Organizing Your Closets - The Job That NOBODY wants to tackle...

I'm embarassed to say that more often than not, I find myself putting clean laundry in the closet, closing the doors quickly, then hoping that the contents don't spill out onto the floor. Below are a few tips for helping you deal with this less-than-desirable task:



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6 Simple Ways To Organize Your Closet Right Now


Without delving into any psychobabble here, it’s safe to say that a messy closet doesn’t contribute to anyone’s happiness. Conversely, an organized closet can bring forth euphoric joy — or, at the very least, a sense of relief at finally finding that long-lost sweater or pillowcase.

“A place for everything and everything in its place.” This proverb sums up what we all wish for in our closets. Achieving this takes a bit more than wishful thinking, but it doesn’t have to cost much, if anything. Here are six easy closet organizing steps you can take this weekend to get your closet in tip-top shape.

1. Take stock of what’s currently in your closet. Yes, we’ve heard many an organizing expert on TV blather on about this, but it’s true. A closet can’t ever be truly organized if it’s hiding items that haven’t been touched since the Bush administration.

As painful as the process may sound, unloading a closet’s entire contents will give you an honest account of what lurks in the recesses. Donate or toss as necessary and start from scratch. This single act will liberate you from having a bunch of useless stuff weigh you down and crowd out what you do value.

Once you know exactly what you want to keep, adjust any shelves as necessary, as in this hall closet system created by San Francisco Organized Interiors. Towel bars (see step 2) affixed to the door provide greater efficiency, as do baskets that keep smaller items from getting lost.


2. Make use of empty wall or door space. Empty sections of walls or the insides of doors are prime real estate for towel bars, hooks or dowels, like this artistic example of a tie collection created by Cantoni Design.

Tip: Hardware doesn’t have to be elaborate to work. You might even have everything you need already in your garage. Just make sure the hardware is appropriately sized to bear the weight of the intended load.

3. Add lightingLighting is key to finding anything in a closet, though so often there’s not enough of it. Newer homes may have a single overhead light that is minimally helpful, while older homes may not be equipped with any light at all. Having an electrician add shelf lighting would be optimal, but it isn’t cheap, and it’s a momentum killer. Instead, use stick-on or screw-in battery-operated LED lights on each shelf to achieve the same results for a fraction of the cost.

4. Corral like items together. Think of your bedroom closet as you would your desk files. If those files weren’t organized in some sort of comprehensive fashion (by date, client name, order of urgency etc.), you’d never accomplish anything at work.

The same is true for the closet, but with slightly different objectives. The closet needs to provide you with the tools to look good and get you out of the house as efficiently as possible. The best way to accomplish this is by grouping like items together (colors, styles, uses, occasions) to speed up the morning outfit hunt.


5. Invest in good-quality matching hangers. Hanger uniformity makes finding garments easier, as it keeps every article of clothing at the same level. It also tames the chaotic look that closets often develop due to a collection of dissimilar hangers.

Tip: Get rid of those dry cleaner wire hangers that have accumulated over the years. They’re a detriment to your clothes, as they make shoulder dents and bend out of shape over time. If the hangers are still in good shape, your dry cleaner will likely take them back for reuse.

Good hangers to use: Quality hangers can be plastic, metal or wood. Whatever you choose, make sure they’re durable to withstand the weight and type of clothes you’re intending to use them for. Snow clothes, after all, will need stronger hangers than blouses.

6. Give yourself the ability to use the tippy-top shelves. Not everyone is tall, but even those of us who are short should have access to our closets’ full dimensions. This closet, by Josh Brown Design, promotes such access through the use of a rolling ladder.

If you’re not interested in installing the necessary components for a rolling ladder, invest in a cool stool. They are easy to come by, are relatively inexpensive and make all the difference when it comes to accessing those otherwise out-of-reach spaces that taunt the vertically challenged.


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Jill Keeling

Jill Keeling

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CENTURY 21 Limestone Realty Ltd., Brokerage*
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