful and functional closet that will keep your clothes off the floor for years to come.
Lead image source: Unsplash user Pete Bellis