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Jesmine Onyeukwu: Bring Your Closet to Life with these Closet Fixes



Jesmine OnyeukwuAs a young girl, I actually fantasized more about a dream closet than I did about a dream wedding. My closet fantasies have stayed with me for as long as I can remember. Can anyone else relate? I reckon that a lot of us have closet dreams and we have, one time or the other, admired beautiful and well organized closets. Instagram will definitely bear me witness with those closet-goals post and hashtags that get thousands of likes and shares.

Now, who says you can’t achieve the closet of our dreams without breaking your pocket or losing a limb? Who dares say dream closets are only for celebrities and wealthy individuals? If you have ever admired or desired a classic closet, you should be on your way to achieving one because you are definitely deserving of one. People often question the need to get organized and/or maintain an organized way of living and here’s what I always say in response “if you are going to do life at all, please, by all means and within your means, do it well”. Getting organized is not expensive, disorganization is costing you more than you’ll ever know.

Here’s why I know you are deserving of your dream closet and by dream closet, I mean an efficient and appealing storage and display of your collection of wears. An organised and beautiful closet is one of the best ways to start your day. It takes out the chaos and confusion that comes with figuring out what to wear on a daily by making it easier to see what’s available, and helping you easily reach it. That can be super-soothing! If you still have doubts, I encourage you to give it a shot. But first, let’s address the issue of perception. It may continue to seem far-fetched, if we keep viewing beautiful closets as just stuff for magazine covers and ostentatious display.

Yes, there are lavish closets that are filled with luxury but organized closets don’t necessarily have to be lavish even though they could end up looking the part. I quite agree that some of those closets are larger than some homes but what I do with them is to draw sufficient inspiration from some of the design and style elements. The main goal of a dream closet is to create a highly functional and visually stimulating closet experience.

When it comes to closet organization, here are ‘The 5 Ss’ very important aspects to put into consideration, whether you are creating your personal dream closet or providing the service to someone else.
1. Strategy
2. Structure
3. Systems
4. Style

Strategy Fixes
These fixes deal with the primary stage of creating an organized closet which is the planning or idea stage. This is where you carry out a needs assessment, by first deciding who the closet will serve, the cost of the closet, how much it will hold, how much the budget and of course how functional the closet space will be to the owner. It is advisable to visualize your closet at this stage; so translate those ideas in your head into a picture for clarity. Closet needs are very person-specific, hence the importance of proper planning. For example, a shared closet will have to cater to the needs of two different individuals; so they both have to get involved in the strategizing stage. Closet designs come in different sizes, types; (a) walk-ins. (b) reach-ins. (c) wardrobes/armoires and shapes (a) U-shaped. (b) L-shaped. (c) linear closets.

Fix 1. Create a budget while considering your economic and design challenges.
Fix 2. Decide the closet type and shape that suits the size of the space.
Fix 3. Draw a visual image like a 3D image of your idea.
Fix 4. Decide on sorting, storing and elimination of closet items.
Fix 5. Determine your closet organization needs. Remember, less is more.

Structure Fixes
Structure fixes help you answer the design and layout questions that are very important to achieving a dream closet. Now, you have a raw space, let’s get to the most important aspect of the work. Choose your closet design products wisely and proceed to install your closet materials while paying close attention to all the nitty-gritties. Remember that your wall colour is a valuable canvas, so choose colours and wall covering appropriately. Choose lighting wisely too because bad lighting can be depressing.

Fix 6. Go for quality wooden materials or material that have durability.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, just make sure the quality is good. Try linen textured materials. They look high-end but are quite affordable. You can even DIY with some plain wood.
Fix 7. Use every square inch of space, especially if you are space constrained.
Fix 8. Build easily accessible and customizable drawers and shelving.
Fix 9. Ensure proper lighting and proceed to add some glam with chandeliers.
Fix 10. Install a full length mirror and enjoy the illusion.

System Fixes
These fixes deal with arrangement, storage and maintenance issues. The principles to apply with these fixes are clarity, categorizing, orderliness and streamlining. With clarity, sort and purge. By now, you should be sure of what you are keeping. With categorizing, make sure to place/store like items together. With orderliness, it is important to keep all your closet items in good form.

Streamlined closets make dressing up easy and quick because of the ease of reach and usage advantage. Store less-used items up top and frequently used ones very much within reach. If you feel you are sort of stuck with a small closet, these fixes will help you squeeze in a little extra storage. The most common closet organizing system are hangers but we don’t always pay attention to details with them.

Hang like a pro by choosing hangers for specific clothing types: padded hangers for delicate clothes, velvet coated hangers for silky fabrics, hangers with notches for clothes with tiny straps. While we are at dreaming of plenty storage room, lets make the most with what we have.

Fix 11. Get appropriate hangers for your closet and fabric types.
Fix 12. Your closet needs hampers for collecting odds and ends.
Fix 13. Apply proper coding/labelling for ultimate closet organization. Colour code your clothes!
Fix 14. Explore storage hacks like hooks, shelf drawer/dividers, adjustable hanging closet rods, peg boards etc.
Fix 15. Work those walls with up-to-the-ceiling cabinets. Keep a collapsible step ladder for the height.

Style Fixes
This fix is the crown of all the other fixes because here is where you get to make sure that the closet maximizes its potential. Your closet should be a reflection of your personal style so you must factor in your personality traits, body type, style preferences, work/business style, lifestyle choices and fashion influences while designing your closet heaven. For instance, if your work/business style involves a lot of travelling, you’ll need an on-the-go friendly closet.

I once had someone who sent in an enquiry to my company for closet styling. She had a lovely walk-in closet and had pretty much sorted the structure, systems and strategy fixes, she just wanted a style fix. I eventually had to refer her to a stylist/personal shopper. If your closet, no matter how well structured it appears, doesn’t meet your style needs, you’ll be missing out on the maximum benefits of an organized closet and will be needing some rescuing in no time.

Here’s a trick with style fixes, it’s not about a costly closet overhaul. Sometimes, in fact most times, a style fix can help you create an entirely new closet without spending a dime. So don’t hit the stores just yet, what you need may be this fix that’ll help you outfit your existing closet to create a whole new mix with your garments and accessories. And voila! It looks like someone got several new sets of outfits in no time at all. With the style fixes, good professional help like a closet stylist, personal shopper/stylist should pay off.

Fix 16. Shop purposefully! Buy what serves you considering the factors mentioned above.
Fix 17. Streamline your closet to ready-to-wear by doing seasonal switch-outs.
Fix 18. Make the closet cozy by adding some other personal style elements like wall art.
Fix 19. Create a PERSONAL LOOK BOOK for those “I’m not sure what to wear’ moments.
Fix 20. Take regular inventory. It’s a good way to ensure closet maintenance.

The essence of getting an organized closet which is just an integral part of general organization is so you can truly enjoy the life you have and make the most of your days. A disorganized closet can become the bane of your existence but imagine your life with no clutter, no chaos, no confusion and less stress. Imagine it and make it yours.

Your Organizing/Productivity buddy,

Jesmine Chinwe Onyeukwu is an Organising/Productivity Expert, Coach, Speaker, Writer and the CEO of JessylsCharm, Nigeria’s first and leading Organising/Productivity Company. JessylsCharm helps clients beautify their lives, reclaim their effectiveness and boost their productivity with her space, paper and time management solutions.