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Are You Guilty of These 8 Common Closet Mistakes?

Don't worry, we've got tips that can help you keep your favorite clothes neat and organized

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Photography: Marc Jao and Miguel Nacianceno (Main Photos)

How many times have you opened a cabinet only to be greeted by piles of wrinkled clothes, dresses in the wrong hangers, and pants stashed away in a hurry? It’s time to confess—we’re all guilty of putting back clothes we chose not to wear in its improper place, with a promise of fixing it soon. The truth is, given our busy schedules, it will take days or weeks before we get to organize our closets again.

Since we don’t want to report to work wearing clothes that have seen better days, we asked interior designers Cathy Cena-Yambao and Peaches de Guzman-Grey for a list of common closet mistakes and how to best address each. Do you commit some of these, too? There’s no need to fret as you can achieve an envy-worthy closet with a couple of expert reminders.

1. Not planning your closet's design


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It's not enough that we settle for shelves, drawers, and secret compartments. "Closets should be customized to tailor fit the user's requirements and needs. It should be personal and built based on the end user," shares Peaches.

A professional can help design your dream closet depending on your belongings. According to Peaches, whenever she designs a closet space, her clients need to go through an interview or answer a thorough questionnaire to help her figure out what they need. "If for example, they have lots of boots, then I have to incorporate that into my design. If they have lots of scarves, then I'd add a scarf hanger in my design. There are different standard dimensions for each item and category," she explains.

RL Tip: Aside from allotting enough space for a client's needs, you may also ask the pro to leave room for flexibility. After all, you'll never know what you'll acquire in the future—new bags or shoes, perhaps?

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2. Not following an organizing system


Are you the type who keeps casual wear in one drawer, then have the formal wear on one side of the cabinet? Or are you the creative one who has everything in one big pile? Not having an organizing system causes clutter and may leave you rummaging through your closet for hours just to look for a piece of clothing.

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"Group your items into categories and determine how to store them best. For example, long dresses need a full length space with hanger rods, while pants and shirts just need half the space. Underwear, socks, and folded clothes can go in separate drawers or shelves," suggests Cathy.

RL Tip: For your pile of folded clothing, Peaches advises to avoid piles that are taller than 300mm.


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3. Not having proper lighting

While you can depend on general lighting, extra lights installed inside closets are helpful—especially if you have lots of clothes and other essentials. "Having proper lighting makes things more visible especially in larger closets with many compartments. Install lights with ball switch for closets with sliding or swing doors and make sure you have general lighting for open closets," says Peaches.

4. Storing too many things

Many of us love to keep clothes from way back—these are either gifts with sentimental value or favorites that we can't seem to let go of. If you will hold on to these belongings, chances are, you won't have room for new items. "Nowadays, space is a premium commodity. It is important to streamline your items so your space is used to its full potential. Perhaps you can pick and choose which items you really want to keep and separate these from the items you haven't used for a while, like one year or more. You can place these in your donate box," shares Cathy.

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RL Tip: Aside from donating some of your preloved items, you can also hold a garage sale and earn extra cash. Click here to learn how you can set up one easily.


5. Not utilizing vertical space

There are homeowners who maximize the space between the ceiling and the top of the cabinet by adding baskets for seasonal items. A few also make use of the niche for keeping bags in place. Closets that don't go up to the ceiling are common according to Cathy. "The space between the top of the closet and the ceiling can be used to store items like themed decor, private memorabilia, and seasonal clothing like winter coats," she adds. You may also want to allot a box for your accessories, hats, and other collections.

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6. Not cleaning it regularly

No one wants to wear clothes with a kulob smell. Keep your closet clean and smelling good by cleaning it regularly. Peaches suggests allotting a day for spring cleaning and for deep cleaning the closet. "Use disinfectants, install cabinet liners, and make sure all surfaces are spotless. To keep it smelling fresh, you can keep a bar of soap at the back of your closet. This eliminates foul odors and gives your clothes a fresher smell," the designer explains.

RL Tip: You can use a damp washcloth to wipe shelves and drawers. Make sure the surfaces are dry before returning your belongings.


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7. Not using the space behind a closet door

We've said it before, every inch of space counts. Make the doors of your closet more functional by using it to store some of your accessories. "This space can hold a myriad of small items like ties, scarves, belts, and even shoes in a hanging pocket organizer," says Cathy.

Find chic hanging organizers at Habitat Manila, 5th Avenue and 28th Street, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

8. Using too many organizers

Our desire to keep the closet spic-and-span may cause us to purchase a ton of organizers that might turn into clutter, too. "Limit the use of organization products or you might end up having too many products that use up your closet space," says Peaches.

RL Tip: Invest in pocket organizers and sturdy hangers to keep your closet streamlined. You may also want to have baskets or chic acrylic bins where you can keep belts, accessories, and tiny purses. Find quality organizers at SM Home.

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For inquiries and additional questions, you can get in touch with interior designer Peaches de Guzman-Grey through e-mail at designsgrey[at]gmail.com or mobile at (0920) 928-0508. You can also e-mail interior designer Cathy Cena-Yambao at catherinecena[at]gmail.com or contact her mobile number (0917) 861-6011.

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