We've all been there ... opening up our closet only to feel overwhelmed and like you can't find anything. It should come as no surprise how this can lead to feeling uninspired about your wardrobe and even forgetting about some awesome pieces you already own.
Michelle Krick—fashion expert, wardrobe stylist, personal shopper and owner of Michelle Krick Style—knows a thing or two about closet organization, as she helps her clients improve their own closets' efficiency all the time.
According to Krick, when your closet is organized and filled with items you love, it's so much easier to "shop" your own closet and save time by being able to quickly put the best outfit together. She offered up some tips for getting started.
"First, use the same style of hanger for all of your clothes. It immediately makes your closet space look cleaner and is easier on the eye," Krick said. "Second, organize your closet by silhouette and sort by color. For example: Put all your layering pieces together, all of your pants, tanks, short sleeves, long sleeves, etc. This allows you to see what you have by silhouette, and how many you have in that color."
Krick also suggests removing items that don't fit, as they create "noise" and can cause frustration when seeing them every time you get dressed.
"You can either move these items to another closet, put them away in a tote or edit, because even if you were once again wearing those items, they wouldn't be your first choice anyway," Krick said. "Editing is the key to having a closet you love and that stays organized. Most people are wearing 20% of their closet, so the other 80% is just sitting there getting in the way."
DISPLAY AND PLAY
Part of making your closet work for you is displaying your clothing, shoes and accessories intentionally (rather than in a crumpled heap or tangled ball). The finishing touches to an outfit, Krick notes these items are often forgotten because they're usually out of sight in a drawer or bin.
Consider a two-tiered bar for bracelets or a three-tiered fixture for necklaces, along with hanging holders and velvet trays for earrings and rings.
"Shoes are best when featured on shelves organized by style, then by color (sneakers, flats, pumps, etc)," Krick said, adding that you can always add a shoe storage cabinet if you're short on shelving space. "A fun idea for boots to stay upright is to use pool noodles! They can easily be cut to the correct size you need, and are an inexpensive and easy way to keep your leather nice."
Krick explains that medium and large handbags are best when featured on shelves and should be stuffed so they keep their shape when not in use. (Acrylic shelf dividers also help keep things tidy!)
"For clutches, use file folders inside, and for crossbodies, use curved hangers so the handles/straps stay nice."
RETHINK YOUR FOLDING
We've all got those drawers that never seem to close all the way because they're so full or somehow get disorganized almost immediately. According to Krick, the best scenarios for drawers are to have them divided up by certain categories.
"I prefer to have my clients hang whatever they would wear as fashion, like tees that you layer, jeans, fashion athleisure, etc.," Krick said. "The less folding, the better, so when you wear something, it's not wrinkled."
However, there are some prime items that will feel right at home in your drawers, such as lounge and athletic wear, base layers and swim/cover ups.
"When you do need to fold, it's best to be neat and fold items in a column-like manner vs. stacking," Krick said, explaining how this method of folding will allow you to better see all the pieces you have in the drawer at once. "If you can't fit everything in your drawers, rank the items from favorite to least, and edit the pieces on the bottom of that list."
However you end up tackling your closet organization, taking little steps at a time—or enlisting a professional—can help you make the most of your closet, and perhaps even reveal space you didn't even realize you already had.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Managing Editor for West Michigan Woman.
This article originally appeared in the Apr/May '23 issue of West Michigan Woman.
Photo Courtesy of Michelle Krick.