We all need to do it, but don’t you just despise having to clean out and organize your closet!? It’s like, where do you even begin? Especially when your closet gets to the danger zone of being overstuffed and disheveled. I’m going to provide you with a step-by-step approach on how to organize your closet.
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First Things First
Start by taking everything out of your closet…just pile it in heaps on your bed…clothing, shoes, accessories…everything! I know, you are probably thinking, ‘Why? Can’t I just start going through everything right there in the closet?’. Well, you can….I just feel this is easier than weeding through each section of your closet. I also feel this has a mental effect on you.
When you have the mindset of having a neatly organized closet and it’s time to start putting items back in your closet, you tend to be more selective of how much stuff goes back!
*TIP: If it’s on a hanger, leave it on the hanger when you carry it out to put it on your bed; don’t make more work for yourself!
Sort like items into stacks….cardigans together, pants together, sweaters together…you catch the drift. Anything that wasn’t on a hanger but should be, I like to lay out flat and stack them on top of one another. That way, when I have final stacks, I can easily go through and put a hanger on each item without even picking it up.
Also, at this point, I don’t worry about stuff that was folded in my dresser drawers, including the built-in dresser in my closet. Just leave that stuff alone and tucked away for now, you can do a similar process with that stuff after getting your closet finished!
During this initial sorting phase, it’s a great time to go ahead and start donate/thrift store and trash piles. If you are sorting and come across something that you immediately know you don’t like or wear anymore, toss it into one of those piles.
After Everything Is Sorted Into Piles of ‘Like’ Items
Go from pile to pile and take a few moments to hold up each item and really ask yourself a few questions:
- Does this item bring me joy?
- Do I wear it often?
- Does it fit properly?
- Is it flattering?
- Do I have matching items to complete the outfit?
If it meets this criteria, keep it. If not, choose which pile to put it in and move on.
And try an item on if you haven’t worn it in awhile, but you feel it’s something you really want to keep!
Same with shoes, if they are an awesome pair but they hurt your feet and/or don’t fit properly…wear them while you are going through this process. If at the end of it, you are feeling good about them and know you will wear them, then keep them…but if you are screaming to get out of them by the time you’re done, better to toss them no matter how gorgeous they are!
Now The Hard Part
The next step will be to allot yourself a certain number of hangers. Don’t cheat and just count up the ‘keep’ items. And keep in mind that your goal is to have a neat, tidy closet. I started my most recent closet organization project with 111 hangers!
**SIDEBAR**Now ladies, I’m assuming that you have those certain wardrobe pieces that are for ‘someday’…you know, the ones that used to fit and that you will definitely wear again someday (wink wink). Heck, you may even have some on the other side of that spectrum…the ‘comfy’ clothes, the ones that are a bit big but you don’t really want to part with them because you just might need them at some point. HAHA, I get it…ME TOO! I think all of us have a bit of hoarder tendencies!**
So, I decided to keep 30 hangers for off-season & no-fit clothing. That’s 30 total, not 30 per category! That means if you just have to keep a few items that are a bit smaller or larger, you have to share the number of hangers with the off-season items.
And I decided to keep 30 ‘now’ hangers, these are for clothes that are currently in-season that I can wear now. 60 hangers! Almost half what I started with. I removed 51 hangers from my life. And you know the funny thing is, I still probably don’t/won’t wear everything on my ‘now’ hangers.
Now, I’m not saying you have to do the same amount of hangers I did, but try to keep the number of hangers to a lower amount. Remember…neat & organized! As a guideline, I would say no more than 50 ‘now’ hangers and no more than 40 off-season/no-fit hangers. Most your off-season will be sweaters/warmer cardigans as your pants will likely all fall into the ‘now’ category.
Another trick is to use a multi-garment hanger. I consider these freebies and only count them as one hanger. I only have a few in my closet. I have two that can hold 5 shirts each and a couple different types that hold about 4 pairs of pants each.
I had 30 pairs of shoes of all types. I tossed about 10 in the donate pile. The amount of shoes I have is probably considered very conservative compared to most women I know. I used to design closet organization systems and I consistently worked with clients who had 100+ pairs!
If you are someone with excessive amounts of shoes, I challenge you to really make an effort to pare down. What you do keep, make sure you have an organized method for storing them in your closet…shelving or shoe racks.
If you have hats, purses, scarves, belts and other accessories, you need to follow the same process and really assess how often you actually wear them. There are closet organization accessories that will help consolidate these, like belt hangers or scarf hangers which will hold multiple of each per hanger.
Last But Not Least
The fun part! Now you get to start putting the items you are keeping back into your closet. If you want to get super organized you can hang everything by color. Personally I just group similar things together…pants, cardigans, blouses, etc. I like to hang no-fit/off-season items in the back of the closet and out of the way.
**TIP: As you start putting clothes back in the closet, if it’s an item that you went ahead and kept, even though you don’t wear it often, turn the hanger backwards on the bar. If in 6 months, or the end of that season, you haven’t worn it and turned the hanger the right way…then it’s time to toss it!
If you have any free wall space, think about installing some hooks for your hats and/or purses. Or, try using some baskets to tuck these items into for a nice, clean look. If you don’t have any extra shelving within your closet, most closets have a top shelf above the clothing you can use to store your baskets and purses.
Now stand back and admire your handy work. This part is so satisfying! My closet looks so neat and organized after going through this. Breaking it down into a step-by-step process really helps make it more manageable. Reducing the amount of hangers really helps my closet look more spacious; no more clutter!
Remember you have to work a bit to keep it this way! So, when you buy something new, that means you have to donate something already in your closet! Do you have more tips for how to organize your closet? Leave me a comment.
Until next time,