Minimalism: Closet Edition

If, like us, you have your #dsgoods on permanent repeat, you’re not alone: the average person wears 20 percent of her clothes 80 percent of the time. Yet we all tend to fill our closets with whim purchases and trendy or just-okay pieces we don’t really want or need.

To help us start the year in streamlined style, we turned to minimalism mavens Corrie Jackson and Jennifer Bakker of luxe organizing firm HAVEN to walk us through their signature system for conquering clutter in our closets.

Dudley Stephens fleece turtlenecks maison haven greenwich connecticut

Reorganizing a closet can be so daunting. Where's the best place to start?

The absolute first step is to edit your clothes (skip this stage at your peril!). Set aside a month to complete the hanger trick: turn the metal parts of your hangers to face you. Each time you wear an item, turn it the other way. At the end of the month, see how many clothes are facing the original way. That’s the pool of clothes you should edit.

Dudley Stephens fleece turtlenecks maison haven greenwich connecticut

What are the essentials to a versatile yet manageable wardrobe?

Pare it back. Since we wear a small subset of our wardrobes most of the time, chances are, you have too many clothes. Think in terms of outfits, not individual items. You want a closet full of clothes that go with everything: our go-tos are a neutral Dudley Stephens fleece, Frame jeans and black Chelsea boots. We also love the wardrobe app Stylebook. It allows you to create outfits and keep tabs on your closet so you don’t double up.

What's the best way to decide if you should part with a clothing or accessory item?

Pull everything out of your wardrobe. As you sift through, follow our 3F rule. Does each item:

Fit - If not, either schedule an appointment with a tailor, or donate/consign.

Flatter - Life’s too short for clothes that make you feel anything other than your best self.

Function - Can you create at least three looks with this item? While this rule doesn’t apply to your closet’s standout items (like cocktail dresses), you don’t want a wardrobe full of one-hit wonders.

What's the most common problem you see in women's closets?

They can’t see the wood for the trees. Visibility is the key to a hardworking closet.

Dudley Stephens fleece maison haven greenwich connecticut

What's the cure for it?

Smart storage solutions. Huggable hangers maximize space. Boot stackers halve the space you need for each pair, and prevent boots from toppling over. Shelf dividers keep clutch bags neatly lined up. One last thing: lots of people suggest storing bags in their original dustbags but we say you’re more likely to use what you see. So make a feature out of them and give yourself a daily reminder of what you own! Also dedicate some drawer or cupboard space to a closet kit: a portable steamer, fabric defuzzer and shoe shine. It makes touch-ups easier and keeps your clothes wearable.

Dudley Stephens maison haven greenwich connecticut


#1 tip, trick or tool for closet organization?

Make a visual statement! If it looks beautiful it’s more likely to stay that way. Your closet should excite you!

Dudley Stephens fleece turtlenecks maison haven greenwich connecticut