The bedroom closet can be one of the most daunting spaces in your home to clean and organize. And no wonder! Closets are generally tiny spaces that are supposed to store a lot of stuff! How can you fit it all in without breaking the rules of physics?
And assuming you do manage to get your closet tidied up, how do you keep it from becoming the room-sized equivalent of a junk drawer, where you throw in items and cross your fingers that they’ll still be there when you come back looking for them?
Not to worry. There are ways to streamline the closet organization process and make the results easier to maintain.
The secret to easy closet organization and maintenance is to make efficient use of the storage space you have. Here are a few useful tips to get you started:
Sort clothes for easier triage. You know the drill. When decluttering any space in your house, you want to separate items into three piles: Keep, Trash, and Donate. For your closet, you might want to include a fourth category for seasonal storage. But before you even get to the triage stage of clothes sorting, separate each item by type of apparel. A pile for pants, a pile for sweaters, a pile for short sleeved shirts, and so on. That way you can avoid sorting fatigue and more easily determine whether you have a surplus of any one type of clothing. Once you’ve got several piles of different types of clothes, continue on to the Keep, Trash, Donate phase of sorting.
Take everything out of the closet and give it a thorough cleaning. Getting everything out is an important step because it helps you more easily visualize the possibilities for the space. With all your closet items temporarily stored in bins and boxes (or just on the bed), give your closet a good cleaning. Vacuum the floor, sweep out any cobwebs, and dust the shelves. Now you’re ready to implement some good organization solutions.
Consider buying a shoe organizer. Shoes tend to be a big source of clutter in closets. Most of us have at least a couple pairs for each season, and some of us maybe have a slight shoe addiction. It’s even worse if you share your closet with your spouse or partner. Two people’s shoe collections can take up a lot of space! If you are in danger of being crushed by a cascade of pumps, trainers, and sandals each time you open your closet door, it’s probably time to invest in a good shoe organizer. They come in many styles and varieties, from shelving solutions to slanted floor racks to back-of-the-door pocket organizers. Pick one you like and use it!
Use drawer and shelf dividers. If you have drawers in your closet (or plan to install drawer type storage solutions), drawer dividers will make your life a lot easier. Especially for sock, underwear, and accessory drawers. Similarly, shelf dividers will keep your organization functioning long-term. Don’t let your bed linens mingle with your holiday decorations! If shelf dividers won’t do the trick, store different categories of items in attractive boxes and baskets.
Use a tiered system to keep what you need close to hand. For most people, it works well to keep the most-used items at eye level in the closet. Lesser used items should go on shelves below your hanging clothes, or on the floor. And your least-used items should go up high, on the top shelf. The exception is for very tall people for whom the top shelf is at eye level. If that’s the case for you, store your least-used items on the lowest tier of your closet.
Maximize vertical space. When you arrange your top shelf, is there still a lot of space between the tops of your items or storage bins and the ceiling? If so, you can get more out of that vertical space by adding an extra shelf. This could be a wooden shelf that you install with mounts and screws, or it could be a couple of wire racks that give you an elevated space to store more stuff.
Store out-of-season items elsewhere, if possible. If you have a more spacious closet, you can probably skip this step. But if your closet is very small, you might get better use out of it if you make it a space for in-season items only. During the summer, consider storing your heavy coats and snow boots in under-the-bed storage boxes or in bins in your garage or attic. When winter arrives, you can switch out your wardrobe and store all of your shorts and swimsuits in the out-of-season space.
Eliminate negative space. Once you’ve got everything pretty well put in its place, take a final inventory of your closet. Is there any substantial negative space that could be filled, creating more storage space? Do you have empty suitcases that could be used to store large blankets? Empty wall space where a few hooks could be installed to store scarves and hats? How about the back of your closet door? Is it bare? Would you benefit from hanging a pocket organizer there?
Hang clothes backwards. When you’ve removed all of the clothes you plan to throw out or donate, hang all the remaining items in your closet, but face the hangers backwards. When you wear any piece, simply replace it in the closet with the hanger facing the normal way. This trick will help you keep your closet de-cluttered for the long haul by giving you an easy way to tell at a glance which outfits get used and which don’t.
Add lights. It’s hard to keep your closet organized when you can’t even see what’s in there. If your closet isn’t wired for a ceiling light, think about adding string lights or battery powered LED lights that adhere to the wall with sticky squares. If neither of those solutions works for you, keep a dedicated flashlight handy for closet rummaging.
And that’s it! With just these ten simple steps, you can get your closet neat and organized, and keep it that way.
Still feel like you need help? No problem. At Green Home Cleaning, we are expanding our menu of services to offer professional organization for your closets and the rest of your home (or business). If you live or work in the Asheville, NC area, you’ll definitely want to discover the benefits of professionally organized storage space.
Give us a call at 828.505.7320 or use our contact page to request a quote today.