Save Space With
These Great Tips!
Closet organizers clean up clutter! How’s that for a tongue twister?
It’s very easy for closets to become the most cluttered area of any home. Why? Simply put, closets are really nothing more than glorified dumping grounds . . . I mean storage spaces!
Whether you live in an efficiency apartment or a 50-room mansion, closet clutter happens. No matter where they live or how large the home, I never hear of anyone saying they have sufficient closet space.
This page is a little more advanced and talks about specific closet organizers. If you need a little more information, check out How to Organize a Closet.
We all would probably love to have a custom walk-in closet like the one in this picture, but most of us have to deal with the more standard closet space designed by builders for the average middle income family homes. Some of us even have to deal with tiny, cramped apartment closets or dorm rooms!
Every closet situation is unique. Some closets must share the space with home essentials such as electric breaker box panels, cable boxes, water heaters, etc. What type of door a closet has and which way it opens can also present unique challenges.
A typical home or apartment closet usually comes equipped with one shelf and a rod extending from one closet wall to the other. Most have a single door that opens either right or left. Double-wide closets may have bi-fold doors that present other challenges.
What type of clothing you have and how much you have of each type makes each closet organizer situation special.
- Closets for babies and children need to take special considerations into account.
- Closets for seniors or those with disabilities may have unique closet organizer situations that need to be addressed.
- If you share a closet with a room mate or spouse can also make a difference in how you organize your closet space.
- Does the closet need to function as something besides a closet (e.g. office desk or craft area).
These are just some of the examples of closet considerations.
In addition to the above, here are some factors to take into consideration when performing closet organization tasks:
- Best use of space
- Ease of use
- Esthetic value (if any)
- Overall budget and cost factors
The options for organizing your closet are pretty simple: (1) You can do it yourself; or (2) You can call in an organizing professional.
The tips on this page are for those of you who decide you want to do it yourself.
Do you have the desire to do it yourself, but don’t know where to start? I gotcha covered!
If you are uncertain about how and where to begin, check out the helpful information in the Start Here section on www.straighten-up-now.com. Reviewing these easy steps will help you know how to begin.
If, you feel you need an organizing professional to help you, please consult the Directory of organizing professionals on this website and locate someone in your state/city for a quote.
Things to Consider Before
Your Organize Your Closet
The success of any project depends on executing a plan that has been thoroughly considered, thought through and takes the factors above (best use of space, ease of use, esthetic value, budget/cost) into consideration.
As the saying goes, most people don’t “plan to fail; they fail to plan.”
But . . . before you begin, here are some thoughts to bear in mind:
- Remember to K.I.S.S. (keep it simply simple): Clearing clutter and making more space are the ultimate goal of your closet organizer project, but it won’t last if you make it complicated or hard to maintain. The simpler the system, the more likely you will keep it that way.
- Consistency: Design your closet organizer system using simple methods on a consistent basis. Consistency is also vital to long-term maintenance. Design your closet in a way that works around you, how you like to look for things and your daily routine.
- Be Flexible: You may have to compromise on some things in order to achieve a greater goal. You can have it all, just not necessarily all at the same time! Expensive closet organizer products may be one area in your budget where you may need to be more flexible and make some compromises.
- Don’t Become Over-Whelmed: It’s easy to look at a mountain of stuff in your closet and become over-whelmed. Even if you get things sorted out, you can also become over-whelmed by the amount of closet organizing gadgets in the marketplace.
- Beware Sticker Shock: When you look at closet organizer products, it’s easy to get “sticker shock.” Many are extremely high end in materials and cost. There are, however, many low- cost alternatives. Using a little creativity, you might even find items to repurpose in your home for no cost that will do the same thing.
- The “Look”: Your closet project will have a more finished look and be far more attractive if you use products that are similar in material and color. The better it looks, the more likely you are to keep it that way. That doesn’t mean you have to spend a lot of money.
- Tools & Ability: Another consideration is whether you have the tools to perform the project as well as the skills and ability. You most likely will need a minimum of tools such as hammer, nails, screws, screw drivers, level, ruler, tape measure, pencil, etc. You might decide to sew your own closet organizers which means you will need fabric, thread, pins, patterns, sewing machine and sewing knowledge to accomplish these projects. You should also consider painting the closet for a fresh look. That requires paint, drop cloths, blue painter's tape, rollers, brushes, cleaner, etc.
The basics required for closet organizing are the same as any other organizing project: clearing, sorting (donate/keep/trash), clean up, freshen up, organize the “Keepers,” and put up.
- Step One: Clear out everything in the closet. Everything! Pull out any hardware (nails, hooks, etc.) that may remain on the closet walls. If you are going to install a new closet organizing system, be sure to remove the clothing rod and shelf as well.
Step Two: Sort through everything in the closet. If you find items that don’t belong in this closet (e.g. camping equipment in your clothes closet), take those items to the area they belong. Use the handy sorting tools under Free Stuff to help you sort the Trash, Donate and Keeper items. If you need help with sorting and knowing what to keep and what to donate or trash, look through the helpful information under the Basic Principles and Other Things to consider sections on this website.
Basically, don’t keep clothing, shoes, belts, handbags, or accessories that are torn beyond repair or don’t fit (too large or too small). It’s hard to let go of things you think you’ll fit into someday, but it’s better to be realistic and deal with purchasing or making something new when you achieve your weight goal. Consider the new clothing purchase as a reward for all that hard work! Definitely get rid of clothing that is too large – you won’t be tempted to gain weight!
Dirty clothes need to be washed and/or dry cleaned before returning to your closet.
Shine those shoes before returning them to your closet organizer.
Step Three: Clean up. That means take trash to the trash and the donate items to your favorite charity immediately. Be sure to do this before you proceed to the next step. This will keep you from second-guessing your prior decision to trash or donate as well as provide you with more space to organize the keepers.
Step Four: Freshen it up. Make your closet look like a boutique! Paint the walls, use a beautiful wall paper as an accent. Purchase some great smelling sachets!
Step Five: Organize the keepers. Look through the types of clothing items you have and how many of each. Make a clothing inventory. This may sound tedious, but this will actually help you decide what type of closet organizer system to purchase. For example: If you have a lot of sweaters, you may need more shelves than someone else who has more tops and bottoms. Determine how many pairs of shoes, boots, etc. you have so you can purchase the appropriate organizer for them.
Start searching your local department and hardware stores to get an idea of the type of organizers out there. You may think of something you already have at home that will work just as well. If you have sewing skills, you can make some beautiful closet organizers out of matching fabrics – you’ll achieve a “boutique” look! Once you decide which organizing products you need, be sure you have the correct tools. Purchase everything you need.
Install all shelves, rods, baskets, etc. Be sure to read and follow manufacturer directions and adhere to all safety standards such as attaching hardware to wall studs and not just in the drywall or sheet rock.
Step Six: Put away all your keepers in an organized fashion. Fold all your clean items neatly and put them in the proper closet organizer.
Step Seven: Step back and admire your hard work. You’ll feel like you’re shopping at a boutique every time you open your closet door.
Now sit down, relax and pat yourself on the back for a job well done!
One Last Thing
Oh . . . one last thing . . .
Remember, even well-organized closets can become messy if not maintained routinely. Don't sweat it if your closet becomes slightly messy. Just take care of it before it becomes too over-whelming!
Do You Know Of Any Closet Organizer Tips?
Do you know of any closet organizer tips or products? Share them with others!
What Other Visitors Have Said
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Purging The Closet Not rated yet
When I purge my clothes I put the clothes I am going to keep with the hanger turned backwards. When I wear them I return them to the closet with the hanger …
Door Storage Not rated yet
I love the hanging clear shoe organizers! I have one inside of every door in my huse. One is in the entryway for hats, gloves, scarves, another in the …
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