Elaine Yu - Simply Chic Styling


Can I ask you a personal question? How organized is your closet? When you get dressed every morning, do you feel stress and anxiety? I strongly believe that a closet should only be filled with items you love. And that your dressing space should be organized. I LOVE an organized closet but sometimes maintaining it can feel overwhelming. I enlisted the help of my styling client, friend and professional organizer, Andrea Walker of Smartly Organized, for some closet organization tips.

Organizing a closet is much the same as organizing any other space in my home. I want it to function well and be beautiful. As a professional organizer I have the pleasure of organizing all sorts of closets for my clients. Everything from coat closets to kids’ closets and for every single one I rely on the same basic principles:

Clear out the clutter: Even the smallest closet can be a black hole with nooks and crannies filled with forgotten and unloved items. The first step to organizing your closet is to empty it out – COMPLETELY - and discard such items. At this point in the process I highly encourage a good surface cleaning of the space before replacing your things.

Sort and Purge: Once cleared out it’s time to evaluate what you have and group like-items. This step leads to further purging when you realize you have 25 pairs of jeans but wear only a few. This step is critical and best done with the help of a friend or professional stylist. A good stylist, like Elaine Yu, will tell you it’s better to have fewer, well-fitting items in your wardrobe than a closet full of ”eh” items.

- Create Zones: Once sorted and purged it’s time to create zones within the closet. In a standard clothes closet these zones are shoes, bags, skirts, pants, blouses, etc. You get the idea. Sounds simple but it’s amazing how jumbled up a closet can become over time. Taking the time to create zones makes it easier to find what you are looking for to create that awesome outfit.

- Uniformity: Every closet will benefit from the use of uniform hangers, bins, and baskets. This uniformity will reduce the visual clutter and make your clothes stand out. It’s amazing the transformation new hangers will make. I love the slim-line flocked hangers and encourage my clients to use them. And while it’s tempting to pick several trendy colors, using multi-colored hangers will create visual clutter and distract the eye. Sticking with one neutral color such as black or beige will be easier on the eye.

Shelves present another organizing challenge, as piles of clothes are hard to keep neat. Drawers are not always an option but a simple fabric basket will function the same way to corral loose items. Uniform, well-labeled baskets look neat and tidy on the shelf, allow access to items on higher shelves, and support the zone concept discussed above.

Using these simple principles will lead to a beautiful, well-organized, functional closet making getting dressed a pleasure. At Smartly Organized, we want the space behind closed doors to look good, work hard, and function well for our clients so they can focus on what’s important in life.

Here's a video clip of Andrea and a shoe closet she helped organized. Take a look - you'll be amazed!

Andrea's business, Smartly Organized, is based in Catham, NJ. She is a Certified Professional Organizer and you can learn more by visiting her website or following her on instagram @smartlyorganized.

images: closet photos via pinterest. video via YouTube. photo of Andrea by mikifoto.