This Oakland, CA client wanted to give her partner the birthday gift of an organized closet. She was sure to get permission first, and when she did, she called in the Bella Organizing team.
Step One: On-site consultation
We found a closet with serious hanger issues. A collection of plastic, dry cleaner and padded hangers of varying shapes, sizes and conditions was one of the main culprits. Old, weighted down hangers sagged, dry cleaner hangers caught onto clothes, and things fell to the ground because there was nowhere else to go.
Work and play clothes were mixed together. Silky blouses fell off slippery hangers and disappeared into the darkness. Stacks of jeans and sweaters toppled over each other on the shelf. It was difficult to find the right thing to match the days’ outfit.
A plastic container stuffed into the closet housed socks and hardly used accessories; it was taking up valuable hanging space.
Shoes were in disarray on the floor. There was an expanding shoe rack (hidden) but it was falling apart and not big enough for the amount of shoes she owned. It was inaccessible with sliding doors in the way and the stacks of clothing that had fallen to the ground.
Step Two: Planning
What clothing and categories are we working with (work, play, exercise, shoes, purses, accessories, etc.)? What needs to be accessed the most? The least? What are the measurements of the closet? What containers and other organizational supplies do we have available here or elsewhere in the house that can be used for this project? What needs to be purchased? What can we do to better utilize vertical space, get things up off the floor and make it pretty and organized?
Step Three: Sorting and Cleaning
The Bella Organizing team pulled everything out of the closet and sorted like items. As usual, there were things discovered that did not go in a clothing closet (toiletries, dishes, pens) so we found other homes for those in the house. We dusted, removed cobwebs from hidden corners and vacuumed the empty closet.
Artistic Intermission: Paint
While searching around the house for organizational supplies we could repurpose, we came across cans of blue turquoise paint in the tool room which had been used to paint door frames around the house (a North American Indian tradition to absorb bad vibrations before entering a dwelling.)
The client mentioned it was her partner’s favorite color, so it was agreed that we would add a splash of it to the closet. While cleaning and painting, we all agreed the sliding doors were simply in the way. We removed them to the garage to stay.
Step Four: Organizing
Hangers were replaced with new, slim ones of the same size and color. Clothing was hung according to categories: sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, t-shirts, work uniforms, pants, skirts, dresses.
Baskets found around the house were repurposed to contain sweaters, jeans and exercise clothes on the shelf. Hats, gloves, belts and purses had their own baskets, while socks and undergarments went into an underutilized chest of drawers nearby in the room.
Additional floor baskets made of similar natural fibers were purchased to 1) catch dirty laundry, and 2) contain running and hiking shoes she would tend to toss in the closet. A bookshelf was brought in to store her favorite boots and shoes for work and going out on the town that she gave more care and attention to.
The result: a redesigned, organized and accessible closet.