Come to order

Let form and function guide your closet makeover using these ingenious tips

Neil Jackson
Owner, Ultimate Storage Systems
• It is essential to plan first. You wouldn’t build a house without a set of plans; likewise, you shouldn’t organize without first creating a plan. Skipping this step can lead to overwhelming piles that you don’t know what to do with.
• Sit down and answer some basic questions: What don’t I like about this space? What do I need from this space? Is it reasonable for me to fit everything into this space? Do I need to part with some of my stuff? What is my budget for organizing this space?
• Think outside of your closet. If you don’t have a linen closet for sheets and pillowcases, then store them in a dresser drawer in your bedroom.

Anna Van Gelder
Organizational expert, Bright Ideas; Office manager, Jerry del Rio Real Estate
• Good lighting is important. You need to see what you are wearing or not wearing. You might find treasures you haven’t worn in years.
• What comes in must go out. When you buy a new pair of jeans, part with a pair that you never wear. Donate them to your favorite charity.
• A closet is like another room in your home—make it pretty and functional! Add some color to yours: Paint a wall, mount framed artwork or install a chandelier.

Reagan Roberts
Owner, Reagan Roberts Fashion Consulting
• Start with matching hangers. I recommend velvet slim-line hangers from Bed Bath & Beyond.
• The most difficult step is cleaning everything out. Be honest with yourself. Go through each and every piece. If you love it, keep it. If you don’t like it, sell it. (I use Swap Boutique in New Orleans to consign gently used designer clothing.) If a garment needs alterations or dry cleaning, get that done.
• Dress for who you are today. Your morning starts in your closet. If you don’t feel good in what you are wearing, it affects your whole day.

Anita English
Professional organizer, Sort Organize Simplify
• When in doubt about whether to keep an item, ask yourself: Would I buy this today if I were shopping?
• When a friend or family member leaves something at your home, you have a right to ask them to take it back. You are not a storage facility. Ask them to pick it up by a set date.
• If you can’t decide about whether to keep an item, make a “prove it” box. Put it in the attic and attach a three-month expiration date. If you haven’t needed to retrieve the item by that date, donate it.