I’ve been putting it off for weeks, but with Spring officially here it’s time to gert down to business and do my annual closet clean. It makes a huge difference when I’m styling my outfits with a clutter free, organized closet.
Step one –Draw a Sketch of your Closet. If you haven’t organized your closet in some time and you are not maximizing space this is the best way to remedy the problem. You want to remember to use all your space from top to bottom (both above and below the closet rod). This is a great time to play around with different versions. Remember what you will need the most room for and keep in mind your trouble ares – i.e not enough room for shoes.
Step 2 — This is the time for editing your clothes, it is the most important!. Designate 3 areas (or get 3 containers) – One for stained clothes that need to go – if they are not too badly stained homeless shelters will take these. One for clothes you no longer wear but are in great shape – you can either give away, sell on ebay or consign. The last one is for very small closets where you need to separate the seasons and pack one away. Make sure to dry clean items before packing it up neatly, and I always add a few cedar blocks for good measure.
Go through each piece and be brutally honest. If its stained or torn and can’t be fixed IT HAS TO GO! If you haven’t worn it in a year it is time to let it go. My only exception to this is a designer piece I love and know I will wear in the future. A trick for separating what you wear from what you don’t is flipping the hangers. After you wear each item turn the empty hangers around when you put your clothes back in the closet. You’ll soon see what you wear a lot, and what you never touch.
Step 3 — Organize hanging garments by type and color – all pants with pants, etc. For a clean look it’s very important to color code. All white tops together, all blue, etc, and arrange from light to dark. For items with sleeves (within a color) put sleeveless first, then short and lastly long sleeve. With dresses I separate long from short and arrange by sleeve length.
Make sure to use only one hanger type – wood or plastic is best. To maximize space you can use faux suede skinny hangers for everything except blazers, jackets and coats. Believe me it makes a big difference. Your closet will look neater and you’ll save time when dressing for the day.
Step 4 — Do the same with folded items. Divide by type – sweaters, t-shirts, jeans, etc – and then color code. If you don’t have room for separate piles of short and long sleeve, put short sleeve on top for spring. I never hang anything that will stretch out. If you have very little folding space then you can drape an item over the bar of hanger.
Step 5 — I keep my shoes in plastic boxes with picture on the front, but this does take up space. You can also get shoe racks (I prefer to place right shoe toe out and left shoe heel out so you can see both to make finding what you’re planning to wear easy), or a cubby space with dividers. A great space saver is to hang a shoe organizer on the back of your door. For handbags you can either utilize the cubby space with dividers or keep them on a shelf (empty space over your top hanging bar is ideal). Using dividers on the shelf to keep the purses up right will maximize your space and make them easily accessible. With my expensive purses I keep them covered with cloth covers and pictures on the outside.
Step 6 — All the rest — For jewelry a built-in drawer in one’s closet or dresser with dividers is the best method in order to keep things neat and uncluttered. If this isn’t possible you can hang a plastic pocket organizer on a wall. Belts can either go in a drawer, wound in a circle, or on a peg divided by color and width. Scarves folded in piles by color and material works best, and makes it easy to pull one out without ruining the organization of the rest. For hats, I love hat boxes with a photo on the outside if room allows. If not, you can hang on a peg on the wall. Lingerie is best organized by color, size, and type. I like to add a scented sachet to my drawer.
Extra tips – I like to cover my nicer clothing with plastic shoulder covers. Keep a small step stool that folds up to reach those high spaces. Matching containers or baskets are ideal for accessories or clothing that can’t be hung. Mount a peg board to a wall or inside of door.