I feel like accessories are the personality to your outfit, so I am calling this section of my Anatomy of a Closet series “The Personality”. Accessories are the hardest items to organize because they are all different sizes, colors, shapes, and styles. You want to maintain that organized and clean look we have worked so hard to obtain up to this point.
And again, I know I am repeating myself, but I must start the article with this advice, if you do not use your handbags, jewelry or shoes, pare down the collection to fit your space!
“So Shoe Me”–Storing Your Shoes Properly
I prefer to see all my shoes, so I ditch all the boxes and bags. I am also not a fan of anything on the floor since it breeds clutter and can too easily become a “catch-all” spot. So, if you must, I will show you some solutions for storing your shoes on the floor as well. You can also use a combination of both, keeping the shoes you wear all the time accessible on shelves, then store seasonal or special occasion shoes in the harder to access spaces in boxes.
While I preach “Use the back of your door!” constantly, this is the one exception. Do not use those behind the door shoe racks if it’s in the same closet as your clothing. These back of the door racks position shoes too close to the clothing, as you never know what you might have tracked in on your shoes. They also are never attractive in my opinion, and our goal, after all, is to have an organized space, but a beautiful one too.
OPEN STORAGE IDEAS:
- I chose to add in these shelves so I could stack my shoes on some existing shelves that are already built into my closet, doubling my storage. I am saving the “reveal” photo for my final post… so you will have to wait to see mine in situ.
- I prefer the look of shoes lined next to each other (visually creates a more organized look), but if space is a problem or you have built-in existing shelves that are super deep, you can line your shoes heel to toe so that you see each shoe at the edge of your shelf.
- Use boot trees for tall boots to make sure they stand straight up. It is good for the care of your boots, but even more important, avoids a sloppy look when the sides fold over. They also have hanging boot trees if you have rod space.
BOX STORAGE IDEAS:
These ideas will work for high shelves or floor storage. As I said earlier, floor space is my last resort ALWAYS! It can be valuable, but it also creates clutter. I recommend you keep them protected (and as organized as possible). Here are a few options for storage.
- Use the original shoe box, cover in decorative paper, and add a snapshot on the front so you know what shoe is in the box.
- I like to keep a catchall bin for my flip flops and casual sandals to save on space. You can also use this idea for sneakers.
- Use any of these clear acrylic bins so you can see what is inside of them. They also will stack nicely for whatever height you might have.
“Bejeweled”–Storing Your Jewelry Properly
As a jewelry designer, I feel it is required of me to tell you that the very best way to store your jewelry is each piece in an individual bag, inside an airtight container or jewelry box. When anyone purchases my jewelry pieces, I have custom bags for each piece because that truly is the best way to store them to avoid scratches from other pieces and tarnishing.
Ok, now that I did my due diligence telling you exactly how you should store your jewelry properly, if I do not see my pieces, I will never remember to wear them so I hang them. Yes, yes, I am breaking all my own rules. You should strictly follow the rule for properly storing jewelry for valuable pieces that are 24K gold, heirloom, etc. but otherwise, the nice thing about jewelry is it does not have to be stored together per say. Just store it in the same general area in your closet for ease when you are getting ready
My storage solution was to use some existing jewelry boxes for decorative reasons, and my favorite unused space in the closet, behind the door storage :). As I told you in earlier article, I splurged on the Elfa for my jewelry
I purchased two square boards for jewelry and one rectangular for my belts.
I used this utility Board Boxes for watches and bangles.
I purchased one mess basket to hang my stud earrings on, with large bangles inside.
Now, while I think behind the door for jewelry is one of my more brilliant solutions (why Container store did not do this option in their Elfa marketing, I will never know? ), it may not be the best solution for you. If I had more space, I would love to have those fabulous jewelry drawers galore. I don’t though. Here are a few additional ideas that might work best for your budget or space.
If you have wall space:
- You can hang jewelry on a pant hanger like this one. Hang decorative hardware that extends far enough from the wall so jewelry does not touch to avoid scratches. You can hang necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings from these bars. Short of stud earrings, you can store all jewelry and the bars open for easy access. Get creative! You could hang ribbons from one section and hook your stud earrings into that.
- Hang a bulletin board on the wall or even better, wrap the back of the door with cork. You can do a DIY and cover the cork with fabric. Invest in some sturdy push pins and hang necklaces and bracelets. This gives you a great opportunity to add color and pattern too, which we will go over next week.
If you have shelf space:
- Use T-bar stands to store bracelets and bangles.
- Hang delicate chains in these acrylic boxes to avoid tarnishing and dust.
- Put rings on their own individual padded ring prongs or use these channeled ring trays.
If you have drawer space:
- You can use elegant (yet expensive) velvet-lined trays. Lay them out inside narrow drawer space to open the drawer and see all your pieces. If you need to stack them inside the drawer, label the sides by style or color so you can pull out the stack and know what is in each tray. Organize by categories so you only have to pull out one tray at a time. (These stack very nicely as a shelf option too, conserving space, yet, keeping your jewelry in separate little bins.)
- You can put little bowls or trays into a drawer for a more decorative and unique way to store your jewelry.
- Here is an inexpensive cheat. You can use ice cube trays in your drawers. They stack easily and are the perfect size to house most rings, earrings and necklaces in their own individual sections to protect them. I recommend personalizing them with paint or wrapping them to make them look like something other than ice cube trays, but it certainly will save you money.
Having decorative boxes, trays, and ring holders are also a good solution, but I am going to save that for next week when I discuss decor- as that is a way to decorate your closet and add personality.
- Keep clasps closed to avoid tangles (and lost pendants).
- Wipe each piece after you wear it with a 100% cotton cloth. Never use those cleaning clothes as they have chemicals that can scratch and damage plated pieces.
- You should never, never, NEVER let water touch your jewelry. I like to keep a cute little tray by my bathroom sink. I take off my rings when I wash my hands and this provides a location for me to leave it safely.
“Finishing Touches”–ideas for properly storing your accessories
When it comes to storing your beloved handbags, there are many options. For me, I don’t have a whole lot of handbags, so this was the last thing I planned for. I actually decided I did not want to necessarily keep all the handbags in the same area either. I found small available nooks, spaces on shelves left over in my closet to store them, plus this created a boutique feel that I was going for. I purchased this tray from West Elm to house my clutches and glasses.
I recommend that you take your purses out of their dust bags (delicate and exotic skins are the only exception) so you know exactly what you have. You should also stuff each bag with acid-free paper to maintain the shape. I personally use the paper included in my Sephora shipping boxes (you know there is always way too much paper in those boxes for my small order of foundation in one box).
If you have wall space:
- Use hardware handles installed on the wall to hang from the bags handles
If you have shelf space:
- Use a high shelf that lets you see your entire purse collection but does not hog that precious space at eye level since changing purses does not tend to be a daily process.
- Use shelf dividers or bins. For a cheap solution, buy those metal bookends and use those to divide each piece or you can purchase these great organizing solutions.
If you have space on your closet rod:
- Hang your purses from shower curtain rings or rod hooks.
SCARVES & BELTS
Scarves can be rolled up and grouped by color in a breathable cloth bin or hung on the wall from hardware hooks or command wall hooks, which is what I used since they do not damage the walls. I chose to hang mine in this little nook that was left over between the wall and the drawers I added. I was unable to take the drawers to the wall because I had to center them between the doorway to open properly, which left this very narrow awkward space. This was a great solution for my scarves! Put the scarf in a very loose knot to hang from the hook.
**If you find unusable space, look at all your items and try to think of what would fit there so you can use it. Get creative with ways to hang, place or use that spot.**
Scarves can also go on the rod if you have enough of this precious space. I prefer these round hooks, they look a little bit neater. You can knot or just hang a couple scarves around the ring, grouping by colors to keep it looking organized.
You can hang belts on one of this special hangers, however, I am not a huge fan of these. They can snag on adjacent clothing if they are hanging too close to other clothing. Only use these if you have a dedicated rod away from clothing.
You can also hang them on hooks (like I did with my scarves) on any free wall or purchase a wall hung belt rack.
I, of course, chose to use the back of my door, again, below my jewelry storage I showed you earlier. Elfa has this great narrow bar that fits the same peg hooks that are perfect for belts.
Next week, I will wrap up the series with “The Face”. The face is the decor or the pretty part of the closet. I have plenty of ideas to help you style your closet and decorate it. Remember the closet is a room too! You should decorate it just the same.
Followed by my final week where I will reveal my transformation to hopefully inspire you to do a closet makeover now that you understand “The Anatomy of a Closet”.