There are obviously many benefits to keeping your stuff orderly, and if a well-organized closet gives you the warm fuzzies, we’ve got some tips to make, and maintain, your closet’s functionality. Read on for a few tried-and-true ways for keeping your closet organized season over season, without having to pull a full Mari Kondo.
1. Declutter Clothes by Category
Have you somehow, unbeknownst to you, accumulated 13 navy blue blouses? And why do you have three pairs of the same khaki pants? A pro-tip for closet organization is to go through your clothing by type or category. If you just toss every piece of clothing into a heap on the bed, it can be overwhelming and inefficient. When you separate your clothes by category (i.e. shirts, dress pants, jeans, etc.), it’s easier to compare similar garments when they are all grouped together in front of you. This allows you to see what you have too much, or not enough, of. From there, you can decide what you still need, and what can be donated or upcycled. Getting rid of unworn and out of fashion items frees up space, helping make the clothes you actually want to wear easier to find.
2. Give Your Closet a Proper Cleaning
Once you have emptied out your closet and have gone through your clothes by category, pull out anything else that you store there. You can then give the closet a deep cleaning by removing any scuff marks off the walls (we recommend a Magic Eraser for the tough spots!), wiping down shelves and vacuuming the carpet. While this may sound like overkill, it’s still an effective practice and habit to build on. A clean space will motivate you to keep your closet organized, so a little effort goes a long way here.
3. Sort Clothes by Garment Type & Color
Just as you go through your clothes by category when decluttering, when you’re putting garments back into your closet, consider sorting by category, or type. This may seem obvious, but it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. Keeping your shirts, jackets, pants, etc. together can also help simplify getting ready in the morning. Take things a step further and organize your pieces as specifically as possible. For example, sort professional camisoles by your blazers and your chunky sweaters near your long underwear – you get the idea. Once you do this a few times, you’ll figure out what works best for you based upon how you put your daily outfits together.
You may also want to consider color-coordinating your wardrobe. This process can be tedious at first, but it makes it easier to find what you are looking. You don’t need to remember the exact order of the colors in the rainbow – just general color distinctions will work wonders.
4. Hang Delicate Items First
If you have enough space to hang everything you own, that's great! But, if your space is limited, prioritize hanging items which will get wrinkled or damaged if folded. These items include dressier pieces like work slacks and skirts. As a rule, anything made from silk, satin or velvet should probably be hung up. And while you’re focused on hanging your delicate cocktail dresses, don’t forget to hang up your blazers and coats if you have the space. Taking care of your pricey clothing items is completely worthwhile as it will save you money in the long run.
Pro tip: be sure to hang everything facing the same direction. Hang longer items on the left and shorter on the right so the bottom of the hanging clothing items creates a sloping line. You’ll then be able to take advantage of the cleared space on the right below the items you’ve hung.
5. Use Coordinating Hangers
A mixed collection of plastic and wire hangers will scream closet chaos. Limit the visual clutter by opting for effective non-slip hangers that match. Skip the cheaper plastic hangers with no divots and invest in sturdy velvet hangers that have more grip. Consider staying away from wood hangers if you are going to be hanging a lot of slippery blouses. There’s nothing more frustrating than a flooded closet floor filled with your favorite items, all wrinkled up. And while it may seem unnecessary and simply cosmetic, coordinating any containers and shoeboxes, like this set from The Container Store, will make your space feel neater and more enjoyable.
6. Consider Alternative Storage
Items like leggings or cotton shirts are pliable and thin, making them ideal for the roll and tuck technique. This folding and storage technique is similar to travel packing tips you may have utilized in the past. As long as this technique is done right, you can save a lot of space. Instead of folding and stacking these thinner items, fold them in half and then roll them. Tuck the rolled clothing into wire baskets, clear bins or shoeboxes. Shoe boxes are great for sliding into drawers, while clear bins are great for shelves. This is particularly helpful for items you don’t use all the time but would like easy access to.
7. Have Some Fun
Tackling a closet reorganization can seem daunting to say the least. Be sure to dedicate enough time to accomplish the task at hand. This is not a project you want to leave half done! Consider inviting a few friends over to assist or organize a digital “fashion show” so your fashionista friends can help you decide what to toss and what is a wardrobe must! Your friends may even take a few of your unwanted frocks off your hands (making you a front candidate for friend of the year with a tidy closet to boot!).
8. Make it a Habit
Once your closet reorganization is complete, it imperative to keep your clothes in order. Take the time to fold and hang your items appropriately each time you purchase something new or do laundry. And, when you do add items to your closet, ensure you place them in a well-thought, designated spot, keeping your closet functional and tidy. After a while, this will simply become a habit. You’ll thank yourself each morning you’re running late to work and can mindlessly grab your favorite outfit within seconds – a timesaver in and of itself.