• teresakieffer


Updated: May 1

Your Ultimate Guide to a clever closet. From a chic who "nerds out" when it comes to organizing closets.

If the "kitchen is the heart of the home" - the closet is definitely the lungs. You need both to live and breath. Except, the "closet" is the un-sung hero of the home. Today, we're going to pay homage to what can be a breathe of fresh air.

Take a moment and think about this... how much money is on your body right now? Pants, shirt/s, socks, undies, watch, jewelry, shoes... Now, multiply that amount, times the amount of clothing hanging or hanging out in your closet. There's a HUGE investment of money in that tiny space (unless you're lucky and have a walk-in). Then, there's even more $$$!

This is why, it's important to have a well organized, streamlined, closet. You've already invested in the space. Or at least, what is occupying the space.

Baby Steps

We may not go into our closets as much as we go into the refrigerator, but our closets can add weight.

Often, I see clients holding onto clothes that no longer fit. These pieces can be too big (YAY) or too small (booo). I'm not saying purge everything that doesn't fit. I am suggesting going through and editing out the pieces that no longer serve you and make you happy.

Once a year, I take all my clothes out of the closet, and place ALL my clothes on my bed. I try EVERY SINGLE ITEM ON. In a sense, I'm doing the Marie Kondo Method of seeing/feeling "what sparks joy." If I instantly feel happy, confident, and excited for what I put on, it's in the keep pile. Otherwise, I contemplate whether or not it stays.

Everything you put on your body should make you feel good. Remember this, and editing clothes will be easier*

*The first time you do this exercise of pacing all your clothing on your bed, you may cry. It's a lot. A lot to take in. Seeing the piles of "money" laying in front of you that you may not even wear. Be easy on yourself. We have all been there. This is not the time to judge your past shopping decisions.



Many years ago, I went to Chicago with a friend. Her husband surprised her with a personal shopper at the Cole Hahn store. He (the personal shopper) was fabulous. Christopher made us both try on clothes we never would have considered and they looked amazing. He shared with us how "women" tend to buy the same piece in different colors. BUT, we typically have a favorite and wear that. He made us promise we would only purchase one of something from then on.

In the next year, try to be diligent at only buying one of the particular piece you love.

I struggle with leggings. And, they're not even different colors but they are so damn comfortable.

Small Upgrades. Big Results

You've "edited/purged "or whatever you'd like to call removing unnecessary clothing from the piece of prime real estate that a closet should be considered to be. Now, here are some tips to get your closet into shape.

  1. Make three piles with your clothes. "Keep, toss and donate." This will help you sort through your existing items.

  2. Donate anything you haven't worn in a year. Most say, "6 months" but I live where we have 4 seasons. This makes it more challenging to have less outfits when there are days it can be 80 degrees and days it can be 20 degrees. In Northern Michigan, this can be the same day.

  3. Keep "like with like." Clothes should be in the closet. Try not to have mail, vacuums, or other storage in this space. Find other areas in your home to relocate bigger items or seasonal items (like camping stuff).

  4. Get the donate pile out of your sight. I promise, you will not miss it. You will feel lighter when this stuff is gone. Often, when I start putting on weight (for whatever reason), I will purge my closet. It helps me let go of things weighing me down and it truly helps me get back on track with my lifestyle (I'm not a fan of saying diet).

  5. Put a dresser below your hanging "short" clothes (ie. shirts). This frees up space and provides additional storage options.

  6. Create zones. You can create by color, by type (work-wear versus lounge) and so on.

  7. Keep high use items easy to access. It's typical for people to place shoes on the floor because our feet are there. However, it's much nicer to have these eye level as we typically change our shoes often. I get rid of the shoe boxes as it looks chaotic with all the designs and colors on the boxes. I purchase black photo boxes from Michael's or any craft store. Then, I snap a pic of the pair of shoes and put the pic on the box. This keeps the shoes clean and dust free in the box and it looks fantastic and a bit freaky in my closet.

  8. Pool noodles will keep boots standing up. One noodle can cover two or more pairs of boots, as you can cut the noodle to fit. Boots look much better standing. When I design a closet, often, I place the tall boots on the top shelf.

  9. Use accessories on the walls. Belt hooks, hooks for hats above a door, purses, etc.

  10. Last, fold your clothes and line up in the drawers. Don't stack. You want to see what you own so you will wear it.

Small Upgrades. Big Results

It may feel overwhelming at first, but once you get in the groove, it's a project that can be done in an afternoon. The effects you will feel will last much longer and you will feel lighter!

If you need a closet concierge, I offer services to help. You are never alone in your efforts. I have access to many many resources and solutions. Send me a message and we will talk about your project. If you have more questions after reading this (or in the future), leave a comment below.

Thank you for reading:)

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