A closet is a magnet for clutter in your home simply because you can quickly shove things in it and close the door and then "it" is hidden from your view. When you do this you are cluttering your closet and very far from being organized. This article will show you how to organize a closet quickly.
Before we get into how to organize your closet lets first talk about how it got dis-organized:
Generally a closet can get cluttered and disorganized for 2 reasons:
- You don't have a good storage system in place - i.e. - your closet is not set up in a way that "everything has a place" so you simply shove "it" into the closet and deal with "it" later
- You are not rotating out items you don't use, either seasonal or things you simply don't like
The goal of organizing a closet is NOT to figure out a way to store all of the "stuff" in the closet. Generally a closet is stuffed full of items you never use that only makes it more disorganized.
The goal of organizing a closet should be to set up your closet in an efficient manner so you can quickly find and return the items you regularly use, while removing or neatly storing the items you don't use. I like to use the analogy of a silverware drawer, everything has a place, and that's how your closet should be organized as well.
5 Steps to organizing your closet:
- Remove everything from your closet. As you remove things try to group them in piles of similar items. For instance maybe you have long sleeve shirts scattered all over your closet. Try to put these in 1 pile, same for pants, etc. If you are organizing a coat closet group items by the person who uses them.
- clean and paint the closet if it is in poor shape. Nothing will make your closet feel newer than a good cleaning or fresh coat of paint
- Examine your storage system: if this is an older closet with simply 1 bar and possibly a single shelf then you can do much better if you consider a closet organizing system. Try going to your local home improvement stores and looking at the closet storage system. They can help you tremendously in creating an organized closet with multiple hanging racks, tie racks, belt racks, and extra shelves and more. There are wire/metal systems that are very affordable and also more expensive wooden systems. Decide what is in your budget range and purchase one if needed. I've installed the metal closet organizers in just over an hour or so. A little measuring, a drill, hammer and possibly hack saw and you're all set and installed in no time
- If you have off-season items in your closet and have storage elsewhere in the house consider storing these items in plastic bins in the attic or basement. Yes they may get wrinkled but you'll give them a good wash as the next season approaches. If you don't have additional storage room for off-season items then you really need to look at what you need and either donate or sell the rest to make room. Nobody needs 4 winter coats, you may want all 4 but you do not need all of them so its time to make a tough decision. Feel good about donating items and also clearing space in your cluttered closet.
- For each pile of items you made carefully examine each item before it goes in the closet. Any items you haven't worn in over a year should go into a donation pile unless it's a specialty item like a suit or special dress. This will be very difficult as we can get attached to our clothes or feel like we are letting someone down if we give away a gift. But if the item is a sweater or coat you never wore and your aunt gave it to you do you think it makes them happy sitting in the back of your closet? Of course not, so donate it to someone who can use it and then everyone will feel good. Then as each item makes it into your closet it should be grouped with all other similar items. Ex: group all long sleeves together, shorts sleeves, etc. Or organize by color - its up to you and how you think when you look into your closet for something you need.
Now that your closet is organized you know exactly where to find and return each item if you grouped them logically together. If you put a new item into the closet take the extra 20 seconds to make sure it gets stored where it should, and also consider pulling out an item or two for donation since you are "upgrading".
When you are done with this process you will have an organized closet, a big pile of clothes for donation, and hopefully a huge smile on your face!