You're Doing Your Whole Closet Wrong

Designed by Sydney Hass.
You can't build a house from the roof down, and though some might argue that good style begins and ends with your outfit, we think that it all comes down to having a solid closet. And, yes, what hangs within its doors is important, but we're not talking about that here. (Of course, we have approximately a million other articles on this site on how to stock your closet for maximum killin'-it-ness.) Today, we're talking about the bones. The foundation.
The way your closet is set up is integral to how efficiently, effectively, and creatively you can put together outfits. You'd never give a work presentation when you're hungover and half awake; so why expect a clunky closet to perform?
You don't have to have a walk-in situation, custom cabinetry, or even a door to create your own happy place. You just have to be prepared to think a little unorthodoxly about how you're organizing your stuff. The payoff? Next time you're standing in front of it in just your PJs, you'll feel more amped than annoyed (and you can hold onto your wire hangers, too!).
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
1. Mess Up The Order
A lot of people hang in color order. Some organize by type (sweaters, blazers, shirts, etc). While those systems are all nice and good, it sometimes helps you think more creatively to turn things upside down. If you're all about your fashion-athletic trend, corral all your appropriate pieces in one section so you can head there first for your hero item. If you're trying to do more high-low, stick your expensive stuff on one half and your cheaper items on the other, and you'll more easily find a complete outfit. Or, hang clothes by outfit; not only will it "force" you to do a little preplanning at the start of each week (we use quotations because this hasn't ever been a chore to us), early morning outfit decisions will be a whole lot easier.
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
2. Create A VIP Section
We all have those pieces that are the stars of our outfits, whether it's a top with a ruffle that just won't quit, or a pair of pants in a pattern that begs for compliments. Most likely, you start an outfit with one of those items, and support it with more basic pieces. If you create a section in your closet solely consisting of those, you can pick between the ones you haven't worn in a while, which makes outfit-designing a much quicker process.
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
3. Think Up
If your closet is basic-basic (like, no built-ins, no add-ons, and no extra room), you often only have one direction to go: up. Above each rod is most likely just one shelf, which — unless your stacking skills are on par with Dagwood's — means you've probably got a foot or so of space above your closet for clothes. Budget organizational stores have stackable shelves that can double your storage capacity, but milk crates can also work in a pinch (just don't forget a step stool so you can actually get up there). Thinking up also means thinking down: Another hanging rod can give you another few feet of hanging space.
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
4. Door Optional
You take every opportunity to show your clothing off, so it hardly makes any sense to shove it behind a door when it's not on you. If you're able, remove the door from your closet and let your clothes take the spotlight. Not only will this allow you easier access to your duds, but any little bit of spillover will look intentional instead of sloppy. Don't have a closet-closet to begin with? Great news. A wardrobe might be a real piece of furniture you'll want to invest in at some point, but a rolling rack lets your closet become an ever-changing, ever-growing, ever-morphing piece of art in your room. What's better than that?
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
5. Hook It Up
If there's one piece of hardware you should invest in, it's a hook, pure and simple. A lot of folks forget that there's more than one place to hang your clothes, and if you need to start lining the insides of your closet with hooks to accommodate rarely used bags, belts, jackets, so be it! One hook on the door jamb of your closet can be used for your "Next Up" outfit, which is probably brilliant enough you'll want to see it all the time.
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
6. Master The Stack
There are garments that keep better folded than hung. And, when a shirt is folded well, it takes up much less room than it would haphazardly stuffed in your drawers, or balled in a cubby. This video (if you haven't already seen it) shows you how to do a professional retail fold. Stack them up and set them on a shelf and remove the top half of the section to access the one you need. When they're neat, they won't topple; which should be reason enough to keep things tidy.
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
7. Think Outside The Box
Your door is already gone (right?), so there's really no need to be confined to the four corners of your closet. Set up a small side table right outside to house extra bags and clutches, position a short bookshelf out your closet to hold your accessories inside and stack jeans on top. Baskets, shoe racks, and more don't have to operate within just the small square footage of your closet, and you'll be freer for it.
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Designed by Sydney Hass.
8. Treat It Like Any Room
The reason you enjoy being in your bedroom or your bathroom or your kitchen probably only has a little to do with its utility. So, treat your closet as much more than a place to hang your clothes. Bring in wallpaper, introduce diffuser scents (no candles though!), hang artwork, and lay down rugs. Little homey touches can make even a small closet feel as grand as a dressing room.