Let’s face it. Most of us don’t keep our closets overly organized. And in turn, the space can start to feel a little bit cramped. But neglecting the organization of your closet comes so easily! Once you close the door on your clothes, you don’t have to look at the mess that has been created in there—and neither does anyone else. So you keep putting off the organization.
But consider that when you have a well-synchronized closet, it’s not only easier to find something to wear—it feels better, too. And because the closet is where many of us begin our day, that’s quite the happy thought. When we’re wearing outfits that we like and feel good in, the day’s obstacles don’t feel quite so overwhelming. Instead, it’s more like, “Bring it on!” So without further ado, here are some very important Dos and Don’ts of closet organization.
1) Stick With a Plan
There are many different ways to ensure closet organization. The key is picking one of these ways and sticking with it! Also, it’s important to master the art of organizing your closet within a few days. So be sure you have plenty of time to tackle the task or you may risk putting it off again and again.
Before you begin organizing, consider the following questions to help you best plan a way to organize that suits your lifestyle.
- Do you have drawers or shelves that will be utilized for items? Which ones?
- Do you want to organize by section (e.g. pants, shirts, shorts) or by color (e.g. black, khaki, purple)
- Is it easier for you to find items when they’re hung or stacked?
- Do you prefer accessories (e.g. purses, hats, scarves) to be visible or tucked away?
Answering these questions is important. Because the closer your closet suits your lifestyle, the less inclined you’ll be to shove clean things into it with no thought to its order. Let’s face it: We all have those days! But when your closet is organized in a way that suits you, it’s less likely you’ll let that happen.
2) PURGE - Donate Or Sell Unused Items
Over time, many of us collect a lot of clothing items that we rarely or never use. But once you decide to organize your closet, it’s time to say goodbye to those things! Take every single item out of your closet—yes—every last one! And from that pile, you should make smaller piles. One pile of things you want to keep, one pile of things that can be donated or sold, and another pile of items that are beyond repair or can’t be used again (though consider donating these pieces to an animal shelter!). Feel free to try on clothes that you haven’t worn in a long time to see if you’d consider wearing them again. If you just feel so-so about an item, don’t keep it (think like Marie Kondo!).
Make an effort to clear your ‘donate’ and ‘beyond repair’ piles every once in a while to clear the clutter. And to avoid the temptation to go back through these piles.
3) Utilize A “Zone” Mentality
Once you are down to the “must-haves” for your closet, it’s time to create zones for your items. You may have thought of these a bit earlier when you were making a plan for your closet. But if not, consider these following zones:
Grouping Similar Items: This one is simple. Pair things together! Work pants with work pants. Belts with Belts. Jeans with jeans. Workout clothes with workout clothes. You get the picture. Even if you’re organizing based on color, this grouping is hugely important to keeping things organized. When you simply pair “pants” together or “shirts” you risk tearing through all of your hard work in search of something twice as difficult to find. And the end result is a big mess.
Grouping Favorite Items: What do you wear most often? With closet organization it’s essential that your first-to-reach-for items are front and center. If you work Monday through Friday, having your work clothes front and center will be easiest. Meanwhile, clothing that you don’t wear often such as formal wear and out-of-season clothing should be stored toward the back of your closet or in totes beneath your bed or in the attic.
4) Use Docking Drawer Outlets
Once your clothing is organized, you may realize that you also like to store multiple electronic accessories in your closet. Running watches, iPads, and even electronic readers often find a home on our closet shelves where they’re easily found as needed. But charging these devices is key and outlets are hard to come by in closets. So consider installing a Docking Drawer outlet into your closet drawers. Charge up your most frequently used electronics while you dress in the morning. You may also choose to install a Docking Drawer Powering outlet in your closet to power small appliances like curling irons and hairdryers at your dressing station. Not only does this free up counter space in your bathroom, it makes getting ready much quicker.
1) Tuck things away for later
When it comes to closet organization, it’s easy to stuff the random items on a shelf or in a drawer to be dealt with later. But most of us never return. What’s worse, the problem tends to snowball. Over time the clutter grows, your closet becomes disorganized, and you’re right back to square one.
As a rule, you should always have spaces allocated for everything you want to store in your closet. If you don’t have a space allocated, take a few minutes to create one rather than going the easy route. Ten minutes up front will save you hours on the back end!
2) Buy too many solutions
It’s easy to get lost in a place like The Container Store and on websites like Pinterest when you’re dreaming of a re-organized closet. Who doesn’t love baskets, dividers, and partitions for their closet? But keep it simple! Too many pieces can potentially take up all of the space in your closet—and ultimately may prove useless.
So instead of purchasing at random, take a moment with your closet once it’s all organized. Decide what type of additional storage—if any—could help to make the space even better. Slim hangers, belt holders, and even shelf dividers are less commonly thought about but often prove the most helpful when it comes to an organized closet.
3) Feel like everything has to fit in your closet
Bottom line—it’s okay to have more than ultimately fits in your closet. We’re not saying you need to get rid of a bunch of clothing and accessories that make you happy. But it is wise to have a back-up plan for the things that don’t fit. Rotate out your seasonals. Keep them stored in containers under your bed or in your attic. And then when the time comes to make a change to spring, summer, winter, or fall, it’s the perfect opportunity to give your closet a small refresh!
It’s true that organizing your closet takes immense effort. But taking the time to do it right will make a huge difference in the productivity of your day! Making your closet a space where you’re comfortable and your head is clear is half the battle.