I have a confession to make: Despite working for home and organizing publications for nearly 10 years, I can’t seem to keep my bedroom closet organized.
I have the right hangers—you know, the slim, felted kind. I wallpapered its back wall for motivation, and I even tried placing half my wardrobe in my guest room for more space. Inevitably, my clothes either end up puddled on the floor or tangled in a mess on the shelves.
As someone who otherwise thrives on order, this feels like my dirty little secret. That’s why I turned to Corrie Jackson, an organizing professional, for some much-needed closet therapy. She and longtime friend Jennifer Bakker co-founded Maison Haven with the philosophy that a streamlined home is a peaceful one. “I can’t remember how many houses I’ve moved into in the last decade,” Jackson says, which is why she’s so good at it. Here’s how Jackson keeps her closets pristine.
It Starts With Simplifying
Whether your closet is the size of a shoebox or a studio, the key to organization is paring down your belongings. “With closets, it really is as simple as the less you have, the more you use,” Jackson says.
She recommends doing the “hanger test” to tell which clothes are keepers and which ones can go. To do it, turn all of your hangers so that they’re facing the same direction. Over the course of a month, flip the hanger the other way if you use the item. This is a quick visual guide that really opens your eyes to what percentage of clothing you’re actually wearing, Jackson says.
You can also employ a strategy she calls the “Three Fs Rule.” For this one, consider whether each item in your closet fits, flatters, and functions. If you like how you look and it can transition into multiple outfits—for the most part—then keep it. Otherwise, consider selling, swapping, or donating it.
Set Yourself Up for Success
Next, think about how you get dressed. If you have a lot of sweaters that need to be folded flat, then Jackson advises that you keep those stacks short—ideally, no more than four to a pile—to prevent toppling. And make use of supplies! Shelf dividers offer support and baskets keep like-minded items in the same place.
But if the bulk of your clothing needs to be hung, then invest in the right hangers. Jackson recommends huggable felt ones for a streamlined and functional option.
Style It for the Long Run
While the first two tips are pretty utilitarian, Jackson’s last one is all about style. Once you have everything in its place, don’t forget to add some personality to your closet, too. “We’ve really found that if a space looks beautiful, it’s more likely to stay that way,” she says.
That’s why I wallpapered an accent wall in my closet. And for Jackson, it’s why she has a few fashion books perched near the handbags she has on display. No matter what accents you bring in—artwork, lighting, even plants—these details will make your newly organized closet feel like an eye-catching extension of the room.
“Every time I walk into my closet, I think it looks beautiful,” she says. “It motivates me to keep going.”
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