Save or Keep?
Begin your closet's organizational makeover by paring down. Go through every item in your closet: shoes, handbags, neckties, and accessories. If you haven't worn or used something in a year—and it's in good condition—donate or sell the item. If you're unsure whether to keep or toss, flag the item's hanger with a ribbon or turn the hanger the opposite direction of your other clothes. Remove the ribbon or rotate the hanger once you've worn the item. If it sits for six months, toss it; it's been through more than one season without use.
Measure Your Space
Once you've whittled down your closet stores, you can evaluate what space you have for a closet organizer—or how to better use your space. Measure your closet's height and width, and also take note of the less-obvious storage places, such as the backs of doors.
Consider how you currently use your closet. Before you purchase a closet organizer or reconfigure your space, plan how you'll use it. Do your clothes have enough room to hang, or do they drag on the floor? Can your closet accommodate a double hanging rod? Once you've considered shelves and rods, think about other items you'll need to store. Shoes, for example, take up a lot of closet space, yet are often overlooked when choosing a closet system. If your closet is small, choose storage than can serve multiple purposes. Cubby-style shoe storage can also store clutches and small handbags.
Keep it Bright
Think of your closet as a small room: the better you can see what's being stored, the happier you'll be. Keeping the space well lit will save search time and allow you to see colors more accurately.
Tips to Organize a Closet & Save Time
- Sort like with like. When you organize clothes by style, function, or color, it's much easier to find what you're looking for. Sweaters and t-shirts can be folded and organized in drawers or on shelves, rather than consume hanging space.
- If your closet organization system includes drawers, bins, or boxes, label them to see what's in store at a glance. This is especially helpful for jeans and t-shirts, which tend to blend together when grouped.
- Store your most frequently worn items at eye level so you can find what you need fast. Bring seasonal items, such as bulky sweaters and swimsuits, to the forefront only when they can be worn.
10 Quick Ways to Organize a Closet
1. Match up and pair your shoes
2. Separate clothes by color or functionality
3. Affix hooks to the inside of the closet door for scarves, belts, or jewelry
4. Place a "donate" hamper or sturdy shopping bag in or near your closet so you can decide to keep or toss items as you come across them.
5. Create labels for shelves and drawers
6. Add shelf dividers to designate storage for folded items
7. Swap wire hangers for plastic, wood, or felt-covered designs
8. Replace round bins with square bins to make better use of shelf space
9. Move most-worn clothes to an easy-to-reach, up front place in your closet
10. Fold a stack of t-shirts, sweaters, jeans, or gym clothes