A well-organized closet is a game changer

How often have you rummaged through your closet, desperately searching for that missing shoe or sweater you’re sure is in there?

This is a scenario that Rebecca Gardner, an organization expert with Ultimate Closet Systems, knows well.

“Our customers tell us, ‘I can’t find my clothes,’ or ‘My rods fell,’” Gardner says. “Probably the thing I hear most often is simply, ‘This is just not working.’”

Gardner and her colleagues design and install custom spaces, including closets, pantries, garages, laundry rooms and offices. She says no two projects are the same, as her goal is to provide each customer with an organization solution tailored to meet his or her specific needs.

“The first thing I ask is, ‘What do you want to get out of this space?’” she says. “There are a lot of different variables. I take a lot of measurements and ask a lot of questions, so I can create a customized blueprint.”

Things Gardner considers when reorganizing or remodeling a closet range from how tall the users are to how they prefer to hang their pants. These details, as well as decisions about color, lighting and hardware, matter for creating a personalized space, she says.

Gardner, a Baton Rouge native who has worked for Ultimate Closet Systems for almost three years, says she has always enjoyed organizing spaces.

Having an organized space “sets the tone for the rest of the day,” she says. “Your closet is the first place you go in the morning and the last place you go in the evening, so it’s nice for it to be a peaceful place.”

Gardner says she has had customers who found new clothes—with the tags still attached—that they’d lost in their disorganized closet. One customer kept buying groceries she already had because she couldn’t see what was in her pantry. After the remodel, that customer thanked Gardner for saving her money on groceries. “She said she was no longer doubling up on her groceries because she could actually see what she had. That’s the best reward ever.

“I love helping people,” Gardner continues. “They can walk into their closets and see their clothes, see their shoes—they know what they have. I love that aftereffect of people saying ‘Wow!’ when they have an organized space.”

Organize your closet like a pro

Use thin hangers. “With hangers that are one-eighth-inch thick instead of three-fourths-inch, you’ll add up and save a lot of space,” Gardner says.

Use the same color hanger. Your closet will look neater.

Face shoes in opposite directions. For each shoe pair, put one facing forward and one facing backward. Having all your shoes facing the same direction takes up more width, she says.