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Just what I don’t need: A closet expert

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POSTED July 25, 2017 11:21 p.m.

Sixty-one years and counting I had no idea that there are experts who specialize in advising you about the right way to hang clothes in your closet.
There are professionals you can hire — for the yearly income of a farm worker — to help you reorganize your closets. Those who have subjected themselves to closet experts have called the experience “therapeutic.” They are the same people that apparently experience nirvana finding a $3,000 dress marked down to $750 on a clearance rack in a Neiman Marcus store.
The “right way” to hang clothes — apparently — is by color, category, length, and then by season.
This brings to mind two things: It seems a tad bit anal and why does anyone have to part with good money to be told how to hang their clothes?
I admit there was a time when I just opened my closet doors, randomly hanged clothes and tossed other stuff on the floor, and then shut the door.
That all changed six years ago when I remodeled the house, ripped out all the carpet, put in laminate wood floors, and got rid of the closet doors. It might sound nuts but it broke me of the habit of simply tossing things on the floor given I now have to look into my closet whenever I’m in the bedroom. It makes the room look bigger but more importantly it’s neat because I don’t want to look at a mess.
As for the hierarchy of clothes hanging, there’s not much I have to work with.
I’m not like the teen guy a few years back that posted his first day of school clothes selection on the Bulletin web page and included eight different colors of Converse tennis shoes that he coordinated with pants and shirts that match. I’m not saying there is anything wrong with that, it’s just that I’ve never been accused of giving that much thought to what I wear.
I try to organize my closet by clothing type — leather jackets, workout shirts, T-shirts, dress shirts, pants, hoodies, rain gear, bicycling jerseys, jackets, and shirts I wasn’t in my right mind buying but I can’t bring myself to donate to the Salvation Army given I spent $20 or so buying them.
The organization lasts for a week or so until the closet looks like the Tasmanian Devil of Looney Tunes fame passed through it. I even once tried to do my workout shirts and T shirts by color. That lasted 18 hours.
I read about the closet consultant in the Style & Fashion section of the Wall Street Journal that is aimed at a much different audience than myself given I spent a good portion of my life trying to remember to hang clothes up as opposed to having enough in my “wardrobe” to justify using a clothing version of the Dewey Decimal system. My idea of high end shopping for quality clothes is Kohl’s and not a place where the cheapest necktie is the same as my mortgage payment.
The closet experts also talked about how best to store shoes.
I realize they are talking primarily about women, but who needs 100 plus pairs of shoes? That is not as extreme as Imelda Marco and her infamous collection of 3,000 pairs of shoes, but still, how many pairs of shoes does a person really need?
I get by with five basic pairs of shoes — dress, cross trainers, hiking, cycling cleats, and water shoes. Granted I have a number of older pairs of the cross trainers as I’m brutal on them between how I land, the bunions, and hammer toes.The shoes still have some use left to them but aren’t exactly safe to jump around on hardwood health club floors after they get worn down a bit.
That said, I don’t think I need to pay a consultant $500 to tell me how to store shoes that cost me at max $55 although the hiking boots push $200. And what are they going to tell me for the $500? Even I can figure you put the left with the right shoe of any given pair and place them in an orderly fashion. If you need an expert to tell you this, then you shouldn’t complain about paying income taxes.
The high-priced closet consultants even will give you their two cents — I mean $200 — worth of advice on hangers. I figure if my grandmother could live 85 years and get by with just two hanger types — wire and wood — I can do the same. My hangers are the inexpensive thick plastic ones you buy at Target that lack the notches for straps on top so it doesn’t snag my T-shirts as well as the big molded plastic hangers Leather Wilson “gives” you when you buy a $150 leather jacket. I’m not going to spend $5.99 on a single “luxury Mahogany hanger” when I can buy 20 plastic hangers for that price.
Then there is the piece de resistance tidbit of advice from the experts: Don’t jam your closet to the brim as air circulation is important to preserve fabrics.
You will notice this advice is given to people who have closets the size of my 980-square-foot house. Besides, I’m not too sure whether air circulation will do too much to extend the life of polyester that already approaches Melmac in durability.
At the end of the day, the only advice about my closet that was given to me that made sense came from my mother — clean it.

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