California Closets

How to Bring Out the "Girly" in Your Closet

I am in No Way a "girly mirror".  I am not into makeup, jewelry or high heeled shoes but I do love clothes.  I am a true believer that your closet should be a showcase for your clothes. Your beautiful clothes should have a beautiful space to live!    

Of course, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Some people love clean simple lines. Others love bolder statements of style but none of that matters as long as the person loves their space.  I have seen it all.  I have been in closets with library ladders, pull-out sleeper sofas, a bar, televisions and work out equipment......but my favorite spaces have always been the ones I would call "girly".  Pretty, sweet, warm, cozy, all of those adjectives can apply. I love watching my people find their dream closet big enough to "girlify" and here are some of the elements they include.

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Just for you: The 4 ways to bring out the "girly" in your closet:

COLOUR:  Colour can add so much character to a space.  Add color in the units you use, a chair or pouffe or in art on any spare wall space. Choose colours that you love, that make you feel warm and fuzzy and that make you happy.  Matching is optional as far as I am concerned! The more fun you have with it the better! 

LIGHTING: Lighting can mean a beautiful ceiling fixture, a crazy table lamp or a multitude of candles.  You can create an ambiance that reflects your mood just by playing with the lighting. If you have a plain lampshade...though a scarf over it and add even more colour to the space!

FLOWERS:  Real or fake, flowers just add warmth to a room. If you can invest in real flowers you will have the added bonus of a wonderful scent! Flowers make people happy (especially girls/women). 

BLING: Now Bling can take you anywhere.......from crystals, to statuettes, to jewelry on the wall, antique dolls, vintage bags....the imagination can go wild. Experiment with bling to bring out the dreamiest part of yourself and create a space that is joyful.

PLAY...PLEASE PLAY with your spaces.  Organizing can be fun!  Enjoy! 



5 Tips for Easy Closet Management

I have spent years in beautifully designed and functional custom closets. It never fails that after some time people get lazier and pay less attention to putting their things away... and then they get frustrated. It’s for that reason I want to share my 5 Tips for Easy Closet Management.

These tips not only help my people maintain an organized closet (whether custom designed or not) but they help them keep track of their clothes, and make the most of their wardrobe!  It is so easy to forget what they own and then spend money on items they don't really need!

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1-  Put out of season clothes away:  Away can mean in a bin under your bed, on the top shelf, in an extra closet or even just towards the back of the closet you are using.  The purpose of this is to keep what you are currently wearing more visible.  

 

2- Keep "Like with Like":  This goes for items (ie: shirts and pants) and colors.  You want to keep the same colors together so that you can see what you own and avoid buying duplicates. How many of us have at least one too many plain black t-shirts. By keeping "like" items together you can create new and different outfits with the clothing you have.  If you hang things as "outfits" they tend to be worn the same way, with the same pieces all the time.  That is not using your wardrobe to it's full potential.

 

3- Keep items that can be nicely folded on shelves: First of all, folding anything that is knit will avoid stretching the garment and prevent hanger marks in the shoulders. I hate it when I look in the mirror and I have these 2 little bumps on my shoulders and I have to  throw that piece in the wash again to re-set it.  Second, what you don't see you won't wear.  This is fact. No one has the time to go searching for a piece of clothing when they are rushing to get dressed in the morning!.

 

4- Contain things that can't be nicely folded in drawers or baskets:  Drawers are for dumping! That is not to say that a drawer can't be nicely organized - it can.  Drawers should hold underwear, socks, P.J's, bathing suits, workout clothes etc. What you don't want happening in drawers are piles where you wear the first piece, wash it, put it away on top and continue that cycle, thereby not wearing any of the pieces underneath.

 

5- Once you have worn something turn the hanger backwards in your closet:  I am not sure who first came up with this idea but now it is seen all over social media.  I am adding it here because I am a big fan!  This is a simple way to keep track of what you are actually wearing and at the end of a season you will know what should be given away! If you are not wearing it..someone else will!

Once my people implemented these tips into their closet, their morning became easier!  Try it and let me know if it works for you!

 

4 Reasons to Organize your Clothes by Category

I have heard my people mumble to themselves as they try to decide which way to organize their closet. So which way is the best way? By color? By season? In capsules? Having watched my people struggle through them all, my vote is by category. Here are my top 4 reasons why: 

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1.    When you have your clothing separated by category you will get more use out of each item. For example, if you hang a suit together, you will grab it and wear it as a set all the time, forgetting that the top and bottom can be worn with other items to create a completely new outfit!

2.    When you are not searching for a top squished and hiding between two bottoms, you will be able to see ALL of the mix and match possibilities in your wardrobe more easily. In this way you know exactly where to look when you want to find a particular piece....take a shirt to the pant section (or vice versa) and decide what you feel like wearing. 

3.    You don't have to worry about what works for which season! Who cares! I know when I am cold in the summer....I want my sweaters close by. I wear tanks in the winter as a layering piece. When organized by category you know exactly where items are at all times.

4.    It will save you money! You will always know exactly how much of each category you have. No more buying a piece that you already have buried in your closet somewhere while thinking "I am sure I have one of these already!"   

 Now keep in mind that this is just my opinion based on all the closets and struggles I have seen but there is value and merit to other ways of organizing.

Let me know what your favorite is!



Sweaters: To Hang or Not to Hang

Sweaters: To hang or not to hang?

I think this question is the easiest one to answer.

Sweater should be folded. Period.

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Why you may ask?  I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a sweater be put on a hanger and the weight of the material stretches the sweater until it’s deformed!

Another thing I have seen happen is that people use a thin hanger and when they go to wear the piece it has little bump in the shoulder which is very hard to get rid of.

Solution. Fold your sweater and knits to keep them in the best shape.

Has this ever happened to you?


The Man Closet

I must admit that I am not an expert in the “man closet” because most of my people have been women or couples sharing a closet. When a man and woman share a closet, it’s cliché, but true, that the woman usually gets her way and the closet turns out to be on the more feminine side.  I do know that the man closets I have seen have a distinct and consistent look to them.

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. You can feel the masculine vibe and here’s how I think you accomplish it:

1-      Dark rich colors:  Where as a woman may choose a softer color or even white, you will often find dark, heavy wood in a man’s closet.

2-      Absence of detail:  Rather than a decorative panel, mirror or glass on a drawer front, a man’s closet will often have clean, straight lines.

3-      Less Decoration:  You will find less memorabilia, collectibles and extraneous items in a man’s closet where a “girly closet” may have photos, flowers and decorative items.

4-      Symmetrical lines: Since men have fewer differing lengths or clothes (usually only 2 or 3), when you look at their closet it seems more symmetrical and organized then a woman’s which can have 3 lengths of dresses, 2 of skirts and even varying pant lengths.

Now of course, this is all in my own experience based on what I have seen. Men, just like women, have differing tastes and styles and therefore will have a closet to match.

Whatever that is, it’s perfect.

Time for Spring Cleaning?!

I see a lot of people who avoid cleaning out your closet because they can't decide what to keep and what to get rid of (and what I mean by get rid of is to donate or hand down unless it's unwearable)....they become very frustrated and their closets become full of clothing they never wear! I am so happy when I see those sorting bags or boxes come out and things start to go!

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I came up with 5 tips to help make your choices easier.

1.    To Wear or Not To Wear:  You know what I am talking about! We all have those pieces of clothing that we start at time and time again thinking we will wear it, we should wear it and of course we never wear it. Those pieces need to go! Yes, you may have paid a lot of money for it, but your money will be better spent if someone else is wearing it, than if it's sitting in your closet!  

2.    Ouch it Hurts: Ugh my feet are killing me! Is that another blister? If these things sound familiar...you have some shoes that need to go! Life is too short to have sore feet!

3.    Did That Ever Fit?:  Are you standing in front of the mirror wondering how you ever fit into a piece of clothing? If it doesn't fit properly, send it on its way. Yes, you may lose/gain weight again but then treat yourself to new clothes. Live in the present and enjoy!

4.    Never Again!: Say goodbye to the pink taffeta bridesmaid dress or your wedding dress from 15 years ago! If you know you will never wear something again, give it to someone who will!

5.    Tugging at the Heart Strings: High school is over. Your camp days are in the past. IF you are wearing some old comfy pieces that are torn and ragged but simply make you happy: BRAVO! But, if you are saving clothing in a box just for sentimental value, take a photo and move on.

I won’t pretend that it’s an easy process….it’s even hard for me to watch! I will promise you that when you’re done you will feel better, lighter and accomplished. Not to mention, some people will be very happy wearing the clothes you chose to give away!

The Urge to Purge

Ahhhhh........what a great feeling!  I just finished watching my person clean out her closet. Every once in awhile she gets an urge, I mean A REALLY STRONG urge to purge! Has that ever happened to you?

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She took every piece of clothing out of her closet, tried it on, looked into my glass and made a decision about what to do with it.

Does that sound like a dream or a nightmare to you?

Well, I know it's not for everyone!

Many people become paralyzed when faced with too many decisions, so I put together a little cheat sheet to help in this situation.

I would love to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to comment.

I would love to hear about your experiences! Please feel free to comment.

Starting Fresh

It’s that time again! What are you ready to take on this year?

This year I decided that I am going to try to write a closet “guide” book of sorts. I learned in a marketing class that the easiest and quickest way to do that is to use blogs as your chapters! So that is my plan and you shall be my first readers!

To make it a little more interesting, I have created a character named Mirranda to tell stories about what she sees people struggling with in their closets all the time and maybe even divulge a few fun secrets from over her many years of observation.

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I am sure some of these tips will sound familiar to you…..but we all need reminders now and then to keep us on track!

I look forward to this new adventure and will appreciate any feedback you have!

Let’s get started.  

Chapter 1 Starting Fresh:

You know what I notice? And I’ll bet this applies to you too: people have closets FULL of clothes and they wear the same things all the time. Those poor unworn pieces of clothing get very lonely and insecure. It makes me very sad to see them go unnoticed so I want to share an exercise to bring more attention to them! Will you take the time to play?       

  • STEP 1:  Make sure all of hangers the hangers in your closet are facing in the same direction, Then, make sure all the piles of clothing that you have (whether in drawers or on shelves) and neatly folded.

  • STEP 2: Once you wear a piece of clothing, turn the hanger backwards or put the folded piece back at the bottom of the pile.

  • STEP 3:  Commit to only wearing new things until you have turned all your hangers or rotated all your piles.

Now, I know what will happen along the way.......you will get to a piece and not "feel like" wearing it, or it doesn't "feel right" etc. Take note of those pieces and if it happens more than once...it's time to let it go!

Who's with me on this? It's a pretty easy exercise to play and you can weed through your wardrobe at the same time. 

 Remember: Someone else will probably love to wear whatever you choose to give away!  

 

Closet Resolutions

It's that time again! The time where we pressure ourselves to make tough changes to "better" our lives or ourselves. Personally, I think it's all to much pressure! How about we play a game instead?

The game can be considered a "resolution" but you can have some NO PRESSURE fun while being productive. So, here's how it works: 

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STEP 1:  Make sure all of hangers the hangers in your closet are facing in the same direction,  Then make sure all of the piles of clothing that you have (whether in drawers or on shelves) and neatly folded.

STEP 2: Once you wear a piece of clothing, turn the hanger backwards or put the folded piece back at the bottom of the pile.

STEP 3:  Commit to only wearing new things until you have turned all your hangers or rotated all your piles.

Now, we all know what will happen along the way.......you will get to a piece and not "feel like" wearing it, or it doesn't "feel right" etc. Take note of those pieces and if it happens more then once....it's time to let it go!

Who's with me on this? It's a pretty easy resolution to make and you can weed through your wardrobe at the same time. 

Remember: Someone else will probably love to wear whatever you choose to give away!  

The Corner Rules

Many of my clients ask me "How do you use the corners in a closet". Well, in my experience there is only one EFFECTIVE way to use corners but there are many options out there. 

Take a look: 

#1 - The Angled Corner Unit: With that small an opening....how will you ever know what is back there..never mind how you get to it! Once you hang clothes on the rods they will cover the opening even further and will make that access even more difficult!  

#2- Curved or Corner Shelves: Are not terrible when there is no hanging beside them but again, you will have items stuck far back in a corner which will probably never get used.

#3- Curved Rods: You can see for yourself in this photo that they are not a great use of space. Items can not hang the full range of the rod.

#4- The Lazy Susan: This works, sure...but again if you have anything hanging next to it, it will rub and hinder the spin of the shelves. Clothing folded in rectangles do not fit easily on a round shelf. This is a decent solution for shoes or purses.  

#5- Rods in 2 Directions: This is the most common use of corners and it does not work at all. It is physically impossible to hang the length of both rods. The shoulders of the clothing just smashes into each other.

#6- The Spiral Rod: Oh Yeah, this one is cool for sure but it takes up a ton of space. You can actually get more pieces of clothing on a regular rod then on this gadget. 

So what is my corner of choice? The Access Space:

The Access Space makes use of one wall completely and then leaves room for the clothes on the opposite wall to hang properly. When the correct amount of space is allowed, not only can you see the clothing in the corner, but you can easily reach it as well. 

I'm not saying the other ideas are wrong, just that in my 20 plus years o experience, this seems to work the best.

Do you have your favorite? Please share your thoughts!