Fall and Spring are the best times of year to clean out and organize your closet, as you transition to your warmer or cooler clothes. While it may seem like a daunting task, when it’s done you will feel exhilarated. You will also find yourself wearing more of your clothes because you can actually find them.
Your first step should be going through everything in your closet and separating the items into piles/boxes/bags of whatever you choose to donate or trash. A good rule of thumb is, if you have not worn an item in a year, then get rid of it. If you went through all four seasons and it didn’t leave the house, then it’s unlikely you will wear it in the future. Exceptions to this could be a winter coat if you live in FL. If necessary, create an unsure pile, but give it a deadline. Try on anything you think might not fit; and toss it if it doesn’t. If you have multiple items that are very similar, try them on too, and compare to see which one fits you the best and is in the best condition.
Once the space is cleared out, assess what you have and make a plan for organizing the space. Figure out how you can maximize your space by doing things like grouping longer hanging clothes on one end and shorter hanging clothes on the other end of the rod. This increases the floor space below the short garments and you can then place a small dress or shoe rack to maximize that floor space. Minimize the amount of “white space” you have by figuring out how you can utilize that space properly. If this is not your forte, it may be wise to hire a professional closet company to design and install a new system.
Here are some tips for the reorganization:
1. Matching Hangers - Use matching hangers. They not only look better, but also take up less space. Huggable or slimline hangers are preferable, as they are thin; and even slippery items stay neatly in place.
2. Acquire Appropriate Storage Containers - You don’t always have to get rid of everything to de-clutter. By acquiring the appropriate storage containers, you can become more organized and save space. Try items like scarf and belt hangers, multi-item pant or skirt hangers, fabric boxes, or plastic storage containers. Reisenthal makes beautiful collapsible boxes that are great for storing things in your closet; and they can easily be left on display. Clear containers make it easy to see what’s inside. Keep everything as visible as possible; since out of sight means out of mind.
3. Sort By Type - Hang clothes by item type and then by color. For example, group together all tanks tops, short-sleeve shirts, long-sleeve shirts, pants, skirts and so on. It’s also best to hang by length. Fold sweaters, jeans, and delicates.
4. Only Seasonable Items In Closet - If you have a small closet but have another storage area, it’s best to put the out of season items in a secondary location. If that is not an option, put the current season’s items in the most accessible area.
5. Shoe Racks - Find a shoe rack that best fits your space, quantity of shoes, and is easiest to access. If you store your shoes in their boxes, tape a picture of the enclosed shoes on the outside of the box so you can easily scan your shoe choices without opening boxes and making a mess. Organize your shoes by occasion or color.
6. Invite a Friend - Invite a friend or two over and make it an event. They can help advise you on what to keep or toss; and you may even be able to give them an item or two.
7. Utilize All Available Space - Utilize places like the back of your door or open wall space with hooks or shoe storage. Under the bed is also a great place to store things. ShoesUnder is a great product that neatly stores 12 pairs of shoes under a bed. Available at www.shoesunder.com.
8. Keep Clutter Clear- Repeat the purging process at the end of every season, as it is easier if you keep up with it. Also, think seriously every time you go to buy something new- do you love it? Will wear it regularly?
An invaluable resource for finding, evaluating and acquiring the perfect look, Amy Gordon is a trusted Style Expert that can take the stress out of shopping! She has been featured in a number of print, television, online and radio outlets, offering consumers unique and inspiring fashion advice, and the tools they need to find their own artful style. She is also the founder of Artfulwears.com - an online fashion boutique for those who appreciate cutting-edge fashions and who believe that style means more than just following the leader.