One thing in my life that is always pretty organized is my closet. It may not be organized to the point that any other rational human being would ever know how it’s organized, but I can find exactly what I’m looking for (or my sister when she needs to borrow something for any occasion at all) at the drop of a hat.
I have compiled a list of tips mixed with my own so that you might be able to organize your closet so that you can find that perfect outfit if you’re in a pinch for time. As quoted by the first Lady of this rule, Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest, my first rule for my closet and really every closet in the world is absolutely NO WIRE HANGERS!
For your viewing pleasure, check out this video to see how Joan Crawford along with myself feel about wire hangers!
Honestly I can’t even look at them without cringing. Clothing stores don’t use them because metal hangers are so thin that they usually leave marks on the shoulders of the clothing hanging on them. Rust is also a problem. This is why clothing stores use the wooden, thick, hangers.
Step #1: Get Rid Of Your Old Clothes.
It might not be easy, but tossing out or donating old clothes is key to making room in your closet. “I advise my clients to donate anything they haven’t worn in more than two years that has no intrinsic value,” Rapke says. “Also, if it’s two sizes too small or two sizes too big, get rid of it. It’s time to buy new clothes.” Charlton adds, “Ask yourself if you’d buy this item today, or if it has a sentimental factor that warrants storage.”
Step #2 Start Organizing
How do you organize sweaters versus lingerie or shoes versus jeans? There are different solutions for each, so check out how you can start de-cluttering your closet.
“If you have the space to hang everything, hang everything,” Rapke says. “You’ll wear more if you can see it.”
“Fold the very heavy sweaters so they don’t lose shape on the hanger,” Rapke advises. “Also, cedar is not a myth. It really does prevent moths from getting into your cashmere or wool sweaters. Replace the cedar every six months.” Charlton suggests, “Color code sweaters by weight, and use dividers or cubbies. Use a sweater folding board to make perfect folds. Our Cedar or Lavender-Scented Folding Boards ($42 for set of five) even wards off bugs.”
Rapke says that how you want to organize your jeans is a personal choice. “There are a number of ways to do so—by cut, brand, color, style, size, or none of the above. I tend to go by color and most of my clients prefer it that way, unless they’re die-hard jeans collectors.” Charlton also favors organizing them that way: “Hang by the hem and organize by dark to light denim.”
Rapke’s trick for hanging pants, skirts, and shorts? “Hang them using clips and fold in the sides so the outside of the garment isn’t marked by the clips. This also makes everything look uniform on the hanger and gives it a cleaner side profile in your closet.”
For dresses, Rapke recommends hanging by color rather than length. “I also like to start with strapless and go to long-sleeve. Never leave your dresses, or any other clothes, in the dry cleaning or plastic garment bags. The chemicals from dry cleaning attack the fibers of your clothing and cause damage,” she says. Charlton agrees, choosing to divide dresses “by length” but also “season and day or night.”
“I like purses out of their dust bags and to have as many visible as possible,” Rapke says. “It’s hard to change bags if you can’t see them. They don’t generally get damaged out of their dust bags, so enjoy the view. Scarves folded in piles by color and material works best, and makes it easy to pull one out without ruining the organization of the rest. For hats, I love hat boxes. Take uniform photos of the hats and glue them to the outside of the boxes.”
“I prefer shoes to go right shoe toe out and left shoe heel out so you can see both to make finding what you’re planning to wear easy,” Rapke says. Both she and Charlton organize shoes by color and style. “I always hide tennis shoes and flip-flops in the least seen place,” Rapke says.
Those these are the tips the professional organizers use. My opinion is to use the tips that work for you and make them apply to YOUR closet. The Huggable Hangers help keep wide shoulder clothes not he hanger without falling off thus making your closet look like a hot mess. I also prefer the clear plastic hangers because they have notches for spaghetti strap clothes to hang great on. Also, the clear plastic pant holders are just so awesome for shorts, jeans and tube tops.
I’m in the process of organizing my tops by hanger color. I know, I have way too much time on my hands but honestly, in my brain, everything makes sense to me and I can walk into my closet and not get anxiety.
How are you going to organize your closet in your brain? If you have any tips, please let me know! I’m always up for new ideas!