Before and After: This Stylish Closet Overhaul Shows How Reorganizing Can Make a Huge Difference

published Nov 17, 2022
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Before: multiple rows of clothes on hangers with a shelf in the middle
Credit: Sara West

One common misconception about having an organized space is that you need more room in order to attain the kind of organization you dream of. It’s true that small spaces pose particular organizational challenges, but having a large space does not ensure automatic organization. 

This closet overhaul by Sara West of South Coast Organizers demonstrates this very concept. Although her client’s closet offers ample space, it still benefitted greatly from a thorough organizing session. Taking a closer look at this project gives us classic organizing strategies that make a significant difference in any size closet. 

Credit: Sara West

Sara explains what inspired her client to make a change in her closet. “Before we worked on this closet, there were piles of clothes on the island and in the corners. Even with enough space, the client felt like she didn’t have enough room. When prompted, I realized she hadn’t done a closet purge in a while, so we started there.”

Credit: Sara West

The client wanted a “tidy and beautiful space,” so Sara created these tangible goals:

  • Get rid of clothes that are no longer worn
  • Create enough space so that all of the clothes could be put away
  • Make the open shelving functional and tidy 
  • Clear off the island countertop

Sara and her client got to work and it took them 12 hours over two days to complete the project.

Whether you’re working with a professional or a pal, company always makes jobs like this better. “The process was really smooth when you have an easy client like this one,” says Sara. “I held up her clothing piece by piece and she decided to keep or donate it.”

After decluttering, Sara purchased organizing products “to make the space cohesive and stylish. Matching black velvet hangers, clutch organizers, and shelf risers for shoes helped to elevate the space and maximize her storage.”

Sara’s favorite part of the closet turned out to be the open shelves. “They began unorganized and messy and turned out beautiful,” she says. “I folded all of her jeans and sweaters the same way with the single fold showing. This creates a clean, uncluttered look. The acrylic clutch organizers are my favorite way to organize and display beautiful bags.”

Getting deeper into the organization strategies that aren’t as easily seen, Sara gives us a professional’s insight about how to create systems that can be maintained. “I always categorize clothing by type first, then color,” she says. “I put all of her sleeveless tops together and then organized by color. I did the same for her short sleeve and long-sleeved items. This was continued from hot weather clothing to cold weather clothing. I also created a costume, formal, and cocktail section on the second story of the closet because those items aren’t worn regularly.”

Sara says that with any organizational project, you should start by decluttering. And even if you have a lot of space, you need “to get rid of items [you] no longer need, use, or love.” 

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