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  • Writer's pictureKatie Frantz

Closet Systems that Work

Throughout your life you have been engineering systems. From the way you get ready for the day, to how you cook, clean, work, drive…and the list goes on and on.

Systems are what keep us moving, producing, learning and growing. They can help us become better people, but like any good thing, some systems are great and others, not so much.

This month, we’ve focused on helping you Create a Closet you Love, but what good is that closet if it doesn’t have the right system put into place.

Without the right system, the dream closet you’ve been working so hard to create will soon fall trap to disorder and cluttered chaos once again.

That is, unless we give it the right system.

But, is there a perfect closet organization system for everyone?


There’s only the right system for you.

To help you decide what system may be right for you, I teach two concepts of systems that work:

1. An Open System 2. A Closed System 3. A Combination

An Open System involves clothing in open view. Clothing is hung or folded in bins or placed on open shelving. Shoes are stored on floor racks and accessories hung on wall hooks. This system does not have closed drawers, dressers or containers with lids.

The Pros and Cons of an ‘Open System’ are as follows:


Clothing is easy to see and access                             

Convenient viewing at a glance                                 

Easy to store and maintain                                       

Colorful display                                                         

Less folding                                                               

Clothing can breathe


May be distracting to eyes

May overwhelm mind with choices

Open to others’ who use or see closet

Clothing openly exposed to air/surroundings

May require more storage containers/shelving          

Then there’s a ‘Closed System’ that involves a closed view. It incorporates closed drawers, dressers, bins with lids and jewelry/accessory in closed storage containers.

The Pros and Cons of a ‘Closed System’ are as follows:


Simplified look to closet                                              

Closet clear of distractions or overwhelm                  

Items are privately stored                                        

Clothing protected from outside elements                  

May save space by using a dresser                             


More folding required

May cause more wrinkles to clothing

May require “digging” through clothing

Not as convenient viewing

Clothing may pick up scents of the dresser it’s stored in

Then there’s a ‘Combo System’ that incorporates both open and closed systems together.

The Pros and Cons of this system are:


You get the best of both open/closed system                

Attractive look                                                                    

You decide how clothing should be stored                     

May be best use of space                                                  

More storage solutions for various clothing


May require more brainstorming on how to store items

Requires a combo of storage options in closet

May take up more space in closet

Requires more maintenance skills in storing items

Whatever system you’re leaning toward, finding a system that works best for you is the key to maintaining lifelong closet organization.

Pros and cons aside, the real deciding factor comes down to you, your style, your closet, your clothing and what you know will be the best system for your life.

Consider these Tidy Tips as you Create the Right Closet System for you:

  1. Play around with both systems and see which you prefer

  2. Ask questions, like “Do I like folding and placing my clothing in a closed drawer or in an open bin?” “Which way seems more convenient and easier to maintain?” “Do I like seeing all my items right away? Or do I prefer having them concealed?”

  3. If desired, try a combination of an ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ System. Many people like having a combination of certain items open and certain items closed.

  4. Be patient with yourself as you create the right system for you

  5. And above all, make sure it checks out with our “CLEAN” acronym:

Convenient               Logical               Easy to Maintain               Accessible               Natural Part of Your Life

Convenient: Make sure items are easy to get to. Items stored too high, too low or in odd places will make it challenging to maintain and use. When items are conveniently stored, you don’t have to make a lot of effort to get to them or use them. If you avoid an item because it’s hard to get to, you’ll need to rethink its storage.

Logical: Items should be stored in the most logical places for you. Places that you’ll easily remember where to store it, as well as places that make that item easily accessible to ease your life. Ask yourself questions like:

-Does it make sense to me where this item is stored?

-Will I remember to store it here?

-Will storing this item here make it easy for me to use and get to?

-Does this item ‘belong’ here?

Easy to Maintain: If an item is stored in a place that you know you won’t be able to maintain well, then change its location. Try new places and see if it’s easy for you to use that item and restore it. If it’s a pain to maintain, then make a change to its location. Be creative!

Accessible: Having items that are easy to access is key. Items that aren’t easy to reach or see can create challenges when trying to maintain order. The following questions can help when finding an easy access location for certain items:

-How easy is it to reach?

-Can it be viewed easily?

-When opening the drawer, door or bin, can you spot it right away?

-If the item isn’t used often, do you have it stored in a place that you can get to fairly easily if you need it?

Natural Part of Life: Having items stored in places that are easily used and loved as part of our everyday living is so important! There’s no point in storing items we want to use or wear if they’re not located in places we normally go to throughout the day. Place items where they naturally are “at home” in and where you naturally can use as you move through your day.

There’s no one out there who could do a better job in creating the perfect closet system than YOU.

Become the Magnificent Engineer that You are!



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