I first met Katrina Mitzeliotis, a chic and adorable fashion director with Hollywood Life, over breakfast in midtown, Manhattan. Newly married and highly motivated to get organized, Katrina admitted that her clothes were currently in piles on the floor of a spare bedroom in her home in Brooklyn. And, when she said “piles,’ she was using the term loosely.
Many people would shy away from sharing a “dirty little secret” like a room with clothes and shoes strewn about, but Katrina wanted Hollywood Life readers to know that there’s no shame in learning to be organized. While Hollywood Life often features celebrities and their fabulous clothing and closets, Katrina is relatable and typical in many ways. She has more clothes than she needs, she has no idea how to organize them, and she lacks the closet infrastructure that would make organization attainable. A closet makeover was just what she needed, so I teamed up with ClosetMaid to give Katrina the closet of her dreams.
After obtaining measurements, ClosetMaid opted for its SpaceCreations collection for Katrina. This DIY system is easy to install, yet still has a high end designer look and feel. Katrina chose the Classic White with contemporary chrome hardware. The entire system was shipped directly to Katrina’s apartment where it was easily assembled and installed. We were all thrilled with the possibilities, but the hard work was just beginning.
We started early in the morning, fueled by hot tea and bagels. First, Katrina needed to sort her clothing by category (e.g., workout clothes, pajamas, t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc.), and do some hardcore purging. Once she could see her clothes, (many of which had been buried in the aforementioned piles), Katrina was able to let go of the clothing that was ripped, torn, and stained. With a little prodding, she also let go of some clothing that she didn’t wear anymore or didn’t like anymore. What was more difficult was editing all of the freebies that she gets as part of her job. In the future, she agreed, she wouldn’t take anything unless she needed it, had a place to put it, and would buy it if she saw it in a store.
The next step was to hang or fold all of the clothing that had passed the purge test. Katrina had slimline ecru hangers which we used to eliminate the visual noise in the closet. At first, Katrina underestimated the impact this would have, but after showing her how her clothing looked on uniform hangers, she sent her mother to the store to buy more! I also taught Katrina the importance of folding properly, so clothing stays fresh and unwrinkled. We even folded every pair of socks she owned and every underpinning as well. We then organized these in piles by group, so we could see how much of each category she had.
Next came the fun part. We began hanging the clothing in sections, grouping like items together and organizing clothing by color in each category. We hung Katrina’s clothing in the following sections: long sweaters, dresses, nighttime tops, jeans, casual tops and blouses, and formal dresses. We opted to fold her sweaters, sweatshirts, and work out pants. In the drawers, we put underpants, bras, workout bras, socks, and t-shirts. Other items, worn or used less frequently, such as belts and underpinnings were placed in ClosetMaid soft storage bins. Sunglasses, of which Katrina had many, were contained on a decorative tray. A jewelry tree was outfitted with everyday jewelry, and Katrina’s bags and shoes were organized by color and style.
The closet looked amazing at this point, but we weren’t finished yet. After a quick snack of a hot spinach and cheese casserole, it was time to accessorize the closet with fun accents Katrina had purchased. We placed a poof in the corner, so she would have a place to sit while putting on her shoes. A rug was added for polish and pizazz, and a small table with a photo and a candle were placed front and center. A large photo of Katrina and her photogenic husband was added to an empty shelf. We were all giddy with excitement, especially Katrina, who stared in disbelief at her clothing, bags, shoes, and accessories lined up and completely organized. As she said, “it’s a dream come true.” See the amazing “after” pictures here: