Are you tired of wrestling with disorderly mounds of clothing in your clothes closet, every single day?
Do you want some tips to help you put things in order…and keep things that way?
Keeping a closet organized may seem difficult at first.
There’s so many pieces of clothing to deal with, not to mention countless shoes, and accessories.
But the good news is your clothes closet is confined to a limited amount of space.
If you take steps to work within this space, why, you’ll be doing yourself a great service when it comes to keeping things tidy!
In this post, I offer ten tips to help you turn your clothes closet into an orderly oasis.
These tips are listed in an easy-to-read format.
Some tips can be implemented right away, while others require a bit more time and effort.
No matter which tip you select, you’ll be taking a great step towards cutting out the clutter and keeping things organized in your closet.
Ready to begin? Let’s get started!
Chuck unwearable clothing.
An easy way to remove chaos from your closet is to simply get rid of unwearable or unwanted clothing.
Declutter clothes from your closet using the list below:
If a stain didn’t come out the first time in the wash, it’s probably not going to come out later.
Unless the item in question is a torn hem, or something else that can be easily sewn back into place, it’s time to get rid of it.
Don’t be a faded morning glory! Faded clothes look worn-out and tired.
If an item stinks in any capacity and hasn’t come out in the wash as of yet, it’s got to go.
Get rid of anything that pinches, pokes, prods or pulls ASAP.
Too-small or too-large clothing.
Keeping clothing that is too small or large takes up valuable space in your closet.
Clothing you no longer want.
It’s okay to get rid of clothing you no longer want or need. If items are in wearable condition/gently used, launder and donate to the charity of your choice.
If items are heavily stained, torn, ripped or otherwise unwearable, it’s time to trash them.
Store like items with like.
Storing like with like just makes sense; it’s easier to find what you need when you need it.
Contrary to popular belief, there’s no “best way” to store or organize items in your closet.
You just have to make sure the way in which you store items makes sense to you.
Sure, there’s the traditional grouping of suits with suits, sweaters with sweaters, or trousers with trousers.
You could organize clothing in any combination of the following (or none at all, if you so choose):
- Color – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, brown, black, white
- Print – flowered, checkered, plaid, paisley, striped
- Style – traditional, vintage, trendy
- Fabric – cotton, polyester, wool, leather, lace, corduroy
- Texture – smooth, shiny, bumpy, fuzzy
- Function – work wear, loungewear, pajamas, evening wear, beachwear, exercise
- Decade – ’20s, ’30s, ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, ’00s, ’10s
When it comes to figuring out the best way to organize clothing in your closet, ask yourself these questions:
- How are items currently organized in your closet?
- Do you like this arrangement? If not, what would you change?
- What organizing method listed above (or any other method, for that matter appeals to you the most? The least?
- What do you think would be the easiest organizing method for you to quickly access what you need from your closet?
Rotate your wardrobe.
Rotating a closet and/or wardrobe can help keep clothing clutter at bay for a few good reasons.
Firstly, you’ll free up valuable space. You can easily access items without pushing your way through your entire wardrobe.
Secondly, you’ll protect your clothes. No more worrying keeping your favorite wool sweater safe from hungry moths during the summertime.
And thirdly, you won’t be distracted by/frustrated with non-seasonal clothing. No dealing with bathing suits, shorts and tank tops when it’s 15 degrees Fahrenheit outside.
Follow these simple steps to rotate your closet:
Identify storage areas for non-seasonal clothing.
Storage space should be out of the way of your daily routine and preferably away from direct sunlight and moisture. You might consider an attic, basement, garage or other unused room or closet as a storage location.
Gather containers to protect your clothing from humidity, dirt, dust and insects.
Use large plastic storage containers, vacuum-sealed plastic bags or even large garbage bags (these work well in a pinch).
Block out time in your calendar.
Block out a couple of hours in your schedule over the course of a few days to sort, launder and store clothes. A large table, countertop or recently made bed makes it easier to sort and fold clothing.
Pack up the opposite season’s clothing first.
If you’re going into the fall/winter season, start packing up spring/summer items first. If you’re going into the spring/summer season, start packing up fall/winter items first.
Keep like items with like.
Make things easier for yourself by keeping like items with like (see previous tip) so you can retrieve and place clothing back into your closet with ease.
Keep a few pieces of transitional clothing on hand.
Keep at least a short- sleeved shirt, long-sleeved shirt, pair of pants, and pair of shorts in your closet so you’ll be prepared for cold snaps or mini-heat waves that come and go with the changing seasons.
Pack everything up.
Fasten storage containers securely and store clothing in your designated storage space until next year.
Duly deal with dirty clothes.
Keeping dirty clothes in check is just one part of keeping a closet clutter-free.
Take a look at this clothes cycle: Place dirty clothes in the hamper, Do laundry, Wear clothes, Store clothes.
Interrupt or break-up any point in the above cycle, and your clothing cycle won’t function as smoothly as it should.
Here’s how to duly deal with dirty clothes:
Use a hamper.
If you don’t already have a hamper, get one. Place the hamper in a convenient spot near your closet, in another part of your room or hallway. While you’re at it, you might consider a whites-only hamper and a colors-only hamper.
Drop in items after undressing and your clothing is already sorted and ready for the wash! Additionally, you can use another laundry bag to store delicates or items that need to be washed by hand or washed in a gentle cycle.
Don’t wait to deal with dirty clothes.
Put clothes into the hamper as soon as they’re dirty or soiled. This is a simple, yet effective way to figure out what’s clean and ready to wear versus what’s not (no more clothing sniff tests!).
Put clean clothes away immediately.
Once clothes are clean, put them back where they belong so they don’t clutter up your closet or other spaces in your room.
Limit articles of clothing.
Clear out clutter by going for the jugular – set a limit on certain articles you can have in your closet.
You don’t have to set a minimum number of items to keep for your entire closet in order to make a difference.
In fact, it can be quite helpful to set a limit on those particular items of clothing that seem to spontaneously multiply in your closet.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Is there a particular type of clothing in your closet that is overwhelming in number?
Example: You have 50 t-shirts collected from various giveaways, races, events, concerts, and so on.
How many articles of this type do you wear on a regular basis?
Example: Out of the 50 t-shirts you own, you realize you regularly wear the same five shirts.
What is a comfortable clothing limit for you?
Example: You really don’t have the space to keep 50 t-shirts, but you decide to keep your top 10 favorite t-shirts. You’ll have enough variety to choose from and wear on a regular basis if you so choose (there’s more than enough for every day of the week!).
If you are uncomfortable with setting a minimum number of clothing items for any reason, simply follow the “one-in, one-out rule.” Every time you buy a new article of clothing, take out another item from your closet or wardrobe to keep things in balance.
Give your closet some TLC.
When’s the last time you gave your closet some TLC?
You might be thinking Tender Loving Care, but I’m talking about Tools, Lights, and a Clear path.
A closet that is in need of repair can be a breeding ground for clutter.
Broken or non-functioning hardware and other difficulties can make it downright discouraging and frustrating to use a closet.
Show your closet a little TLC and get things back into working order:
Give your closet the Tools it needs to function properly:
- Fix or replace broken or damaged doors, handles, knobs, hinges and/or locks
- Fix or replace hanging rods, shelving or brackets
Give your closet Light:
- Fix or replace light bulbs, light bulb chains or switches
- If you don’t have existing lights, mount a stick-on LED or battery powered light inside the closet
Give your closet a Clear path:
- Carve a clear path to the entrance of your closet
- Make sure you can completely close the door to your closet
Use all available space.
A closet can quickly become cluttered when there is no appropriate place or space to store items; especially when you have items that cannot be hung on a clothes hanger!
While the standard closet set up is practical (a horizontal hanging rod and separate storage shelf), it is severely limiting in storage space.
Follow the below tips to make the most out of your closet space:
To make the most out of floor space and the area between the floor and hanging clothes):
- Consider pigeonhole-type storage for shoes, shoe racks, low shelving with brackets, or even molding to store shoes by their heels.
- Use plastic container units with drawers to store scarves and accessories. If your closet is large enough, you might be able to fit a small dresser into the closet.
- Install flat shelving to hold folded clothes, purses, and other items. To make the most out of a hanging rod:
- Use uniform hangers to save space and allow clothes to hang evenly.
- Install another rod beneath your original hanging rod for additional space.
- Clothing doesn’t need to be stored on hangers. Soft and wrinkle-free items, such as synthetic t-shirts and camisoles, can be folded or rolled and stored in a drawer or shelf.
To make the most out of door space:
• Use hanging caddies with plastic or small mesh pockets to store shoes, jewelry, belts, and other small accessories. Make sure you can close the door comfortably without pressing up against or rubbing clothing; you don’t want items to snag or tear as you open/close the closet door.
To make the most out storage space above:
- Install additional flat shelving to hold folded clothes, purses, and other items.
- Store off-season or infrequently used items above in sturdy plastic containers (for example, woolens, hats, fancy purses, and so on). Keep frequently used items such as purses and bags up front if you use them often.
- Be extra careful not to overload a shelf; you don’t want to run the risk of the shelf breaking or collapsing under the weight of clothes or accessories.
Before making a trip to the store for organization items or supplies, take a look around your home. What items can you reuse or repurpose for storage? You might find you have some organization supplies on hand you once purchased and forgot about!
Make it easy to mend clothes.
Whether it’s your favorite dress shirt that’s missing three buttons down the front or a jacket whose zipper is stuck, these pieces of clothing count as clutter.
Why? These articles of clothing are unwearable; they are dead-weight in your closet. What’s the use of storing a piece of clothing in your closet if you can’t wear or use it?
Be ready for inevitable clothing wear and tear with the following:
Make a mini-mending kit for your closet.
Collect the below items and store them in a small or medium-sized metal tin, plastic container or cardboard box. Most likely you have everything you need already in your home. Store your kit in your closet, on top of your dresser, vanity or in a clothing drawer for easy access.
- Safety pins in different sizes
- Spare buttons in different shapes/sizes
- Needle and thread for quick mending
- Small pair of scissors to cut off loose threads and strings
- Clear nail polish to fix runs in stockings
- Double-sided sticky tape for dropped hems & button hole gaps
- Lint roller/brush to clean up fuzz, dust, lint, dander, hair
- Small metal tin, plastic container or cardboard box to store the above items
Set up an alteration/repair hamper.
Simply drop clothing in need of mending into the bag or basket and attend to the items later. Not handy with a needle and thread? Take the contents of the bag to your dry cleaner or tailor for alterations/ repair.
Create additional storage.
It’s a fact of life: sometimes you may have to store items in a closet that aren’t pieces of clothing.
You might need to store your old trumpet, a favorite toy from childhood, or some archival paperwork.
If this is the case, you’ll need to store items in a way that works for you. You’ll want to be able to access your items 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Plus, you don’t want to have these items getting tangled up in your clothing.
Keep the following tips in mind:
Securely contain non-clothing items.
Opt for large or medium sized plastic containers with sturdy lids that can be fastened and won’t easily come undone.
Label containers clearly and prominently.
Be as detailed or descriptive as you like, just make certain you can easily identify what’s inside the containers without having to open them up.
Store containers out of your immediate reach.
Clear room in your closet and store items in the far depths, either in the back or side of the closet.
Practice routine maintenance.
Conducting routine maintenance is a surefire way to keep your closet clutter- free.
Use the below checklists to keep things tidy:
- Place dirty clothes in the hamper
- Hang-up clean and re-wearable items, such as jackets, ties, scarves, belts, hats and so on, back in their storage locations
- Tidy up any other items you missed during daily maintenance
- Do laundry and go to the dry cleaners
- Store clean clothes when laundry is finished or back from the dry cleaners
- Ensure you have a clear exterior path leading to your closet
- Tidy up the inside floor of your closet
- Remove items that are unwearable, or those you no longer want or need
- Make sure all fixtures in the closet are working properly, and repair items as necessary
- Rotate your clothes for fall/winter
- Rotate your clothes for spring/summer
How about you? What seems to be the most difficult part in keeping your closet organized? Which of these tips are you going to use to keep your closet neat and tidy? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!