Closet Makeover

Three Steps to Nailing the Curated Closet

No matter how much fabulous clothing, shoes and accessories your closet holds, chances are it’s far from fabulous itself. Luckily, you can take it from a cluttered mess to something equal parts functional and beautiful in a single afternoon. The perfectly curated closet starts here.


First things first – the keep it/toss it game. De-cluttering begins by off-loading all the stuff you’ve been hoarding all these years for no real reason. Follow these easy rules to make the keep it/toss it decision a breeze.

De-Clutter Your Closet
  1. If you can’t remember the last time you wore it and you can’t immediately picture wearing it again, toss it.
  2. If it’s two sizes too big, toss it – unless you really love it and plan to have it altered.
  3. If it’s too small, toss it – unless you’re keeping it as motivation.
  4. If it’s a basic, keep it. But be reasonable – you don’t need five white form-fitting tees.
  5. If it has sentimental value but you’ll never wear it, box it up. You want your closet filled with clothing you’ll actually wear.
  6. If it’s ripped or stained, toss it.

Once you’ve made your keep it/toss it piles, assess what’s left and make a plan to donate what you can. Ideally, everything you’ve kept is something you really love.


An attractive closet is pleasing to the eye because of its inherent tidiness. Sort your clothing by garment and then by color, grouping off tops, bottoms, outerwear, etc. Clothing that lends itself to neat stacks, such as sweaters, jeans and tee shirts, will be more accessible on open-air shelving than hidden in a drawer.

Note: Keep your stacks no higher than ten inches so they don’t teeter out of control. Put the biggest, bulkiest items on the bottom. And when folding tops, hold the garment by the shoulders and fold the arms in first. Then tuck the bottom up once to avoid creases down the middle.

Organizing Your Closet

If you’re using bins for accessories, use labels on baskets or upholstered containers. Clear bins are another option. A few more tips for accessories:

  • Stack big bags side by side and smaller, slimmer clutches one on top of the other. Stuffing bags with acid-free paper will help them keep their shape.
  • Organize scarves and belts on separate hooks.
  • Boots can be lined up on the floor during the season (invest in boot trees to keep them from toppling over) and tucked under the bed in containers when it’s warm.
  • Toss flip flops, sneakers and casual canvas shoes in a catch-all, but nicer flats and heels should be stored more carefully in labeled boxes that stack on the floor.

For clothes you can hang, keep the top few buttons fastened so garments don’t slip off. To save on space and time, consider hanging pieces that work together (a cute camisole with a button-up or slim tee with a sweater, for example), complete with appropriate accessories like a scarf or necklace. If you prefer to keep things separate, spring for a stylish hook in a well-lit corner. Called a “valet bar” or “edit bar,” it saves time when you’re planning an outfit – and it’s so stylish!

Note: Using the same kinds of hangers – padded to keep shoulders of jackets and delicate knits in good condition, and huggable hangers to prevent slippage – keeps your stuff hanging at the same level for a tidy look.


Beautifying Your Closet

image via My Domaine

Inject a little personality in your closet – banish the plain walls and go with a vibrant paint color or fun wallpaper. The contrast between the walls and your clothing will instantly change the look. Good lighting is also a must. Change out your current light fixture for something that will brighten the room (and look good doing it), or try stick-on LED lights if you don’t have existing wiring. Incorporating elements like a beautiful mirror, a corkboard (it’s a great place to hang accessories and all kinds of outfit inspiration, and you can wrap it in fabric for a pop of color), fun new hardware and clever storage options like trunks, upholstered bins or baskets will add to the overall affect. Dress up boring shelving with adhesive lining paper – they’re available in charming patterns and colors. And for a dramatic overhaul, change out the flooring. A beautiful laminate floor is quick to install and will be quite affordable in such a small space. And bonus – it’ll be easier to clean.