The Dappered philosophy is all about looking good without costing an arm and a leg. While that usually means finding great pieces and even better prices, this series is about how to store what you’ve already got. We’re going to look at how to clear the clutter, how to outfit a closet, and how to use that closet to its full potential.
If you’ve followed the previous article on outfitting your closet, you’re on your way to having a workspace that works for you instead of against you. Where the last article was about building your closet, this one is about using it. The goal is to have a closet where it’s easy to find things and easy to put them all together into outfits that work for you.
SEVEN STEPS TO BUILDING A SYSTEM FOR YOUR CLOSET
1. Don’t over-crowd it
Overcrowding your closet will make it difficult for you to find anything and will defeat the purpose of the rest of this list. If you have too many shirts hanging on rods, you won’t be able to see everything. If you have too many pair of shorts in your drawers, you’ll never know what’s at the bottom. You can avoid overcrowding in one of two ways (and they’re not mutually exclusive). First, get rid of the clutter. Second, spread your stuff as evenly as possible across all available rod and drawer space. If you seriously just have that much stuff, you may want to consider revisiting the article on clearing clutter.
#1 and #4 in action. There’s room to breathe, and shoes are at eye level.
Check consignment stores for used, but still good looking armoires for your shoes & suits.
2. Choose an organization scheme that works for you
The scheme you choose is not nearly as important as simply having one in the first place. Some people organize their closets by color. Some organize by occasion. Others organize by type of clothing. Personally, I organize by clothing type followed by color. Do whatever feels right to you. Just make sure you keep it consistent.
3. Store coats separately if possible
Coats can take an incredible amount of space. If this is a problem for you, consider moving them completely out of your bedroom closet. If you have a coat closet, that’s where they belong. Otherwise, consider getting a hall tree or coat rack.
4. Make shoes easy to find
Just because they go on your feet doesn’t mean they belong on the floor. Marketing research shows that grocery store shoppers have a tendency to buy things near eye level and are more inclined to ignore things that are too low or too high. Similarly, bringing shoes up to eye level will make it easier for you to “shop” in your own closet. If shelf space is at a premium, consider rod-hanging shoe organizers. Just make sure to find one that’s wide enough since many are made to fit women’s (i.e. little) shoes.
5. Rotate clothing into/out of storage by season
When it’s winter, you’re probably not wearing those white linen pants. And you’re probably not wearing your heavy sweaters in summer. These aren’t items that are merely being seldom used. They’re items that aren’t being used at all. There’s no point for them to be taking up so much valuable closet space. Take the things that are out of season (whether on rods or in drawers) and put them in “deep storage”. Flat containers for under-bed storage are a good place for them. Even if you have room for them in your closet, they’ll end up cluttering the space and making it harder to find what you want (rule #1).
Get it off the ground storage, and get it on the ground storage.
6. Do laundry before it’s necessary
I used to consider it a point of pride that I could go a month without doing laundry. But by the end of it, I was wearing stuff just because it was clean and not because I actually wanted to wear it. Doing the laundry is a necessary evil. But if it has to get done one way or another, it’s best to do it sooner than later. That way, your closet will always be on its “A” game. You’ll always have the full spectrum of your wardrobe available at a moment’s notice.
7. PUT IT BACK WHERE IT CAME FROM!!
This is the one that I think a lot of people struggle with most (myself included). But if this rule isn’t maintained, the rest of them aren’t worth crap. It’s the one thing that keeps the wheels in motion. If your system is a machine, this rule is the grease. Just do it.
Head here for the entire three part series. When not de-creasing shoes or keeping his closet in good shape, you’ll find Roving Style Contributor Alan S. participating as an active member on Threads.