Friday, April 18, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Closet hang ups

By
May 23, 2011 | Leave Comment

marni_jameson

There’s always a trigger, experts say. When someone finally checks into rehab or jumps off a bridge or breaks down and organizes his closet, some event sets it off. For me it was moving to a house with smaller closets.

While I considered pitching myself off a bridge, I settled on getting smarter about closet organizing. In my new place, closet space isn’t just smaller overall but the master closet area is divided into three closets: his, hers and I don’t want to go there.

Because I purged when I packed to move, all the clothes I brought to my new digs were staying. Every garment fits, looks good, the zippers work and nothing bears some sorry hope of coming back in style. Fashion designers will never again put shoulder pads the size of bread loaves in clothes to make women look like linebackers in drag. At least they’d better not.

As I set about organizing my new closets, I knew they would have to meet minimum standards: no belt snake pit, no sweater stack that comes with an avalanche warning, no underwear drawers that look like chickens live in them and no hangers so tangled they look like they’ve been in a barroom brawl.

More than that, what I really wanted was a closet so organized that I could pull together an outfit without taking a step. This would take some thought, which always hurts like tight shoes.

I started by sorting. I grouped clothing by color, then by season. I divided clothes into fat days and skinny days, by short and long, by categories (pants and blouses), and by function (work, casual and dressy). This got so complicated I started having thoughts about jumping off that bridge.

I called a professional to talk me down. Lisa Engel, vice president of marketing for ClosetMaid, knew my pain. “Moving is a major closet-makeover trigger,” she said, sympathizing. Other ones are having a baby and getting married.

The recession is also having an impact. “Before, when people got married or had a baby they often got a bigger place,” she said. “Now people are stuck, so they’re making the closet space they have work harder.”

To help my get the most out of my closets Engel shared some inside-the-closet scoop. Here, she said, is what most consumers don’t know:

  • How much space a standard closet wastes. The typical 8-foot-wide wall closet with a pole and a shelf holds 8 feet of hanging clothes and 8 feet of stacked folded clothes on the shelf. That same closet with a system can hold 9 feet of hanging space, 17 feet of shelves for folded items, plus drawers and racks for belts and shoes.
  • Spending more on a closet system does not add function. After a point, additional cost buys strictly looks. For a relatively minimal investment you can have a wire closet system that does everything a pricey cherry wood system does: organize and add useful, differentiated space.
  • It’s best to make your closet fit your clothes, not vice versa. DIYers often install systems without first measuring their stuff, then try to make their stuff fit. Instead, first size up your contents. (And, yes, pare them down. We’ve been over that.) Measure how many feet of long-hanging items you have. Start your plan there, then add upper and lower hanging racks for short hanging items. Next add a shelf tower, bins and racks for ties, scarves and belts.
  • The difference good hangers make. The best hangers curve like shoulders to keep garments in their ideal shape, but contoured hangers can hog space. Next best are flat, thick (1/2-inch) wood or plastic hangers, which take less room. In a perfect closet, all hangers would match. At the very least, wire hangers need to go. Give them back to the cleaners.
  • The best way to organize clothes is by season. The primary rule of closet organizing is put what you wear most within easy reach, said Engel. And that changes with the season. For now archive items you won’t wear until the weather cools. Consider under-the-bed storage boxes. After that, how you arrange your clothes is personal. Men like to organize by color, she said, women by sleeve length and category.
  • Don’t hang what you should fold. Also don’t hide what you should see. Fold and stack t-shirts, sweaters and exercise wear, and don’t keep shoes or jewelry in boxes, which waste space, and make you forget what you have hidden.
  • It doesn’t have to be permanent. Homeowners often panic about what happens when their storage needs change. Buy systems you can adjust. This way you won’t worry if you make a planning mistake. Plus, you can take flexible systems with you when you move, which you may not have to do if you get the closets right.

Syndicated columnist and speaker Marni Jameson is the author of “House of Havoc” and “The House Always Wins” (Da Capo Press). Contact her through marnijameson.com.

 

 

 

 

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

.

News

Goodbye LUPPU, hello LRPU

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1, 2 Comments

 
Past due state taxes bring arrest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1, 6 Comments

 
Sanford trial: Prosecution, defense rest

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Woman, dog back from Oso

By Wendy Schultz | From Page: A1, 7 Comments | Gallery

 
 
 
DA candidate to remain on ballot

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A9

Dog talk with Uncle Matty: Benji and the Bickersons

By Matthew Margolis | From Page: A10

 
CPCSD seat unfilled

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

Lew Uhler backs Ranalli

By News Release | From Page: A14, 2 Comments

 
.

Letters

District 4 candidate

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 8 Comments

 
Open meetings

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 5 Comments

Volunteers and homeless camps

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 14 Comments

 
Bicycle events and traffic control

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 4 Comments

Evacuation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A7, 3 Comments

 
.

Sports

Savannah Stephens can swing the bat

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
King of the West roars into Placerville

By Gary Thomas | From Page: A11

First and goal: Bunt etiquette

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

 
Oak Ridge suffers tough 2-1 setback

By Mike Bush | From Page: A11

Jennings wins national title

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Roundup: April 17, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A12 | Gallery

.

Prospecting

Plantastic sale this Saturday

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Spring art brightens government center

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: April 18, 2014

By Democrat Calendar | From Page: B2

 
Time out: A grand time at Grand China

By Earle Camembert | From Page: B3 | Gallery

Temple Kol Shalom hosts Passover Seder

By News Release | From Page: B3

 
Student art featured for Third Saturday

By News Release | From Page: B3

Promenade in high style

By Historic Old Sacramento | From Page: B4

 
Sac State Presents ‘Gypsy’

By California State Unversity, Sacramento | From Page: B4

Friday nights are engaging at the de Young

By Fine Arts | From Page: B5

 
Hats On For the Kids raises money for children

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B6

See what is inside the vault

By Center For Sacramento History | From Page: B6

 
Eggstravaganza

By Fairytale Town | From Page: B6

Gallery tips a hat to Dr. Seuss

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B7

 
Museum presents ‘Diesel Days’

By California State Railroad Museum | From Page: B7

Engagement: Adam Frega and Wednesday Bienusa

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Air Force Airman Brian Polk

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

Cal Stage presents a season of challenging productions

By California Stage | From Page: B8

 
Duty: Army Pfc. Kyle W. Beasy

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B8

KVIE calls for artists

By Kvie | From Page: B9

 
A Couple of Blaguards tell tales

By Harris Center for the Arts | From Page: B9

America’s ClayFest II celebrates a rich history

By Blue Line Arts | From Page: B14

 
Fine Arts Museums feature two shows

By Fine Arts | From Page: B15

See wildflowers on train ride

By Railtown | From Page: B15

 
Easter at Northstar is family friendly

By Northstar California | From Page: B15

.

Essentials

Crime Log: March 28-30

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
.

Obituaries

Arthur W. Cornell

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frank “Bud” Kraus Jr.

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Roy Cluness Chaix

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Frederick Wilbur Heymann

By Contributor | From Page: A2

.

Real Estate

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

 
Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

 
Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

 
EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Working It Out

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A13

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A13

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
Horoscope, Saturday, April 19, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A14

Horoscope, Friday, April 18, 2104

By Contributor | From Page: A14

 
.

Home Source

Faster sales with spring staging

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Coldwell Banker outsells the competition

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Handsome Redmond suits modern families

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Growing your own

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS14

Fraud workshop scheduled

Press Release | From Page: HS21

HCD launches assistance program

Press Release | From Page: HS22, 1 Comment

EZ Mortgages Inc. opens Placerville office

By News Release | From Page: HS22, 2 Comments