Organizing Your Closet: How & What

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amy_volk_216w_march_13By AMY VOLK

Fall is a great time to clean out the closets and get rid of all those things you haven’t worn in a long, long time. De-cluttering the clothes makes room for new sweaters and jeans as we enter the chilly months ahead, but it doesn’t have to be daunting or take a huge amount of time.

Below are my three rules for an organized closet followed by some tips to make your closet easy and simple to maintain.  Remember that your home is not a storage unit and that includes your closet! Clean it out and get it organized so you can enjoy the beautiful Fall season.

Rule #1 – Everything should fit. If it doesn’t, why is it still in the closet?

Rule #2 – Everything should be in style within last 5 years because older styles make you:

  • Look older
  • Look heavier when styles are too baggy
  • Look tired and worn out when clothes are faded

Rule #3 – You should LOVE everything you put on!  Not eh-eh, but love!

Otherwise, get rid of it.  Better to have just a few things that you love and wear a lot than have a lot of so-so clothes that you don’t feel great in!

Once you have cleared out the old stuff, use these tips to make your closet super functional and easy to maintain.

1. Make 3-5 “ready” outfits

Have these ready to go all the time; bottom, top, shoes, jewelry, undergarments, socks, hose, belt, scarf, and all accessories.

2. Hanger Strategy

As you are trying to decide what to keep or give up, use the hanger strategy: turn all hangers the wrong way.  As you wear something turn the hanger around. Whatever hangers are still in the wrong direction at end of the season gets donated.

3. Group clothes by style

Short sleeves, long sleeves, jackets, jeans, pants, dresses, sweaters, dressy, casual – you can also organize by color or season, but most folks like to group by style.  Pick the one you like.

4. Add shelving and/or second rod

To avoid clothes being crowded, thus causing more wrinkles, add another hanging bar or vertical shelving.  Shelves are great for sweaters, jeans, t-shirts, and anything else you can fold.

Don’t forget to use as much wall space as you can to maximize storage.  When your closet is small, I say go up! Use all the wall space available for shelves or to add another rod.

5. Recommended tools to organize

  • Use felted hangers and clear plastic shoe boxes for best outcome.
  • If not using shoe boxes, make sure you have visible shelving for shoes.
  • Use curtain rod rings with clips for belts and scarves.
  • Use shelf dividers to keep sweaters, sweatshirts, and jeans neatly lined up.
  • Use canvas shoe pocket or canvas shelves for hanging storage and to maximize space.
  • Use baskets for purses, sweaters, T-shirts, loose clothing items.  They make it easy to organize small items and they look pretty on a shelf.

6. Consider putting a small dresser in the closet for undergarments, fitness wear, socks, t-shirts, shorts, small or loose items, hats, etc.

Lastly, be creative in the closet and remember to start your organizing with the three closet rules mentioned at the beginning!  Happy Organizing!

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