How to Organize Your Closets

The reason why your messy closet stresses you out so much is because you can’t easily see what you’re looking for. The keyword for organizing your closet is “visibility.” You’ll save time and energy if everything is in its proper place and easy to for you to see and find.

Clothes Closets

Whether you have a huge walk-in closet that’s bigger than an NFL locker room or a reasonably-sized armoire you bought at a department store, when you open the doors to get your clothes, you need to be able to see what’s there.

Keep it simple.

You want to keep all of your jeans together, your slacks together, your skirts together, etc. If you wake up and say, “I feel like jeans and a t-shirt today,” you want to be able to reach right in to the designated areas and pull them out. Organizing by color will also help a great deal. Think of “Roy G. Biv”, a handy mnemonic device for color sequencing – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet. Of course, you’ll want to find a place for your whites, pinks, browns, and blacks too; this is just an easy system to follow so you won’t spend all day creating your own.

Invest in some organizers

There are many products on the market today vary widely in price and style. Just looking at the box many of them come in will give you ideas of what your closet could look like.Get stackable shelves for your shoes or even an over-the-door shoe organizer to keep you from crawling around on the floor. There are hanging shelves made of canvas or nylon that make it easy to organize shoes, handbags, and sweaters.

More tips for your shoes

I remember seeing model Veronica Webb on a television show years ago saying that she takes a picture of each pair of shoes she has and puts the picture on the shoebox. That will keep you from peeking in box after box to find the right pair. And Beyonce’s mom, Tina Knowles, has been credited on more than one talk show for having the toe of one shoe showing next to the heel of the other when using the stacking method to save space and time. You may also want to discard the cardboard shoeboxes and replace them with clear plastic ones in order to keep everything visible.

Another space and time saving tip is to store away out-of-season clothes. Vacuum Seal Storage Bags can be a good investment, as well as under-the-bed storage boxes. But because vacuum bags can leak, and pests and dust may get under your bed, we recommend sturdy, plastic storage boxes like those from Rubbermaid placed someplace like your attic, basement, or storage closet.

Linen Closets

Linen Closets are supposed to be small and yet we always seem to keep too much stuff in them. Even though they generally have shelves already, you may want to invest in some other items to separate things like washcloths from hand towels, and pillowcases from fitted sheets. Designate one shelf for washcloths and hand towels and another for large towels. Then your next shelf should hold your pillowcases and sheets. The lowest shelf can be for extra blankets and/or pillows. Canister vacuum cleaners and other appliances like steamers and foot basins with an electric massage function can go on the floor.

For keeping other household supplies like the 8-pack of soap you got on sale, boxes of Epsom Salt and bath beads, first aid kits, etc.; use the top shelf or an over-the-door organizer commonly used for shoes. The clear plastic pockets keep everything visible and in reach.

Utility Closets

Other than visibility, with a utility closet, you want accessibility. You want to be able to buy toilet paper in bulk and know exactly where it is when you need it. If there was a black out and you’ve tripped all the way to the closet, you want to be able to reach right in and grab your flashlight.

The great thing about a utility closet is that you can literally utilize every inch of it should you want to. I would suggest, however, that you have a method to your madness and group things in “departments” like you would find them in a store or at least in categories that make sense to you.

Brooms, mops, shovels, rakes…basically all long handled tools…can go on a wall. There are wall racks available at department and home improvement stores that will keep them from falling over and intermingling. You really wouldn’t want your broom mixing with the likes of a damp mop anyway. And keeping the mop off of the floor will help it dry instead of sitting in one moldy clump.

For the shelves, you might want to keep your laundry supplies together in one area. I suggest putting heavy containers of detergent on the middle shelf because you won’t strain your back picking them up or pulling them down. Your surplus of paper goods should go together, preferably on the upper shelf just in case a bottle of something tips over and spills. Likewise, you’d want to keep your more toxic containers of things, like paint thinner and drain cleaner, low.

For the rest of your wall space, you may want to install an iron/ironing board holder, one of those chargeable flashlights, and pegboard. The beauty of pegboard is the visibility factor and that you can change things around whenever you need to. You can purchase all sorts of reasonably priced containers to hold everything else that needs a place. Hammers and nails, drills and drill bits, scissors and packing tape…the possibilities are endless and that’s great because you can customize it to YOU!

Comments

  1. Vivian says:

    In regards to organizing shoes in our closet, I practice “reduce, reuse and recycle.” Instead of buying clear plastic boxes, keep the shoe cardboard box and write on an index card the shoe’s color, type of shoe and heel size; i.e. black, suede slingback, high heel. You can even write when was the last time you wore the shoe also! Then, tape the card to the end of the box and stack it with other shoe boxes. This saves money and it’s practical!

  2. Judy says:

    Every season, redo your closet and organize using color codes, such as all reds and all blues in ONE AREA. So you can find what your looking for faster. Invest in a lot of hangers instead of folding everything and if it does not fit, invest in huge ready-to-go closets like sold at ikea.com and walmart.com.

  3. Natali says:

    Well… I have lots of clothes and I try to separate jeans from other things.
    Tops go with the column of tops
    and jeans with the column of jeans.
    I don’t own a closet; I just own a little tiny one beside my bed and I try to keep it neat.

  4. Lyn says:

    Using fairly heavy cardboard (cereal boxes work, but white card is neater), I cut out one oval (say 14 cm by 19 cm) for each TYPE of clothing I hang up; short sleeved cotton tops, long sleeved cotton tops, s.s. soft, l.s. soft, jumpers, jackets, trousers, jeans, camisoles, sports gear, etc…. At one end of each oval, about 1.5 cm from the edge, cut out a circle, which will fit EASILY over your hanger rod. Cut a line down from this circle to around halfway down one edge of the oval. Write the item title across (only) the top of the circle (I put a picture of the item type as well to help my kids put stuff in the right place). Open the cut line and slip the ovals onto the hanger bar. Close the cut line with strong sellotape on both sides. Arrange clothes accordingly. I’ve had one set going for over two years. I generate sets on the PC with cartoon pictures and fancy fonts, print them on heavy photo paper and give them away as presents.

    Also, I use the stretch fabric hair bands that have replaced rubber bands (the ones without the little metal closure are better) to secure folded and rolled up undies, bras, vests, and the larger socks that you can’t fold into themselves. Things stay in neat piles in plastic boxes in drawers and I can color-code the kids socks using different color bands. A small bowl on top of the dresser collects ‘empty’ bands. Very cheap, very effective.

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