Over time, I have had the pleasure of helping a few lovely folks with some closet organizing. Understandably, sometimes going through clothing that has piled up over the years can be overwhelming! Especially when you have multiple goals to achieve when cleaning up your wardrobe. Usually we want to tackle getting rid of some clothes, organizing the clothes and shoes that we want to keep, and overall just coming up with a systematic way to store the clothing items we want in our closets. While it can be overbearing, and we may need assistance from a friend or an expert to help us move through the process, I have a few tips for the brave one willing to tackle the job on his/her own.
10 Closet Organizing Tips
1. Use on-hand storage items before rushing out to buy new ones.
Often times when we begin to organize, we want to rush out and purchase new storage bins and organizers to help us store things. While this is a GREAT idea, and usually very helpful, you may actually have bins, containers and boxes already in your home that you can use. Not only will this save you a few coins, but also if you do end up needing to purchase something, it will help you see what specific storage items you need beforehand. You will be able to gather specific details like what size, quantity and even what color containers or organizers would be ideal for your closet.
2. Some shoes will need boxes; some won’t- and that’s okay.
One of the biggest questions we have with organizing shoes is whether to keep the shoe boxes or not. I have seen many clever ways of organizing shoes with and without boxes, all being very efficient ways of storage, depending on the size, shape and space of your closet. One thing that I have learned is that having some shoes in boxes and some shoes outside of boxes is NOT a bad thing. We often think that we need to treat every item in our closet the same way in order for it to be clean and orderly. However, it is okay and effective to separate some shoes from their boxes while leaving others stacked nicely inside. For example, keeping sneakers neatly placed in their original boxes while taking sandals and high heels out of the boxes and/or storing them on shelves or in different containers may work well for the space allotted in YOUR particular closet. What works for some, may not work for all. Customize your closet for your needs.
3. When you have a top shelf, store vertically.
This is a simple tip to maximize the space in your closet. If you have a shelf above your hanging clothes, or anywhere at the top of your closet, make sure to use the full capacity of that “shelf to ceiling” space. For example, instead of placing one singular row of shoes or bags across the shelf, store something that is stackable so that you can use all of that empty space up top. If you have a lot to store within a small space, this will really help you maximize.
4. Refrain from hiding bags inside of bags for storage purposes.
Now, while it seems like an easy solution to storing bags, it can be detrimental to maintenance. When we store bags inside of other bags, we tend to either forget that we have those hidden bags, therefore rarely using them, or we get lazy failing to store them back inside of the other bag after usage. Which can then lead to a messy closet again. I recommend storing bags in a variety of other ways such as, hanging them, placing them loosely in drawers dedicated to bags only, or perhaps if space permits displayed or filed neatly on a shelf.
5. Organize by category, or organize by color? Which is best?
While this is completely based on preference, organizing a closet that has many divisions and sections by category will help keep organization while also maximizing the space. In the past, I have found that when you have a simple closet with a rod from wall to wall, organizing by color is super easy, simple and can be really helpful when getting dressed. However, when a closet is broken into many sections, some sections may be too big to fill up with one color, but easy to fill up with one category like tops or shorts & skirts.
6. Store flat shoes and sandals in a container to condense.
Almost a no brainer here, some of our shoes are really flat and take up more space than necessary when stored side by side across on a shelf or the floor, or in a stacked box. To condense, collect all your flat shoes and store them loosely and neatly in a storage bin. They will be easy to slide in and out as you need them.
7. When closet organizing, always find or create a space for long dresses and jackets.
Having a specific space in your closet for long hanging items is important in order to keep your clothes from dragging on the floor, easily collecting dust or getting stepped on. And also to prevent those long items from draping over other hanging items below or things that may be stored on the floor. Creating this space may require you to remove some hanging rails in your closet to allow long hanging items to be hung with ease.
8. Anything that is not clothing, shoes or accessories remove from your closet, if possible.
This may be a challenge for some with smaller homes, however if possible, removing all non-wearable items from your closet will truly help unclutter and simplify organization. You want to view your wardrobe closet as a clothing sanctuary, not as any ol’ storage cabinet. Treating your wardrobe closet with respect and special treatment will not only help you maintain organization and cleanliness but also provide you with the same outlook on your actual clothing.
9. Closet organizing includes “Micro-organization”: Look for as many opportunities to create more storage organization as possible.
With smaller accessories like scarves, jewelry and even underwear, we tend to disregard the fact that those items can also be micro-organized. For example, instead of tossing all of your scarves into one bin or drawer, you can fold them neatly into that same drawer or bin for easy access in a hurry and to maximize the space. This tip may be unnecessary for some, but for those who want to maintain maximum order this is a great solution.
10. Don’t stuff it! Closet organizing works best long term when you don’t overcrowd.
Overcrowding is the first step to another messy closet, drawer or bin. When storing or hanging items, make sure that everything has breathing room. Otherwise, over time it will become difficult to store things back properly and eventually become disorganized again. Remember guys, it’s really all about maintenance!
The best, and sometimes the worst part about closet organizing can be the many options for how to do it! Any of these 10 closet organizing tips can be used in different ways for different wardrobes and lifestyles. When tackling your closet alone, figuring out what works for you, your closet, and most importantly what you can maintain over time, is key.
Drop a comment if this was helpful! And let me know if you tried out any of these tips. Enjoy.