Custom Closet Design & Organization: 8 Step How To

Recently, we completed a closet organizing project for a client, which included an Elfa-designed custom closet installation. The end result provided an excellent organizational structure, a significant increase in visual appeal, and overall better utilization of the space. We highly recommend that clients consider a custom design when conducting a closet overhaul. The option ensures that you’ll have specially designated space for all of your belongings and tends to encourage long-term organization. If you are considering a custom closet sometime in the future, we have put together the basic steps of how to go about the process. 


1) Review the contents of your closet and dresser. Determine how much will stay, add in to the new closet space, and how much you’d like to purge.

2) Take measurements of all walls, angles, and dimensions in your closet. Get an accurate count of shoes, handbags, scarves, ties and belts.

3) Work with a closet design expert at The Container Store, California ClosetsHome Depot, or other company and decide on a design that works for your individual needs.

4) Prior to installation, conduct a major closet purge and donate all items that you no longer wear, like, or do not fit. Don’t forget to purge your dresser drawers at this time too.

5) The day of installation, ready the closet by removing all clothing and other belongings.

6) During the install, prepare your clothing and other belongings for reintegration – rehang clothes if switching hanger styles and wash anything that hasn’t been touched in a while.

7) Following the install, add clothing back into the closet, keeping in mind that this is your best chance to implement a new organizational strategy such as by color, style, frequency of use, or post-wash folding vs. hanging preference.

8) Enjoy your new closet and work hard to maintain the organization!

If you have any questions or would like to have us consult on your closet, please feel free to get in touch.



Get Your Closet Organized: The Seasonal Changeover

The leaves are changing, the air is crisper and the mornings are cooler, which means it’s time to get your closet organized for the fall and winter seasons! It’s time to say goodbye to summer dresses and linen pants and hello to cashmere sweaters and wool trousers in just a few simple steps. Let’s organize your closet!

First, remove all distinctly spring/summer items from your closet and dresser.  This is the perfect opportunity to weed out the things you no longer want/wear from the things you’ll need to clean and store. Make three piles: Store, Trash, and Donate.

Store Pile: these are the clothes you will wear again next year when warm weather returns. Clean these items first. It may seem like a lot of effort, but you’ll be glad you did it when you can pull them straight from storage and into your closet!

  • Decide what vessels you’ll use for storing the clothing and designate a place for them to live. This is a good time to use those hard-to-reach shelves at home since you won’t need to access them for months.
  • We recommended Spacebags for traveling, and we also recommend them for storing clothing efficiently. Rubbermaid and Sterilite tubs are also a good storage solution.
  • Consider including anti-moth/anti-insect solutions in your vessels, such as non-toxic, chemical free Moth Away or Cedar and Lavender Moth Balls.  Try to avoid storing clothing (or bedding) underneath the bed.  This is a great place to pick up unwanted pests.

Trash and Donate Piles: Separate those items you’ll donate from those items you’ll simply need to throw away. Example: white tees with stains should be trashed, whereas the trendy romper you bought for only a season can be donated to the Goodwill or Salvation Army.

  • Send your trash pile to the garbage. You can also cut up certain items to use as household and garage rags.
  • The items you’ll be donating should be cleaned as a courtesy to the charity receiving your used items.
  • Make an itemized list of the number of shirts, pants, skirts, shoes, etc. you are donating. You’ll need this for calculating tax deductions for next year and for your receipt from the donation center. Here is the Salvation Army’s great online donation valuation list to help you get organized.
  • Place the cleaned and folded items in bags and take them directly to the trunk of your car. This will ensure they’ll actually make it to the Goodwill, rather than pile up in your home. Furthermore, set a date on your calendar for drop off to ensure they’ll make it out of your trunk, as well!

Second, you’ll need to remove fall/winter items from your storage containers. Here is another great opportunity to assess what you’ll need for the season and what you’d like to get rid of from last year.

  • Repeat the Trash/Donate pile process from above with your fall/winter items from last year if you find any clothes your style has outgrown.
  • Separate those articles to hang in your closet from those to be folded in your dresser.
  • Whenever I work with a client to organize a closet, we group items together by piece and use.  For example, all suits are hung together; all dresses grouped by cocktail, work and casual styles; all dress pants, all casual pants, all denim, etc.  It may sound a little exacting to the free spirits out there but it really works to help you to see what you have and what you need.
  • In your dresser, I recommend designating a drawer for each category. For example, tees and tanks in one; socks and undergarments in another and workout gear in another.  I recently used these great Dream Drawer Organizers for a client’s t-shirt and shorts drawers and he loves them.  We were able to utilize his limited drawer space more efficiently and divide t-shirts and shorts into everyday and sports-oriented uses.
  • Once your items are hung or folded in front of you, take note of what is missing that you’ll need for the season.
  • Make a list and a plan for shopping — that’s the best part!



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