Our closets need makeovers too.
There are numerous ways you can organize a closet, but I want to walk you through the five steps I took to organize mine…for the sake of my sanity. I live in an older home where closets were often an afterthought. Try saying itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny and in the pitch of the roof three times. Well, you get the picture. Because of the limited space, I had to come up with a solution for storing my carefully curated apparel and found that the following five steps worked best for me.
Get rid of the excess. First on the list are those items that you have not used or worn for at least 2 seasons; that you can no longer fit; are in a state of disrepair; or are out of style. When closet space is at a premium, you must be able to let go and not be sentimental about these items. If your items are in good condition you can gift, donate, or sell them on-line.
Arrange by Category Type
Now that you have purged, it’s time to arrange what’s left. As I mentioned earlier, there are many ways to do this, but what helps me is to group like items together no matter the season…dresses, pants, blouses/shirts, skirts, suits, etc.
Arrange by Color
Another challenging thing about closets in older homes is the lighting…there is none. Those stickup lights do help, but they are not the greatest and you can quickly go through a ton of batteries.
If you have a difficult time distinguishing black from blue like I do, try arranging your clothing by color within a category type. I have even gone as far as placing color labels above the rack to help with selecting and returning clothes to their proper spot. Bottom line, arranging by color can be a great time saver as well as an easy and helpful way to see what you have as you bring your total look together.
Arrange Shoes and Accessories by Occasion and Seasonal Use
There are some amazing shoe storage solutions out there, but I find that the typical 3-tier shoe rack, or the over the door rack works well and is more cost effective. I have lined four 3-tier shoe racks along the back wall of my closet arranged by usage. Those all year round shoes or those that get daily use are stored on the rack closest to the closet opening. The second rack holds my casual and formal heels; the third my spring and summer shoes and sandals; and on the fourth rack holds my boots. My slippers are lined up near my bed and my sneakers are stored elsewhere for quick access and to ensure proper aeration. My scarfs are stored in wicker baskets beneath the wheeled clothes rack, hats and purses stored on a single shelf, and any purse overflow is stored on 4-tier pant hangers. Lastly, I made use of a mesh over-the-door shoe rack to store my folded bulky sweaters and tops.
Make Use of Unconventional Items
“Whatever Floats Your Boat.” If it solves your closet storage problem, don't be afraid to be creative and use items in an unconventional way. Using baskets, a wheeled clothing rack, shoe racks (free-standing and over-the-door), the installation of a few heavy duty “L” shaped pieces of hardware (the kind used in garages to hang ladders), and a small rack and shelf at the rear of my closet provided me the additional space needed for hanging clothes and other items. And as mentioned in the previous step, hangers meant for holding multiple pants and a mesh over-the-door shoe rack were repurposed.
My dream is to one day reduce and simplify my closet to the 7 Closet Essentials to Get You Through Your Week talked about in the previous blog, but until then these 5 simple steps are my closet life-line.
October 18, 2020 | Guest post by Cheryl Yarborough