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It’s a brand new year and time for a fresh start. For many that means finally tackling their overcrowded, disorganized closets. But cleaning out an overloaded closet can be a daunting task. That’s why we checked in with some professional organizers to get their best closet organization hacks. Read on to discover a 3-step process that will get your closet back in shape and keep it that way!
Step 1. Sort & Purge
The hardest part of organizing your closet is evaluating what you have and making decisions about it. In fact, according to Lori Brandes, professional organizer behind Time4Order.com, “Studies show most people only wear 20% of what’s in their closets.”
Lori Brandes – Time4Order.com
To begin the organizing process, Brandes recommends asking these questions when evaluating what’s in your closet:
- Does it fit?
- Do I love it?
- Is it flattering?
- Is it the image I wish to project?
These questions will likely reveal lots of things that need to go. But these decisions can still be tough.
Tova Diamond – Everything Has a Place
Tova Diamond, professional organizer and founder of Everything Has a Place, says, “It’s nearly impossible to become and stay organized without letting things go. Let yourself feel how letting go is actually a relief. What you do keep must bring you joy and pleasure or it’s a burden.”
Diamond also points out that cleaning out an entire closet at once can be daunting. She recommends doing things one piece at time:
“I like to begin with clearing off the floor so you have the room to go through your clothes and shelves. Pull out everything on the floor and go through it one item at a time. Ask yourself… Does it bring you pleasure? Have you used it recently? Does it feel like you “should” keep it? Answer these questions and you’ll know whether to keep it or let it go. Then put things back one by one, replacing only the items you genuinely love and use.”
Nattalie Kazandjian – OrganizedandHome.com
Nattalie Kazandjian, the San Francisco-based professional organizer behind OrganizedandHome, also recommends starting small. “Start with one section of the closet. Remove and review each item and decide whether you are currently using this item or if you’ve been holding on to it for ‘someday’.”
Step 2. Make the Most of Your Space
After you’ve emptied your closet and decided what will stay, it’s time to decide where everything should go. Jen Cazares, professional organizer and founder of CazaresOrganizing.com, stresses the importance of grouping like things together:
Jen Cazares – CazaresOrganizing.com
“Shirts with shirts, pants with pants, etc. I even take it a step further and group within a group. For example, within shirts, I group short sleeves, long sleeves, tanks, and also group by color. That way, there’s no question about where to find those items when you need them.”
After you’ve categorized everything, it’s time to make the most of your closet space. Assess your closet’s best features and take advantage of them.
For example, if you have lots of vertical space add shelving either above or below your hanging rod. Shelving can provide the perfect storage space for bulky sweaters or pairs of jeans. You can also add closet drawers or dividers to make the most of dead space and keep items neat and contained.
Another option? Double the hanging capacity of your closet by adding an additional hanging rod below the current one.
Don’t be afraid to get creative with containers. For example, an inexpensive hanging shoe organizer could be a great place to store t-shirts, sweaters, scarves, or hats. The key is finding containers that work with your closet space and the things you have to store.
You can also limit visual clutter by investing in matching hangers for all of your clothes. Keep in mind that you need to choose hangers that actually work for the clothes you have. A recent article on Elbow Room by MakeSpace advises, “Opt for sturdy velvet hangers over the thin plastic varieties if you have heavy suits to hang, for example, and steer clear of wooden hangers if you have lots of slippery blouses.”
In the end what’s most important is that everything you keep needs to have a home, according to Kazandjian. This makes it easier to put things away and keep your closet organized long-term.
Kazandjian also says it’s important to celebrate a job well done, “Once you’re done don’t forget to bask in your accomplishment and be proud of yourself. You’ve just gained a bit of momentum back!”
Step 3. Revisit Your Closet and Make Corrections
After you’ve organized your closet, it’s important to keep disorganization from creeping back in over time, ruining all the hard work you’ve put in.
First, make sure that you are regularly getting rid of clothing and other items that you no longer wear.
There’s an easy way to do this according to Brandes, “After cleaning [out] the closet, replace its contents a little differently. Turn all the hangers backwards. Each time you wear a piece of clothing, turn the hanger back to its normal position. After several months, evaluate what you haven’t worn. Maybe it’s time to donate those items.”
Second, use the one in one out rule. That means every time you buy something new, get rid of something else. That way, you won’t end up overcrowding your closet with new purchases and ignoring items you seldom wear anymore.
Finally, reevaluate your closet every few months to be sure things are working well. If you notice that you tend to toss things on the floor, rather than put them into their assigned home, figure out how to solve the problem.
- Do you need to add more closet shelving?
- Would certain items work better in the drawers of your dresser, rather than hung on a hanger?
- Do you need to add closet drawers?
Making small adjustments as problems crop up can go a long way to keeping your closet neat and tidy in the long run.
Ready to Transform Your Closet?
Whether you need adjustable shelving, extra hanging rods, or other hardware to make the most of your closet space, The Moulding Company is here to help throughout the San Francisco Bay area. Visit one of our 3 showroom locations to see our high-quality closet organizers on display and get closet organization tips from our knowledgeable staff.