What is the Best Way to Organize a Closet?

Deborah Ng

For as long as people have had closets, they've hidden clutter. Even the tidiest of house keepers admit to throwing items in the closet in order to clean the home a little quicker. The problem with closets is they're usually designed for things that hang, but not everything going into a closet can rest on a hanger. If your closet is a jumble of mystery items, perhaps an organization project is in order.

Measure the space before beginning to install organizational accessories.
Measure the space before beginning to install organizational accessories.

If you're cleaning and organizing your closet, the best way to do this is to take everything out. As you're removing items, decide what you will be saving, and if there's anything to throw away. If there are items you don't need but can't bring yourself to throw away because they're in good condition, you might consider either donating or selling them. Either way, holding onto things you have no use for is no way to get rid of clutter.

Shelves make excellent closet organizers.
Shelves make excellent closet organizers.

Once your closet is completely emptied, give it a good cleaning and vacuuming. Be sure to get into all the corners and crevices where dust bunnies reside. Once your closet is clean and fresh, it's time to contemplate the best way to organize your closet. Besides clothes, what other items are being returned to your closet? If they're not all hangable items, you'll want to consider shelves or some other sort of organizational system. There are many inexpensive kits to be found at your local home improvement center with different components such as shelves, drawers and bins. Select the kit that best suits your needs. You can also find such kits online.

Once shelves, racks or other components are installed, it's time to return everything back to the closet. There's an unwritten rule about clutter. Everything should have its place. If something doesn't have a place, it's clutter. Your closet should be organized with this in mind. When returning clothes, there are a couple of different considerations. The first is the season. It certainly wouldn't do to have heavy jackets hanging front and center in your closet if it's summer time. The second consideration is usage. For instance, formal wear or dressy items worn for special occasions should be hung in the back of the closet while clothes worn every day for work should have the place of honor in the front.

Once the clothes are returned, what's left? Items such as ties and belts can be hung on special hangers and hung to the sides of the closet. If you don't want your shoes piling up on the closet floor, shoe racks or closet door shoe bags should be installed. Shoes should be organized much in the same manner as clothing — by use and season. Pocketbooks, purses, briefcases and other accessories should be placed according to usage on shelves or in bins.

Are there any items left over? Remember, anything without a home is considered clutter. If it isn't something you use, get rid of it. If not, find a permanent home for it.

Once all your closets are properly organized, clutter will be eliminated. If an item is removed from your closet, make sure it's returned back to its place when you're finished with it. Otherwise, you're starting the same vicious cycle. Do you really want to go through this again?

Various clothing items should be clearly separated when organizing a closet.
Various clothing items should be clearly separated when organizing a closet.

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