Cleaning and Clearing
Before you can even think about organizing, you need to seriously decide which clothes you need and which you can donate. Be strict with yourself – if you haven’t worn it in the past year, toss it. Remove all the clothes from your closet, clean the empty closet, and then you can get to the exciting part: organizing!
More shelves mean more space for storing your clothes and accessories, right? Wrong. Unless they are specifically designed with a certain function in mind, extra shelving can actually do your closet more harm than good. This is a common mistake made by many DIY closet organizers, but learn from their mistakes and only install shelves that you know you’ll use.
Use Your Space Wisely
The smaller your closet, the more planning you need to put into organizing it. Certain systems will work great for tiny closets. Don’t forget to utilize the inside of your door as a spot for hooks, for instance. Utilize baskets and closable containers that you can open, move, and store with ease. Pay attention to every detail during the planning process – even having all your clothes hangers match will make a great deal of difference in a small closet like yours.
Do you typically fold all or most of your clothes? If you’re a serial folder, shelves and drawers are definitely the way to go. If you’re going to install new shelves, make sure they are roughly a foot in depth, since that is more or less the size of folded clothing. You may want to choose a material that is well-ventilated (such as wiring or grated shelves) so that plenty of airflow reaches your piled clothing.
When you organize your folded items, keep similar types of clothing in the same stacks so all the articles of clothing in one pile are nearly the same size. Try not to stack your clothes all the way to the bottom of the shelf above it – you are going to need to fit your hand in to reach the clothes, after all. Keep about six inches in between for maximum ease and comfort.
If you like to hang loose rather than fold, there are a few pieces of advice that you’re going to want to know. In order to use space as efficiently as possible, try going for a double-hang setup. Then hang all of your shorter clothes on the top, and set up the next rod as high as possible to hold your longer clothes while still leaving room underneath for other storage.
Organizing your clothes by category or type will be the easiest way for you to find everything later in a hanging setup. Divide it up with as much detail as you like. If nothing else, just sort it all by color. Use a hanging organizer of some sort to keep your accessories visible and organized.
One thing that plagues many cluttery closet owners is finding a solution for all their lovely shoes. Cubbies or hanging shoe organizers are tried and true methods, but they always seem to fill up. One way you can solve this problem is doubling up your slimmer, flatter shoes (like flip-flops or flats). If you happen to have more cubbies than pairs of shoes, you can use the remaining cubbies for other accessories.
If this isn’t enough for your shoe collection, you can store your nicer, less commonly worn shoes on the topmost shelf. Putting them in plastic containers is the best way to see which box to grab when that special occasion does come up. Otherwise, you can use a regular shoebox and just stick on a picture or description of the shoe on the front.