My client, Stephanie, lives in a small house built in the 1920s. Believe it or not, the closet she shares with her husband, Ken, in their master bedroom/bathroom is the only one in the house! Not only do they keep all their clothes and shoes there, but they also store extra linens and other items they don’t need on a regular basis. I knew organizing Stephanie’s closet was going to be a unique job, but an unusual discovery led to more work than we anticipated.
Stephanie’s closet woes start when she opens the bedroom door – most of her shoes are in this hanging bag, not the most convenient location. Her t-shirts, workout clothes, socks, scarves, and lingerie are in the corner cabinet.
The closet is actually pretty big – Stephanie painted it and installed the shelving herself.
Stephanie’s clothes are hanging from the top rod, and Ken’s clothes are on the bottom rod.
There are shelves and sliding drawers on the right for jeans and Ken’s casual clothes, socks, and underwear. The sliding drawers fit perfectly in that space!
We took everything out of the closet, piling the clothes on the bed, the shoes on the floor, and putting everything else in the bathroom.
I love an empty closet! (Ken didn’t take the stuff out of his drawers.)
I helped Stephanie go through all of her clothes, shoes, and purses using the KonMari method – she held each item and decided whether or not it brought her joy. Like many women, it was hard for her to let some things go. Decluttering can be an emotional experience. We all have things we don’t love or need, and it’s easy to talk ourselves into keeping something because it was a gift or we spent money on it or we might need it someday. Keep enough of those things, and soon our belongings become a burden instead of a blessing.
We went through the clothes (Ken sorted his, too) in one afternoon. I started hanging the clothes back in the closet to get them off the bed, planning to organize them the following day, when Stephanie noticed the shelves were pulling away from the wall. She and Ken removed the shelves from the wall and realized there were no support beams – it was mostly just dry wall. We postponed the follow up session while Ken took down the wall, rebuilt it, and rehung the shelves. They didn’t have time to paint it, so they just put up a sheet to protect the clothes.
When I went back to their house, Stephanie finished going through all of her clothes, shoes, and purses, and I organized everything, hoping to fit most of her wardrobe in the closet. She still has some things in the drawers in her bedroom, but most of her clothes and all of her shoes are in the closet – no more shoe bag behind the door!
I usually recommend that my clients keep only wardrobe-related items in their bedroom closets, but since this is Stephanie and Ken’s only closet, we put extra linens and keepsakes on the top shelves. Stephanie filled 9 bags for resale and donation. Now the things she and her husband no longer love or need will be a blessing for someone else.
This project turned out to be more labor-intensive than expected, but it’s a good thing we did it, because those shelves are now securely in place, and Stephanie and Ken won’t have to worry about a collapsing wall!
Here’s what Stephanie said about her experience:
Using Kelly’s technique will certainly save me money, time and energy in the future. Now I have a selection of clothes and accessories in my closet that really suit me, my style and my size. I was able to let go of things I never wore, and now I can learn from that lesson. Moving forward I hope to have confidence in my purchases instead of buying something just because it is on sale. No more burden of what to wear or how to wear it. I can now enjoy selecting from my own personalized boutique made especially for me in the privacy of my new, updated, organized closet.
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