A Professional Organizer Overhauled My Closet—Here's What Happened

Gabrielle Savoie

Full disclosure: I may have the world's tiniest closet. Studio living is a fact of life in New York City, and the real estate gods did not grace me with the wardrobe square footage a woman really deserves. When I first moved into my "charming" (read: small) East Village apartment, I saw it as a challenge—it was the year of Marie Kondo, micro-living was the new buzzword, and my décor editor brain spun like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle in the making. I can do this. I can live in 280 square feet and have only one closet. 

With the amount of organizing and decluttering stories I had written, I thought I knew everything I needed to claim the title of most insanely organized wardrobe… I knew the KonMari folding method, I owned matching felt hangers, and I color-coded my clothes. But after months of shopping for the latest event, work function, or trip—it didn't matter how many storage hacks I knew—the clutter behind my closet doors painted a different portrait.

So I brought in the big guns. In this case, the ammunition to help me conquer the perfectly organized closet came in the form of a witty and charming (but slightly ruthless) home-staging expert and professional organizer named Tori Toth. A born-and-bred New Yorker, small-space living held no secrets for her. I was already doing a few things right, she told me, my pride momentarily restored: I hung my clothes by style, length, and color, all my hangers were nonslip, and I even had wire baskets to organize my winter accessories. As it turns out, I was doing everything else all wrong. You may think you're a pro at organizing—but how much do you really know? Read Toth's advice and find out.

Want more ideas to organize your own closet? These genius hacks from a celebrity closet designer will help.

Opening Images: Justin Coit for Who What Wear and Shira Gill

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