The key to creating on-point outfits every day goes beyond snagging that coveted bag and nailing Instagram style hacks. An organized closet is major key for maximizing the potential of your existing pieces (remember that great slip dress you forgot you had?) and spending less time rummaging through drawers just to find them. For city-dwellers and renters, this can be a intimidating task: if you’re lucky enough to even have storage space at all, chances are there isn’t much room for more than a few jackets and a dress or two. So we’ve enlisted the expertise of Kortney Wilson, interior designer and co-host of W Network’s Masters of Flip for her best tips on optimizing the closet you have, what to do if you don’t have one, and how to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh no matter what.
Fold everything. Wilson says this is the easiest way to keep things tidy in a small space. “Fill your closet with floor-to-ceiling shelving to optimize your space. Any items that don’t fold well can be stored in tidy-looking baskets.”
Create a colour scheme. Coordinate your hangers, baskets and other organization devices to give your closet a more cohesive look.
Add décor elements. Prop small, framed art behind or between folded piles of clothing to make your closet feel more chic. (Wilson loves framing pretty quotes from her favourite books).
Don’t overlook the door. Updating hardware, adding mirrors or removing the door entirely are easy hacks that can alter the entire look of your closet. (Organization tip: Kortney says the best way to keep a closet tidy is by adding a glass door so you can’t ignore the mess!)
Do it yourself. Don’t have a closet? Build your own Pinterest-inspired rolling rack from PVC pipe and a coat of spray paint in your favourite colour (Wilson really likes gold). For extra storage, add a small shelf along the bottom for shoes or baskets. Wilson says, “This is a great project for renters because anything you make can be brought with you to your next place.”
Get over the hanger debate. Truthfully, the best type of hangers to use depends on how much space you have, Wilson says, so ignore anyone who tells you wood is the only way to go. “When I had a smaller closet, I used velvet hangers because they are skinnier and allow you to pack in twice the amount of clothing.”
Add colour. When giving your place a fresh coat of paint, don’t overlook your closet walls. Bright and bold shades can completely change the look. Wilson advises, “Keep shelving a clean and crisp shade of white, but go for a fun colour on the wall—jewel tones are my favourite.”
Storage doesn’t have to be boring. Interesting vintage finds like hat boxes, luggage and steam trunks are perfect for tucking away items that don’t fold or hang well.
Accessories double as décor. Use the back of your door or hang smaller hooks to display your jewellery, scarves and hats. “I personally want to see everything,” says Wilson. “It helps inspire me when I choose what I want to wear in the morning.”
One thing in, one thing out. “Every time I buy something new, I go into my closet and take out something I haven’t worn in a long time and put in a box to donate,” says Wilson. It’s her golden rule for keeping her closet stocked, but manageable.
Rotate your clothing. We all have those pieces that stay buried in the back of our closet. Wilson’s solution? “Every time I do laundry, I place my clean clothes at the bottom of the drawer so I reach for something I haven’t worn recently.” So simple, so genius.
No closet is complete without a mini electric steamer,” Wilson says. Scroll through the gallery below for our top tools picks, plus other great storage and closet decor items you’re going to want to snap up ASAP!