We moved into our new apartment in the city back in September and the closet space is what you imagine when you think of NYC — very limited! Out at our beach house we went to the The Container Store to plan our walk-through closet and we loved how it turned out. Naturally, we went back to The Container Store to plan our apartment closets when the time came. Why we choose to go back was because of Elfa — this closet system is magic, you guys! I love anything Swedish because they normally pair great design with things that are functional. Elfa is my favorite for that reason, and because with the Elfa Décor line you end up with an amazing looking closet for an incredible price. We used Elfa Décor in Birch which is the wood shelf finish you can see below: the pale white wood elevates the look of the closet without wasting space. The Elfa system also just works really smoothly and is super flexible. Anytime you want to change a shelf, a drawer or rod, you just simply slot it out and move it. Plus, there are so many combinations and options meaning you can find something to work in your space – even a small NYC apartment!

Below is the before and after of the bedroom closet:

*Use the slider to see the closet before and after*
The second closet was the coat closet. We wanted this to store our shoes and coats neatly, along with gym bags and umbrellas. I love how this one turned out! Now, every time we come into our apartment there’s space for everything to go away neatly. Here’s the before and after:

*Use the slider to see the closet before and after*
I also wanted to share my top five tips for closet organization. Let’s jump in:

1. Fold vertically
I always fold items such as socks, underwear and sweaters so they ‘stand’ vertically which means you can see everything when the drawers are open. It takes a little time to get used when you are sorting out the laundry but I’ve been doing this for the last eighteen months or so and it’s honestly so useful and streamlines day-to-day tasks. When I can see all my clothes it makes me feel so much happier and saves me a lot of time trying to find things. No more pulling everything out the drawer to find that one sweater that I wanted!

2. Speak to an expert
Our closets would have never turned out like this if we hadn’t seen one of the experts at The Container Store. I loved that from our Pop account they were able to immediately pull up all of our details and even closet plans from our previous closets, which saved us a lot of time when we wanted similar features to what we have at the beach house. The experts have so many great ideas about how to maximize the space and knowledge all the options available. For the bedroom closet we were able to cut a custom size pole so that I could hang my pants at the bottom of the closet and make use that small space.

closet detail shot

3. Don’t forget about accessories
When planning or organizing your closet don’t forgot about space to house all your accessories such as watches, scarves, belts etc. Having a shallow draw at the top of your closet makes all the difference when sorting such items out. Before I had the Elfa system all of my accessories were kept in my nightstand and not organized so when I was getting dressed I kept having to walk over the other side of the bed and dig through everything — that became old reallllll fast!

4. Sort by type and then color
I organise my closet by type of clothing, for example shirts, long sleeve tees, short sleeve tees. Then, each type I sort by colors, starting with lights and moving to darker colors. I do this because when I am thinking of what to wear it’s normally the weather or a special occasion that dictates the type of clothing I need or want to wear. This works well for me and hope it works for you, too!

close up of shoe storage

5. Get a spare clothing rack and clear storage
Even if I had huge closets then I think I would just fill them up and expand into the space, so I think a good rule is to only keep your main pieces in your closets. Having your closet filled with items you rarely wear just makes the everyday more complicated, IMHO, as it looks like you have a lot more options than you do and IT stresses me out. The trick is that long-term clothing and shoe storage should be accessible and, more importantly, clear so you can more easily see everything. A great thing that I have is clear shoes storage under the bed for additional shoes and boots. Between my husband and I we have quite a lot if shoes, but 70% we only wear a few times a year. Now, we can easily pull out the storage from under our bed and see all the shoes and boots quickly, meanwhile our closet isn’t bursting with shoes everywhere. For additional items that need to hang, consider a clothing rack for your basement, garage or storage unit, and hang those pieces that you only wear once a year in there. I take photos of all items I have out on my rack into an album on my phone so I can easily flip through what I have.

The Elfa Sale is now sal at The Container Store through Feb 25th 2020 so it’s the perfect time to upgrade and organize your closets!


Will Taylor

Will is a self-confessed gentleman hooked-on-hue and his motto is: beige is boring! He works as a freelance author, creative consultant and lifestyle blogger. Will has been blogging about his love of colourful design, fashion and travel since 2009, engaging an army of colour lovers across the world with his quintessential make-you-smile style.

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Hey, I'm Will

Welcome to Bright.Bazaar, my make-you-smile style corner of the internet. I’ve been sharing my love of beautiful design, feel-good homes, everyday style, inspiring travel and, pretty much everything in between, since 2009. As well as working as a content creator, I write interior design books and edit a bi-weekly e-newsletter called Smile Mail. I live in New York City with my heartmate and can often be found listening to Madonna’s Confessions album and dreaming up my next home renovation project.