PHOTOGRAPHY // Christopher James
I consider myself pretty decent at organizing – but when The Home Edit asks you if they can organize your walk-in closet, you say yes.
One of my favorite things about me and Chris’ closet was that it was noticeably bigger than our last closet with lots of space for both of us to share. I knew I wanted to eventually customize it and most importantly, keep it organized. The Home Edit offered me a virtual DIY and it couldn’t have come at a more perfect time.
OUR CLOSET SYSTEM
We moved in last October and because it was a new build with no option of customizing, it had the standard wire shelves and racks which wasn’t ideal for me. Our closet was a really good size and I felt like the standard shelves in there were not maximizing the space. We opted for a custom IKEA PAX system (more on that later) to bring our walk-in closet to life and I’m pleased with how it turned out. However, I had a few options in the system that didn’t end up working out – like the pant rack and accessories tray. So, things got unorganized pretty quickly even though this system is a good one.
When I sent over photos to The Home Edit, they were incredibly helpful. They were able to tell me pretty immediately how to organize the chaos by switching out some PAX options for better ones for the clothes we had. The short list they sent over was very helpful and I ordered immediately and switched them before organizing.
Even with the IKEA PAX system installed, we still had some noticeable problem areas. These were things that just wouldn’t stay organized no matter how much we looked at Pinterest and dreamed. The main issue that both Chris and I had was keeping drawers organized. No matter how neatly I took the time out to fold our shirts and sweats, they always just seemed to end up everywhere. It was very frustrating and made me not want to fold anything ever again.
Our other issue was how we hung our clothes in the closet. It just wasn’t great in my opinion. I’d often overlook or forget about clothes I had because I would hang them with no clear purpose or system in mind and it just always looked disheveled. I knew that there was a lot of opportunity to get better with that but I genuinely did not know where to start.
Lastly, those little things like jewelry, winter hats and miscellaneous items that Chris had in his pocket but didn’t necessarily fit his wallet, were on display. And they weren’t the most aesthetically pleasing. The IKEA trays that we ordered were for display items, and the truth was – most of them weren’t. So we needed a space for them without feeling pressured to always keep them perfectly neat.
When I sent over The Home Edit photos of the closet, once they were able to tell me which IKEA items to replace in the PAX system, they pointed us in the right direction with organization. They broke our closet down into sections which really helped eliminate the overwhelm of tackling this project. While we share a closet – my stuff noticeably takes up more space (obviously). What I appreciated was how they deliberately create organization solutions specific to me and Chris. And it wasn’t just a tactic to make things look pretty for Instagram (while that does help), but they were options that allowed us to maintain the organization once complete.
Then they provided us with a list of products that were going to be used in each section. Their step by step directions were so easy to follow and got both me and Chris exactly about finally getting organized.
First up is Chris’ side. When he used to go into the office, he wore ties and dress shirts daily. Organizing ties is so hard. So I was very happy with this tie rack and how clean it made all his ties look. We didn’t picture his drawers – I don’t know how we missed it, because they look so good and so much better. They actually stay organized because of our new approach. (More on this in a second.) We then hung his jackets, coats and casual shirts.
Now he has drawers designated specifically for his t-shirts, pajamas, sweats and even the miscellaneous items (instead it all being a catch all – which admittedly, it had become). Keeping those little miscellaneous items in a drawer versus a tray definitely made things easier to look at.
Above each section of our closet, we have a 10” space for overflow of items. It was destined to become a place to just throw things and forget about them, but these shirt boxes were the perfect fit.
In his other section, we got rid of the IKEA pant rack (that was originally in the other section) which was good in theory and hung all his pants on these velvet hangers. It just makes more sense for the amount of dress pants he has. Above his pants, we hung his dress shirts and the handful of blazers that he has.
For my side, we kept it consistent with the shirt boxes at the top of each section. In the first section, I hung my blouses, casual tops and light sweaters. The next section was dedicated to
my blazers. In my drawers, I organized my pajamas, sweats, loungewear and underwear. To maximize my drawer space, we used drawer dividers and then we did the trifold for everything. The trifold takes just a little more effort but allows you to see everything in your drawers.
Organizing my shoes made me purge shoes I was no longer wearing and made my shoe wall look cleaner. On both shoe walls, we inserted necklace stands and bracelet boxes to display some of my jewelry which was such a nice touch. On the side with my sneakers and boots, I also displayed some of my favorite style coffee table books.
In the far right sections of my side, I hung my long cardigans and jumpsuits. In the center, I overlooked buying an extra hanging rod to hang more purses, but decided to place a couple of my bags in the section temporarily. Above this section, I organized my bags and purses with bookends. In the last section of drawers, I placed my jewelry and sunglasses in stackable acrylic trays like this and this.
Lastly, we hung all my dresses in the largest section of the closet which makes so much sense. I can see every piece I own or at the very least I know where to find it – which is a huge upgrade.
Now, that the closet is finally organized, I can finally work on the finishing touches in here. Looking to get a rug, add some drawer pulls and more.
To say I’m pleased with how everything was organized is an understatement. Before COVID, I never would have seriously considered virtual organization. But absolutely worth it!