A couple weeks ago the lovely ladies behind Style by Deco stopped by to help me kickoff my spring cleaning with a much-needed closet organizing session.
Of the challenges I face with my closet, the biggest one is its size. It is tiny!! Before I got married and moved into a one bedroom apartment with my husband, I was living in a two bedroom apartment with two of my very own, regular sized closets full of clothes and shoes. Before moving, I knew that we were going to be closet-challenged, so I got rid of at least half of my wardrobe. It was a really big deal for me to do that because I become attached to everything I own and have a difficult time parting with items I haven’t even worn in years!
So, when we moved into our current apartment, I was feeling pretty good about the amount of clothing I had and knew that I had really gotten rid of everything I didn’t need and was only holding onto the items I would use and that actually had any significant meaning/value to me.
About six months to a year into living in our one bedroom apartment, I started to purge a little more as I was realizing that the space was still too small for the amount of clothing I had…and, of course, there were some new purchases that brought in new pieces I needed to make room for. I probably filled about two Fashion Project bags worth of clothing during the first year of living here, which to me felt like it should have been more than enough! Again, I have trouble parting with anything and everything.
After about 16 months of living here, my closet was out of control and beyond dysfunctional. I couldn’t see everything I had as a lot of shoes, sweaters and dresses were hiding in the far back corners or under other items that were thrown on top of them because there was no where else for me to put them. I had part of my closet along a wall in our bedroom because it wouldn’t fit in the actual closet. Shoes were lined up in our living room. It was bad. Luckily my husband is extremely tolerant and put up with my disorganization, but that didn’t make it okay. It was time for a major change.
Enter Emily Simon and Debbie Kahn of Style by Deco. The two founders of the closet organizing and personal shopping company came over and totally re-hauled my chaotic closet. And they did it in just two hours!! Take a look at some of these before and after shots as well as tips from the clothing outfitters and closet organizers.
Full Closet Before
As you can see, things were a bit chaotic in my closet when they arrived. Emily and Debbie’s first recommendation was to fold all of my denim rather than have them hanging. “This is especially helpful in small closets,” explained Debbie.
They placed my folded denim on the top right rack of my closet and moved all the shoes in boxes that were originally in that place to the bottom of the closet and organized them by style. Flats, open toe sandals, pumps, booties and boots. Because of the lack of space again, and partly due to my personal preference as well, we kept all shoes in their shoe boxes. One day I will have my dream walk-in closet with enough space to display my lovely shoe collection. Emily and Debbie also recommend, IRIS Large, Clear Drop Front Shoe boxes for storing your shoes. “Clear shoe boxes make it easy to see your shoes and looks cleaner,” explained Emily.
Upper Shelf Before and After
In the image on the left, you can see where all the jeans were hanging and the mess of boxes stacked above them.
Closet Floor Before and After
This was quite possibly the worst part of my closet and I can’t believe I let it get so bad! You can see that there is no organization going on with anything in the photo on the left. There are shoeboxes stacked unevenly with random boots, purse bags and handbags thrown on top of them.
With the way Style by Deco organized the floor of my closet (on the right), I am not only able see my shoes and everything stored down there, but I actually have extra space to properly place tall boots and can even store my everyday bag neatly on the floor of my closet rather than the kitchen table.
Full Closet After
Without the help and guidance from Style by Deco, I would still be dealing with a closet that overflowed into our bedroom and living areas. Most of us are physically capable of rearranging our own closets, but the likelihood that we will actually take the time to do it from start to finish, without cutting corners or making excuses for why certain things are the way they are is very unlikely. And that is exactly what I found to be the most beneficial about Style by Deco. Not only are Emily and Debbie very talented and knowledgeable in the space, they’re going to make sure that the job gets done and that it gets done properly.
If I were to have attempted this on my own, I probably would have started and stopped multiple times and across several weeks, maybe or maybe not fully finishing the job. Having professionals like Emily and Debbie come into your house, not only guarantees that the job is going to get done, but that it is going to get done correctly. If I had had my sister or best friend over to help me, I would have been comfortable enough to make excuses for certain things and talk them out of doing what was really necessary to make my closet functional again.
I’ll be totally honest and tell you that this process completely put me out of my comfort zone and I was uneasy with every box they picked up or item they held out and asked, “do you still use this?” But I survived and could not be happier with the results!
Benefits of My Organized Closet
Now that my closet is organized and I can actually see everything I have, I am in the perfect position to identify even more items to can get rid of! My husband and I have another move coming up in a few months. While I plan to have more closet space in our next home, I don’t want to move extra clothing that I don’t need anymore. With my newly organized closet, I have easily identified items that I can sell and giveaway. Here are a few of Style by Deco’s and my recommendations for items you want to:
Style by Deco’s Top Closet Organizing Tips
- Get a step stool!! This is Style by Deco’s #1 recommendation for every client.
- If you are dealing with a smaller closet, fold your jeans instead of hanging them.
- Find shelving units to utilize the space above your hanging bar. Especially when you have high ceilings.
- Always throw away dry cleaning hangers and invest in huggable velvet hangers to keep small and large closets looking more organized and clean to see everything you have. Great prices at HomeGoods and Amazon!
- Avoid wrinkled scarves by using a scarf hanger.
- Style by Deco discourages clients from organizing their closets by outfits because it limits your ability to piece together looks into new ways. Instead, categorize pieces by style, sleeve length and color.