Keeping your closet well organized is one of those lessons that you are taught early in life. It is similar to those“keep your shoes clean” and “do not waste food” lessons that are meant to stay with you for your life. Except as an adult, there are times when we stare at our closet and find that it resembles a landfill (albeit a pretty one) more than an organized space for all our wardrobe.
But worry not. We are here to tell you how to best organize your closet and the tricks you can try to increase the closet space in your home.
But first, let us remind you why it helps to have a clean, organized closet.
To find what you need
Sure, you have an LBD and/or a Tuxedo that you bought either recently or years ago. You love it, you want to wear it, but you cannot find it. Because it too got lost in the rubble that is your closet. The biggest reason for having an organized closet is to be able to find what you want when you need it without going through every piece of clothing you own.
There is a reason why parking spaces allot fixed and uniform area for each car. Imagine a parking space where everyone can park as they like! Chaos, it will be. The same logic applies to your closet. When you want to keep things organized, you allot a certain space to each piece of clothing and it stays there. This gives you the best idea of how much space you have and how many more clothes can you fit in your closet. Not that this will stop you from buying more clothes (because who can stop those stress-busting shopping sprees, right?) –instead it will be an incentive to add more clothes!
Easy to shift during seasons
A clean and organized closet will ensure that updating the wardrobe will be as enjoyable as the change in the weather. A clean, organized closet ensures that you know where, say, your winter clothes are. This way, you can simply flip the two sets of clothes to prioritize according to the season. For example, during winters, you can keep your jackets and other warm clothes in the front and simply store your other clothes where you stored the winter clothes before.
Storing dirty clothes becomes easier
Yes, technically, all dirty clothes should head straight to the washing machine. However, that may not always be the case. When closets are unkempt and unorganized, dirty and fresh clothes tend to mix and make the entire closet stink. Keeping a clean closet will make sure that you accord due space to clothes for laundry, whether in the closet itself or a separate bag dedicated to dirty clothes. Either way, clothes will not mix and you will have no hygiene issues.
Making a fine impression
This point may not be important to all, but it must be pointed out. A clean closet is a sign that you are a person who is on top of things. It shows that you like discipline and order. And most importantly, it conveys to other people that they must, under no circumstances, mess with your wardrobe.
Enough about the importance of a clean closet. You get it, right? Now let us look at how to organize your closets in the best possible way:
Take Time Off
You do not want to reorganize your messed up closet in a hurry. It took it months for it to start looking like your clothes fell from the sky directly into your closet — so dedicate at least a few hours to get the mess sorted. You do not want to do this at the end of a long and/or tiring day.
You will want to wrap it up fast and that will never help in the long run. Simply put, this will need a few hours so it is best to either take a day off or do it over the weekend. You can even invite a friend whose opinion and fashion sense you value to help you get through the next stages of organizing your closet.
Throw Out Old Clothes
The reason why your closet space has shrunk is probably that you only buy but never throw out clothes. A funky pair of denim that may have been cool in 2010 still takes up space in your closet because, well, why not?
Most people never de-clutter because they think they might need a certain piece of clothing one day. Truth be told, they never will. It is time you let go of those emotional attachments. An easy way to do this is by focusing on what you need, to begin with. On a scale of 1-10, rate all the clothes you have to have, and clothes you definitely will never need again. Remember, this is the first stage. It is meant to give you an idea of how much you don’t need. If the thought of throwing clothes makes you sad, remember, you can always fill the vacated space with new clothes!
Here is a simple way to complete this process:
Keep: Start with the clothes you need. These will be essentials that you simply cannot do without. This list might vary from person to person, but you know best what you have to keep for your day-to-day life.
Sell: Branded clothes in good condition that simply do not appeal to your taste anymore. Sell them. The financial incentive will ensure that parting with clothes is less painful.
Donate: Clothes that might be old but are in good shape and will help someone in need. Warm clothes are excellent for donating as they last long and have no substitutes. Plus, it is always nice to know that your old clothes can make someone’s winter a little more bearable.
Dump: Clothes that you just can’t imagine wearing and are too ghastly/out of the ordinary to even consider selling or worse, donating. If you cannot even imagine someone else wearing them — throw them out.
If you are having a hard time deciding, ask yourself these questions:
Have you worn these clothes in the last year?
Do you think about wearing them?
Do you think they add something that is otherwise missing to your wardrobe?
If the answer to all the three is “Yes”, they deserve space. On the contrary, if you find that the answer to all three is “No”, then there is nothing to do but sell/donate/throw. If the answer to at least two is a Yes or a No, then leave them for now and focus on how to improve and increase your closet space in other ways.
Organize with organizers: Once you have done the toughest part, the rest is simply evaluating and improving your storage solutions. Yes, the closet has enough space, but most closets divide space unequally. There are only so many clothes you can hang and fold while the space inside remains fixed.
Read also: Closet Remodeling Ideas
Here are some smart tips to increase storage space within the closet or setting up new and innovative storage solutions:
- Pegboards: Mount a pegboard inside the closet door. This will create a mini-dressing station inside your closet.
- Smart shoes: You can buy slim shoe boxes to store your shoes compactly. A hanging canvas shelf, easily available in stores and online can offer a simple and straightforward solution to storing shoes inside the closet without them occupying extra space too.
- Hang Things When You Can: Buy strong, metal hooks to keep your bags inside the closet. This will make sure they don’t lose shape and yet don’t take much space. Hang scarves, as well as one hanger, can easily hold more than one scarf at the same time.
- Add more shelves: Most people do this, but it never hurts to remind people. If you have 12 or more inches between shelves, there is ample shape for another shelf. Customized shelves allow you to store the way you want — very unlike standard shelves wherein you store depending on how much space you have. For example, you can make shelves more than 12 inches away from each other if you wish to store boots but you can add more shelves at less distance if you only wish to store just clothes.
- Prioritize the Position of Items in the Closet: Non-clothing items like mattresses, quilts, comforters which you may not use throughout the year should be stored in top shelves — away from regular clothes. Similarly, items you use most often should be kept within easy reach.
- Install Drawer Organizers: Keep jewelry, socks, innerwear, and other small items in small drawers which you can make at home. Label them with bright stickers and markers to make sure you always know where to look for each.
- Add Corner Shelves: This works especially well for non-wearable items like bags. Add shelves to the corners of your room where you can easily store bags, jewelry, belts, and scarves. They will not take much space in the room and will free valuable space inside the closet for your clothes.
- Adda standalone shelf: Think of it as a way to show your best items! In case the closet in your house is not big enough, pick out the best items from your closet (your best bag, your best stiletto, your favorite belt, your best sunglasses) and put them on display on a separate shelf like they do in big showrooms. For more efficient storage, you can put these items on the top while using the bottom half for more purposeful items like towels.