Organizing a closet can be a chore, but a simple system to get you started is sorting through items you want to keep, donate, and throw away. If you are cleaning out the closet in preparation for a move, contact your relocation specialist first to see if this is something to handle on your own, or if it is a service they provide. The Boomer downsize movement is happening nationwide and there are many resources available to help Seniors get through their move stress-free. Before you swing those closet doors open, this list of storage solutions will get you started creating a serene and beautiful closet:
- Shoe racks
- Hat racks
- Belt and purse hangers
- Shallow under the bed containers
- Plastic sorting containers
- Donate bin
- Trash bin
- Stick on LED lights
Set Up Sorting Containers
Shoebox sized containers that you can find at the container store are the best size. This will allow you to store knick-knacks in closets where storage is the main purpose. Make sure to get containers with lids so that you can stack them to make the most of the space. As you remove items, sort like with like. This means your phone chargers and batteries shouldn’t be in the same box as your cleaning products. Remember that the main purpose of getting organized is to know where to find everything. Professional Organizers call this “a home for every item.” A large donate container and trash bin will help you eliminate those items you don’t utilize anymore. Getting organized before actually diving into the closet organizing helps tremendously. Now, once you’ve opened the closet doors, here’s where the following expert tips will come in handy.
Take it one closet at a time
It doesn’t matter if you’re tackling a hallway closet or a walk-in closet – take out smaller items and work your way up to larger items, one at a time, so that you can properly determine which stay-or-go pile it fits into. Start with the smallest closet and work your way up to the largest. This leaves space throughout your home to put items where they are best utilized. You will be happiest with your organizing result if you keep items close to the part of the house where you use them the most.
Thoroughly clean the empty space
A small handheld vacuum can get the dust and small stuff out of a small closet in a few minutes. Once every item has been removed, and the space is vacuumed, wipe down everything from shelves to rods, hooks, and hangers. Make sure you give your closet door a good wipe down as well. There is nothing worse than a beautifully organized closet that is full of dust and sticky messes that soil freshly washed clothes.
Measure the space
There are a few reasons to measure the space in each closet. The first is to make sure everything that is returning to the closet will fit. Every professional organizer becomes an expert in space management because purging is an important part of getting home spaces usable and aesthetically pleasing. You also need to know how much space you have for storage products that you may need to purchase. You may even find that it makes sense to re-purpose a closet for different items than the ones that you’re taking out. Be disciplined in your purging. There are dozens of studies that show that people of all ages are happier with less stuff and more space. Remember that the less you have in your closet the larger it will seem.
Determine storage ratios
How many of your items will need hanging space vs shelf space? Take this into account before purchasing hangers, shelves, and drawers. You will want to determine how much space you need once you’re done purging, so take this step once the closet is cleared and all items have been sorted, donated, or thrown out. There are probably large items or things like dirty boots that may be better off in a garage or shed where they won’t dirty up your beautiful new closet. You can watch this quick video on file folding to help maximize drawer space
Incorporate helpful storage solutions
Make the most out of your closet space by implementing storage solutions like shoe racks, shelf dividers, and over-the-door storage. Start by examining how much you have of items in different categories. Don’t forget storage solutions for smaller items like hats and belts that tend to make your closet cluttered even after it’s organized. Remember that space under the bed is often underutilized and a shallow zip-up clothing container can help you better use the space. Closet contents don’t always need to have labels, but if you’re storing things in your closet that are seldom used, be sure to label the bins that you’re keeping them in.
Traditional closets have a tendency to be dim. Not surprisingly, lighting in these areas can give them a gloomy feel, and smaller closets may lack any type of lighting inside. To brighten up this space, invest in some inexpensive stick on LED lights. They are battery powered and will give your closet a completely different look. They can be placed on the ceiling, under shelves, really wherever you need the light. Ikea also has a large selection of excellent plug-in LED products.
Keep everyday items in plain view
Organizing and hiding are very different strategies. Consider storing seasonal items on the top or bottom of your closet, while everyday wear should be front and center and easy to access. If you work from home you probably don’t need that suit or other work clothes taking up prime real estate. Move these items to harder to reach spaces. If there are things in your bedroom closet you really don’t want to look at all the time, that is probably a good reason to find another home for them. If you really want a sleek look in your closet, a professional organizer can give it a boutique look that you never thought possible.
Plan to seasonally clean and reorganize
With different seasons come different wardrobes. A quarterly reminder to switch out everyday clothing and shoes, will make your closet more usable throughout the year. Another rule that can help you with acquiring too many of the same clothes and keep your wardrobe fresh is the one in one out rule. Every time you buy something, find a similar size item you can do without to donate. Someone else will enjoy your clothes as much as you did!
The closet is a great place to start organizing as it is usually the space where all of those items that don’t have a home end up. Remember, staying organized is an ongoing process, so diligently re-organizing and eliminating unwanted items will keep your closet looking “Pinterest Perfect”. If you need professional home organization services, there are plenty of organizing services nationwide who can get your closet organized in a day or less.
This is a guest post by Kevin Connors. If you’re based in the Phoenix area, please contact email@example.com for a free consultation. A Happy Closet is an Organized Closet!