Obviously, I spend a lot of time in my wardrobe, and just like an office, if it's not clean and organized, I feel completely overwhelmed, unable to concentrate and totally unproductive. Here's some of my favorite tips for keepin' it clean.
There's two identical closets in our bedroom, which is awesome, because I don't have to share. Now, I will be the first to admit that these closet doors are HIDEOUS. When my husband and I first moved in, my initial intention was to rip off the ugly doors and replace them with flowing curtains. Once we realized what a job that would (since the doors run floor to ceiling), we let them be. Now, I'm really glad that we did. Because they are bi-fold doors, when they are opened, the mirrors face each other and so you can see both a front and back reflection. It's fantastic! Just like my own little dressing room. The down side? Because they are bi-fold doors, when opened, they cover about one foot on each side of the closet's opening. But, until I get that AWESOME walk in closet of my dreams (*someday*), I'll just have to learn to take the bad with the good.
The inside of my closet is an ever-evolving project. It gets better and better every time I reorganize (it's a quarter-annual thing, at least). I've found that kitchen accessories are AWESOME when re-purposed for closet organization. My closet is rather small (about 23" deep x less than 60" wide), so a place for everything and everything in it's place is crucial for my sanity.
The small shelving unit on the wall is great for fragile accessories that are hard to store, like vintage clutches with easily damaged finishes. It is nothing more than a pantry shelf from Lowe's.
The hanging organizer on the front of the cupboard is actually a holder for pot lids from IKEA. I bought this for the kitchen, but when I couldn't find a place to put it, I found that it made a great storage unit for small clutches. You'll notice, too, that I have a stainless steel garden pot, which houses some of my belts.
I have three rules for shoe storage: 1) I must be able to SEE the shoes (i.e. not in boxes). 2) They cannot get squished, dirty or damaged in any way (i.e. not in a shoe basket). 3) I have to be able to reach them. I used to keep them in the original boxes stacked on the top shelf in my closet, but at 5'3", every time I wanted a pair, I had to pull from the bottom and risk a shoebox avalanche. And a step stool on carpet at 7:30 in the morning just seems a little too risky. Not to mention, since I couldn't see what was in the boxes, I often times forgot about rarely worn shoes.
The most recent investment in my closet is about 4 dozen stream-lined, velvet-flocked hangers. I'm sure you've seen the commercials about how much space you can save with them, yada yada yada... But let me tell you, if you don't have these hangers, you have no idea what you're missing! They are AMAZING! Not only do all of your clothes stay firmly on the hanger, they slide so easily and honestly take up about one third of the space of my former plastic hangers. TOTALLY worth the investment. If you're look for a bargain (as I always am) check out TJ Maxx and Ross. That's where I got all of mine and for a fraction of the price of other stores.
Just a couple rules of thumb, NEVER hang up your sweaters or knits. The weight of the clothes + gravity = lumpy, bumpy shoulders and sad, stretched out necklines. Fold them neatly and store them either on shelves or in drawers. It's also really helpful to store out-of-season clothing, shoes and accessories in another closet or in containers under the bed. Otherwise, they just get in the way (and make you sad when it's 15 degrees out).
I try to keep the top of my dresser equally as organized. This is a bit harder though, given that it is the hub of my morning activity. Some items that help? I just got this earring holder for Christmas and I LOVE it. Like the shoe situation, if I can't see what I have, I often times forget about old treasures. This is a great way of showcasing all (or most) of my options. I've also picked up a couple catch-all containers. These little wooden dishes were very inexpensive in the kitchen department of Wegmans. The blue glass hand is something that I love and have had since I was in high school. It's perfect for rings and special, delicate necklaces. As you can see, my longer and larger necklaces conveniently hang over the mirror. One of my best finds was the bracelet holder. I started wearing bracelets a couple of years ago and very quickly acquired quite a collection. They are not easy to store! I found this piece at IKEA. It's a home-dec-statue-knick-knacky thingy. Art, I guess. It works like a charm!
Hope you've enjoyed learning about my pride and joy and even picked up a helpful idea or two. If anyone else has any nifty closet tips, please share! Like I said, it's an ever-evolving project.