Last week I shared my closet makeover and today the brains behind the makeover, Hillary of Honey Hive Home, has been kind enough to share some helpful closet organization tips with all of us. Whether you need a full update or just need to make a few tweaks, Hillary’s tips can help you out.
1. Put it on your calendar!
A big impediment to getting organized in any space is not making the time to do it well! With so many commitments in our lives, scheduling a realistic amount of time to complete this task is imperative. Fully organizing a closet can take anywhere from four to ten hours, depending on the size and the amount of stuff in it! Don’t have that much time to dedicate in one day? Break it up over a long weekend or even a few weeks. Consider this an appointment you can’t miss to make sure it gets done. Enlisting the help of a friend, family member, or a professional organizer can help this seem less daunting and make it happen.
2. Purge your current wardrobe
Pull everything out of your closet! Go through piece by piece and make piles to donate, consign, and toss. Asking yourself the following question can be really helpful, “If I were shopping today, would I buy this?” If the answer is anything other than a resounding “yes,” it needs to find another home.
3. Store off-season clothing
Particularly if you have a small closet, store your off-season clothing elsewhere. I love under-the-bed storage bins or bags, or plastic containers kept in the basement or attic (don’t use cardboard, since water or odors can permeate it more easily!).
4. Relocate miscellaneous items
Random sports equipment? Old boxes of files? If at all possible, find a more appropriate place in your home to keep these. If your closet really is the only option, designate a section for non-clothing item and keep everything clearly labeled in boxes or bins.
5. Create a filing system for fold-ables
For items like t-shirts, pajamas, or exercise wear, fold the items so that they can be stacked vertically. This way, you can see everything at one glance and have the logo or print on your tees visible. No more digging through drawers to find that one particular top!
6. Organize like with like
Start by organizing by section and then arranging by color. Sort by sleeve or hem length (shortest to longest): For hanging clothes, I’m a huge fan of organizing them in the following groups: tops (including blazers, sweaters, and short jackets), bottoms (jeans, dress pants, and skirts), and dresses. I keep outerwear (including all long coats) in a separate closet, but if this isn’t an option, those would have their own section, too. I then organize them in ROYGBIV order, with white and cream coming before and brown, gray, and black coming at the end. Finally, sort by sleeve or hem length within the section. Start with tanks, then short-sleeves, and finally long sleeves. For pants, go from shorts to capris and then pants. Not only does this look pretty cool, but it makes putting together outfits a cinch! Want to wear a pink top with those jeans? See everything from tanks to sweaters at once.
7. Purchase matching hangers
This may sound like a small thing, but getting matching hangers can go a long way to reducing visual clutter in your closet. I highly recommend getting velvet-flocked space-saving hangers. They keep tops from falling to the closet floor and have a much slimmer profile, allowing for more room. For skirts, I love wooden hangers or slim-profile hangers with clips.
8. Invest in smart storage solutions
Paying money for specialty bins, boxes, and drawers can reap big rewards. For Katie’s closet, I found a larger over-the-door shoe rack to maximize the number of pairs that could be stored and get them up off of the floor. I knew that purses were a big trouble spot, so I brought in purse bins and shelf dividers to display her clutches functionally.
9. Keep things accessible
I have seen many clients who have tried to implement organizational systems in the past, but they just haven’t worked. The main reason? These systems weren’t easy to maintain. When you’re grabbing an outfit in the morning, you want to be able to see all of your options, and then get to them easily. For Katie’s scarves, we used two hangers placed in the center of her closet so that she can scan her collection quickly. It also makes putting it back in its place much easier than if they were jumbled together in a basket.
10. Maximize every square inch
Take careful measurements to see what will fit best in your closet! You may have room for drawers, bins, or boxes that you wouldn’t have otherwise considered. Be sure to leave ample room for hanging items, too. You don’t want to put a shelf in your closet, only to be unable to use part of the hanging space because it’s blocked off!
11. Bonus: Add a donate box or bin
Designating a box or bin, either in your closet or elsewhere in your bedroom, can be so helpful to keep your wardrobe edited. Every time you come across an item that no longer serves its purpose, add it to the box until it becomes full. Then it’s time to pass the items in it on to someone else!
Thanks again to Hillary for sharing her organizational knowledge! Now that I am armed with these tips and have had the chance to work with Hillary, I might try to tackle my husband’s closet to help make his life easier. Do you have a closet that you want to makeover? With the change of season, it is the perfect time.
If you are looking for some help with your closet or any space, be sure to contact Hillary for some great advice.