Closet Organization 101

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Piper’s a smart pup; this is her favorite room in our home, too.

The holidays are creeping up on us; seriously, I don’t understand how Thanksgiving is — wait, it’s TOMORROW, and Christmas will be here in a few short weeks, too. Or is it next week? I feel like I truly lose my mind every November and December, and this time of year always turns into a time warp that goes 3-times faster than the rest of the year for some reason. I don’t know about you, but something always at the top of my Christmas wish list is clothes, shoes, or gift cards to buy clothes and shoes. If that makes me basic, I really don’t care. I love clothes and shoes.

Anyone who has seen my closet can attest to that. My sacred space is color-coded, categorized, and cleaned out by yours truly on a monthly basis, pretty much. I’m a tad OCD when it comes to my closet. I’m also just over-the-top about organization in general (when I interned for D Home, I pitched and wrote a weekly blog series where I wrote a how-to about organizing the different spaces in your home each week, and it was a blast), which could explain the hyper-attention to what is arguably my favorite place in my home. Close second: the kitchen.

If you’re not quite at my level of crazy when it comes to all things organization, it’s okay, and I don’t blame you. But I do think every closet should have some sense of tidiness. It makes life a whole lot easier. If your closet is slightly unkempt and stuffed with things that don’t fit you anymore or you haven’t worn in two years, keep reading. A few small adjustments will make it feel like a whole new space, hopefully one with lots of room for new suede and cashmere friends.

  1. Put similar things next to each other. Didn’t you hate the classes growing up that had assigned seating next to randomers and you couldn’t sit next to all your best friends? Your clothes hate it, too. Put sweaters with sweaters, pants with pants, dresses with dresses, and so on. This is the one and only circumstance that segregation is okay.
  2. Color coordinate that ish. I know it sounds anal and a little obnoxious, but color coding the sections of your closet will save you so much time getting ready. If you’ve ever thought, Where the heck is my beige cardigan?, this trick will work wonders for you. Sometimes it’s hard to remember if a certain article is in your dirty clothes or just tucked into some obscure corner of the closet, and color organizing will help you figure it out a lot faster.
  3. Use a few tools. Those shoe-hangy things are the coolest. Where do people who don’t have those put their shoes? Bins, containers, and drawers are all life-savers, as well. Big bins with lids are perfect to keep clothes you like but don’t fit the season. Just tuck them away onto a top shelf. I just so happen to have a teeny bedroom, so even my dresser is in my closet, and I actually recommend this for those who might have bigger rooms, too. It keeps all my clothes in the closet, instead of workout wear and jammies in my room and everything else in the closet.
  4. Go through clothes and shoes every other month. It might seem too often to do this, but seasons and temperatures shift within two months, and you’ll see a sweater or pair of pants that you realize hasn’t fit you since high school or you haven’t worn in longer. The general rule-of-thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in a year, give it away. I follow and take this as gospel. You should, too. I understand sentimental items (sort of), but if you haven’t used it in ages, and it’s taking up space gathering dust, take a picture and toss it. I think of it this way: someone else could probably make much better use of it than you are, so let it go. To Goodwill.
  5. Make the best use of your space. Have tons of hanging space and not a lot of shelves? Hang your jeans, hang your tee shirts, hang it all. Got the opposite thing going on? Make sure your clothes are folded tidally on all that shelving. I’ve got a fair amount of both, so I hang my sweaters, dresses, pants, shirts, and jackets, fold the rest in my dresser, and use the shelving mainly for shoes. Figure out the best way to utilize your space, and then keep it consistent.
  6. Roll the non-wrinkleables. All my workout gear, sweats, and pajamas go in my (not very spacious) dresser, and to save space and fit it all, rolling the clothes has really been a game-changer. (Pro tip: I also do this when packing for trips to fit the maximum amount of clothes I fit into my suitcase, because I’m an over-packer addict.)

And that’s it! Before you know it, your closet will be looking like Paris Hilton’s when Kim Kardashian wasn’t famous yet and used to organize celeb closets. Oh, my God. I’m done.

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Tops: color coded from whites to blacks.
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Shoe-hangy things, belt-hangy things, and extra drawer space are all your friends.

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Top: sweaters, pants, skirts. Bottom: shirts.

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Roll that drawer-bound ‘ish up.
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Storage bins = life- and space-savers.

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