CASE STUDY: MASTER PLAN
Faced with an under-performing closet, one urban couple got serious, prioritizing and discarding contents before reorganizing the space.
A busy couple regain control over a messy closet.
Insufficient shoe storage and inefficient use of space led to disorder.
The closet was storing items other than clothing and accessories.
The owners were holding onto rarely worn clothing.
SOLUTIONS FOR HELP RECLAIMING THEIR MESSY MASTER CLOSET,
homeowners Joy and Chris turned to Certified Professional Organizer Yvette Clay of Livingorder Austin (see bio in “Meet the Pros,” page 90). After assessing the situation, Clay determined the couple had plenty of space but needed a major purge and appropriate organizing systems.
Their main charge from her was to get rid of anything that wasn’t absolutely essential or regularly used. Any remaining items that weren’t clothing or accessories were designated to be stored elsewhere in their townhouse. “My rule of thumb is that if you can’t wear it on your body, it shouldn’t live in the closet,” Clay says.
opposite: Before their closet makeover, Joy and Chris had to step over piles on the floor. above: Afterward, a single-hang rod remains on Chris’s side (on left), providing room for a hamper below. New double-hang rods accommodate Joy’s clothes, which she now organizes by category (such as short-sleeve tops) and sorts by color within each category.
“I love the mix of double hanging and long hanging options. No more wasted space!” — JOY, HOMEOWNER
To jump-start the couple in what can be an overwhelming endeavor, Clay introduced her A-B-C-D prioritization concept, with A items being those used most frequently and D items those used least or not at all. After thinning out and redistributing misfit items, Joy and Chris took a true inventory of their belongings and joined Clay in devising a plan.
Clay determined the single-hang rod on the short side of the closet could fit Chris’s items, which meant Joy could utilize the longer side and back wall. “One thing became quite apparent,” Joy says. “With more than 50 pairs of shoes and boots between us, footwear storage was a big priority.”
A new shoe tower on her side and two shoe shelves on Chris’s addressed their needs perfectly. After calculating the linear footage of her long and short clothing, Joy had the closet components cut accordingly to accommodate double-hang rods on one side of the tower and single-hang for her dresses on the other.
The existing cubby unit stayed put, displaying and keeping handbags accessible. Two cabinets on top provide convenient space for folded clothing and allow just enough room for the carry-on luggage Joy uses almost weekly.
above: In a closet, accessibility is paramount. But having everything visible can quickly look chaotic. Drawer space for sweaters and jeans was not available elsewhere, so Joy added cabinet units above the cubbies to hide folded belongings behind...
below: Before the makeover, Joy had the right idea with this hardworking cubby unit positioned behind the door. Clay helped Joy go a step further, by eliminating the useless hang bar and organizing the jumble of bags, books, and footwear.
“Clutter is postponed decisions. Don’t put it down— put it away.”
above: Although an awkward shelf was replaced with cabinets, the modular cubby unit stayed put. Canvas drawers and baskets stow socks, intimates, and accessories. One drawer, inset, is for items to give away. When it gets full, Joy makes a trip to a...