Organizing from Ground Zero
Are you organizing from ground zero? Not everyone can duplicate the ornate folding charades that I see posted so often on Instagram. Some people start at ground zero; no structure whatsoever to hold the clothing needed for everyday life. This client literally could not stand any difficulty in retrieving his clothing so he resorted to just dumping it on the floor. Hanging clothes was way beyond what he wanted to spend his time doing. Drawers were too much trouble to manage. Either the drawers are too shallow or the drawers don’t slide well. Drawers can sometimes just add another level of obscurity to seeing what is wanted to wear.
A Professional Offers a Custom System
But because there are no dividers on the floor it meant he never really knew what he was going to pull from the pile to wear that day either. One of the key factors in hiring a professional is that s/he can invent systems that fit the particular needs of the situation. here there was only this recessed area in the room-the closet- to store daily clothing; no other dresser in the room. So this area had to serve all the functions this client needed in a wardrobe retrieval system.
It also had to be supremely simple so that he would put the clothing back in its home after laundry is done so that the system actually works. If it had been a set of drawers you can bet he would resort to piling them on top not wanting to do the extra step of pulling open the drawer and pawing about to put a piece of clothing in its right spot. A professional organizer has to both suit the space AND the client’s abilities and preferences. If a person happens to be an artist who cares little about mixing and matching separates nor wrinkles then I have to select a system that accommodates these things. In the photos above you can see how I solved his problem.
Sorting the Clothing
Before you can choose your storage equipment or containers you have to know exactly what and how much you are storing. If this client had had ties and suits as his main daily wear he would need a lot of prime real estate hanging space. If the client was female she would probably also need more hanging space for dresses that are made of fabric that wrinkles. If she had only dresses that were made of non-wrinkling fabric she may have also benefitted from the system I chose.
Once the present clothing was organized into separate categories I figured which ones could or should be combined in order to work with the number of laundry baskets that optimized the space. I chose to combine socks and boxers and combine pants with sweatpants because for this client he wore them interchangeably. Dress shirts were worn so infrequently we hung the three he had at the end of the closet beyond where the baskets hung.
The Loose Clothing Retrieval System
I measured the closet size then went shopping for laundry baskets. Target, Kohl’s and Walmart all had versions. Some baskets were too heavy being more unwieldy to manage. Some were square shaped instead of rectangle shaped so did not optimize the actual space we had to deal with. I finally decided on those you see pictured which were as light as possible but sturdy to hold their shape under some pressure of the clothing to be contained. They were also the right measurement to optimize the given space and reasonably priced.
I could have purchased a shelving structure to place these baskets on and I could have used bins instead of laundry baskets but the baskets provided holes where I could suspend them from the existing shelf structure and therefor reduced the amount of space taken up by the actual storage equipment itself leaving a more open feel to the space. The bottom two I propped up with two boxes of similar size so there wasn’t so much weight on the shelving unit. This is the closest system I can think of where you can actually see everything thing literally in one glance without having to make any additional motions of pulling out a bin from shelving or a drawer from a bureau. The epitome of efficiency.
The Test of Time
The organizing industry does a lot of selling different organizing tools but the real proof of value of a system is time. Does the client use it as intended and do they like it. Weeks after installing it the client actually sorted laundered clothing back into its respective basket which are labeled for him to remind him what goes where. To add to the extra space that exists because there is no shelving structure this system also makes moving a lot easier because there is no shelf to move.