This one’s for the boys (err, daughters, wives, girlfriends) looking for convenient ways to organize his side of the closet. To get things started, we tapped founder and CEO of The Realm, a full-service luxury home and office organization company, Kimberly Stewart, to share her tips on how she decluttered the closet of her dad (you know, Rod Stewart, the two-time Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-inducted singer/songwriter).
Before we get into her top tricks and brilliant tokens of advice, we had to ask some questions on her strategy for properly organizing her rockstar father’s belongings. Read on to learn simple ways to declutter and the craziest thing Kim found in her dad’s wardrobe.
When organizing/decluttering your dad’s closet, which items did you get rid of first?
“I started by separating the wire, plastic, and mismatched wood hangers and bought linen velvet hangers from The Container Store that match the color of the carpet. The wood hangers I kept for suits, but I got rid of the wire and plastic hangers, as well as any that were mismatched.”
What’s the craziest thing you found in your dad’s closet that you threw out?
“Funny enough, my dad’s closet in Palm Beach had way too many socks. He normally wears sandals and flip flops when he’s at the beach, so I edited the sock drawer down to only the necessities.”
Did you find anything really special in your dad’s closet that you weren’t expecting?
“I found so much animal print that I thought I was on safari.”
What are the biggest differences between tidying up a man’s closet vs. a woman’s?
“I think the biggest difference would be that a woman’s wardrobe has more variability than a man’s, including color, clothing type, and lengths. You have to make space for those items in a way that doesn’t feel super cluttered but also in a way that doesn’t feel misplaced. With that, I find I can be more creative when organizing a woman’s closet, which always makes the project really interesting.
Men’s closets typically have fewer clothing categories than women’s. I love that because it’s easier to get a uniform display. For example, I was able to organize my dad’s shirts and pants in rainbow order, which is helpful for him because he’s color-blind. I always like to put my own personal touch on any project based on the client’s needs.”
Once a closet is organized, what are your top three tips for keeping the space tidy?
“I like to go through my closet once a week to make sure everything is in order, and every six months I do a purge. It’s also important to put things in their place immediately so you don’t get overwhelmed and disorganized. I like to have a check-in with all my clients a couple of weeks after the project is finished so that I can help them keep it up.”
What are your top three tips for organizing small spaces?
“Getting rid of as much as you can of what you don’t use or wear, using velvet hangers as they take up less space, getting an over-the-door shoe hanger—these can make all the difference when working with not a lot of closet space—and folding in a specific way also helps with drawer space.”
Kim also shared additional suggestions to keep in mind when decluttering and properly organizing any closet. Consider these foolproof rules to swear by.
“Organizing a closet can seem like a very daunting task. The best advice I can give is to not become overwhelmed! Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks on how to turn clutter into clarity.
1. Create a List. Lists will become your best friend throughout the process. Make sure you have a clear understanding of what you are trying to accomplish.
2. The Declutter Stage. Remove things you don’t wear and separate them into piles. My suggestion is to have a few laundry bins, baskets, or containers available to organize what you are intending to donate, gift to a friend, or store elsewhere. Pro tip: anything you have not worn in two years, remove from the closet.
3. Categories. After you have purged the unnecessary baggage, now the excitement begins. Remove all items that are currently still hanging and separate by occasion and type. Some great examples would be everyday wear, occasion use, business casual, and fabric type.
4. Ombre Effect. Color-coordinating is key for aesthetics and functionality. This will allow you to easily find your everyday favorites.
5. Storage Products. Some of my favorite products are as simple as a basic divider, which you can purchase from the Container Store to keep T-shirts, socks, and shorts organized, especially when it comes to limited space among dresser drawers.
6. Little Details Matter. Wooden and velvet hangers work the best to avoid any type of wrinkle or indent with clothing. I will always match the color of the hanger to the carpet of the room.
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