Organization from Closets by Design

Sooner or later, all homeowners are faced with the decision of what to do when they find themselves running out of storage space. Whether in closets, attics, garages or pantries, new things just seem to come into a home faster than old things go out, resulting in an inevitable space crunch. To resolve this quandary, Hendersonville Lifestyle Magazine went to a local storage professional to help our readers learn to how to bring order out of chaos.

Sandra Sokol and her husband, Mark, are co-owners of Closets by Design, a storage franchise located in Franklin, Tennessee, that serves customers throughout Middle Tennessee. Closets by Design has been designing and installing creative storage solutions for homeowners for more than 13 years. In this article, Sandra shares her favorite tips on how to declutter and organize existing storage space.


How do you know when to keep items?

Most storage experts recommend keeping clothing articles based on two simple criteria: usage and flexibility. If the article is worn regularly or if it is considered to be a wardrobe staple, then it should be kept in the closet. Also, if the article can be mixed and matched with other items to create varying outfits, then it is a keeper. 

“Carefully designed closets and storage places can help people determine their most worn items at a glance,” Sandra says. “Everybody feels better when they are clean, decluttered and organized.”

Items to Keep:

  • Neutral shirts and blouses
  • Jeans
  • Casual slacks
  • Work clothes

How do you know when to store items?

Sandra encourages homeowners to carefully consider items before discarding them. Clothing articles such as out-of-season pieces and specialized articles should usually be removed from hangers and stored until the appropriate seasons or occasions arise. All stored items should be carefully folded and placed in sealed, protective bins or tubs to keep them safe from the elements.

Items to Store:

  • Sweaters
  • Scarves
  • Winter coats
  • Evening wear

How do you know when to discard items?

Sandra recommends turning around all hanging items so that the hanger hooks are backward (facing outward). Every time an item is worn and rehung, that item’s hanger is returned to the normal position (hook facing inward).  

“Take a look at your closet after six months and you can immediately see which items have not been worn since their hangars have not been turned back to the normal position,” she says. “If you haven’t worn these items during the period, it is probably best to discard them.” 

Second, she recommends color-coding items when hanging them in the closet. 

“When hanging clothing of similar colors together, it is easy to tell whether you have too many or not enough items of individual hues. If you have too many similar items, it is time to discard the extras,” she says.

Third, Sandra suggests checking existing home “inventories,” e.g., attics, pantries and/or garages, before purchasing new items. By checking existing stock, homeowners can avoid purchasing unneeded, duplicate items. Home reviews also provide an opportunity to discard items that have reached expiration dates.

Items to Discard:

  • Duplicate items
  • Worn-out items
  • Ill-fitting items
  • Out-of-style items

Where to Donate Clothing in the Hendersonville Area

  • Hendersonville Samaritan Thrift Store, 116 Dunn St., Hendersonville, Tennessee
  • Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee, 205A Indian Lake Blvd., Hendersonville, Tennessee
  • Gallatin Cares, 330 North Durham Ave., Gallatin, Tennessee