How to organize your closets

Hayden 13 months 008.jpgSince Lindsey asked, I thought I’d share my methodology for organizing closets. I did three in one week in March (and one was the craft closet/guest bed & bath linen closet, so you know it was stuffed!).

Before beginning: assess the damage. Figure out what organizing accessories you might need: hangers, bins, shoe shelves or hanging organizers (if so, approximately how many slots or linear inches will you need?). Find an activity for your children, if necessary (Hayden “helped” me—he’s really good at playing by himself).

Here’s my big secret: Pick a day and just do it. This might mean emptying the entire closet onto your bed or floor. That’s what I did. I took everything off the bar in my closet and sorted it into piles (still on hangers).

To make clothes look neater, hang them by garment length, sleeve length and/or color. My closet (above) is sorted by both garment and sleeve length. Ryan’s is sorted (kind of) by color and sleeve length.

Hayden 13 months 006.jpgGet rid of anything that doesn’t fit you (unless you’re pregnant and fairly sure you’ll be able to wear an outfit again by this time next year). Get rid of anything that doesn’t look good on you. Get rid of anything you don’t love. (This is why my Goodwill pile, right, is so big.)

Hayden 13 months 009.jpgTo make the closet look even cleaner, consider hanging sweater and shoe organizers and overhead shelf space. A clear floor does wonders for making that small space look neater. I have a hanging shoe organizer and two boxes on the top shelf. I have one big plastic bin on the floor of my closet that I’m trying to get rid of. (And a guitar and a flute, but I’m keeping them.)

Don’t have any shelves? You can buy cheap plastic shelves (like in my guest closet above) or wall-mounted shelving units to hang above the bar in your closet or elsewhere. When I was shopping for organizing stuff for this project, I saw entire shelf organizing systems that featured adjustable-height, wall-mounted bars, shelves and drawers. Barring that, buy under-bed storage boxes and put everything under the bed.

Make sure that the organized state of your closet is something you can maintain. What is more frustrating than taking a lot of time to reorganize your whole closet than to have it last for only a couple days? As I’m learning all the time, to keep something clean, you have to pick up after yourself and put things back in their places.

And the other big way I can help you: you can do it! I promise! If you can’t seem to be able to do it all at once, then even 15 minutes a day will make a difference. Really—if I had done it that way, it still would have taken less than two weeks.

Do you have any closet or other organizing tips? Leave a comment and be entered to win!

For more Works for Me Wednesday, visit Rocks in My Dryer, one of the 30 most Popular Parenting Blogs!

8 thoughts on “How to organize your closets

  1. I think that putting clothes that are out of season in a a box helps clear up a lot of space and also helps you figure out what you’re going to wear in the morning a lot simpler (but maybe that as a no-brainer). Also, I put my folded sweaters on my top shelf so I can see them when I’m getting dressed. Other wise I’d forget abut them half the time.

  2. I’m all about organizing. though you’d never know by looking. But the biggest tip I know is discard! Really, make sure that you have very usable pieces in your closet that can be mixed and matched…making clothing overload unnecessary. Less individual pieces, but more total outfits!

  3. Why after all these yrs of an organized person,even to the point of my friends kidding me about it and the time working with two children plus so much more then than now.
    AM I JUST A SLOB!! I just cannot get started on my closet and my office and as I typed this my neck hurts from looker over the high stack of junk on my desk that I pushed just enough to see the pc screen….What has happened to me has anyone else has this occur to them?

    Lost in clothes and junk papers hello there:)

  4. i also seem to be having this problem, and i just decided as i speak i am getting up right this minuite and go back here and get started i wont say ill finish but i am getting started right now, hope you—- we- to have a little extra time its now or never at least get started good luck lets see who does the most have a good evening cleaning that closet peace m.b

Comments are closed.