If you’ve been here a while, you’ll know that my “wardrobe” at my old apartment was a scattered, disorganized mess. Within the cramped space, I stored my everyday clothes in drawers beside my bed and out-of-season items in a storage tub under the bed. I had a few pieces hanging in a small storage closet by the bathroom and the rest of it stashed in various bins and bags. Getting dressed was a journey I could get lost on. Finding a specific item was like an Easter egg hunt, only less rewarding. Despite my dutiful wardrobe tracking on paper, it was hard to hold a mental picture of what I had at any given time, and therefore impossible to make the best use out of what I had. In fact, this chaotic system was the impetus for me to explore keeping a smaller wardrobe and begin journaling about my clothes here on this blog.
Well, the long separation is over and the gang (my clothes) is back together once more. I’m excited to present my new closet in our still modest, but way more comfortable condo apartment. It’s nothing fancy or impressive – just a standard North American-style built-in closet, shared with my husband and occasionally my cats. I’ve used the shelving left by the previous owner, which very much suit my needs. Moving my clothes into this closet was an intensely satisfying experience: I hung, I folded, I rolled like Marie Kondo taught me to. Unpacking my clothes is a big piece of feeling settled into a space for me, like filling in the pantry shelves or cooking that first meal in an unfamiliar kitchen. Here in the closet, it feels like a home for my treasured pieces, a permanent place where they can live, breathe, be seen, and be worn.
This closet set-up works perfectly for me. It’s simple, functional, open, and organized (for the time being). It’s spacious, but doesn’t waste square footage like a walk-in closet does, and although the highly photographable wardrobe-on-a-wheeling-rack is very popular at the moment, I like having sliding doors to protect my clothes from dust and sun. Another great thing about this closet and this bedroom in general is the amount of natural light it gets, which not only makes clothes look more appealing, but illuminates hidden stains that I’d usually miss.
To minimize visual clutter, I’ve stored away my out-of-season clothes, like sweaters and thick trousers, in a bin on the floor. In the hanging area, I have my lightweight tops, summer dresses, plus a few button downs and jackets. A few hangers are reserved for my “fancy” clothes, consisting of four dresses and a blazer, which are all dark in colour for some reason. That’s another benefit of having an open closet – being able to see your personal patterns and preferences as you view the spread. On the installed shelves, I’ve partitioned out my shorts and skirts, summer pants, and exercise/loungewear. It’s definitely nice being able to view all my options at a glance, though I suspect it won’t always be so neatly folded. I’m also thinking about getting a basket for my lounging clothes, which are currently piled up on that bottom tier in a decidedly non-aesthetic way. Finally, I have a box containing a few pairs of special occasion shoes (i.e. heels and dance footwear) hanging out in the corner. As for the rest of my coats, jackets, and shoes, they’re stored in a convenient and accessible closet by the entrance.
For a visual person like me, having all of my clothes visible and in one place is amazing. I find myself stopping to admire my closet all the time and getting dressed has become a lot more enjoyable. It’s given me a better sense of what I have in my wardrobe and how the pieces work together, enabling more style creativity. During the unpacking process, I decided to let go of a few more items, which, in looking at the overall picture of my closet, didn’t really fit in or add value. In the initial move, I also discovered a few older items that I thought were long gone, but have now been reintegrated into the roster. Instead of consulting spreadsheets and photo-collages, whenever I want to see an overview of my wardrobe, I can just open up that sliding door.
Another unexpected outcome of this new closet has been my increased wardrobe satisfaction. I know that my feelings on this matter have tended to sway, but being able to observe the entirety of my wardrobe is showing me that what I have is enough. Instead of dwelling on gaps or concentrating on what’s lacking, I see a whole lot of abundance, yet it doesn’t feel like too much. But I can see how easily it could become too much now that there are hard, delineated confines to where I keep my clothes. I like the breathing room afforded by the negative space and the knowledge that what’s there is being used and appreciated. I hope it stays that way.