So, you’re designing a new closet (or even just reorganizing your current one). Congratulations! This is a huge opportunity to re-frame the way you think about your wardrobe.

You may have heard of the 80/20 rule. It’s often applied to a lot of large-scale business situations—20% of the customers are responsible for 80% for a business’s sales, for instance.  Or, that 80% of the work on a given project is done by 20% of the team. What you might not know is that the 80/20 rule is also applicable to a surprising number of situations in our everyday life. If you think about it, 80% of your phone calls and texts probably go to roughly 20% of the people in your life.  And, if you’re anything like us, you cook 20% of the meals you know how to make 80% of the time.

Using the 80/20 Rule in Closet Design

Let’s talk closet design.

Most people will agree that they wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. This makes sense. You have those two or three favorite outfits that you wear all the time because they make you feel great. But, you rarely wear those nice dresses or suits for special occasions. And your winter wardrobe? If you live in Wilmington, NC, as we do, you know that those winter clothes are really only useful 20% of the year (if that!).

When thinking about designing a new closet, people tend to imagine a closet where they can easily access everything they own./ They rationalize it by telling us that they would wear their clothes more often if they could just see them. However, the 80/20 rule suggests that that’s not how things actually work. The truth is, good closet design relies on the fact that not everything needs to be immediately accessible.

So, how do we approach closet design using this rule?

Before we begin a closet design project, we ask clients to carefully consider the types of clothes they own and wear most often. Installing long-hang sections for formal wear can be pricey and awkward in an otherwise streamlined closet. Sometimes, if you have another closet in the home where your full-length items can be more easily stored, it’s a better idea to use that one.

Similarly, clients often ask to install shelves all the way to the ceiling in very tall closets, not considering the difficulty in reaching the highest shelf or the cost of all the extra materials. Sometimes attractive organization solutions like decorative baskets and storage containers provide more bang for their buck.

Want more closet design tips and strategies? Visit one of Strickland’s showrooms, located in Wilmington, NC, and Southport, NC!