Do you ever have those moments when you get home after a long day, open your closet to hang up a coat, purse, or to throw your shoes inside, and it’s as if they whole world (i.e., all the junk in there) comes tumbling down on you?

You almost just want to push yourself inside with the mess and shut the door so you don’t have to show your face again. Okay, perhaps this is a little dramatic, but messy closets can truly weigh you down.

Perfectly Organized Closet
Photo: Perfectly Organized Closet

Closets can become a storage space for all things unnecessary or undesirable. Surprise guests?

Throw loose ends in the closet. Quick clean?

Throw everything in the closet. Don’t know where that weird electronic cord belongs?

Throw it in the closet. The poor closet has no choice in the matter and now it’s stuck looking ugly and cluttered. I don’t like to admit it, but my closets too have suffered this fate.

We know we’re capable of cleaning up… but the time… and the energy… and STOP! Enough is enough. I’m happy to say I’m here to help. And I’m qualified because I find joy in the actual process of organization! So, push your dread to the side and take it one closet at a time.

Closet Organizational Tip 1: Put away seasonal clothing in storage bins or large suitcases. After all, you won’t need shorts in the winter or a snowsuit in the summer (and neither does your closet)!

The first thing to do would probably be to grab a cup of coffee or other caffeinated drink, and turn on your favorite tunes. Depending on the size and general mass of your mess, clear an afternoon or set a timer for an hour or two (you can always come back if you don’t have time to finish).

Clean up the space around your closet so you have plenty of room to remove items. My number one rule with any organizational project is to start with a clean slate. Remove every single item from the closet so you can see what you’re working with and leave nothing untouched.

Create Four Piles:

  • Trash
  • Donations
  • Keepsakes
  • Belongs elsewhere

Start by taking each item out of the closet and putting it in the correct pile. An important part of organization in any home is to not be afraid to give away or throw away items that you no longer want or use. Repeat after me, “I can give away, and I can throw away.” Good. So now that we have that beast tamed, let’s deal with the junk.

Chances are, if you haven’t worn an article of clothing in over a year, you don’t need it. A helpful tip I learned a couple years ago was to hang all of the hangers in your closet backwards. After you wear something, wash it, and hang it up correctly.

Fast forward a couple of months, check to see which hangers are still hanging backwards, and you will know what clothes you typically neglect and can live without. I’m not talking about your occasion-specific clothing that you may wear at an infrequent wedding or costume party, but all that other stuff that has been hand-me-downed, needs sewing, or looks awful on you.

All of this should go! Don’t think about it or let it take up any more space in your life. If your clothes don’t fit anymore, donate them. New clothes are a great incentive to reach your fitness goal to either gain or lose weight.

Once you finish sorting everything into the appropriate piles, keep going. Bag up the trash and box the donate pile. Put away things that didn’t belong in the closet in the first place and rehang the “keep” pile of clothes.

Closet Organizational Tip 2: To keep things visually appealing, use uniform hangers and hang your clothing up in categories, i.e., dresses, coats, blouses, pants.

Look to see what you have going on. If this is a hall closet, you may have lots of little things that need containers. First, look around the house for extra organizational baskets, mason jars, or Tupperware. Organize any pieces and slap a label on them. If you don’t have extra, consider investing in some more storage containers.

If you have extra purses, shoes, or bags, you will also want containers or hooks for these. Everything needs a home. I recommend having hooks on the back of doors for purses, scarves, and other things you can hang and want to have easy access to. Make sure your shoes are stored on a shelf or in a container. By the end of your project, everything, and I mean everything, should have a home.

Before placing everything back in the closet, clean off the shelves and vacuum/mop the flooring. And that’s it! You did it! Take it one closet at a time. Use a similar approach for any drawer or cabinet in your house. The secret is to not be afraid to give away and throw away.

I hope this helps you conquer any closet in your house that has been overwhelming you. Don’t forget to share so your friends can organize their closets, too. I’d love to hear your comments on how you organize. And be sure to let me know if my tips were helpful. Happy organizing!

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