I'm a Professional Designer and Here Are 10 Ways I Maximize My Closet Space
Lisa Adams, designer and CEO of LA Closet Design, will have you organized in no time.
Summer is over, meaning you're likely swapping out your sundresses and shorts for sweaters and jeans. If you love cozy season, you're probably excited to sport these fall looks, but what you may not be excited about is the resultant lack of closet space. Autumn and winter clothing naturally take up more room than lighter summer wear, but according to Lisa Adams, designer and CEO of LA Closet Design, your dressers and storage space don't have to be cluttered. Ahead, Adams shares her main tips for organizing your closet, combining aesthetic appeal and functionality. Read on for her 10 tips to revitalize your closet and maximize space.
Get rid of what you don't need or wear.
When it comes to freeing up closet space, the first step is to weed out anything that you don't want anymore. According to Adams, this process doesn't have to be limited to the times when you're switching out seasonal wardrobes.
"Purge regularly," she advises. "You want to make sure that the items you bring into your dream dressing room are truly the pieces you love and will wear! If something doesn't fit or isn't being worn, take action. Tailor it, donate it, or consign!"
Buy the right hangers.
Especially if you're an avid shopper, you likely have a wide assortment of hangers in your closet—some of which may be bulky or cumbersome. If you're able to swap them out for something more compact, you'll be surprised at the space you can save—and Adams says the right hangers also keep your closet and clothes looking sharp.
"Invest in the right hangers! This is an easy way to instantly elevate the look of your closet, and using proper hangers for sweaters, suits, and outerwear will extend the life of your clothes," she says.
Install valet rods.
Laying out your outfit the night before is a great timesaver, but chances are you do this by hanging your shirt or dress on the back of the closet door. You may also fold them on the dresser, but who wants to risk your outfit forming stubborn creases and wrinkles?
That's where valet rods come in, helping your clothes stay wrinkle-free and keeping your closet organized. These rods run perpendicular to your regular closet rods, giving you a spot to hang tomorrow's getup or the dry cleaning you just picked up.
While you might be able to make do with one rod, installing more will just give you additional options and places to hang clothes.
"The secret weapon for a functional closet is without a doubt the valet rod," Adams says. "Every closet needs one, and if you have space, the more the merrier."
If you can't reach or see something in your closet, it's a sign that you might have too much packed in—and according to Adams, it's also a sign that you probably won't wear it. If you can't access these pieces, you can't clean them out or optimize space that they're otherwise taking up.
"Easy access to everything in the closet has to be the top priority," Adams says. "This means having shelves that pull out so you can access the items in the back [and] hanging rods that lower for an easier reach."
If you have a larger closet, you can store items on higher shelves, but in this case, be sure you have a step ladder—and a place to store it in your closet, Adams says.
Designate space for your accessories.
Bags and purses can sometimes end up strewn about or stored wherever you have some room. But these are often items you've invested in, so you want to keep them in good condition. And even if you don't like to shell out for bags, chances are you want to extend the life of the ones you do use. That's why it's important to designate space for them, which will keep you organized, protect your investments, and free up space.
"Often, accessories are the most valuable pieces in our closets, and they end up overlooked," Adams says. If you have a designer bag, consider stowing it in a purse pillow, and make sure any bag is kept on a shelf that's the proper height "so nothing gets crushed or creased," Adams explains.
For smaller valuables and keepsakes, you can also ensure their security and stow them away in safes or suede jewelry inserts in your drawers.
Add wall hooks and dowels.
To create even more storage space, consider adding some wall hooks to your closet space. Adams recommends these for hats and slouchy tote bags, which can free up space on your shelves.
Small hooks on the back of cabinets are also great for hanging long jewelry, while dowels make great options for hanging scarves, ties, and belts, she says.
Partition your drawers.
Dresser drawers and those in your closet are easily cluttered, and when items are shoved in and not folded properly, you're inevitably wasting space. To combat this, Adams recommends customizing your drawers.
"Outfitting drawers with appropriate compartments makes your life so much easier," she says. "You can find smaller items like jewelry, wallets, clutches, and matching socks SO much faster. Partitioning deeper drawers for folded tees, sweaters, and sweats means never having to dig."
Create a staging area.
This one will require you to have a little extra space, specifically if you have a walk-in closet. If you do, consider setting up a staging area where you can plan outfits and prevent items from getting lost in the shuffle.
"Staging areas are great for keeping your closet organized!" Adams explains. "I like to design a dedicated spot for clients to hang new and incoming pieces, or to stage their looks. This ensures pieces don't get lost in the closet, and makes getting dressed or packing for a trip so much easier."
Figure out a system that works for you.
In order to maximize space in your closet, you should also have a system for keeping everything organized to avoid clutter and confusion.
"I like to organize clients' clothing by style and color, so finding the piece you're looking for is always easy," Adams says. "Whatever your system is, stick to it."
Aside from organizing by colors, you can also do so by occasion, keeping basics, workwear, "going out" outfits, and comfy clothes in designated sections.
Consider how you store shoes.
Shoes are definitely one of the more difficult things to store in your closet, and unless you have a lot of shelving or room for shoe racks, you need to find ways to maximize your space.
One way to keep shoes more confined is by staggering them. Adams recommends displaying one shoe in the front and one in the back (which gives your closet a clean and refined look), but you can also fit more by storing them heel to toe.
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