- Organize by how you select your outfits. There is no "right" way to organize a closet....only a "right for you" way.
- Hang as much as you can. Unless you love to fold (and refold, and refold again) clothes, it is much easier to browse your selection when it's hanging. (There's even a nifty way to hang sweaters so that they will not become mishapen. Simply fold the sweater in half vertically, arms and side seams together and lay it on a flat surface. The place the neck of the hanger in the v-shape between the arms and the side seams. Drape arms over one side of the hanger and body of the sweater over the other.)
- Remove the hanger from the rod whenever you wear something. Place it in your "hanger bank" so that you'll know just where to find it later. This will give you more sliding space on the rod. Nothing deters searching for/hanging up clothes like a tightly packed rod.
- Save drawer space for items that cannot be hung and/or can afford to be wrinkled. Pajamas, underwear, socks, workout clothes, tshirts, sweaters are the best candidates for folding.
- Shelves are preferable to drawers for folded clothing. They enable to you see what you have at a glance easier without having to rummage through. Smaller items like socks, underwear and accessories can always be stored in bins on shelves.
- Purge regularly! The change of seasons is a great time to review your wardrobe and identify giveaways. If your closet is too full, you are more likely to keep wearing the same things over and over because it is harder to find something different.
- Keep a donation bag handy in your closet. This makes purging as you go more automatic and is especially helpful in kids' rooms. As soon as you realize something no longer fits, or is defective or you are unlikely to wear it again for any reason, toss it in. Once something goes in, it stays in!
- Keep up with clean and dirty laundry daily. Putting clean clothes away promptly will keep them clean, minimize wrinkling and enable you to find what you need. Never let dirty clothes hit the ground! Put it straight in the dirty clothes hamper so that they don't get missed on laundry day.
- Rotate by the season. Even if you are fortunate enough to have ample space for storing both in-season and off-season clothes in your closet simultaneously, chances are that there are some areas of your closet that are more accessible than others. Rotating the off-season items to the far corners of your closet will not only make it easier to access in-season clothes but it give you a built-in opportunity to review your wardrobe with a critical eye toward purging.
An organized clothing system will save you time in the morning, keep clothes in better condition longer, and -- my favorite -- reduce dry cleaning bills and ironing. Yesterday I was asked by a client for my best advice on keeping clothes organized, so here it is:
Valerie Sheridan is a professional organizer, wife, mother of two, and Founder/Owner of EasyPeasy Living.