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.
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 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.
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!
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