10 tips on how to organize your closet and, more importantly, how to maintain it.
It’s one thing to organize your closet and feel pretty amazing afterward. It’s another thing how it’ll look next week, am I right, or am I right?
I organize my closet, have one dinner, and boom, it is over. My closet is a complete mess. Luckily for me, I am pretty OCD and cannot keep a mess out for more than a few minutes. Unfortunately for me, I have so many clothes… too many for my small NYC closet. So, I have to keep that determination and will power to keep my closet clean and organized. It is especially tough when you have a train full of clothes and nowhere to put them. That is why I am here! The Queen of OCD is here to teach you some tricks I use to keep my closet happy and clean at all hours.
Before we go over all of my small tips, I would like to make it abundantly clear that none of these tips will work out in the long run if you do not have the right mindset. You need to wake up every day and put in cleaning time if it has gotten messy. You cannot let things go out of control because that is how you lose your clean closet. It’s okay to leave a shirt out every once in a while, but remember it must be put back as soon as possible. Engrain it in your mind that these items need to be put away. This is the only way I have been able to manage my closet so well for many years. Stay strong!
Spring cleaning is all year round.
My first tip is all about that will power. If you see a shirt that no longer suits you, why are you going to wait until you do your next significant closet cleanout? I suggest either putting these clothes in a donation bin or simply keep a small area for the clothes that are no longer being used. I put my clothes in a small bag, so when that bag fills up, I am ready to take it to donate or give it to my friends. I hide this bag deep in my small closet because I never really need it. This way, unwanted clothes remain unseen and more space opens up. Also, it is just a good rule of thumb to be continually scanning your clothes and asking yourself questions like, “Have I worn this in a year?” “Do I see myself ever wearing this? When would that be?”
Rig your space.
The word rig is a little bit hardcore/industrial, but it’s the best way to describe it. Basically, I am trying to tell you to put your handyman panties on and take an in-depth look at your closet. How can you optimize your space to the max? How would a handyman do it? Because, the fact is, it is not hard to gear up and install a couple of simple fixtures that would be the ultimate difference. Some suggestions would be to install a second-hand rail, which I did. Well, I actually hired a guy from Handy to install it for me because I needed help. Which is more than acceptable. It’s not too expensive to hire a handyman to help you, and if you’re the kind of person who cannot hold a power drill, consult a handyman. Another thing you can do is add in a dresser/drawer inside the closet. Luckily, I had a small area that allowed me to do just that, and it made all the difference. Lastly, if you don’t have a top shelf in your closet, you better install one. Top shelves are excellent areas for storage and for the items you really don’t use. I put my bulky sweaters and purses I rarely use on my top shelf. Since I can’t reach it, I bought a small step stool from Amazon and can access that top shelf easily.
Create designated areas.
This tip is probably one of the most simple yet most useful of all my recommendations. Make sure that you keep designated areas in your closet for specific items. Even if your closet is small like mine, I promise by just keeping everything in its particular place, you will never lose anything, and it will be so simple to put back away. You are forming a muscle memory that will transform your way of living. If you have a lot of things and want to make it easier, label everything!
Items that you need in the closet but never thought about.
The humble trash can. If you’re like me, every time I buy an item, I throw the tags on the floor of my closet, especially if I am in a rush. Take that stress out of your head and just place a tiny little wastebasket wherever it fits. Now, I don’t have a fancy label maker. Still, I also suggest having some type of pen and paper around or sticky notes, just for the occasion where something specific needs to go somewhere later or you want to label a new category of clothing in your closet. There are even closet clothing divider inserts that do all that work for you. Lastly, as I mentioned in tip 2, having a small step stool for hard-to-reach areas is a must.
No wall should go left unused.
Do you have extra wall space? Do you see the paint on your walls? Time to see what can go there. If you have a lot of jewelry and like to keep them out to see, hang them on your wall. There are several options of accessory hangers for those kinds of moments. If you’re like me, however, I need the space for clothes. I bought adhesive hooks to place all over my empty wall spaces to hang, hang, hang! The adhesives are usually pretty tough and capable these days. So in the case that you don’t want to make any more holes in your wall, I suggest using adhesive hooks only.
Keep it all matching.
Another trick that keeps your closet looking spot on is your choice of hangers. For the first time in my life, I splurged on hangers, which is such an odd thing to admit. I have noticed that every perfect closest has matching hangers, and just as necessary, hangers that are of good quality. I personally like the wooden look because they add a level of sophistication to the closet, but any non-slip hanger with the color of your choice would do just fine.
For the shoes.
I know that there are a million and one ways to organize shoes. Luckily, so many unique products have come out on the market for organization. You have the options of adding in shoe racks, hanging your shoes up on a wall with shoe hangers, and there are even compartmentalized bins that contain a cubby for each pair of shoes. This is entirely up to you and how you would like to manage your space.
Sweaters and coats need to be stored away.
If you live somewhere that is not Florida, you probably own a couple of coats and thicker sweaters. I would suggest folding your sweaters, and if you are not using them year-round, I would even go further to recommend putting them in space storage bags that take the air out and placing them on that top shelf (reference tip 2). My sweaters are always on the top shelf. Even my hoodies that I use every single waking day thank you step stool. Now coats… Coats are tough. They are heavy and take up so much room. A sturdy rail needs to be in place to support all these coats. One of my rails literally broke off from the wall because the coats were way too heavy to support. Placing a coat rack in your entryway is an excellent way of keeping some of the heavy coats out of the closet and saving you space during the winter. Plus, your guests will be able to hang their coats as well when they come over.
Putting purses inside purses.
I have about 50 purses and 0 percent space for them. Bags have always been very tricky for me. I like to keep my purses in good shape, and the only way to do that is by filling them—what better way to do that than with other smaller handbags. By putting purses inside purses, I have saved so much space, and my bags are still being kept in excellent condition. Some purse organization ideas include hanging them on purse hangers or those adhesive hooks I previously referred to. There are also several different options of bins and places to put purses specifically. I like to place mine on the shelf on top of my dresser because that is literally the last area of the available room. But more importantly, they are all easily accessible, and I can see the purses inside the other purses with ease.
Be able to locate everything in your drawers with ease.
The best thing you can do for your dressers and drawers is to buy drawer organizers. There are many different options out there, and some are even expandable to fit your drawer’s exact size. However, most dressers and their organizers meet a standard size, aka their organizers will be able to fit perfectly. Like in tip 3, it’s also essential to designate each drawer for a specific category of clothing and an area for every single item in that drawer. If you’re putting lingerie in one drawer, the underwear, bras, etc., should have their own respective spaces so that they are easily accessible. The rule of thumb is that you should be able to walk into your closet blind, in pitch blackness, and locate any item with ease. That is when you know you’ve made it.
The organizational items I mentioned above and use myself every day that you can purchase:
Mini Trash Can
Adhesive Wall Hooks
Velvet Non-slip Hangers
Coat Rack with Shoe Bench
Sweater Space Bag