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Friday, December 14, 2012

High Heeled Life Wardrobe Organization

In North America the bigger the better and when it comes to closets this has become increasingly the norm. Take this closet for example - despite how well organized it looks - and many of us salivating and thinking if only we had this much space our closet would be this organized. Chances are the owner of this closet and all it's contents still says "I have nothing to wear"!  And she is probably correct, a huge wardrobe and space to store it does not automatically equal ease in dressing. Actually the more space one has the greater chance it is filled with pieces that make no-senses together or have been purchased because they "looked good on the store display" but do not coordinate with existing wardrobe pieces.

If you venture off to Europe, you will discover closets in most homes (and apartments) are not a standard feature. Like kitchens - closets are portable furniture pieces. We have all  Ohhed and ahhhed, at some fabulous armoire in an antique shop- well that is what most Europeans have in terms of storage for their clothing.  Perhaps this is where Europeans (and particularly the French) have gained an advantage in always looking perfectly dressed. Each piece in their wardrobe must look fabulous and make them feel wonderful when they wear it. They literally have no room to waste on pieces that may "one day" fit or pieces that do not work with their wardrobe basics or pieces that will have a shorter life span than a chocolate chip cookie in the hands of a two year old.

The average closet size and the look of it's contents in North America, probably looks a lot like this. Everything is crammed in together in a standard builder's closet - consisting of one shelf and one hanging pole. These closets of course are over-filled, with clothes that no longer fit (or were purchased - for when "I loose the weight" I will look great in this); clothes that never quite fit right but the "deal" was too good to pass up; and let us not forget with the economy so bad ~ the "I can't throw that out".
Now that you have determined your style,  edited (decluttered) your current wardrobe  and have been left with your basic wardrobe pieces its time to get them off the rolling rack and into your closet.

With your Basic Wardrobe pieces hanging on the rolling rack, and your closet empty, now is the time to get in there and give a little revamp. Here are some tips on things I have done over the years of living in small apartments (with some even smaller closets).

1) Create more space ~ often there is excess room at the top of the closet, which you either never utilize because it's difficult to get those items or you have piled on so much up there that should you move one thing it will certainly result in a clothing avalanche. Measure and determined if by removing the useless shelf if the bar can be moved up and a second bar added  or a various bars and extra storage spaces. The result you have just doubled your hanging space and added extra storage areas. Do-it-yourself kits ~ start around $140 for enough shelves, rods and accessories to outfit an 8-ft. closet.

2) Box it up ~ If you are a shoe connoisseur, instead of having your shoes all lined up against the wall, how about keeping them in their boxes. Take a photo of your shoes and attach it to an outside  end of the box. This will automatically reduce the space taken up by shoes, the boxes stack easily on top of each other and the photo lets you see exactly what pair is inside. You could also use clear boxes.
3) Keep the floor clear ~ this will encourage you to maintain a tidy, organized area.
4) Keep it visible ~ By keeping your basic pieces visible you will be able to easily coordinate outfits,  not forget what you have and YOU WILL HAVE SOMETHING TO WEAR. 
5) One in - One Out ~ (once you have your basic wardrobe pieces) for every new piece you put in your closet an existing piece needs to be removed (donated, sold, or discarded)

With careful planning (I didn't say it was going to be easy peasy) and staying true to your style your closet will go from the messy - disorganized disaster in the above image - to a calm, well organized closet like the image below. 

Would love for you to share your tips on tackling closet organization...
For previous posts in this series click links below: 

Sharing this post with: My Friday's Fancies * Fashion Friday * What Inspires Me Friday Feathered Nest Friday ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Inspiration Friday ~ Home Sweet Home Friday ~ Fridays Unfolded ~Potpourri Friday 2805
* closet make-over images via google search - image edits High Heeled Life


  1. Dearest Celia,
    FANTASTIC POST! You did sum it up so well and yes, it is true that in Europe there are hardly closets build into the homes. My Dad did build one in for my sisters and me and later one for Mom & Dad themselves by taking part of the hallway for that. Brilliant idea. In Italy we had ZERO built in closets. So only the armoir we had and one borrowed from my Parents to use while living there... In the US here we are spoiled with ample space. We used closet organizers too, those wired shelves that Pieter did put in himself. And like you say, I hang Jackets above, blouses and skirts below so the overview is simple. Jeans are hanging together and some items folded. It is fun for organizing and a snap for getting an outfit together.
    Hugs to you,

  2. All of us clothes horses have entirely too much. Buying buying buying does not equal a splendid wardrobe. I think the French do it best. They only wear French apparel & accessories. They wear black a lot. And, they buy well, meaning they don't buy multiples of anything, but what they do buy is fine quality vs good or even poor quality. I've been guilty of over-buying and never wearing, hey I'm a Texan, we have BIG closets...but it makes no sense to have things hang around so long they go out of fashion. I've learned. Buy less, buy excellent. Quit stressing.

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  4. I am quite lethal Celia when it comes to organising closets.If I haven't worn something for 1 year, it goes (unless it was a real investment piece).I agree with Marsha, the French have it down to an art; no trendy colors that look dated in weeks, but classic neutrals.
    Great article xx

  5. What a great post! Some very helpful tips here and I do like to be organised - well I try! I have all my shoes in boxes most with labels (colour / style) but for a while I have wanted to stick a picture on the box - you have reminded me.. so that's a job for the New Year!

  6. Hello Celia, I enjoyed your post. I have a very nice cedar-lined walk in closet, and it is full...I need to go through and sort things. I am now retired, and before this I worked from home for 6 years, so I'm feeling like I could use (translated "would like") to have some more clothes. Somehow it's hard to justify buying much given I stay home!


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