Having trouble finding your favorite pair of jeans? Have you totally forgotten about your amazing blouse that is hidden behind your coats? Where are your sandals from last summer?  Professional Organizer, Kelsey Jackson, is back to help us organize our private sanctuary, THE CLOSET!!

 

Let’s Get Organized…In the Closet!

 

Step 1:  Purge! 

Once you have made the decision to organize your closet, be prepared to tackle the first step…purging!  This is one of the hardest things for people to do, but it is also the most important.  You may be afraid to get rid of your favorite tattered sweater from college because of all of the memories associated with it.  Remember…you will still have the memories, even without the sweater!  You might also fret about getting rid of an item you splurged on thinking you should keep it because it was so expensive.  Wrong again!  In fact, every time you look at that item in your closet, it might give you feelings of guilt and anxiety as a constant reminder of the money you spent. Another great reason to send it packing!

Here is an important rule: if you haven’t worn it in the past year you will most likely never wear it again.  If you absolutely cannot get rid of something because of sentimental reasons, take a picture of it or store it in a box or bin at the top of your closet or under your bed.

You can either donate or consign the items you have decided to purge.  Donating obviously gives you a sense of satisfaction knowing that someone else will be able to enjoy them as much as you have.  As an alternative to Goodwill, consider donating your clothes, shoes, and handbags to organizations like Dress for Success or the Martha O’Bryan Center.  You can consign your nicer designer pieces at a consignment sale or store in town.  This will put a little cash back into your wallet for something new that you will be excited about wearing.

Step 2:  Clean

After you have purged…you should clean!  This is the perfect time to pull everything out of your closet, dust the shelves, rods, boxes & bins, and vacuum the floor.  This is also a great time to assess the paint color on the walls.  You will be amazed at how a fresh coat of paint can impact your mood when you step into a room, even in the smallest of spaces.

I know it is time consuming and sometimes seems overwhelming, but a good purging and cleaning of the closet should take place at least once a year.  Trust me.  It will end up causing you more time and stress trying to navigate through a dirty, messy closet that is full of too many unused things!

 

Step 3:  Shop

Don’t get too excited, this is not the time to go out and start filling up your closet again.  When I say “shop” I am referring to shopping for things that will help make and keep your closet more organized.

Hangers.  I like to hang as much as possible to avoid wrinkles.  Hanging also creates a cleaner, less cluttered appearance.  So, you will need to make sure you have the right hangers.  Sturdy, wooden hangers are good for heavy coats and suits.  Also, there are wooden hangers with multiple metal hooks that can hold belts, ties and scarves.  One hanger can hold up to 12 belts or 24 ties!  I use thin, wooden hangers with clips for skirts.  And I like the thin, felt hangers for most everything else.  The felt keeps your clothes from slipping off and ending up on the floor, and since they are thin you will end up with more hanging space.  These hangers are great for shirts and pants.

Best Deal: Box of 35 black, felt hangers at Costco for $9.99!

Bins, Boxes, Baskets.  You can find an assortment of boxes for your out-of-season items, sweaters, and shoes at stores like Target and The Container Store.  Boxes are perfect for stacking on shelves and can be clear or labeled so you know what’s inside.  I also like using bins and baskets for scarves, hats & gloves, and purses.  This allows for a cleaner more uniform look for the odds and ends (especially when you have limited hanging space).  It also gives you the opportunity to be creative by using boxes with different colors and patterns to show off a little personality.

Hooks.  Hooks are great for belts, ties, scarves, and purses (hanging helps keep their shape).  You can hang hooks on the inside of your closet or closet door.

Racks.  The back of your closet door is a space that is usually not being utilized and is great for hooks and over-the-door racks.  The Container Store has many options for over-the-door shoe racks and bags.  Also, don’t forget that the over-the-door shoe bags can be used for more than just shoes!  These pouches are great for storing jewelry, scarves, gloves, and belts too!

 

Step 4:  Organize

Now, where does everything go?  Your closet should have a mixture of hanging rods, shelves, cubbies, and vacant floor space.  Make sure you put the items you use more often in easy to access places.  And don’t forget to use all of the available vertical space.  If you need to, install shelves to the ceiling.  This is the perfect place to store out-of-season items in boxes or bins.

I like to categorize my clothing grouping items together (dress pants, jeans, casual shirts, then blouses, etc.).  If you’d like, you can then sort them by color.

In order to maintain their shape, sweaters are better off being folded and stacked on a shelf or in a box (you can purchase shelf dividers so the stacked sweaters don’t fall or slump).  If you don’t have enough shelf space and don’t want to spend the money on building custom ones, consider buying hanging canvas shelves for sweaters and t-shirts.

Depending on the size of your closet and its available space, there are many different options for organizing your shoes.  If you have extra floor space you can consider a 2-tiered shoe rack.  If you have plenty of shelf space you can purchase clear shoe boxes that can be stacked.  And again, don’t forget the back of your closet door for an over-the-door rack or shoe organizer.

Step 5:  Light

Last but not least, don’t forget the lighting.  As with any room in your house make sure your closet is well lit.  This helps you see things clearly so you don’t waste time searching or accidentally mistaking a black top for navy blue.  Good lighting is not only important for practical reasons, but it also helps create a bright and welcoming environment.  (If you have the space you can hang a mirror and throw a rug down, too!)

Okay, now you can go to the mall!

Thank you, Kelsey!  We are ready to tackle our closet!  

Kelsey Jackson

kelsey@lifewellkept.com

615.554.2222

Images: 1) Homesweetabode.blogspot.com 2) domino  3)hgtv.com 4) blog.livelike.com, 5) atlantishome.com 6) Pinterest 7) Costco 8-10) thecontainerstore.com 11) Pinterest 12) apartmentthereapy.com 13) traditionalhome.com 14) hometex114.com 15) lonnymag 16)photography by kiki morton

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