Design your own closet with these simple closet organization ideas, and effortlessly find what you need in any closet!
As a professional organizer, organizing closets has become second nature. I have defeated cluttered clothing closets, clobbered overflowing entry closets, tamed packed linen closets and much more. What can I say, I love organizing closets!
Frequently, I see the "I just close the door" solution to dealing with chaotically jumbled closets. While it seems like a temporary solution (yet it doesn't really quite solve anything), nothing can top having your closet orderly and accessible.
The following closet organizer ideas and storage products will help you transform your closet from a concealed mess into a functionally composed space you can be proud of!
PURGE, SORT, STORE
• For smaller spaces, take everything out of the closet.
• For larger areas, start by emptying one section at a time (i.e. a shelf, a drawer). This simplifies the process, lessens the overwhelming appearance, and helps you successfully overcome the space. You also now have the choice of completing this task in small, doable sessions.
• Pick up ONE item at a time and decide if it is worth keeping. (This is a crucial tip for organizing closets. Remember, slow and steady wins the race.) In order to accomplish this, ask yourself appropriate questions (Is it ripped or stained? When was the last time I used it?). Below are suggested questions to ask yourself according to the type of closet you are cleaning out.
• As you make decisions, put the item in the corresponding pile, bag or box - Keep, Donate, Distribute, Trash. **Don't forget to record your donations for tax purposes.** (Trash can be broken down even further into Trash, Recycle, Shred)
• Take out the trash, and put the donations in your car. This hinders the possibility of undoing your hard do it yourself closet organization work.
This is a professional organizer's closet...my closet! Click on the photo for more on how I organize my own home.
• Now that you have gotten rid of all the
unnecessary and unwanted items, the focus is on what's left. Divide up
what remains into categories - like goes with like.
• Not only can you see all of your items, but now you can discern how much you have of each category. Return your things to the closet matching the size of the category with the space. (i.e. a large pile of t-shirts should get a larger shelf than the small category of shorts)
• Optional: Purchase any products for organizing closets that you think you might need to maximize your space. (See below)
• Get into the habit of putting things in their proper places, and promote this behavior to the other members of the household. This little task goes a long way, and makes organizing closets in the future a breeze!
• Decision-making questions: When was the last time I wore this? Does it still fit? Is it still in style? Is it in good condition? How often do I wear this? How many of this same item do I have?
• Don't look at your wardrobe in its entirety. To achieve closet organization successfully, go through one drawer or one shelf at a time.
• As you sort the items you are keeping, take the extra couple of seconds to fold them. This will save you time later!
• Keep a bag near your closet, so you can drop donation items in it whenever you come across things you no longer want or need.
• Clear out the clothing clutter at least twice a year (beginning of the summer and beginning of the winter). After a closet organization session, pick up some new items. It feels wonderful to add stylish purchases to your spacious closet, and you deserve it!
• Decision-making questions: Does it have a match? Is it a complete set? Is it old and faded? Is it still in good condition? (stained? holes?) Do I still have that size bed?
• Put the matching sheets and pillow cases together inside one of the pillow cases. This allows you to effortlessly locate a set.
• Use shelf dividers to prevent topples and to separate beach towels, bath towels, wash cloths, bedding and so on.
ENTRY OR COAT CLOSET
• Decision-making questions: Is it still in good condition? Does it still fit? Did I wear it this past season? How often do I use this? (The questions are general due to the variety of items usually found in an entry closet.)
• Are the items in season? Entry closets tend to be narrow, so reserve this space for things appropriate to the season (i.e. raincoats and straw hats in the summer; heavy coats, gloves, scarves in the winter).
• Entry closets are good for storing outdoor seasonal garb (coats, snow boots, winter hats, gloves, scarves, summer hats, rain boots), umbrellas, shoes and dog-walking supplies.