Colin and Justin: Ready to purge your closet? Make the best of it with this handy guide | Homes | Lifestyles Leave a comment

Today’s dispatch is all about storage, but before we get into the nuts and bolts of the matter, absorb this fact: most of us use around 20 per cent of our clothes 80 per cent of the time.

It doesn’t take a statistician to observe that the remaining four-fifths lie dormant, consuming valuable real estate. Heaven help us: whether we like it or not, we’re all hoarders.

So go on: purge. Sift everything you own and delete anything you don’t need, either via online auction (or consignment) sites or by sending to charity stores. Clutter diminished, you’ll have a brighter and more glorious path upon which to walk.

If you’re bothered by an ominous lack of storage, perhaps built-ins could be the answer. Or, real estate permitting, maybe an entire room could be converted into a walk-in wardrobe?

Dreamy, huh? If your requirements are smaller, that which you already have — with a light reshuffle — could suffice, if, that is, you adhere to our counsel.

First things first: built-ins. If you’re a capable DIYer, you could probably assemble a simple wall to wall configuration using PAX closets from Ikea, but if you’d like to showcase custom esthetics, elevate everything on MDF frames, trim with baseboard and add decorative crown to suggest that a time-served cabinet maker has graced the scene.

On a grander scale, today’s dressing room is the last word in indulgence. For our client, a former model, we created luxurious sartorial stabling, into which was secreted a host of psychedelic frocks and all manner of patterned ’70s and ’80s blouses that survived the edit.

To drive the new look, we engaged a specialist closet supplier and agreed on the optimal footprint: a wraparound across three walls. This optimizes storage and keeps the centre of the room free for a large ottoman, which, when not occupied by that day’s fashion choices, provides handy bum space and the perfect spot upon which to enjoy a glass of bubbly. Cos that’s what Carrie Bradshaw would do, huh?

Storage 101

1. If square footage is tight, opt for hangers that clip and hang from each other to max up accommodation. Adding narrow shelves and knobs on the back of your closet doors will also amplify function.

2. Kit out an empty closet with Rubbermaid items: the long-loved storage supremoes purvey easy-to-install shelf and rail kits, and all manner of clutter taming inventory.

3. If you don’t want to look like you dressed in the dark, install lighting: Home Hardware sells screw-in battery-operated lamps that come to life with a quick push. If budgets are extra tight, Dollarama have similar self-adhesive options to help you save.

4. To reduce bulk, vacuum pack off-season garb and pop under the bed: seasonally adjusting frees up so much room.

5. Group items according to category: this might seem a hassle, but you’ll find the sense of order liberating.

6. For occasional use (if converting an office, perhaps, into overnight guest accommodation) invest in a portable clothes rail.

7. Storage boxes that fit into wardrobes at floor level are a great way to utilize space and the ideal spot in which to consume bulky coats or shoes.

8. Lidded trays such as Sockerbit from Ikea (which slide below beds) make lots of sense, and suffuse affordable function into otherwise dead space. Hinged fold-back lids keep dust at bay to ensure your stuff stays clean.

9. If starting from scratch, and if budget permits, call upon the services of a professional closet-fitter.

10. Don’t forget old favourites, like Home Depot, for a selection of sensibly priced, freestanding wardrobes in mod’ and trad’ styles.

If you heed our guide, your 80 per cent-20 per cent conundrum will soon be allayed. Wouldn’t it be nice, after all, to fill your storage quarters with things you love, rather than with an assembly of historic sartorial blunders, in which you’d never be seen dead? Hmm? Yes indeed: purge. You know it makes sense.


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