Ducks 'n a Row: Controlling Your Clutter - How to Organize Your Closet

19 August 2013

Controlling Your Clutter - How to Organize Your Closet

Guest Post on Ducks 'n a Row
Closet Getting Smaller?


Does it seem like your closet has grown smaller? Are you struggling to fit 
just one more thing in? It may be time to declutter your closet. 
No matter what the size, you can organize your closet so it works for you. 

Although a custom closet solution is a great idea for maximizing your space, it 
isn't necessary. You can gain control of your closet clutter with some simple 
reorganizing. Regardless of which path you choose, whether custom redesign or 
working with what you have, the following steps will get you to an orderly space.

Purge - Review each item in your closet. Ask yourself, "Do I like it? 
Does it fit? Do I feel comfortable in it? Is it in style? Will I ever wear this again?" 
If you don't answer "Yes" to at least one of those questions, it's time to part with 
it. Don't forget to include shoes in the purge. 
Be brutally honest here. Shoes that still fit but you've been wearing for a decade may need to go. Remember, just because you CAN wear something doesn't mean you should. If something is truly shabby, toss it. 

Donate everything that's in good condition, toss the rest. As part of the closet purge, clear out other items that are out of place as well. Are there items that don't belong in the closet? Things such as items that belong to other family members, stuff that got tossed in there as part of a cleanup in other parts of the house (I know, it happens), clothes that are waiting to be donated/repaired/sewn...move them out and bring them where they belong.
Group Like-Garments Together
Group - The next step is to put similar items together. For hanging clothes, group all shirts, pants, dresses, etc. You may find you can group further: casual shirts, work shirts, long-sleeve, and short-sleeve. Take a look at what you have and you'll probably see groups that make sense. Do the same for folded items: sweaters, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and so on. Then group other small items such as hats, belts, scarves.
Neaten - Put the clothes back into the closet with some thought as to what you wear most often. It sounds obvious, but put most frequently worn items in front. Don't waste prime closet "real estate" with clothes you rarely wear but need to keep. That little black dress you may need someday should be in the back, with everyday items within easy reach. 

Hanging all the clothes in the same direction on matching hangers creates a clean look that adds to the feeling of order. Putting a little attention into neatly folding your clothes, and maybe even arranging by color on the shelves, will make getting dressed every morning feel like a high-end shopping experience. Well, maybe not, but it is pleasing to look at and just a little fun. Shelf dividers are a great way to keep those folded clothes from toppling over when you remove a sweater.
Accessories may be helpful to keep the rest of the items in check. Shoe organizers come in every shape and form and make the most of precious floor space. Over-the-door racks keep a baseball cap collection in line. Hooks keep belts and scarves neat. All of these little tricks will help you make the most of your space.
One last tip to keep your closet looking great once it's de-cluttered: keep empty hangers together. As you remove clothes, remove the hangers too, then put them at the end of the rod. It makes putting clothes back easier when there are hangers handy, and it keeps the rods from getting "cluttered" with empty hangers. It's a small point, but when it comes to closet organization, sometimes it's the little things.
Marlene Devine is the owner of So Squared Away, a professional organizing company dedicated to helping people reclaim their spaces, "find" time, and live a more organized life. So Squared Away will work with you to declutter your spaces and set up organizational systems that work for you.
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Photo Credit: Closet of Everyday Life by SnarkyParky on
Photo Credit: Shirts on Hangers by Worakit Sirijinda 
Photo Credit: Rubbermaid Closet Organizers on

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