Operation Closet: Robin

Robin

When one of my best friends, Robin, approached me for closet organizing help, it was like she was asking me to give her advice on a topic that I could talk about all. day. long. Saying yes was an absolute no-brainer and when she said she’d bring along chocolate chip cookies from Joan’s On Third, it was like she was inviting me to join in on my idea of the perfect afternoon. Chocolate chip cookies + organizing is the key to my heart, in case you were curious.

The main issues I found in Robin’s closet were: hanger type (dry cleaner hangers interspersed with many different colors of slimline hangers), placement (blouses were placed next to dresses, which were sandwiched between denim), and functionality (things were not positioned in the optimal location based on the architecture of her closet). With the issues identified, we could then move onto the fun part – fixing and organizing! But first, check out the ‘before’ photographs below.

Before:

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The hanger type issue was addressed by getting rid of every single dry cleaner’s hanger and having Robin swear to me that she’d never put an item back in her closet on such a hanger again. Dramatic, but effective. We also worked to put different types of items on differently colored hangers, so while maxi dresses and jeans hung on hot pink hangers, the rest of her clothing hung on beige or mint green ones. Ideally, she would have the same color hanger throughout – I think the mint green looks great in her space! – but until that time, the sorting by type works well. With this simple change in place, her closet already began to look tidier and easier to navigate.

Next came the placement and functionality issues, which were addressed simultaneously. Of course, my main goal was to ensure that like items were placed together, but I also wanted to place like items in a location that best optimized the space. For instance, her hanging shoe storage system was formerly placed in the back of a rack, which created an awkward gap between her dresses. By moving this shoe storage system to the front of the closet, we created a seamless transition from blouses to maxi dresses to regular dresses, and the back of the closet where the shoes formerly were could now be used to adequately hang long, flowing maxi dresses. Since her maxi dress collection is next level, properly storing them was a top priority!

Following this same train of thought, heavy jackets and blazers were placed in the back of the closet, while lighter sweaters were placed in a more accessible location. Finally, skirts and jeans were hung on the top shelf so she could easily reach for them as she needed. I think it goes without saying, but each section was organized to perfection by ensuring that each item was facing the same direction on the hanger and was arranged in ascending color-order within its respective clothing group. Beginning with pinks, I moved into creams, and ended with blacks for each category.

After:

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While I finished most of my cookie well before we finished organizing, tidying up Robin’s closet was so fun and I loved raiding her wardrobe and finding items that I want to borrow. If you ever need a maxi dress, she’s your girl!

DIY: A Full Bouquet

Bouquet

With Spring in the air, I’ve been loving all of the flowers that are blooming in my backyard, and on the streets around me. Since not ever flower in my backyard has bloomed yet, I purchased some beautiful pink roses and made a nice bouquet for my night table. Here’s how I did it!

Step 1: Pick your favorite flowers and vase. I personally love roses and glass vases, but that’s just me.

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Step 2: Prep the flowers by cutting them at an angle under running water. You want to cut about the same amount off each stem to ensure that they’re the same height. Bonus points if your nail polish matches the flowers!

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Step 3: Add water to the vase. You don’t want to fill it up to the very brim, but rather just under ¾ of the way.

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Step 4: Add flowers to the outer corners of the vase.

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Step 5: Fill in the center of the vase with the rest of the flowers.

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Step 6: Display and enjoy!

Operation Closet: Octavia

Octavia

I remember working with Octavia at Mindy Weiss Party Consultants, admiring her effortlessly chic outfits every morning. She had me at “hello,” and I knew her closet would be the closet of my dreams. Now let me tell you, it definitely did not disappoint in contents, but its organization needed some serious help. Though if it didn’t, you wouldn’t be here reading about it, so let’s thank our lucky stars Octavia let it get a little out of hand.

One of Octavia’s biggest challenges was deciding where things would be placed. She has a fairly large closet, but couldn’t seem to work with the space and resorted to keeping her sweaters on the bench in the bedroom, her shoes in the hall built-ins, and other items scattered on her chairs and bed. Due to this, she had a lot of unused space in her closet that was only occupied by naked hangers — clearly not a good use of her walk-in closet! As many of my clients do, Octavia also had mismatched hangers facing all different directions, which created a distracting, messy vibe. While she did have her clothes separated by type for the most part, sleeveless blouses were intermingled with flannels, and skirts were hung between pants, and absolutely nothing was color-coded. In other words, imagine a sheer mess. Actually, you don’t even have to imagine it because I’ve got it all for you to see below.

Before:

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The first step was a blissful trip to Bed Bath and Beyond where we purchased canvas shelves for sweaters, an inordinate amount of black huggable hangers, and an expandable shoe rack. By purchasing all of these items, we were able to relocate her sweaters from the hall built-ins and her bench, her shoes from those same built-ins, and lots of clothes that were without a home. Now, her clothes and shoes were all in one place: her walk-in closet. After talking to Octavia about her day-to-day getting ready routine, we determined the best layout for her closet. By moving jackets toward the back end of her closet that was formerly empty, we were able to make room for hanging pants and the canvas sweater shelves all on the upper rack that was once used for her jackets.

Another big step was transferring all of her items onto the hangers we purchased and hanging them with other like items. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I organized her clothes first by type and then by color. Take dresses for instance, they were arranged with sleeveless first, then sleeved, and each respective category was placed in ascending color order. Tres bonne, non?

The folded section of her closet needed just as much attention as the hanging section. I folded all of her jeans neatly and placed them with like washes. The same went for her shirts, shorts, and sweaters. Since I was able to move some items around, as well as create more space by folding neatly, we were left with three full shelves with absolutely nothing on them. This meant – can I get a drum roll? – we were able to place the shoes that didn’t fit on the shoe rack!

When I saw Octavia’s look of complete awe and amazement when she walked into her closet, I knew my job was done! Now all we have to do is keep our fingers crossed that Octavia’s feet grow two sizes overnight and all of her gorgeous shoes are up for grabs (just wait until you see them below!).

After:

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Want your closet to look even half as amazing as Octavia’s? Find out how to contact me here.

Operation Coats

Coats

I’m assuming that we all can agree on this: coats don’t go in the same closet as the rest of your clothes; they belong in a hall closet or another small closet. Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, I wanted to share my organization strategies for my coats, since there are a few note-worthy twists.

Typically, I organize all of my clothes in color-order, beginning with red and fading to black. My coats are organized a little differently, so allow me to explain. Since my black coats are my heaviest ones and I only reach for them about once every two years when I travel somewhere freeeeezing, I decided to place them in the back of my closet where they’re less accessible. After black, comes gray, then navy, then green, and so on and so forth.

In addition to the color reversal, I also hang my coats on hangers slightly thicker than my traditional huggable ones. Shocking, I know. But because my coats are located in a separate closet, I can stray from the huggable hangers if I want and I actually find that thicker, plastic hangers work better for heavy coats. With that said, if my coats were in the same closet as the rest of my wardrobe, I would ensure that they were hung on none other than huggable hangers.

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I wanted to share these organizational twists to showcase how it is totally acceptable to modify and change the rules to fit your own lifestyle. It’s not realistic to think that everyone’s closet or home will be organized in the exact same way, and thus it’s important to realize that a few twists and judgment calls here and there are to be expected.

Operation Closet: Roxana

Roxana

Being a social girl myself, I was thrilled when I got the chance to work with Roxana Saidi of Rx Social. Not only is Roxana a social media extraordinaire, but she also is one of the most stylish girls in West Hollywood. Let’s just say when I saw her collection of handbags, I was sold on helping her organize her closet!

Since Roxana has a stunning collection of designer clothing, shoes, and handbags (just wait until you see her crocodile Celine bag!), it felt utterly wrong that things were randomly placed, facing different directions, and hanging on mismatched hangers. When I noticed her Givenchy flats placed next to her Balenciaga booties, and her scarves intermingled with her handbags, I knew organizing by type was going to be a main priority. Well, that in addition to swapping out some hangers and color-coding everything to absolute perfection!

Before:

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First things first, I decided on a structure. Since her closet has some hard to reach areas, I opted to stow summery dresses in the right corner since she won’t be reaching for those for several months. On the other hand, I kept items like jeans, blouses, and sweaters front and center where she could easily grab them.

Another important element for me was ensuring that every piece was facing the same direction. This involved removing many items from their hangers and re-directing them; time-consuming but undoubtedly worth it in the end.

Finally, as always, I divided all of her clothes by type and subsequently by color. This will definitely make Roxana’s getting ready routine quicker, as she’ll know exactly where to find the specific piece she’s looking for. And once her glorious shoes and handbags were all neatly placed and arranged, I knew the closet was done!

After:

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Petal-Infused Bath Salts

Bath Salts

When it comes to presents, I try to employ my creative sense as much as possible. Unless I can think of one particular item that my recipient needs or really wants, I generally go the DIY route because I find it far more personal.

Last weekend, I decided it was as good a weekend as any to put my bath-salts-making skills to the test.

I ended up making two batches, rose and grapefruit, but only photographed the steps for making rose-infused bath salts.

Here’s how I did it:

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Step 1. Put the bath salts in a large bowl. I measured how much salt I would need in the bowl by putting it in the jars first.

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Step 2. Add droplets of the essential oil. I just eyeballed this step and stopped adding in droplets once the smell became very prominent.

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Step 3. Add flower petals to enhance the scent and to make it nice and colorful. I used pink flowers for the rose-infused version, and white ones for the grapefruit-infused batch.

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Step 4. Put the mixture in a cute little jar and top it off with a whole petal.

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Step 5. Tie your jars with an over-sized, slightly messy bow.

Step 6. Gift your cute little jars filled with relaxing bath salts.

Operation Closet: Cara and Jesse

Cara

What an honor it was to organize Cara Santana and Jesse Metcalfe’s closet! While they definitely had a system in place, it was a system that needed some refining, and that’s where I came in! Their shoe racks that didn’t quite fit the built-ins had to go, as did the mish mosh of hangers that cluttered up their racks. Though their closet was a bit on the messier side, I knew that it had beautiful bones that could shine with a little bit of my help. Ok, ok, a lot of my help!

Before:

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Before commencing the real organizational work, I first changed out the shoe racks and hangers. We opted for—my favorite—huggable hangers because they’re sleek, streamlined, and their stone color added light to the space. We also chose iron shoe racks that fit perfectly with their built-ins and with three tiers to hold 12 pairs of shoes, were an absolute necessity.

For Cara, it was all about aesthetic beauty with an emphasis on functionality and visibility. When it came down to it, she wanted to be able to feel like a princess in her closet, but she also wanted to very easily find specific pieces.

We accomplished these goals by purchasing all new hangers and shoe racks that complimented the space, and by by grouping like clothes together. Think: Short-sleeved blouses with other short-sleeved blouses, followed by long-sleeved blouses, etc. Once everything was organized by type, I then made divisions by color, starting with red and fading to black. I also made the closet make sense as a couples’ closet; though their clothes were of course separated, where Cara’s pants were placed, so Jesse’s pants followed.

After:

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I am so pleased and honored that I was able to help Cara and Jesse get organized! Their clothes look just as beautiful together as they do as a couple!