Closet Rehab |

Closet Rehab

Sarah MausolfVail CO, Colorado

Your closet is a bit like Courtney Love. Its disheveled and it needs rehab.Here in the Vail Valley, a closet can get dysfunctional pretty quickly between all the bulky boots and snowsuits.Its not like Arizona, where you can have shorts and a couple sweaters and be fine, said Matthew Pedersen, owner of Classy Closet in Kremmling.Now that spring cleaning season is here, this is the perfect time to delve into that scary storage space.Here are a few quick fixes for your closet issues.

Sometimes it feels like Vail has just one season snow but summer is near. Marilyn Smith Heaney, an interior designer with Slifer Designs in Edwards, suggests making room in your bedroom closet this spring by packing away winter gear. Stash it in another closet or box it up and stow it away on the top shelf. Just dont get too carried away. We do not live in the tropics, and some people make the mistake of putting it all away, and you just cant do that, Heaney said. You need to save out transitional pieces and things you can layer. Leave a few cardigans for those nippy Colorado nights.

Most closets in the valley come with just a single shelf with a bar for hanging clothes. Pederson suggests double-hanging clothes. He usually moves the bar up to 7 feet and installs a second hanging bar at about 31⁄2 feet. This creates twice the hanging space for shirts, jackets, and pants folded over a hanger. Leave a small area with a single bar for dresses and long skirts. For even more sanity, replace that mishmash of plastic and wire hangers with matching hangers. Visually, its more appealing, Heaney said.

Its time to part with the Mickey Mouse underwear from eighth grade. Your closet is filled with vintage treasures, but all good things come to an end. That jacket you havent worn for 10 years, get rid of it, Vail resident Christie Hochtl suggests. Thats the best organization out there. Heaney recommends parting with long-neglected items with the price tags still on and clothes that no longer fit.If youre not passionate about it, take it out of your closet, she said.

Stacking your sweaters on the top shelf is a disaster waiting to happen. They just dont stay in place. Then it becomes messy, and you take one sweater out, they all fall down, Heaney said. Try stacking sweaters in a clear plastic storage bin, she said. Theyre contained, but you can still see into the bin when you need to find something.

A dark closet can be hard to organize. If you cannot see whats in there, then youre just digging through the stuff, and you dont want to be doing that, Heaney said. Install a light that fits building codes, she said. Stores carry a variety of cheap fixtures that you can hang close to the ceiling.See a professionalIf you have the funds, several companies in the area specialize in custom closets. At California Closets in Edwards, closet improvements can cost anywhere from $1,500 for minor embellishments to $50,000 for a walk-in closet with all the bells and whistles, designer Dan Higbee said. Customers outline their needs and budgets and then review the design on a large TV. From shelves to shoe cubbies, the company offers a range of weapons against clutter. We fix chaos, Higbee said.High Life Writer Sarah Mausolf can be reached at 748-2938 or

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