What are the Best Methods for Organizing a Closet?

K. Testa

Organizing a closet can be accomplished in several different ways. Following a systematic process, however, could prove to be the most efficient option. First, one must assess how much closet space exists to hold the desired number of items. Then, one should eliminate clutter by deciding which items need to be in it. Finally, one can look at what remains and devise a system for storing or organizing items. Sometimes, it can help to seek the assistance of a professional organizing consultant.

Shelves may be used to organize a closet.
Shelves may be used to organize a closet.

A common way to begin organizing a closet is to de-clutter the entire space. Many people remove everything and sort items according to what they are wearing now, what needs to be cleaned or repaired, and what can be given away or sold. Clothes that are not in season can be placed somewhere else, such as in temporary storage or another closet, until they are needed. To help eliminate clutter, organizing experts usually recommend selling or donating anything that has not been worn in a year. They also suggest that people conduct an analysis each season, and stop holding onto items that they might not wear in the future.

Drawers may be installed as part of a closet storage system.
Drawers may be installed as part of a closet storage system.

The next step in organizing a closet can be to determine how to make the best use of the available space. The items that are worn regularly should be the most accessible. Frequently worn clothing pieces and accessories can be grouped according to function — for instance, all long-sleeved shirts can be hung together. Some people prefer to group items by color. A clear or labeled box for each pair of shoes can help protect and organize one’s shoe collection. Things that are worn less frequently can be stored on a higher shelf or in a storage box.

Organizing a closet involves not only eliminating clutter, but also creating a practical, attractive space. For instance, one can use matching hangers for a look of continuity or flow. In addition, there are hangers made specifically for belts and ties, and smaller bins or portable drawers can be used for items like jewelry and socks. Shelf organizers and dividers can help neatly arrange any folded piles on closet shelves.

Similar strategies can be applied to organizing other, non-clothing closets in one’s home, such as a linen closet. Furthermore, if someone feels that he or she needs professional help with organizing a closet, then he or she might consider hiring an organizing consultant. By asking some pointed questions and assessing the client’s priorities, a professional organizer may be able to devise new organizing strategies that the homeowner might not otherwise imagine.

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