Moving in together is exciting, but it can also be a daunting process if you or your fiancé are accustomed to having your own space—especially when it comes to the bedroom, or more importantly, the closet. Whether you live in a teeny tiny apartment or a four-bedroom home, closet space is easily one of the most coveted (and fought-over) aspects of the home. To make this tricky task a little easier, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, co-founder of Fitz, a brand new in-home concierge that specializes in closet organization and wardrobe editing, shares her top tips for merging your closets and making the most of the space you have.
"Space is a precious commodity, so when combining closets we recommend being very organized," Wilson says. While it should go without saying, the first step is to divide your space accordingly. "If you have way more items than he does, the space should be divided to reflect that, but if you have equal amounts of items, it should be split 50/50."
Wilson's team takes it a step further. If your significant other is taller than you, give him the higher storage space and you can claim the lower shelves and racks for yourself. But don't forget to allot some long hanging areas for yourself, she says. "Be thoughtful about the type of clothing you both have, too," says Wilson. "Men tend to only need short hanging space while women need more long areas for dresses and coats."
Hang with purpose.
In addition to purchasing slim velvet hangers (they'll save space, protect your clothes, and give the closet a streamlined look), consider hanging shelves and shoe storage to free up ground space, Wilson suggests. Another expert tip? Consider double hanging rods, which create twice the space for pants, shirts, and tops, and just so happen to be incredible easy to install.
Still want to maximize your space? Wilson loves clear stackable shoe boxes, shelf dividers, and drawers, all perfect for fitting more items into your closet while still keeping it totally organized.
Keep, toss, or donate.
"People often have sentimental attachments to their clothing and accessories, so our stylists like to learn about an item before suggesting to keep, toss, or donate," Wilson says. Her team asks clients these two important questions about each item: When, and why? "The first question is when was the last time you wore this piece? If it's more than 12 months, then you need to think about why you haven't worn it, if you'll wear it again, and would you be sad if you didn't have it anymore. As for why, we'll ask, why do you love the item, and when do you wear it most?" You'll figure out what still fits, what suits your lifestyle, and when it's time to let pieces go.
Break it to him kindly.
You'll likely find that you both need to give up some items, but Wilson says understanding why you need to get rid of something makes the process easier. "If your fiancé has a lot of 'loved' items that are really worn, have holes, or are stained, subtly pointing out these 'imperfections' is a good way to begin suggesting it's time to invest in some new basics." Another good idea? Offer to replace those basics for him, as the idea of getting rid of items and needing to go shopping is enough to make any guy want to hoard his favorite old tees.
Still not ready to merge your closets yourself? Luckily, the signature Fitz Foundation three-hour appointment includes a survey of your style, an on-site appointment with two stylists to tackle the organization and edit of your closet, and specific recommendations about what to sell, donate, tailor, repair and clean. We think it's the perfect engagement gift or alternative experience to add to your registry.