A few simple tips will help to organize your closet so that it’s neat, tidy, and functional.
Problems we may have with our closet
Ever looked at your closet and wanted to scream? I certainly have…for many reasons.
- My closet was too small
- I couldn’t find things in my closet because it wasn’t organized
- I just didn’t like the clothes I’d bought
Maybe you’ve been there too, wondering when your closet – and the clothes in it – was going to quit being a source of frustration.
For years I lived in a house that those old fashioned closets. You know the kind…it had those awful sliding doors so even on a good day you could only see half of your closet at a time. It used to drive me crazy!
One day I decided I’d had enough. I pulled the sliding doors off the tracks, marched myself down to the store to purchase some organizing supplies, and then sat down and ordered a pretty curtain rod and a pair of long curtains to replace those awful doors.
By the time I was finished with my closet I was a happier camper and much less likely to want to scream every time I had to get dressed.
And then we moved.
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Life Changes Show Up in Our Closets and Wardrobes
Life changed when I quit my job and moved back to my hometown. I gained a much bigger closet, but lost the organization system I’d put in place and the identity that my entire closet full of clothes represented.
You see, our clothes do more than cover our bodies (and keep us from getting arrested or scaring the neighbors!). They represent who we are, they say things about us to the rest of the world, they represent status, position, and occupation, and they make us feel attractive.
And then sometimes our clothes don’t do any of those things. Well, okay, they still cover our bodies but sometimes that’s all they do!
That’s where I found myself a few months ago. My new closet, while bigger, wasn’t functioning well. It was poorly organized and messy. And I found that I had nothing to wear for the new life I was creating. I had plenty of clothes, but they were for the old Shelley who got up and went to an outside job every day.
I loved those clothes. I’d spent a long time accumulating them and figuring out a style that I liked, that looked good on me, and that fit my occupation. But now they just didn’t work any more.
My closet wasn’t working either.
My Closet is a Mess!
One day I’d had enough and decided that I could either be annoyed or I could do something about it.
Here’s what wasn’t working:
- The labeled shoe boxes took up too much room on the shelves. What had been a great system in my old closet (and my old life) didn’t work now.
- My wire drawer set was in the wrong place and made it hard to access stuff on the shelves.
- Keeping hygiene items on top of the oak jewelry box made it hard to get into stuff I kept in the top tray, and I was always knocking something off into the floor.
- My purses were just shoved haphazardly on a shelf (that was hard to reach because of the drawer unit.
- I had garments hanging on a hook right beside the doorway. They blocked the light switch and annoyed the heck out of Jungle Jim. The hook became a catch-all.
- The elements of a laundry system are in place but need tweaking to be more efficient. It’s too easy to get clothes mixed up between the “dirty” hamper and the “clean” basket. Where DO those clothes that are too clean to throw in the “dirty” pile go anyway?
- My jewelry armoire was frequently blocked by all the junk in front of it.
You’ve seen the mess that was my closet. Please don’t judge. Besides, my grandmother would roll over in her grave if she knew I was literally posting my dirty laundry for the world to see.
Tips to organize your closet
Here’s what I did:
- Moved the wire drawer unit out from right in front of the shelves.
- Put my laundry hamper where the drawer unit had been. This allows me easier access to the bottom and back of the shelves since the hamper is light and easy to move.
- Bought matching bins to hold my purses and shoes. I got rid of the plastic shoe boxes. Some of the shoes went in the donate pile. Others, like sandals and flip-flops are in one of the bins towards the bottom. This takes up much less room than all those plastic boxes did.
- I hung an organizing basket underneath my mirror/jewelry box and by the light switch. These baskets hold grooming and clothes maintenance products.
- Sorted my scarf collection by weight. The lighter scarves that I wear more often are hung closer to the door. The heavier scarves are hung on the wall above my laundry hamper. I just used a short towel rod and some cheap shower curtain rings to make the hanger. I’ve used other scarf holders in the past but didn’t like them.
- I found the pretty pink and taupe boxes at Michael’s (where I also bought the taupe shelf bins). I use them to hold miscellaneous products that had been cluttering the top of my jewelry box.
- I picked up a couple of extra plastic drawer units at Walmart. I decided I was getting sick and tired of having to run out into the bedroom to get pants and socks. I labeled each drawer to the contents are easily identifiable (and because I have this label-maker addiction that I probably need counseling for).
- Moving items makes it easier for me to access my jewelry armoire (possibly the greatest invention ever!) and to actually use the full length mirror on the front of it.
Once I got my closet organized and under control, it was time to start in on my clothes. That is proving to be much harder but I’ve already gotten rid of three bags of clothing that no longer works for me.
My next step is to take the Adore Your Wardrobe course. This course is only open during certain times of the year so you’ll want to watch for its open dates.. However, there is also a free challenge to help you start getting your wardrobe under control. From Frustration to Functional will help if you’re not where you can take the whole course. As for me, I’m just sick and tired of making the wrong purchases and I’m ready to quit hating my closet.
Before you leave be sure to check out Investing in Yourself is Never a Waste and Help! I Hate My Clothes. Both of these posts talk about how getting our closets and wardrobes under control is a necessity.
Here are a few more closet organizing products I’ve chosen for you to look at.
- Pants hangers let you hang several pants in the space that one pair would normally occupy. Great when space is tight.
- This is another type of space saving hanger. Each hanger holds ten pieces of clothing.
- I love velvet flocked clothes hangers. They keep those lightweight or strappy items from slipping off the hanger and on to the floor.
- An underwear organizer is great for separating out the dainty items that you don’t want getting tossed and tangled.
The following items are great for making the most of your shelf and floor space.
- Wire shelf divider brackets allow you to stack items like sweaters or towels together without having them topple over if you pull from the middle of the stack.
- This set of 3 folding storage bag organizers are great for coats, blankets, or other lesser used items. They have a plastic window so you can see what’s inside which makes it easy to keep track of what you have without having to look inside.
- We own several of these hanging tiered shelves. I use them to store extra purses, but when our daughter was in college she used them for shoes and bulky sweaters. And they’re lightweight and collapsible so moving them around is no big deal.
- These shelf organizers are heavier duty and allow you to truly customize your storage. They’re a more permanent solution but lots cheaper than having someone build to your specifications.