Do you find yourself struggling to get things in and out of your closet? Or maybe you have a hard time find things all together. Or maybe you end up wearing the same 3 outfits over and over, despite having a plethora of clothes. If you can relate to any of those things, then that might be a good indication that you need to organize your closet.
Organizing a messy closet doesn’t have to be hard. So let’s dive into 5 easy steps to transform your closet from something that you dread into something that you’re excited about!
Step 1 – Minimize
Let’s be honest, it’s very rare that a person has too little of things, and it’s a lot more likely that you have too many things. So, before anything else can be done you’ve got to get rid of things.
Consider the space that you do have, and what your lifestyle actually calls for. Meaning if you have a small closet then maybe 200 shirts isn’t really practical for you right now. Where as if you have a giant walk-in closet the size of a room, then maybe you can house 200 shirts. Additionally, if you have 200 shirts, then that means you’re able to wear a different shirt every single day.. does that sound like you? If not, then you have too many.
Now, I’ve helped plenty of people organize and declutter their spaces, so I know there’s a few things that always come up for people when it comes to getting rid of things:
- They have emotional attachments to things. First of all, your feelings are totally valid. And getting rid of things doesn’t make your feelings invalid. But again, if you’re being honest with yourself, how is hanging on to so many things serving you? I’m willing to bet that instead of being the comfort you hope it to be, it’s actually just another thing weighing you down. So give yourself a moment with the item, thank it in your heart for the joy that it had brought to you, and let it go. You could take a picture of the item so that way you can preserve the memory without taking up space & keeping so much stuff in your closet. Additionally, set a limit to the number of sentimental items you’re keeping.
- The Wishful Pieces. I can’t tell you how many times people keep jeans that are 5 sizes too small, or shirts that need some sort of adjustment to make themselves feel comfortable wearing them. But let me ask you this: how long are you going to keep things that do not serve you? Even if you lose the weight, it’s likely that you’ll just buy better pants anyways. If you find other shirts that make you feel comfortable, you’ll just wear those. So let go of those pieces that you no longer fit into and you just don’t like to wear. (Not sure if you like it? Wear it for a day and you’ll know.)
- Throwing Out Good/Expensive Clothes. You know the amount of money that you spent on something (and sometimes you even still have the tags on it), which makes throwing out quality pieces that much harder. I get it. But there are a couple of remedies to this objection. Sell or donate. First, by letting the item go, you’re allowing someone else to actually enjoy a piece that you could not. You could always have a yard sale, or put really expensive pieces up for sale. But set a time limit so you don’t end up allowing “selling items” to become another excuse for you to hold onto stuff. Second, I’ve also found that if you can donate to charities that you care about it helps you to let go more easily (such as a battered women’s shelter, clothes for the homeless, clothes for the vets, some hospitals take donations, etc.)
So go through your closet and throw out as much as you can. You may also consider having a friend help you who you know will hold you accountable (sometimes a friend who can help you just rip off the band-aide is a good thing). If you have a lot of stuff, then divide your closet into sections and schedule a dejunking session for each section on your calendar. Do it in sections so you don’t feel overwhelmed.
Step 2 – Visualize The Space
Now, that you’ve minimized your possessions you can better see how it could all fit into your space. Start by putting like items together. All the scarves with the scarves, the belts with the belts, the short sleeved shirts with the short sleeved shirts, etc. (it’s fine if you’re making piles on the floor or bed).
Next is to consider the space that you do have. Some spaces do not have a lot of shelves while others have many. Look at the items that need storage containers and the items that could be folded or hung.
The trick is getting containers that fit together and only a few decorative pieces. When it comes to hangers, make them uniform. This allows them to fit together and creates a more pleasing aesthetic. I typically prefer the slim line hangers as they are real space savers.
Make a list of the size and number of new storage containers you’ll need.
Step 3 – Purchase Better Storage
There’s plenty of stores that sell nice, practical storage containers at a decent price. I personally always look at TJMAXX, Ross, Target, HomeGoods, and maybe Marshalls. One other important thing to keep in mind is that you can RETURN items that do not work for your space. So don’t be afraid to give things a try.
When I’m out shopping for things and visually remembering the size of the pile I need to store, I’m typically considering which items could perhaps be put higher in the closet in more storage-type-boxes, and which would be better to be stored in a grab-n-go sort of container (such as putting scarves in a basket).
If you have a lot of shoes but your closet wasn’t really designed for shoes, then consider plastic shoe boxes or things that would help you maximize a space without cramming too many things into it.
Step 4 – Organize & Style
Once you’ve got all your storage containers and uniform hangers it’s time to organize! The way that I like to organize hanging clothes is by type. All shirts with shirts, jeans with jeans, jackets with jackets, etc. Then within that type I’ll align into subtypes, such as long sleeves, short sleeves, and then sleeveless.
Once that’s done, I then arraign the subtype by colors. So all the black sleeveless tops go together, all the blue sleeveless tops go together, so on and so forth. And if you really want to be OCD like me, then I go one level deeper and organize by texture within the color. So, all silky black sleeveless tops together, all lacey black sleeveless tops together, etc.
Once that is done it’s time to add in the storage containers. Put things that you do not frequently use up higher, and those sort of containers can potentially be stacked. Storage containers like baskets help add a design element to the space without wasting space.
So take a step back and look at the overall styling.
Step 5 – Create a System
Nothing drives me battier than taking the time to organize something only to have it destroyed and disheveled in a weeks time. And the way that you keep that from happening is to create a system.
The first thing to understand about systems is that you’ve got to make them easy. If your hamper is in a crazy inaccessible spot I can guarantee that clothes will likely just end up on the floor and on your bedroom furniture.
So you’re going to have analyze your own personal habits. What usually happens to your closet?
Does it get overloaded with clothes? Then maybe set a hanger limit. I personally did this, and it helped me sooo much. I’ve saved a bunch of money because I don’t buy clothes like I used to, and since I know that something has to come out if something goes in, it really makes me think twice before I buy something. The result has been that I only have pieces that I like!
Now I want to hear from you!
Did you give these tips a try? Where are you getting stuck? Or what things did you figure out that really help you? Please tell me in the comments below! (Used these tips and got a good before and after? Tag me on instagram @madeoflovely and let me see!)