The best organizing tips for closets come from first looking at what organizing is NOT. Here are some examples.
Organizing is not Hiding
When discussing places for storage, clients will often suggest, “We can just hide that away.” If you are hiding things from yourself, you really need to ask why you are keeping it at all. It’s OK to store things remotely for just-in-case or seasonal access. However that’s quite different from hiding away. Wherever you store things, aim to make them as findable as possible.
Organizing is not (just) Containing
It seems many people’s greatest joy associated with organizing is running out to The Container Store, to buy containers. Why? They get to buy more stuff! Sometimes the best container is no container at all. Containers help you sort like-with-like and maximize space, but they can compromise accessibility. For items that you access regularly, consider a container without a lid or consider no container at all. Putting a lid on it does not make it more organized.
Organizing is not Fitting
Sometimes clients show me a closet and say, “look I just organized this closet!” What they should be saying is, “I figured out a way to make everything fit.” Fitting is quite different that organizing. In fact, good organizing should always allow a little breathing room and room for growth. When you pack the daylights out of a closet, you compromise visibility, find-ability, and accessibility.
Organizing is not Perfection
There is a false impression that professional organizers are perfectionists. We are not. Yes, we focus on making things more visible, findable, and accessible for you. That may require a certain amount of fastidiousness and the result may look nice. However, the appearance is not the point. The point of good organizing is removing the barriers to what is most important in your life. That may be confusing, because organizers do use beautiful and often staged images for marketing. We know that’s what people want to see, but perfectionism is a liability, not an asset. If you believe things have to be done perfectly or not at all, then things won’t get done. That is completely counter to good organizing.
Organizing is not Rigid
There is also a perception that organization is a fixed destination to arrive at. It’s a beautiful monument of same-sized bins neatly lined up and labeled. Organization is not a destination but the vehicle that takes you to your priorities. The systems in your organizing vehicle are constantly in motion and working fluidly with each other. Your closet may seem like fixed storage location, but in fact, it needs to be a fluid system. Items that you replenish, need to go in easily. Things you need to access, need to be found easily. Items you return, need an easily identified home. Things need to circulate in and out of your closet as fluidly as blood circulates in your body. Organize your closet for fluid circulation, not rigid constraints.
Maybe you’d like to make your closet contents more visible, findable, and accessible, but you don’t know how. That’s what we’re here for at Matt Baier Organizing. For the month of July, if you have storage challenges in your Attic, Basements, and Closets, we’re featuring a special. It’s called The ABC Special (Attics, Basements, and Closets.) You can finally address some of those nagging storage problems and save up to $160 off of our services.