A Look At The Closet War Between Couples (And How I Sort of Won Ours!)

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his and her closets closet wars closet makeovers

One thing The Man and I have in common is that we both like to be well-dressed. This means we both buy a lot of clothes, and since we don’t yet on a house and dwell in a moderate apartment instead, this means we quickly run out of space to fit it all. This is when the closet war begins! Two years ago when we first viewed this apartment, I fell in love with it because it had an enormous walk-in (unheard of in these parts of Jersey) in the master bedroom.

I honestly wasn’t plotting to take it over entirely back when we signed the lease, but it only took about a month for me to boot what was left of Gibran’s stuff out. I banished his things to a smaller closet in the second bedroom (AKA our office) and although he wasn’t totally pleased with having to stuff all his belongings into such a small space, he chose to get crafty and make it work instead of complain. (Thanks again, babe!)

I thought I had won the war until I realized something peculiar was going on: All of the “miscellaneous” homeless items in our place somehow found their way onto my closet floor or shelves. Aha!  I had figured him out. The Man was still harboring feelings of jealousy over my swift and torturous closet takeover and as payback finds all sorts of bizarre things to stick in there “because I have the space”.

Genius, isn’t it? Whenever I see a bottle of glass cleaner, or an old book stashed among my sweaters or jeans I roll my eyes, complain, and then abruptly move it somewhere else. But the truth is, I’m beginning to think that I don’t really have a right to touch these things. Especially during moments like now, as I type this at my desk, and I look over at Gibran’s poor little closet door hanging on for dear life as giant stacks and mounds of four seasons worth of men’s shoes and clothing lurk behind it just pushing and begging to fall free.

Shame on me! If my husband is willing to give me a closet the size of my old college dorm room to put my stuff in, why can’t I give him a pass on leaving something like a scrabble game set or an old umbrella in mine? I have no excuse. I am just shamed. If I did win this war, lately it’s sure not feeling like much of a victory. In fact the minute I get some real free time on a weekend I vow to carve out some space for his overflow; a chore on my list that is long overdue.

Who won your closet war, you or the hubby? How did you decide on who gets what?

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12 Responses to A Look At The Closet War Between Couples (And How I Sort of Won Ours!)

  1. paula says:

    hey charli, great post. and kind of uncanny how your closets almost exactly mirror mine and my husband’s. but i wouldn’t feel bad if i were you. you have more stuff–you need a bigger closet! it’s a no brainer. but i do give you credit for thinking at the margin (an economic term for small changes that can have a big impact). carving out a special gibran-spot in your closet is a small and swift change you can make to help the guy out–and in the process, avoid finding unexpected scrabble boards among your sweaters.

    • ManWifeDog says:


      Thank you for stopping by with a “spousonomics” lesson! I’m anxiously awaiting the arrival of the book in the mail. You’re right I do have a ton more stuff, so where else would it go? He’d wind up with fascinators and Uggs mixed in with this hats and socks. (Smiles!) Now that I know what “thinking at the margin” means I’m obsessed with how awesome the concept is and I’m now somehow fascinated by all the other little ways I can make a big impact in my marriage…I’m sure you’ll see some posts about them. :-)

      P.S. You gotta send me pictures of the closets so we can do a side-by-side..lol….

  2. Alexis says:

    Omg! As u know WP and I have turned one of the spare bedrooms into my I mean our walk-in closet lol. We have a tv and cable in there as well. I definitely have won the closet medal. However I am trying to increase WP’s wardrobe I just don’t think its fair for me to have taken over most of the closet. Yeah right I love it lol. But I do think I might have a shoe problem they are taken over! Lol

    I love my other half

    • The Man says:

      I’m never ever letting my wife turn an entire bedroom into a closet. she will have too much of an excuse to shop and shop and SHOP.

  3. Jessica says:

    I did the same to my husband. I have a teeny tiny shopping habit, and eventually he gave up when my stuff began to overrun his half of our closet. I think it works out better this way. I don’t have to deal with his work boots on top of my adorable heels, and he doesn’t have to deal with me stealing his hangers all the time (only sometimes now). :)

    • The Man says:

      We men can't tell he difference between the heels you really paid a lot for and the ones you didn't so we will always do things like that.

  4. I have a 2 bedroom townhouse with walk in closets in both bedrooms so all of his stuff is in the guest bedroom. I have my shoe closet and my HUGE clothes/purse closets. So we aren’t fighting. At least for now.

  5. the MRS. says:

    We have separate clothes….now if only we had separate bathrooms…

  6. Tiffany says:

    OMG hubby and I just talked about this today!! I told him that I wanted to hire a professional organizer to customize our closet because no matter how much I clean it, it always ends up a hot mess. His clothes take up about 60% of our HUGE walk in closet. Grrrrrr

    • ManWifeDog says:

      Girl we've been talking about a professional oganizer for weeks now. The hubby is opposed and thinks it's a waste of money, but I actually think it's high time that we got some help with merging our personal styles. We've been living together for almost five years and we still haven't gotten it right!! I'm probably going to put up an ad to look for someone who's willing to work with us on the price. Let me know if you guys end up going for it, okay?

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