If you’re frustrated by not being able to find anything in your closet or don’t have any space to fit in one more piece of clothing in your dresser, it’s time to commit to organizing your closets. Cleaning your closet is something we all avoid, but it truly makes your life easier; plus, it also allows you to donate things that you no longer wear to people who may need them. The act of letting go of the things that no longer serve you is hugely therapeutic, and once you start, I assure you, you won’t want to stop! Here are some tips to get you started:
Lay everything out
Whether you’re tackling your wardrobes, the linen closet, or a kid’s dresser, the first thing you need to do is take every single thing out and stack items on your floor or your bed, depending on where you have the most space. This step is crucial because it releases you from hoarding things you no longer need. Sort all items into piles: sweaters in one pile, t-shirts in another, shoes, jeans, and so on.
Start your donation pile.
Time to step back and honestly evaluate what you wear and what you don’t. An extraordinary general rule of thumb is to ask yourself: When was the last time I (or someone in your family) wore this item? If it’s over a year, it’s time to let it go and donate to an organization of your choice that could use these items. But here’s an important note: Don’t donate clothing or accessories that are torn, ripped, need significant repairs, or are too worn down. Any donations should be in good condition, laundered, and could easily be worn or used by another person. We don’t donate garbage—if an item is in bad shape, then it’s better to toss it away.
Clean and reorganize your closet space.
Clean off your shelves, vacuum the closet (you would be amazed at how much dust and debris collects in a closet!), and then start putting back all of the items you’re keeping. I love using closet dividers on shelves to stack my sweaters and t-shirts neatly, and I also have some shoe bags that work wonders as extra storage for my shoes, socks, and scarves. When hanging your clothes back in your closet, group your items by style: Hang all of your sleeveless shirts together, then short-sleeved, long-sleeved, and so on. This functional organization tactic makes getting dressed much easier, and you can also see all of your items together to know what you have in your wardrobe. This trick can work across your storage closets and dressers: group everything by type for easy access and recognition.
Invest in new hangers
Mismatched hangers can make your closet look messy and disorganized. Buy a new set (I love the sturdiness of wooden hangers) and make sure you have options for the different items in your closets, like pant hangers, shirt hangers, and accessory hangers (for things like scarves and tights).
Find another place for items that don’t belong.
Sometimes our closets and dressers become a storage space for all of the extra detritus in our homes, so find another area in your home (or storage boxes) that can house these items. Your closet is prime real estate: anything other than clothing, shoes, or accessories that you don’t use every week should not be in your closet.