When people think of organization, their mind wanders quickly to their clothes closet (and by "people" I mean "women"). Are you shoes lost to disorganization? Can you find your favorite jeans in under 30 seconds? Do you have a go-to interview outfit? Are your gym clothes stored in the same place, or all over the place?
8 Ideas to be More Organized in your Clothes Closet
1. Recognize the real goal of organizing your closet.
The goal of closet organization is not to turn your closet into a showroom, it's to get you to the point where you have a general idea of where everything should be folded or hanging. In other words: You may not know *exactly* where your favorite black sweater is, but you know it's in one of those *two* piles of folded sweaters so you do not need to rifle through everything in the closet in order to find that one item. That's closet organization.
Having your closet organized is going to make you feel much, much more organized. Being able to find the clothing, shoes and accessories you need quickly and easily is a huge plus when you're trying to get out the door to work or school, fit in more exercise and even for your social life. This is not as painful a chore as you think it is, I promise!
2. Move your most-worn clothing front-and-center.
Here’s a scenario that doesn’t make sense, but we find ourselves in all the time anyway. It’s Monday morning, you’re running late, and the outfit you imagined while in the shower is nowhere to be found in your closet. So instead of getting dressed quickly and taking the time to pick out the perfect accessory, you’re rifling through your closet scrambling to put together a new outfit.
The truth is that we only wear about 20% of the clothes we store in our closet, so why not store the ones we wear most often up front, in the easiest to reach spot. professional organizers call this “utilizing your prime real estate.” In technical terms, your prime closet real estate is the space between your knees and shoulders, so anything hung at your eye level is going to be prime real estate, making the clothing hung there the easiest to see and grab in the morning.
- Move most-worn clothing items to the front of your closet, preferably at eye-level;
- Choosing the right hangers; and,
- Store out-of-season clothing either in a storage space, or higher up in your closet so it's out of the way.
3. Get control of shoes and accessories.
Clothes follow a pretty familiar storage pattern: shirts are hung, sweaters are folded, socks are paired and put in a drawer. Shoes and accessories are another story. They vary in size and shape, and they vary in use; take just the general category of boots, for example, and you have several different kinds: rain boots, booties, snow boots, cowboy boots, riding boots, flat boots, ankle boots. This means that shows and accessory organization is key to being organized in the closet because they are harder to store and organize, and therefore more likely to become cluttered. You will find your closet much easier to organize once you have good organizing and storage scheme for both your shoes and accessories.
Here's How to Stores Accessories (including shoes, boots, mittens, scarves, belts, and everything else you can think of!)
4. Learn how to consign clothing.
5. Regularly declutter your closet.
If you do one thing for your closet, this is it. Even if you never fold a sweater or hang a pant correctly, simply having less in your closet is going to improve your organization. Think about it: even if your sweaters are in a heap on the floor by your bed, having less sweaters in that heap will make finding the ones you actually love and wear easier to find.
I recommend decluttering the closet weekly. Yes, weekly. If you install a donation basket and combine the decluttering time with re-folding and hanging you shirts, pants, dresses and sweaters, weekly makes a lot of sense.
Here’s how to decide what to toss, what to keep: How to Declutter the Closet.
6. Purchase the proper storage solutions and closet organizers.
I write about closet organizers and storage options regularly--and they're great!--but not all of them are right for your closet. If you're not doing the decluttering and organization yourself, no closet organizer is going to do it for you.
- The first thing to remember when buying storage solutions and organizers is that they're not going to magically getting rid of clutter and organize your closet so you don't have to.
- They have to fit your specific closet. There's really nothing more annoying than ordering a closet organizer, having it shipped to your home, and then finding it doesn't fit. Same for picking it up at the store, carting it home, and finding it's just a tad too big or too small to work in your space. Measure, measure, measure. Check the height, width and depth.
7. Identify a charity to donate older or little-worn clothes to.
If you no longer wear something regularly, and It's still in good shape, then why not let someone else enjoy it? This seems to be easier said than done for many people (me included). You might think back to the time to purchased what you thought were the perfect pair of jeans only to discover two months later you never wore them. Maybe they didn't fit quite right, or the cut didn't work well on you, but you enjoyed purchasing them so you keep them around. Maybe the items was a gift that meant a lot to you because it was from someone you really care about who had good intentions.
It's much easier to donate something that was once special to you than to simply throw it away, so take the time to locate a donation center, and read these guides on how, when and where to donate clothing.
- How to Donate Clothes
- When to Donate Clothes
- Where to Donate Clothes
- Where to Donate Household Items from A-Z
How to Be Organized Guides
Learn how to be more organized room-by-room, daily, weekly and monthly with the How to Be Organized Guides.