· It's key that there's ample contrast between your clothing and the walls. White paint is acceptable, but consider a bright color or a vibrant wallpaper instead.
· First sort by type of garment, then by color. If necessary, break sections down further into sleeve and hem lengths.
· For items that make tidy stacks—tees, sweaters, jeans—open-air shelves are more accessible than a dresser.
Question: I always end up with messy, teetering piles of sweaters. How do I keep them under control?
· Make sure stacks are 8 to 10 inches max.
· Put the bulkiest pieces at the bottom of the pile to avoid an unstable, top-heavy formation.
· Separate cardigans, turtlenecks, etc., so you can tell what's what without resorting to unfolding them all.
To keep fancy intimates from becoming one big tangle (bra hooks are dangerous around delicates), invest in a drawer divider with six-inch-wide sections.
Fashion news director Jen Ford lined her entire closet in corkboard: It houses necklaces, fabric swatches and all forms of outfit inspiration, including celeb and street-style crushes.
It can be impossible to distinguish between jeans when you can only see a sliver of denim—particularly when there are dozens of pairs to contend with. Mark your shelves with tape according to style, and then create a color-graduated stack.
· Use uniform hangers for tidiness and to keep clothes at the same eye level.
· Remove dry-cleaning bags immediately—not only do they trap a lot of air, but they're keeping your loved clothing imprisoned with harmful chemicals.
· To prevent slippage, fasten the top four buttons on all shirts (and zip up pants).
· Break up suits so you remember to wear them as separates.
If you like a crisp pleat, fold along the creases and fasten at the top. If you prefer a flat front, hang them as you would wear them. Keep a bit of slack at the waist to avoid stressing the seams.
Wood ones may look beautiful, but they consume valuable inches. We love Huggable hangers because they're thin and prevent garment slippage.
· Use shelf organizers—like what they have at the library—to keep things tidy and contained.
· Arrange larger bags side by side, and stack flat clutches on top of one another.
· Take all purses out of their dust bags (delicate, exotic skins are the only exception) so you know exactly what you have.
· Keep clasps closed to avoid tangles—and lost pendants.
· Take bulkier pieces out of the jewelry box and put them onto a hook, to keep more delicate chains safe.
· Alternately, wrap corkboard with fabric, hang it up and invest in sturdy pushpins so you can see the full array.
If you have an enclave or cubby in your space, mount a rack on the wall and conceal it with a curtain hung from a metal rod. If no such nook is available, consider installing shelving near the door—and color-coordinate your shoes to make it look extra intentional.
Line boots—complete with boot trees—along the floor. During warmer months, store them under the bed in a clear plastic box.
Avoid back-of-the-door racks, as they position shoes too close to clothing—you never know what you've tracked in.