Monday, March 26, 2012

Perfecting the His and Her Closet

Can men and women share a closet? Read on...

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Perfecting the His and Her Closet

Take Inventory
Before designing a closet, take account of your stuff, suggests Lisa Adams, of LA Closet Design. Count and measure the items you have and want to keep.

Adams also suggests considering your daily habits and preferences: “Ask yourself the following questions: Do you accessorize after you put your clothes on or simultaneously? Where should your pajamas and socks be relative to your bedroom and bathroom after taking a shower?”

Don’t forget special considerations like whether either of you is a frequent traveler, or whether your closet will include space for a vanity.

Do a Closet Purge
After taking inventory, don’t assume everything will fit. Sort through your clothes, creating piles to keep, donate and discard. Cleaning out rarely worn items will cut clutter and create more storage space for both of you. Your closet will feel bigger and you’ll feel happier.

Draw an Invisible Line
“Men and women can successfully share a closet if there is a ‘separation of space’ - meaning there is a general ‘his side’ and ‘her side,’” says Adams. “It helps couples from getting on top of each other when they are in the closet together.” Shared items like a mirror or bureau typically designate that ‘line.’

Remember That the Division of Closet Space Isn’t Equal
Women usually have more clothes and accessories than men. Which is why it’s not uncommon for women to use the larger side or to take over another closet in the house. It also means women usually get more shoe shelves – because it’s a necessity! Remember that men also need space for anything they collect, like watches or ties, Adams says.

Keep Things at Arm's Length
Before building anything, jot down both of your reachable hanging heights. Make sure your everyday items are within easy reach. If that’s impossible, use a step stool or pull-down hanging rods, Adams advises.

Use All Your Storage Space– Even Hard-to-Reach Spots
Don’t miss out on opportunities to stow away rarely used items on top closet shelves-- above the highest hanging rod. Use that space to store out-of-season clothing, photo albums, luggage and extra guest pillows or blankets.

Be Smart About Storing Accessories
Ties, belts, purses and shoes create the most clutter: Sliding shelves can be used for purses and undergarments, and hanging rods and hooks are perfect for dress scarves, belts, ties and hats. Closets by Design, a national closet design firm, says organizing the small stuff will help prevent clutter.

Make Sure You Can See Your Stuff
To make your closet beautiful and functional, you’ll need space so your accessories are visible. It’ll look fantastic but, more importantly, it’ll remind you of everything you’ve got so you don’t forget to wear what you have. Karen Rolleri of Organizeology, a Bay Area-based organizing and design firm, recommends shelves to display purses, hats, and shoes.

Get Creative With Shelves
Placing slanted shoe shelves under shorter garments (like shirts) will keep you from pushing aside clothes when searching. Although women tend to have more shoes than men, men’s shoes are usually wider and longer, so they’ll need more space than you think.

Keep Part of Your Dresser Top Clear
We often forget to use the top of a dresser as we get ready. “Make sure you preserve a place to lay down accessories while you put together an outfit,” suggests professional organizer Clare Kumar.

Incorporate a Full-Length Mirror
You’ll need a full-length mirror to see yourself-– and your whole outfit-- before starting the day. A mirror at the end of a shared closet can also help make it feel more spacious, Adams says.