How to Organize Your Closet
Do you grimace each time you open your closet door? Can you even shut the door? Have you stood there looking at the huge monstrosity of a mess, and tell yourself today is the day?’ But, then you say nope, and try to close the door. Closet Organizing can seem like a massive chore. When you keep putting it off, more things begin to pile up. With simple steps and a few hours, your closet can be tidy. Stop spending an hour finding something, when you can spend minutes finding the perfect outfit.
This may seem like an obvious first step, however, most people may just throw everything on their bed. Controlled chaos is the key to begin a successful organization. As you are removing items, take them off the hangers. Put the hangers in one location. Make piles with the clothing. These can include favorite items, “unwearables”, seasonal, unsure fit, and unsure if you still like the piece. Sort tops from pants, long sleeves from short sleeves, etc… also very helpful, once you have the large groups sorted, sort that grouping by color … Sorting as you are removing items can save you time as well as energy.
Remove your shoes, nicknacks and whatever else is clogging up your closet. Sort your shoes in the same manner as your clothing and make sure to discard those that you haven’t worn in forever or those that are not “wearable”. The key to any organizing project is the discarding part. Completely remove anything that doesn’t belong in a closet … see my blog on what items generally belong in a closet for more information.
When the closet is completely empty, its time for a deep clean. Wipe down the walls and shelving. Vacuum or sweep the floor. If you have removable shelves, keep that in mind for rehanging or rearranging items that stay.
Purging clothing and shoes can be the most difficult step. This can also take the longest amount of time. Go through each sorted pile and decide if the article is still wearable. This can either be for fit or style. Touch each item, make sure you love wearing it. Anything that hasn’t been worn in over a year should seriously be considered “obsolete” and thrown in the “purge” or “discard” pile. There are many ways to discard an item, you can donate it to a worthy cause (I’ll share one of my favorites at the end of this article), you can sell them, consign them, donate them or toss them. Always remember when donating items that the item should be something useable to someone else. If it is so tattered, you’d never wear it again, there’s a good chance no one else will, this item is probably better off being tossed. Now, depending on the volume of items you have in closet, you can either have prepared boxes that are clearly labeled or you can use clear garage bags, whatever the method, make sure you know what goes where.
This next step is the fun part, reassembly or “storing” … I like to swap my clothing into two seasons (yes, I know there are four), but two really works for me. I have two clear bins one labeled WINTER the other labeled SUMMER … go through your items and separate them into these two categories. Purchase two large clear storage containers. Fold and place the nonseason clothes in one of the containers. Then pick your nonseasonal shoes to go into the second bin. Stack the bins on one another and place them in the back of the closet and as the seasons change, swap the clothes out. This will give you far less clothing to hang and fold and provide you with ample space.
I like hanging like with like. Shirts go together and then are subdivided by long and short sleeves. I like all my pants together, dark to light. I hang my jeans in half. I hang my heavy jackets, dark to light in one area and my sweaters and light jackets in another. I stage my clothing dark to light, heavy to light from left to right. If all this sounds too weird, drop me a line and I’ll happily walk you through some fun techniques.
Home organizing is one of those things that once done saves tons of time, money and stress. Think of it as a habit, once learned it is life-changing. If you’d like a free on-site assessment of your most cluttered space, please drop us a line or give us a call (firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 645-8277.
Did you know that by cleaning out your closet, you could help another woman with the confidence to enter or return to the workplace? Dress for Success (www.dressforsuccess.org) provides low-income women with gently used clothing suitable for interviews and the workplace and has over 100 drop-off locations nationwide.