It’s time to organize… AGAIN. If you’ve been following along with the last two posts about rearranging and de-cluttering your home office and bathroom, you’ve probably got the fever. Yep, it’s known as the freshen-it-up fever, and don’t worry, it happens to the best of us. I find it hard not to get all hot and worked up to start my next project when I see a freshly organized locale in my house. It makes me run around the house straightening picture frames, shoes, knick-knacks, kitchen appliances… everything. Ever felt the same way? Like you just CAN’T STOP organizing and rearranging? You’ve had the fever, my friend. And it rivals Bieber Fever.
When that dandy freshen-it-up fever washes over me though, there’s about a 99.9% chance that I’ll avoid all closet-cleaning activities. The fever’s one thing, but a headache over a giant pile of clothes is another. Luckily, I’ve gathered a slew of awesome ideas that will make organizing any kind of closet (from walk-in to bi-fold door) easy, quick, and fun! Fun? Well, maybe not fun, but at least this kind of cleaning out your closet is a lot better than the type Eminem sings about.
Well, there seems to be a pattern here in each of my posts about home organization. Any time you want to get something nicely rearranged, you’ve got to get rid of the old to make room for any new additions. But clothes… man, it’s hard to know what to donate or toss sometimes. Like that one top that doesn’t fit me quite right, looks a bit faded, and doesn’t match anything… I simply can’t bear to donate it. I mean, what if, after it’s gone, it turns out it was THE perfect top to wear it to my aunt’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s kid’s wedding shower? I find there’s always going to be that one time I want to wear something I should toss, so that’s how I rationalize letting my closet have an overflowing effect when I open it. Here are a few easy tips to get you started with sorting:
- Donate clothing you haven’t worn in over a year
- Either donate or store clothing that doesn’t fit anymore (assuming you may be able to wear it again)
- Items you’re on the fence about can be flagged with a simple tag around the top of the hanger. As you find yourself wearing the item, remove the tag. If it’s still sitting in your closet after months with the flag on the hanger, it’s time to say sayonara!
I tend to be a little bit compulsive with my organization and orderliness (daughter of an engineer, so it kind of comes with the territory). A few FREE and DIY things I abide by in my closet to keep things slightly organized include:
- Using a common hanger style throughout (meaning I use only plastic hangers to avoid having a mixture of wooden, wire, and any other types). Why do this? Well, have you ever seen a closet with a menagerie of different types of hangers? It looks like a cluttered mess! It’s than likely that you’ll be shaking your fist at a shirt you can’t untangle from a tornado of wire, plastic, and wooden hangers. Don’t get me wrong though: this occasionally happens to me with my ultra-neat collection of plastic hangers. It’s a battle I’ll never win, I guess.
- Grouping like items together. In my closet, my shirts are hanging according to their color and sleeve length. Yeah, I know it seems obtuse, but it makes my life a tad bit easier.
- Keeping items I wear most toward the center of the closet. For me, this means short and long sleeved shirts are accessible in the middle. Items I don’t wear as frequently, like dresses and sleeveless shirts, flank my daily wear.
- Folding pants, skirts, jeans, and shorts on a tiered rack that fits underneath the bar. Yeah, I know you were wondering where I stored my pants. You we’re probably thinking… “This girl doesn’t wear pants. She only wears shirts. Loony lady.” Many swear by hanging their pants and skirts, but I prefer to fold mine to save precious space. What a luxury, that crazy thing they call “space.”
- Packing away out-of-season clothing. In a past life, I was a competitive golfer, and I spent most of my days (rain or shine) on the course or practice tee. As you can imagine, I’ve got a colorful collection of golf attire that I have a hard time making room for in my closet. Since I consider acceptable golfing weather to occur from March through early November, my skorts and polos are currently packed up (and just dying to be worn with all this unseasonably warm February weather).
- Storing certain foldable items on the shelf above the hanger rod. Since I’m height challenged and don’t wear sweaters too often, I keep them up there. Besides, it’s really smart to keep your nice sweaters away from shoulder-damaging hangers.
In a perfect world, you won’t have to run out to Target to get a bunch of handy contraptions to make your closet organized and accessible. But since I’m always a big fan of depleting any available funds at my shopping shrine, I’m going to fill you in with a few tools to boost your closet’s wow-factor.
- Over-the-door storage. I’m a huge fan of anything that’s space saving, and this style certainly fits the bill. I mentioned using this over-the-door device in your bathroom, but one with pockets big enough to fit shoes is perfect on the inside (or outside) of your closet. You can also use an over-the-door hook or coat rack to hang hats, tomorrow’s outfit, scarves, belts, and more!
- Accessory storage. If you’re a belt or scarf connoisseur, you might consider investing in a belt hanger or scarf rack. I’ve got one that hangs on the rod in my closet and has a C-shaped hook with sticky material to keep scarves from sliding off. Who likes a pile of scarves on the floor? NOT ME.
- Hanging storage. Don’t have a shelf above your hanger rod? Try a hanging sweater bag! You can grab one that has ten compartments and fill it with your finest cashmere, wool, or poly-blend items. It makes your on-a-budget closet look like an organized, fancy, over-the-top celebrity one. WINNING.
- Double hang closet rod. THIS IS INGENIOUS. In fact, I may need to grab one of these for myself. If you’re like me and have a single closet rod that leaves empty and wasted space below, the double hang closet rod is your savior. Simply hang it over the existing closet rod, and voila! You’ve got an extra bar for slacks, skirts, or hammer pants.
If you’re REALLY dedicated to revamping your closet, I’d recommend checking out Ikea or The Container Store for a clothing storage overhaul! Both spots have perfect solutions for studio apartments or older dwellings with minimal closet space. I also suggest grabbing a copy of Real Simple magazine: it never fails to have great organization tips! And as always, scope out the Home Décor category or search “closet” on Pinterest for inspiration from users!
Check back for the next installment in the organization series when we’ll tackle everyone’s favorite domain: the kitchen!
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