Did you know that one of the top triggers for stress in a house is unorganized closets? Having an organized closet can help you start your day off on the right foot, make mornings (and laundry days) easier, and assist in creating an overall zen feeling in a home. Sounds pretty great, right?
As professional organizers, we know it's easier said than done, but we are here to help. We've outlined a few simple tricks and tips we use when organizing our client's closets.
Start by Taking Everything Out of Your Closet.
It's important to start by taking everything out of your closet and making sure it's completely empty. You want to start with a blank slate. It may seem like a waste of time at first, but if you don't take everything out and organize it all at once, you're likely to get stuck halfway through and may never complete it.
Starting with a blank slate also allows you to stop and rethink where items make the most sense to hang. For example, if you’ve always kept your blazers in the front, but now you work from home, they can likely go towards the back of your closet!
Sort Your Items Into Categories.
As you pull items out of your closet, sort them into broad categories, such as pants, skirts, dresses, t-shirts, etc.. Your bed is a great place to sort clothes into these piles (and see which piles start getting really high).
You might realize you tend to buy sweaters when you shop and have more than you’ll ever wear. Seeing everything piled on your bed can put into perspective how much was really housed in your closet. You will probably discover clothing or items you forgot you even owned!
Once you're done sorting, you'll be able to go through each category one by one and hold up the item. Decide then and there, do I love it? Am I hoping I fit into it later? Is it damaged? Asking some simple questions helps you determine whether an item is a keep, donate, or toss.
Most importantly, you need to be honest with yourself, because getting rid of items you no longer use, need or love will create space not only in your home but also in your life. Less clutter = more mental freedom!
According to the Pareto Principle, we only wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. You may own 10 pairs of jeans, but which 1-2 are you most likely going to grab time and time again when you go to get dressed?
When You're Not Sure Whether to Keep or Donate an Item...
If you're not sure whether to keep or donate something, ask yourself if you've worn it in the last year. If the answer is no, then there's a good chance that you won't be wearing the item again. If it's a “someday I hope this fits” piece of clothing, or an outfit you bought for one special occasion but never wore again - it may be time to part ways and let it find a new owner who can use it! Just think, if you end up losing a bunch of weight or have a special occasion coming up, you’ll likely want some new fresh clothes anyways!
Other questions we ask our clients to consider: ‘does this item fit my current style and what I want my style to be going forward?’ Would you buy this item in a store today? If not, let it go. If you’re upset that you spent money on it, remember that it’s a sunk cost. The money is gone and instead you can think about how you can learn from this experience moving forward in your purchasing decisions.
It can also feel really great to know your items are going to people in need. You can donate to your local thrift store, church, charity group, etc. You'll be helping their efforts while freeing up space in your closet. (We take donations for our clients so it's one less thing on their to do list!)
If something is really sentimental that you don't want to part with - such as a wedding dress, make sure you honor it with the effort to keep it preserved. Take the time to properly store it in the right container, or even have it pressed. Taking a photo of something sentimental and saving it in a “memories” album on your phone before donating it works great too! You can remember all those concert hoodies via photo instead of them taking up valuable closet space.
Put Clothes Back Into a Clean Closet.
Once you've removed all of the clothes from your closet, sweep and dust the closet. You wouldn't put clean dishes into a dirty cupboard, so don't put your newly organized clothes into a dusty closet!
If you have the ability, consider moving shelving up or down to fit your clothes better. You may not need as much dress hanging space anymore, for instance, so adjusting your closet to fit your new needs is a great way to ensure you'll keep the organized system going.
You can also add baskets or other organization products to make things easier on yourself in the future, like shelf dividers, shoe racks, and a laundry hamper.
Details Make a Difference.
Hanging items together by type makes your closet look neat and organized and makes it effortless to find things. For instance, putting all t-shirts together, long sleeves, jeans, dresses, etc. Put similar types near each other too: Sleeveless shirts, then t-shirts, long sleeves, sweaters, cardigans, etc.. Then within each type you can even take it one step further and group items by color: all white tshirts together, all blue jeans together, etc..
Use thin hangers to maximize space and create an elegant look that won't take up too much room in your closet! Put everything facing the same direction, such as the fronts of all shirts face to the left when you’re standing in front of the item-it'll save time once it's time for laundry put away, too!
Hire a Professional Organizer!
If you feel like your closet is too overwhelming to tackle, it's time to bring in the pros. We can help take the guesswork out of getting organized by creating a system that works for you and your lifestyle. Our team will help make sure that you have an easy-to-maintain system that keeps your clothes looking great and you feeling good on a daily basis.
Ready to get your closet organized? Download our organizing guide to get a good idea of how we'll help you let go of clutter, organize your belongings, or start fresh in your new home.
At Hello Simplified, we specialize in helping clients going through big life changes. We offer home organizing services and packing & unpacking services. Read through for tips on how we help our clients feel less overwhelmed and more in control of their busy lives and homes.