Closets often serve as a catch all for clothing, shoes, extra hangers, and other items that don’t quite make it to their designated spot. Tackling this mess can seem like a bigger challenge than it really is, especially if approached incorrectly. Use these organizing tips, ideas, and solutions to keep your closet and home in order.
Empty It Out
Many people make the mistake of trying to organize their closet with all the stuff still in it. It’s best to start with a clean slate by removing everything, including shelving if you plan to create a more functional space. Create three piles for your items: keep, sell/donate, and discard. As a general rule of thumb, get rid of anything you haven’t worn in the last year or that no longer fits. If your wardrobe is small, consider selling your unwanted and “too-small” items and using the money to purchase new outfits.
Store by Season
Maximize closet space by only storing the clothing you’ll need for the current season. Neatly put out-of-season clothes and shoes in a decorative chest, or in a plastic storage container that can be slid under the bed. Put the remaining in-season clothing on hangers or folded in a chest of drawers.
Shoes can take up a lot of space and require adequate room to avoid scruffs and scraps. To maximize closet space, consider investing in a shoe storage cubby bench, metal shoe rack, or fabric shoe holder that can be installed on the inside closet door. Using clear shoe boxes with pull out drawer fronts allow you to easily see what’s inside.
Even if your closet is small, you can take advantage of the space by utilizing the floor, walls and closet door. Wire shelving is inexpensive and can be attached to the wall to hold gloves, hats, and other small items. On another wall or on the back of the closet door, add a row of coat hooks. Attach the coat hooks at different heights to maximize space. Coat hooks can hold everything from scarves and belts to jackets and ties.
Hang It Up
If you’re still using wire clothes hangers in your closet, it’s time for an update. Make the switch to padded hangers for items made of delicate fabrics to avoid accidental tears. Use plastic hangers to hang t-shirts and button-down shirts. Sturdy wooden hangers are best for suit jackets as they help to retain the shape of the garment.
Label for Easy Access
Labeling the items in your closet can make it easier to find what you need when you need it. Labeled decorative boxes are perfect for storing items like turtlenecks or bathing suits, and can be rotated depending on the season. Use labeled dividers between clothing according to the category: e.g. shirts, pants, sweaters, jeans, etc. Keep the items that you frequently use at eye level, and the items that are used only occasional higher up. Consider bringing “outdoor” gear, such as boots and raincoats, to the mudroom or front hall closet.
Make your closet organizing escapades easy by sorting, storing, and cleaning out your closet the right away. An organized, downsized closet will make it easier to find exactly what you’re looking for in a snap. No more shuffling through piles of mismatched shoes and baskets of assorted handbags, scarves and other goodies. Keep your closet cleaned and maintained to simplify your life.