Before I started my new job, I spent an afternoon rummaging through my closet sorting out clothes to determine whether or not I would need to buy anything new (*narrator: she did need to buy new clothes*). As you can guess, the closet was such a jumbled mess that it took forever to sort through. Rather than stuff everything back in and pretend like I didn’t care how disorganized it was, I figured that the new year would be as good a time as any to get it organized.
As you can tell, our shared closet is pretty small…
There’s room on the top for storage, but our main tools for organizing were these teal and black hanging shelves from IKEA, and until recently, they were working out just fine…
There was no clear method of organization, and everything has been very much just thrown in and pulled out at random as needed. Not only did I feel that there was wasted space in here, but I knew there was a good chunk of stuff that I wasn’t wearing anymore and could be stored elsewhere, if not donated.
Closet Organization Tips
1. Identify the Problems
Where do the issues lie? Not enough storage space? Too many clothes? Once you figure out the problem, you’re one step closer to figuring out the solution. In our case, we had a combination of too many things and not enough places to put them.
2. Get Rid of As Much As You Can
It’s always a good idea to week out clothes you aren’t wearing. If you find a shirt you didn’t even remember having, or that you haven’t worn for months at a time, it’s probably a good idea to donate it. I found more than a few items that I had forgotten about and vowed to wear again soon, and some of them I have. The ones I knew I wasn’t likely to wear got folded up into the donation bag. It created more space physically in the closet and mentally, because it gave me less items to worry about.
You might need to buy something in order to stay organized; shelves, containers, special hangers, etc. You certainly don’t need to overspend, but if you can pinpoint exactly what you might need that would make things better, there’s nothing wrong with investing in it to make your life easier. You may not need to buy anything, and I personally would advocate for not buying anything unless you’re one hundred percent certain it is necessary. However, every closet is different and some are just straight up lacking in storage features. In those cases, investing in something may be the best option.
4. Be Realistic
You will not wear every single piece of clothing that you own. It’s important to be realistic as you organize your clothes. You can’t keep everything, and the harder you try to justify it the more likely it is that you don’t actually need it.
The after photos show what a huge difference was made in our closet…
WOW. My work clothes are all hanging, and weekend/casual clothes are all folded. My pants are also folded up on the shelf, even the nice ones I wear to work (if something needs to be ironed, I take it out and do so the night before.) Otherwise, it’s so much neater to have them folded away, rather than hanging down at varying lengths and getting in the way.
All thanks to the star of the show: our new dresser! I researched dressers online for days ahead of time. Our closet is small and narrow and I wasn’t sure we’d be able to find anything that could fit in it, but lo and behold we did, and it was only sixty bucks! With the dresser, we no longer need to use the hanging organizers. This alone made a huge difference in the overall appearance of the closet.
I used the plastic containers I already had to rotate out some of my seasonal clothes (note: we live in Arizona, which arguably has a complete and total lack of seasons, so I really don’t have a lot of “seasonal” clothes).
The top shelf has cute shopping bags that I use for scarves, and folded sweatshirts for easy access. The opposite side has some of my luggage, which I decided to also use as storage.
As of now, there is nothing on the top of the dresser. I really, really like the clean look and I think we’re going to keep it this way. I can’t imagine putting anything here other than maybe clean clothes from the laundry that need to be put away. The only thing I can think of adding would be a mirror, but it would really have to be the right type and size for it to work in this space.
If you’re like me, you’re wondering where the heck our shoes are! Well, we have a small area in the entry way of the apartment where we’ve put a shelf for shoes, and a little coat rack where I hang my bags and other accessories. A smaller coat closet in the hallway is where we keep heavier jackets and things.
What About You?
Have you ever done a big closet makeover? How did it go? Tell me about it in the comments, and give me some more organization tips! 🙂