Create Your Dream Closet (3)
An organized closet is a peaceful space ... the stuff you dream about when house hunting, too. Whatever your closet fantasy, it typically includes you imagining yourself opening the doors and walking into a perfectly pristine room. Maybe it's light and bright and things are lined up in perfect rows, tucked away in their specific places. Does it include custom shelving? Windows? Shoe racks? Dream a little dream for me.
Marie Kondo's book 'The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing' (Ten Speed Press, 2014) is a New York Times Bestseller. How important does she think your closet is? Well, it's the first area she focuses on in her book. She's made the idea, if not the actual act, of tidy living a cultural phenomenon in the States. My simplified synopsis of Kondo's theory, adapted from Japanese principles, is the idea that decluttering means getting rid of the things that don't bring you joy. While many will say Kondo is extreme in her approach, most of us would have to agree that being tidy is practical and, indeed, helps to free the mind.
Large or small, a disorganized closet creates a stressful experience. I know; I have at least one. So how can we make our tidy dream closet a reality? Wake up, because I'm about to tell you how to make your closet dreams come true.
Space Out: Maximize the space in your closet. You'll want to use every square inch of closet space, from floor to ceiling. While this is a closet of grandeur, it's not always about the size of space you have, but how you work it. Using a house-hunting website will help you see what other people are doing with their contemporary closets. And since the homes you see are for sale, they may have clever updates that could inspire you.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: Have your closet doors do double duty. Adding large mirrors for
cabinet doors in your closet will not only provide great utility, but also make
the space look larger than it is. Having three mirrored doors next to each
other is also a clever way of creating your own three-way mirror. Closet mirrors are also a great way to bring in and reflect light in a dark or
Let There Be Light: If you can, add windows, even if it's just one small one. Yes, it's a trade-off to sacrifice your valuable closet real estate for something that isn't storage, but if you're inclined to a zen closet space, then a window will make a small, narrow closet feel infinitely more inviting. Even though you're losing a little bit of storage, the room will feel larger and you'll get natural light, too. You could even add bench seating with storage under the window to recapture a little more space.
Tall Ceilings? Roll with it. With a simple DIY track install, a rolling ladder will make overhead space not just accessible, but usable. Plus, it's a classy statement piece. There's a mountain of untapped potential 6-feet and higher. Your ladder could double as modern-day valet. Add an extra hook for a hanger for your jackets, and use the rungs to hang your pants and accessories for the next day. You could even add a retractable valet arm to the back of a rung for more hanging space and out a hat on it.
Island Vibes: Maybe you can't afford your own private island, but your closet can. You can have all of the space you've dreamed of right in the middle of your closet oasis. There are a lot of cool island options, nearly all of which are function-forward. If you have the kind of closet that has room for an island, it's time to add that sitting area, too. On a budget? You can upcycle an old dresser with some chalk paint for some DIY island life.
Tammy La is a happy-go-lucky
food, lifestyle writer and host with a spicy Sriracha kick. Biggest "project"
is welcoming baby Otis into the world. Loves anything DIY and actually finds
putting IKEA furniture together both therapeutic and rewarding. Follow her on
Twitter and Instagram at @tammylalaland