Have you finally collected enough shoes, handbags, dresses, skirts, scarves, blouses that would make Carrie (from Sex and the City) proud? Well, is it tidy and organised or is it simply getting a little out of control? Make it a space that’s worthy of your prized Jimmy Choo’s by following our 10 tips for organising your closet.
1. Conduct a closet assessment
You’ll thank yourself later if you can be as objective as possible during this stage of reorganisation. Consider:
What haven’t you used/worn in awhile?
What are you unlikely to ever use?
What should be placed in storage for nostalgia’s sake?
What would be of better use to other underprivileged individuals?
Taking stock of how your closet meets your (honest) basic functional needs is an emotional as well as practical process that will reduce the amount of stuff you have to organise. This is a particularly essential step before you undertake any major renovations of your closets or storage space.
2. Involve your family.
If you’re dealing with your children’s or family’s closets, get their input on what they do and do not need (including toys, books and accessories). Get them on board to eliminate as many unnecessary items as possible. Convince them that in order to welcome the new, they’ll have to clear out the old — yes, that means no new toys if they’re still holding on to those old Barbies that they haven’t touched in five years.
3. Group your items
Depending on your preference, you may choose to organise your possessions by function, mood or colour. However you choose to do it, the objective is to make your dressing experience faster and easier with a minimal amount of time wasted on lengthy morning deliberations. Example: work outfits vs. weekend clothes vs. occasion clothing. Another example: group all blouses on one end, casual dresses in the middle, fancy dresses at the end.
4. Maximise all surfaces
Put on your Tetris hat to find those elusive in-between places in your closet that could be used for ties, umbrellas, small accessories, or funny shaped items. Hang, peg, suspend, drape anywhere that works. For instance, mount a peg board on the inside of your cupboard door for smaller items
Several ideas for hanging your handbags:
Ideas for shoes:
Hang your heels over towel rods.
5. Add lighting (and possibly a mirror).
Lighting, whether fancy or rustic, will make finding the things you’ve organised much easier after you’ve successfully squirreled them away into the recesses of your closet. For a clear view of hard-to-reach shelves, add stick-on or screw-in battery-operated LED lights along the corners of the shelves. If you have room for it, adding a part or full-length mirror can streamline your dressing process, too.
6. Treat your clothes right
You’ve adored them; you’ve spent good money on them. Either way, these clothes have made the cut and are still in your closet instead of the donation bin, so let’s make their stay worthwhile by avoiding as much stretching, tearing and sagging as possible with these tips:
- Invest in quality hangers (NOT wire ones – use plastic or wood. Even metal ones, as long as they are cushioned and appropriate for keeping the shape of the garment.)
- Hang things that won’t sag. Fold clothing (like sweaters and thin strap dresses) that will stretch out over time.
- Ward off hungry insects with mothballs and all their modern equivalents.
7. Use shelves on top
Keep a step stool or ladder on hand for quick access and efficiency and keep frequently worn items on shelves that are easy to reach. Collapsible step-ladders conserve space if you’d like to store the ladder inside the closet itself.
8. Get creative with storage
- If you’re missing a door to your closet, try adding a curtain as a stand in.
- Add an open-faced drawer or compartment to your closet for jewelry so that you can see what you have immediately without rifling through your jewelry box.
- Store accessories in clear plastic drawers (like neatly rolled scarves, underwear, and belts) so you can see what you’re working with.
- Label things (Once you’ve designed and implemented a complex organisation system, you deserve the convenience of navigating it easily. Labeling shelves keeps your system in check so your hard work doesn’t go to waste.)
- Use baskets for odds and ends and oddly shaped remnants and accessories.
9. Don’t accumulate your mess
- Take 15 minutes each week to straighten out your closet in the aftermath of your reorganisation to save yourself the headache of a major annual cleaning.
10. If you need help, get it
- A nip and tuck may be all your closet needs, especially if you’re already a pro in organising. However, for those of us still hacking through the undergrowth for that other shoe, it may prove valuable to employ the services of an experienced Gawin carpenter, renovator, or interior designer who can prescribe a personalised solution for your needs whether it is a full scale remodeling, a structural improvement or just a professional opinion from someone familiar with storage projects. This may be particularly valuable if many of the cupboards, dressers and closets in your home can benefit from some structural work.If you’re going it on your own on installing a simple hook or dowel, that’s great too – and when it stops being simple, you know whom to call.