Organizing a Closet

There’s just nothing like an organized closet – whether it’s a large, walk-in closet or a small, linear closet, when it’s organized, it makes getting ready in the morning so much easier. When you finally decide to organize your closet, you can bet you’ll find items in there that you didn’t know you had so be prepared to do a little reminiscing as you pull stuff out. There are a few ways to organize your closet and the method you choose may be determined by the size of your closet as well as how much stuff you have to put in it. I’ve found that arranging my clothes by color, then by type works best.

Pull Everything Out
Before you can really organize your closet, you will need to pull everything out. Clean it out! Throw out any little pieces of garbage that may have found their way into the nooks and crannies of your closet, remove items that don’t belong in the closet & put them in their proper place, and create 4 piles of items; Donate, Throw Out, Store and Return to Closet. Place the donate items in a bag and throw out the un-wanted items – now we’re going to focus on the items that are to be stored and the items that are going to be returning to the closet.

Clean

  • After the closet is empty, get in there with hot water and a mild household cleaner and clean off all the shelves and walls.
  • If you have wood hangers that have been hanging in your closet all winter, take them down and wipe them off. Any hangers that are left over can be stored in a hanger hamper
  • Check out the clothes that were folded on shelves –if they smell dusty, wash them. If they have creases from sitting too long, either steam iron them out or wash them.
  • Wipe down & clean any shoes that are in the closet.
  • Vacuum or sweep the floor of the closet.

Purchase Closet Accessories
In order to really have an organized closet, you will need to invest in some organization containers. Some organizing solutions you can purchase include:

  • A couple 18 gallon totes for items that you want to store in the attic, basement or garage.
  • Shelving (if you don’t already have some installed).
  • Clear boxes with lids & wicker baskets that will fit on shelves without hanging off.
  • Hangers. Here’s the thing with hangers – I prefer all wood hangers, but they definitely take up more room than some of the other types of hangers out there. If you have a small space, you might want to stay away from wood & go with a thin hanger – just get them all the same color if you can. With such a small space, you’ll want the hangers to look uniform.
  • Canvas bins.
  • Shoe storage – Either over the door shoe organizers, a shoe bench, a shoe rack or shoe storage shelves. There are lots of options depending on the size of your closet.
  • Boot & shoe shapers

Organizing a Closet
Pack And Store

  • When all of your clothes are cleaned and you have all of the storage solutions and closet accessories that you need, separate your clothes by function first – like this:
  • Sleeveless tops, short sleeve tops, long sleeve tops, shorts, skirts and pants. Now, when you go to hang them up in the closet, hang the white, sleeveless tops first and then hang up the remaining sleeveless tops in order of light to dark; white, yellow, orange, pink, red, green, blue, purple, brown, black
  • Once you’ve hung up your black, sleeveless tops (or whatever your darkest color is), then move on to short sleeve white tops and repeat the process. Next are long sleeve shirts and then shorts.
  • When you’re ready to hang up the clothes, make sure all of the hangers are facing the same direction – your closet will look more organized & you’ll be able to see what is in your closet easier since they’re all facing the same direction.
  • When you get to skirts, start with the shortest white skirt and then move through the colors. After the darkest short skirt, add the longer white skirt and continue the process. Use pant’s hangers to hang skirts.
  • Pants are easy – just light to dark. Use pant’s hangers that clip instead of folding the jeans over a hanger to maximize your space.
  • If possible, try not to hang up any sweaters. If you hang them like a regular shirt, they may stretch out and if you fold them over the hanger, they may get a weird crinkle in the middle. Instead, fold them in a drawer, on a shelf or place them in a clear, plastic box (so you can see what’s inside). If you can’t see what’s inside, take a picture, print it out & tape it on the outside of the box. Also, if you have room, fold any sweatshirts and t-shirts and place them on a shelf or in a drawer.
  • The wicker baskets should hold items that are smaller and that could fall off the shelf, creating a mess. Some things to put in the wicker baskets might include:
    • Gifts that you are storing for special occasions.
    • Air freshener sprays.
    • Wallets.
    • Keys.
    • Notepads and pens or pencils.
    • Photo books.
    • Phonebooks.

    Decide on a mid-level shelf where you can get to these items easily and put the baskets away. If you have an overhead shelf, you might consider putting items that you may not use regularly in the medium sized wicker baskets up there.

  • Canvas bins are perfect for holding linens such as sheets, blankets, towels, etc. Look for some with zipper lids so that the linens will stay clean and tidy. Bins for linens could be easily stored on a bottom shelf or even on a top shelf, assuming you will be able to reach them when you need them. You can also place the linens in an under bed storage bin to save space in your closet.
  • An over the door shoe organizer is practical if you don’t have a lot of room in your closet for a shoe bench or a shoe rack. Shoe organizers can hold quite a few pairs of shoes and easily hang on the inside of the door, out of the way.
  • If you decide to use a shoe bench, shoe rack or clear boxes (with lids) to store your shoes & boots, put some shoe shapers in them to make sure they retain their shape while in storage.
  • Use can also use shoe racks to hold other items like scarves, hats & purses.

If you have any questions on how to organize your closet, post them in the comments section below or send an email to tips@improvementscatalog.com and we’ll help you out.

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