What's In Your Closet? An Organization Expert Assesses Viewer Pictures

GREENSBORO, NC -- All week 2 wants to know has been on the organization kick. Professional organizer Paula McGarrell of You Time Solutions in Greensboro was here earlier this week showing us before and after pictures from their business.

She's back with pictures viewers sent in. Check them out on our slideshow-- it's on the home page. Scroll down to the gallery section.

"To organize the space for good, not just for temporary, we need to know our organization personality. It's a tool we've developed over the last several years to determine how a person needs to have a space arranged for optimum efficiency and easy maintenance. For example, if someone is 'Visual' they need clear bins or items to be in plain sight. If they are 'Contained' they need opaque bins or items to be neatly contained/covered. A person's organizational personality should be the very first place they start."


This looks like most of her clothing is in pretty good order, but its the

accessories, random items, and t-shirts giving her problems. Of course, we'd want to start with the 3 step process up top. Buy bins for the items she is currently stacking on the center vertical line of wire shelving. This will help make these shelves more usable and keep items contained.

Consider removing the bottom two shelves from the center line of shelves. They are sloped to be used for shoes, but she has too many shoes for just those racks and the slope makes it hard to use those shelves for anything else.

I'd remove the lower 2 shelves and replace it with a small

dresser to hold her t-shirts. I'd move her bags off the top shelf to the right and put a shoe organizer up there to hold shoes. Use back of door space or wall behind door if needed for extra storage, possibly for the bags.


It looks like they've tried to use vertical space by getting over the door shoe hangers, and the red fabric organizer hanging in the closet. But, there is still a problem with what looks like things being quick and easy.

Plus, there are still several dead spaces in the closet. Use the dead space at the top of the closet to store hangers that are not currently being used. Get rid of the red fabric organizer. Put these items in

a dresser or if you do not have a dresser or Rubbermaid drawers.

Get rid of the shoe organizer on the left- looks like it's not very functional or they don't have enough shoes to warrant taking up all that space. I would hang backpacks and bags from floor on that door instead. Put the few pairs of heels she has on the top rack or with a separate shoe organizer at bottom of closet. I strongly recommend a bin to catch all of their 'try on' clothes or 'not entirely dirty yet' clothes that seem to pile up on the floor.


They have a good amount of horizontal space to work with and the shelves seem to go up high enough to use the full dimensions of the closet. Good start.

A ton of dead space on top.. I am guessing because this person is short? (see the step stool).

Perhaps clothing that is off-season can be stored in bins and placed on top shelves. This would free up some rack space and use up the dead space on top. Wall mounted bin or floor bin to catch 'try on' cloths and help keep floor clear

Consider getting rid of hanging shoe organizer and trading it in for an over-the-door shoe caddy for the back of the closet door. This will clear up space on rack which looks needed. If the new rack space where shoes were kept is not usable for clothing (maybe all she has is longer clothes which won't work on the bottom rack), consider a small dresser/night stand type thing to hold the folded t-shirts that are sitting on the middle clothes rack.

Other organizational ideas to keep in mind:

Analyzing the Space for what does/doesn't work. It's not enough really to just look at it- we must find out what the client feels is not working, how it got that, what they do like about the space, and what would make life easier for them. It's important to know these things to determine goals for the project. We then match this against their Organizational Personality and budget and find tools/solutions that work best for them.

Sort the stuff. When organizing you must go through everything in the space and determine is it keep, donate, sell, toss, or 'action'. A couple good rules of thumb for closets:o If you have not worn it in a year, consider letting it go. This means you have gone through every season and not pulled it out of your closet. If it is a special occasion piece, try it on

You should let it go if when you wear the item you don't feel confident, put together, relevant, or you simply don't feel good in it. Anything you'd like to keep must pass this rule. Does it need repairing or alterations? If it's been sitting for a while and hasn't been fixed, probably it's not important enough for you to repair and you should let it go.


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