Organizing Quick Tips: The Closet

Closets (and I’m talking about the one you hang your clothes in) tend to collect clutter. From clothes you don’t wear to hidden Christmas presents to vacuums and linens. In some cases, a lack of storage space in other parts of the house means your clothes closet has to multitask. And, in some cases, we just forget about all that junk we’ve piled in there over the years. Either way, you can follow the basic decluttering steps to have an organized, clutter-free closet.

1. Purge – Use Keep, Sell/Donate, Trash piles to quickly sort your clothes into what you will keep and what will be removed from your home. If clothing is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit or is terribly out of style, get rid of it. If you haven’t worn an item in over a year (and can’t fathom an opportunity to wear it in the future) get rid of it. An example would be a bridesmaid dress or that hideous Christmas sweater you got at a gag gift exchange.

2. Sort – If there is anything in your closet that doesn’t belong (i.e. – your child’s outgrown clothes, a hammer, cleaning supplies) immediately move it to wherever it belongs. Typically in the Sort step we separate items into Seldom Used and Often Used piles. With clothing, this may not be practical. Instead sort clothes by how you will store them in step 3.

3. Store – There’s really not a “right” way to hang your clothes. Whatever organization works best for you is the way your clothes should hang. You could separate them by season (put summer clothing out of reach during the winter, etc.) or by kind (hang pants together, dresses together, shirts together) or by use (put work clothes together and lounge clothes together and church clothes together). Utilize drawers for small items rather than trying to hang them (like scarves or hosiery). Baskets also work well for grouping smaller items – gloves, hats and scarves could be tossed in a “winter” basket and stored on a high shelf or under hanging clothes.

4. Maintain – Since clothing comes and goes often, closets tend to re-accumulate clutter quickly. Set up regular maintenance routines to keep this from happening. At the end of each season, purge clothes that you didn’t wear – don’t wait until the next year because you’ll likely forget. Keep a donation basket in your closet so purging clothes simply means tossing it in the basket. When the basket is full, bag up wearable items and take them to a local charity.

Simple, right? Right. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to pick out your clothes for the day without climbing over that paint bucket and stepping on your kid’s toys?

Question: What’s the most out of place item in your closet right now?


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