Inside a Professional Organizer’s Home: Master Closet Edition

I’ve been staying busy with the never ending administrative tasks that happen behind the scenes at Kuzak’s Closet – whether we are open for business or not – but I really miss the physical routine that our organizing projects bring. I will never again take for granted the sight of a full donation van or the smell of a fresh box of trash bags! In the meantime, our home has benefited from the “Kuzak” organizing touch as I’ve been redirecting my energy from a mass of client projects to spaces within our home while we are sheltering in place.  There are benefits to having a tiny home like we have during times like this, ie. less to maintain, less overhead.  But the downside is that I’m running out of spaces to organize!

I purge and reorganize my client seasonally but it’s been two years since I pulled it all out and completed a major closet overhaul. My husband and I share a walk-in closet that I designed with Valet Custom Cabinets when we remodeled our home.  The design features a shoe gallery, laundry hampers, drawers, closed cabinet storage, and lots of hanging space.

My clothing needed a thorough purge so I pulled it all out and sorted the items by color and category.  Typically I use a rolling rack with clients for this process but I had to make due with piles on the bed.  This exercise was a great reminder of what I have, what I love, what I don’t need to shop for (the endless emails coming in with sales are tempting), and what I could live without.  Through this purge I also pulled out items with tags on them that I bought for travel and occasions that have been canceled due to Coronavirus.  They were items that I love but likely won’t wear until next winter so I opted to process them for returns online to get some cash back.

I prioritized having space for a shoe gallery in the design of our closet because I LOVE SHOES! I’ve got a pretty basic wardrobe and I spice things up with my shoes. I love that a dress or a basic pair of jeans and a top can go from casual to dressy with a simple shoe swap. My goal was to purge 3-4 pairs of shoes during this process and after pulling them all out, trying some on, and assessing for quality and condition, my goal was met.  The one question I ask myself over and over when I’m purging my own wardrobe is “would I pack this for a vacation?” If the answer is no, the item must go.

At this point when the closet was empty it was time to vacuum all of the nooks and crannies, wipe down the shelves, and put it all away.  Of course this is when my trusty assistant decided to take a nap!

The biggest change that I made setting up a new order to my hanging clothes. It’s a small closet so there really isn’t a better location on the rods but I like to change it up to create more visual appeal. I swapped the bulky items and dark colors to the back, moved the color up front, and moved the golf gear down to the bottom rod.

I keep a small tray of miniature perfumes in my closet so I can remember to wear them.  I  went mini with most of my beauty products when we moved into our tiny house and I love it because I actually use things up!

The shoes were laid out by like type with the priority of how often I wear them.  You usually see me in sneakers, those are in our entry closet.

Speaking of our entry closet, my hats used to live in my shoe drawer in the entry closet.  With the shoe purge making room on the shelves I was able to move them into my closet which I love.  It’s a good reminder for me to wear them on my walks for sun protection.

I adjusted the shelves in the cabinet so handbags could move up to the top shelf after I purged a few.

I love that these shelves are behind doors, it just gives the closet a “furniture” feel when the doors are closed.

Inside the drawers I use these handy dandy linen cambridge drawer organizers to keep my bras, shape wear, and undies contained and organized.  These bins and velvet hangers are my two favorite closet organizing accessories!

When it was all said and done I had two big boxes packed up to ship to ThredUp, an online thrift store.  You can sell and donate clothing through ThredUp, the will send you a bag to fill up or you can print off a prepaid label at home.  Easy peasy! I also had a bag for trash and recycling.

Well, that’s a wrap on my side fo the closet, next up Chris’s side.  He has a small nook for hanging clothes on the right side of the closet with the rest of his wardrobe stored in dressers in our bedroom.  It looks pretty good right? Well, this is the after…

This is the before.  It’s safe to say the “Kuzak” organizing touch hasn’t rubbed off on him.

His purging style cracked me up because he insisted on tying EVERYTHING on.  I’ve never seen anything like it! What would’ve taken me 2 hours took him 5 hours.  Yep, it took us 5 hours to sort, purge, and organize his closet. Normally I would’ve been inpatient but since I’ve got nothing but time on my hands I played along.  I even created an instastory to document the process and allow viewers to vote yes or no to what should be purged, thanks for playing along if you follow Kuzak’s Closet on instagram!

In the end he had quite the purge pile, I packed up a bag for an Instagram follower to pick up for her son and packed up the rest for donation.

His dresser drawers have the same cambridge drawer organizers but in grey. The contain and organize his golf belts, dressy belts, swim suits, etc.

Chris’s closet and drawers really needed to have order restored!

It’s a breath of fresh air to turn the corner into our room and see this organized sight now! I moved dress pants up top with dress shirts, then collars short sleeved shirts.  On the bottom he’s got long sleeved tops and sweaters and then golf shirts by color and sleeve length.

My tips for you if you are looking to dig in and transform your closet are:

#1: Have your tools ready: trash bags, disinfecting spray, vacuum

#2: Pull everything out, sort, and the purge each category.  Now that you’d been home for 2-3 or almost 4 weeks like me, you have a new perspective on what you actually wear or will wear.

#3: Think outside the box and don’t be afraid to change up the layout.  Creating a visual appeal is key to a happy space, sort by color, sort by type, and create vignettes that will bring you joy daily.

#4: Take after photos! Reviewing the photos will help you review the layout and give you a chance to see if something is still out of order.

#5: Follow through with donations, put them in your garage or car to deliver to your favorite charity when life gets back to normal. Give ThredUp a try, they are a feed the hungry clothing drive going on right now and it’s free to ship, just print the label online.

Thank you for taking a peek inside our master closet! I hope this post can inspire you to tackle a corner of your home while you are home!

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