Organize Your Closet by Eliminating Closet Clutter

When was the last time you looked for something in your bedroom closet you KNOW is there, yet you couldn’t find it? A week ago…yesterday…this morning?

It’s certainly not a unique experience; closets are notorious for losing things! Overstuffed and jumbled closets can gobble up things faster than you can say, “I don’t have anything to wear!”

Closets can easily become a catch-all. Don’t want an item out in plain sight? Stuff it in the closet. No place for that interesting gift from Aunt Mary? Stuff it in the closet. Over time, this can result in a closet in crisis. Instead of your closet being helpful, you begin your days frustrated because you can’t find what you need as you’re getting dressed.

Maybe it’s time to eliminate the closet clutter and get organized with a custom closet design. The first step is always the hardest, so get that cup of soothing tea or fully-leaded coffee (whichever works best for you) and jump right in! You owe it to yourself to get your closet under control to maximize your wardrobe by filling your closet with clothes, shoes and accessories that you will happily wear and enjoy.

Clutter is counter-productive

The 80/20 rule even applies to closets, in that we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, yet the “non-wears” take up 80% of our space, crushing, wrinkling and hiding the 20%. Not very practical when you think about it.

The ultimate goal of decluttering is to end up with an organized, highly functional closet, with clothes and accessories visible and easily accessible. So how do you end up not in love with 80% of what’s in your closet? Here are the top reasons that people keep things they have no intention of wearing:

  • I got it on sale
  • It was really expensive
  • It was a gift
  • I may need it someday
  • I’m emotionally attached to it (think first prom dress or rock concert tee shirt)

None of these are good reasons for cluttering up your closet with something that you’re not going to wear. Use these criteria for purging your wardrobe of closet clutter:

  • Does it go with anything I have?
  • Does it project the image I want to project?
  • Is it comfortable to wear or is it a bad fit, itchy or scratchy?
  • Do the shoes pinch my toes? Are the heels too high to walk in?
  • Do I ever wear it?

Removing the clutter

Sorting through your closet is good, but actually getting rid of the clutter is the real goal. Have you ever decided to get rid of something and then changed your mind and put it back into the closet? It can be hard to let go. If you’re struggling with separation anxiety, get a friend to help you declutter by giving honest feedback on what should stay and what should go in your wardrobe. (Then you can return the favor for her.) Here are some tips for completing the declutter process:

  • Put all items you haven’t worn in a year in a box. If you think of an item and retrieve it, keep it. If you don’t think of the items in the box for six months, get rid of the box.
  • Don’t keep things intending to fit into them “someday.” They‘ll be out of style or faded and never fitting into them again is just downright depressing.
  • Don’t keep clothes and other items because of emotional attachment. Take a picture to hold the memory, or do a kitschy craft like a tee shirt quilt. (If you really must keep it, store it somewhere other than your closet or put it in a box on a top shelf, out of the way.)
  • Donating your things to a favorite charity or thrift store can ease the feeling of being wasteful. Your misfits can go on to lead a happy life in someone else’s closet. As you sort, set aside a “donations box” and use it liberally.
  • Anything that needs mending, dry cleaning or altering should be removed from the closet. Only keep ready-to-wear clothes in the closet. Get it wearable, or toss it into the donations box.

Maintaining control

Closet space is referred to as “prime real estate.” To earn its space, everything in your closet should be a valuable contributor to your wardrobe; it should both flatter and fit. After decluttering, you will want to organize your closet for everyday maximum convenience.

  • Keep your favorite, most often worn items in front.
  • Group business or work clothes together.
  • Store evening or special event outfits in protective garment bags in the back of the closet.
  • Use specialty pieces like belt or tie hangers and decorative hooks.
  • Use lined jewelry drawers or organizers to protect your valuables.
  • Display shoes on shoe racks or in shoe bags so you can see them.
  • Keep your closet “seasonal” by rotating out summer and winter items. Pack off-season clothes in space bags with fabric softener sheets to keep them clean and fresh and move them to the garage or into under-bed storage.

Keeping your closet and clothing budget under control requires discipline. One trick is that for every new item you bring in, one item goes out. This helps curtail impulse buying because if you don’t love the new piece more that the old, you won’t buy it.

Maximizing your prime real estate

Tailored Living knows the value of closet space. Whether you have a walk-in closet or a reach-in closet, we can help you to most effectively use every inch of space. After decluttering is the perfect time to call your Tailored Living designer; you’ll be looking at storage solutions for only what you need in your closet. Call 866-712-3404 today to schedule a free, in-home consultation. Ask how much you can save with our “Spring Forward and Save on Your Project” promotion going on right now.

And remember, wherever you need help with storage solutions in your home--garage, entryway, home office, laundry room, pantry--Tailored Living is there with styles, colors and design options to please the most discriminating tastes. Check out our image galleries online and sign up for our free eNewsletter to stay on top of the latest trends in home organization.