5 10/25/2012 life Home

A Gift: Closet Therapy

I stayed with my sister when I went to Toronto last week for the Blissdom conference. Though I have kind offers from lots of friends willing to put me up for a few nights (thanks, all!) I always choose to stay with her because we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like, and when we hunker down for a few days, we get back to all the sisterly chitty-chat and hanging out that we miss out on, living in different cities and all.

I love my sister.
Sadly, she had a fire in her condo last year around Christmastime, and though all was okay in the end, and insurance took care of just about everything, she’s still slowly trying to get all her possessions back in relative order so she can live her life easily. It’s no small feat – she’s always lugging some kind of suitcase around with her, containing all her work-related wardrobe and sundries, whether it be across the country, across the pond, or across town. It’s baggage, yo. And when she totes it all back home again, unpacking is like opening a bag of glitter, and there are rhinestones and feathery bits EVERYWHERE for DAYS.
I love to leave her a hostess gift or two when I come – Thanks for having me! – but this time I thought what might be most useful was a quick closet fix – just the one for her regular clothes (for now) since her showgirl section is already pretty well appointed.
She showed me an Ikea nylon separator box that contained all her sock, balled up the way most people do. I was happy she had them all in one place, and that each sock had a mate, but I quickly took them apart and folded the pairs in half. I set to arranging them by colour, alongside her tights folded likewise, and BOOM:
sock bin.jpg
This took about 4 minutes.
She stood there blinking at me like I’d just created magic. That’s what I do, yo – I make magic in your closets.
Next, I had a look at her clothes closet, which is a tall, wide PAX system in dark brown walls within. She has lots of different kinds of hangers inside – wooden ones, plastic ones, ones with foam padding, wire ones from the dry cleaner, (Boo! Hiss!!) and others with clips and clasps for skirts and things.
No. NO!!
I had her count up how many hangers she was using, so I could purchase the right amount of new ones from the place that rhymes with Sinners the next day.
But there was something else… my sister is right-handed, as I am. Inside her closet, all her clothes were hanging facing right. So, when she takes an item out of her closet with her right hand (as right-handed people tend to do) she’s looking at the back of her garment first. As I love to exercise efficiency as much as possible, one glance told me her system was ass, and she needed to hang her stuff the other way. Plus, I wanted to arrange her stuff by colour…
She blinked at me and said to basically just do whatever I thought it need. “Just fix it,” she said. So I did.
She has a lot of items to hang. LOTS. Pretty, silky, satiny, gorgeous things – some kinds with spaghetti straps made of slide-y materials that like to slip off hangers all the time. In order to have them fit well, AND not be at the bottom of her closet all the time, I chose the skinny hangers that are fuzzy all around, to maximize the garment space, and to prevent slippage. I bought them in a minky brown colour that would disappear inside the dark interior.
Fifty hangers (and about thirty-five dollars) later, and all hung in the right direction (by “right” I mean left), arranged by colour for cohesiveness, her things now look more delicious inside…
This took about one hour.
Same hangers? Better. And not a terribly expensive investment, either. Plus, to the eye, the garments arrive at the same level (more or less) which is more soothing when you open the doors – the chaos is gone. Puuurrrrrrr… (And I didn’t cull a single item.)
She waited for me to come back from my outing that evening before opening the doors for the first time… and she just loved it. She did a happy dance for a while, and looked at each of her things, as if they were new. This makes me so glad!
Sure I could have bought her some flowers or something… but this kind of gift keeps on giving. (Ace Greater Style – it’s all the letters in my name, rearranged. Heh.) Next time, I’d love to help her re-order some of the shelving, and move the hanging bar down a bit – it’s too high, and she’s not getting any taller – but that will have to wait until next time.
Do you have a mish-mash of hangers? Is your stuff hanging in the right direction? Well, go fix it!
  • Julie

    it was a replace/purge bonanza. same with some basic t-shirts….gone. i’m all firm and lifted and feeling cute (on the inside wink wink!)

  • Tracey

    It IS amazing how instantly better your wardrobe looks when moved to all the same hanger – it’s a true miracle. I’d been looking for black ones for this project, but I’ve only seen them at Sinners once, and never again after… I see the brown ones all the time, so I’m pretty sure more can be bought if/when the time comes. Or get another colour for another closet – just like yours and your hubby’s. SMART!
    It took me ages to weed out the “business-y” things from my wardrobe after I made the move to work from home, years ago… I was so worried about money I’d already invested and stuff… but, I just don’t wear suits anymore. And some other ladies could use the garments, for sure… it was good to re-evaluate and just move on. And my closet is more spare, but I wear everything inside it. *sighs happily*
    Thanks for reading, Jackie!

  • Tracey

    It irks me too, when things hang the wrong way. (Obviously.) And you are PLENTY awesome, Julie! Way to go on being sans hobo-panties!! Did you replace or just purge?!

  • http://www.jackiespassion.com JackiePassion

    I recently did this after I lost my job and was reevaluating my career wardrobe. I got the same hangers but my box came with two separate colour hangers and I separated hubby’s clothes from mine with the 2 colours.
    It is amazing how good your wardrobe looks when it is organized. Lucky sister!

  • Julie

    my stuff is always hanging facing left. never thought that that would become an issue! i guess i’m more awesome than i thought 🙂 but it does bug me when i take something out at a store and it’s facing the wrong way!
    (by the way, update…no mo’ hobo undies!)

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