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How to organize your open closet

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The open closet trend

Where exactly the open closet trend began is vague. One suggestion lays the credit in the hands of real estate and the idea of staging a home. Organizing, laying everything out for people to see easily, and suggesting space use through functional display. Others say it is simply part of a growing trend to de-clutter and make living more accessible and open.

Whatever the source of the trend, open closets make use of available space in unique ways, can make rooms more functional by eliminating the need for door swing space, and add new dimension to rooms.

Closet organizing has been around for many years in the form of organizing systems, people who are willing to organize for hire and countless products to help you do it yourself. If you’re in any way inclined to do it yourself, before you spend money buying, you need to spend time planning, considering and making decisions.

When you’re thinking open closet think clothing store display for your clothes closets, think gourmet food store for your pantry, think grandpa’s old workbench with tools hung and old tin cans and jars filled with nails sorted by size for your craft area and office.

Let’s start with a bedroom closet. Open the doors, pull things out, get rid of things you haven’t and will never wear again. Cut your ties to things so far out of style they are beyond retro and things that were so bad even when they were in they will never be good retro. Catalogue what you have left so you understand what you need to organize.

Now you can start planning and designing. Look online, in magazines and at stores to see what options are available. Measure your own space to see what will fit. The idea behind the open closet is not to show everyone your cramped and cluttered closet, but to arrange things in the space so it becomes an attractive display. If you’re a sweater person, perhaps compartment type shelving needs to be incorporated. If shoes are your thing there are shelving units or carousels to consider. Some people would even suggest simply lining shoes all in a row along the floor, ready to be stepped into. Either way, as you create your design think clean, think organized, think de-clutter. Minimalist is the term best used to describe the wardrobe display. Consider grouping clothing by type and by colour and how it can all lay out.

Now that you’ve got your system designed and the components bought or built, stop. Clear out that closet and get rid of the doors. Remember, this is not just a closet any more, but an extension of the room so you’ll want to give it a good painting and fix any flaws that were once hidden by closed doors. You may decide to paint it to match the rest of the room, or select an accent colour to make the space pop but be part of the flow as well. Once that is done you can begin putting things away.

The trick with open closets is that it requires an ongoing effort. Every laundry day clothes need to make it back to their select spot in the closet or your organized display will quickly look messy and in disarray. New purchases will have to find space within the design or may have to replace older items to avoid re-cluttering your newly uncluttered space. 

 This same process of de-cluttering, organizing and opening up can be used throughout the home. Take rooms one at a time to make the task less overwhelming. Be creative. The open closet concept is not just for closets. It can also make previously unused spaces into storage options and make previously closed cupboards open and decorative.

As you go remember, at the heart of open closets is organizing and de-cluttering to make once hidden spaces functional and interesting.

By Heather Seftel-Kirk 

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