When it comes time to organize your closet, it can be slightly overwhelming.
Am I right?
However, if you follow a systematic approach (like I describe in this guide), the investment will pay off by halving your total time to get things organized, restoring order and providing practicality from this day and beyond.
So let’s dive into this:
- How to Declutter and Organize Your Bedroom Closet
- A Step-By-Step Guide to Decluttering Your Bedroom Closet
- How to Organize Your Clothes in Your Closet
- How to Organize Your Coat Closet or Front Closet
- DIY Closet Organization Ideas
- Other Resources
- Over to You…
How to Declutter and Organize Your Bedroom Closet
The process of decluttering and organizing your closet can be complicated, but it doesn’t have to be! If you follow our step-by-step guide below you will see that there are some specific steps you can take to complete this task with minimum hassle.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Decluttering Your Bedroom Closet
Below, we go through the main items that you will need to start the job. Then you can gather these items and start to work.
1. What You’ll Need to Organize Your Closet
There are a few things you will need to initiate the process of closet organization. All of these items are important, and it’s always best to gather all of the items that you will need before you start on your closet project of decluttering. That way, you won’t waste time going back and forth to secure the items while you are working on your closet. You may need a few other items, depending on your goal in organizing your closets.
You will use the trash bags to throw away the stuff that you no longer need.
You’ll need storage containers too to free up floor space in your closet so that you’ll have more room.
Shoe and Jewelry Organizers
Using shoe and jewelry organizers are a great way to free up even more space by allowing you to place them into a hanging organizer for jewelry and using a shoe organizer to house your shoes in a way that allows them to be displayed. Not everyone wants to do it this way, but it is a viable option in organizing your items when planning to declutter your closets.
2. Remove everything from your closet
One of the most important things you must do to organize your closet is to eliminate everything from your closet. This includes all clothes, belts, purses and bags, shoes, and even luggage. This allows you to see everything that you have so that you can start sorting through the various items to see what is worth keeping and what should be given away.
Some people try to organize by just moving things around but this often just serves to confuse you more as to what you should keep and what you should store or give away.
3. Sort through each group of your belongings (clothes, shoes, etc. sort of )
Once you have everything removed from your closet where you can see everything, the real fun starts! Now you must decide which items you should keep and which ones you should get rid of. But how do you do this? You need criteria to decide which ones you keep and which you discard.
One way to do this has often been dramatized on the popular house design show, “Clean Sweep.” In this show, the owners of the houses with the “clutter and design” problems are asked to create four piles and labeled according to the following labels:
Create a KEEP pile
The “keep pile” should be composed only of things that you want to keep and that you use regularly. One rule of thumb when cleaning out closets is to consider how often you wear an item. Some design and clutter experts say that if you cannot remember wearing the item within the past year, you should discard it.
Some people have a problem with that because they want to keep things that they think are valuable to them. But the criteria they use for defining that value are related to factors that have nothing to do with real value. They may be sentimental about an item because it reminds them a special event or someone they love may have given it to them. They may also find value in something due to the fact that it is made of some sort of fine fabric such as velvet, silk, or satin but it has no real value since they rarely wear it.
If you do not use a clothing item on a semi-regular basis, they are really just taking up space.
Create a STORE pile
When cleaning up the clutter from your closet, you have to also work on a “store pile.” Storage can be either short-term or long-term storage. For example, you may want to store some winter items during the summer months so that they are not taking up space in your closet. Winter clothes are inherently bulky and include sweaters, coats, and bulky fabrics and materials such as corduroy and wool, to name a few.
Buy some long, clear plastic containers that will easily slide under your bed for this purpose. Once you get these Winter clothing items out of the way, you will free up a great deal of room for your normal season clothing items.
An alternative to this is to use a second bedroom closer (if available) for storing your Winter clothes. If you do this, there will be no need to store these items under the bed. Instead, just have one closet dedicated to your Winter wardrobe and go to the closet when you need to access one of the clothing items.
Create a DONATION pile
A donation pile is important because you need to separate those items that are good enough to be shared with charitable organizations from those that you should throw away. To avoid waste, you should never totally throw anything that is usable away. Instead, decide which items can be donated and put them in the donation pile then choose which charity you want to donate to and take them or mail them to their headquarters or pickup office. (See givebackbox.com) for an example of charitable organizations that allow you to send your items to them for donation.
Create a TRASH pile
Once you have designated certain items for the donation pile and you have decided which items can be salvaged and given to charitable organizations, you are left with the trash pile. These are unusable items or items that are not of any real value. This can include clothes that no longer fit but are not in good enough shape to send to charities, clothing that cannot be repaired, older shoes and accessories that have missing buttons, zippers, or other items, and so forth.
When you clear out the mess, you help clear the chaos and all you will be left with are important, most loved items that you value for your lifestyle and your wardrobe needs. Try to create a system that will work for you, not only when you are organizing but on a daily basis. That way, you will not run the risk of it ending up in the same shape that it was before.
Real vs. Perceived Value
Remember that, even though you may think something is of some value, doesn’t mean that is really is. There is a big difference between real and perceived value. Advertisers will tell you that perceived value is of much greater impact than real value. Perceived value is any value that is believed to exist in the minds of a consumer or individual. Again, remember the “sentimental criteria” or other ideas that we often use to decide is something is of value. Be careful not to decide to hang onto an item simply because of this reason. Instead, try to remain intellectual and practical about it. The purpose is to declutter and organize your closet so this means letting go of any preconceived notions that are not reality-based statements about the items you are trying to organize.
Consider Functionality and Practical Use
One way you can decide whether to keep things is to think about its level of functionality and practical use. If you can use an item because you can mix and match it with some of your best career outfits, for example, you should keep it because it has real value for you. If you do not wear it and it does not serve a viable purpose, you should discard it or give it to someone who will give it some good use.
4. Clean Shelves and Storage Areas
Once you have created these four piles and organized your closet items according to the action you plan to take on it, you should use this time to clean and tidy up before proceeding to the next step. One of the dustiest areas of your house is in your closet in the unused or undisturbed shelves. It can also attract spiders, so make sure and clear any cobwebs and spray shelves with a wood protector spray.
Once you get your shelves decluttered and cleaned, you will be amazed at the way it brightens up your area. Then you can focus on freeing up space for your most loved items.
The following video shows how to clean and organize your clothing area and it utilizes the same ideas that we have including in this post.
You will notice that the narrator of this video has decided to fold most of her clothes items, rather than hanging them up. This system works for her since most of her clothes are casual wear. She also illustrates one way that you can sort out and organize your shoe collection using a shoe rack.
How to Organize Your Clothes in Your Closet
Once you have cleaned and organized and you have taken everything out of your closet, you will want to decide how you are going to choose to organize them. Below are some of the ways you can organize your clothes in your closet. You should feel free to choose the method that works best for you, based on your own personal needs and tastes.
Alejandra (below) has some great recommendations on how to organize your jewelry, shoes, scarves, and other times and place it in your closet using space dividers that you can purchase from any storage or organizational store.
She uses a variety of dividers to neatly organize the space within each drawer and keep everything in place neatly:
1. Organize by season
Regarding how you place clothes back in your closet, some people like to organized by season. If you do this, you may want to put the summer items first, such as tank tops and short-sleeved casual shirts followed by longer-sleeved items, then put in your less casual, dressy blouses or outfits. Remember as you go, you should have your four piles ready so that you can decide as you go which items will go with which pile.
2. Organize by color
If you prefer to organize by color, you can do this instead. Some people like to do this because it makes it easier to locate things when you are in a hurry. This video shows how to organize according to color.
3. Organize by type
Another way to organize your clothes is by type. You can organize them by the type of item they are such as vests, tank tops, sleeveless, or long-sleeved blouses, skirts, pants, and dresses. It doesn’t really matter how you create your closet system as long as it is practical and makes sense to you.
Use your imagination and decide which type of organization method will work best for you with your own closet. Then go through our steps to reach your goals of decluttering and organizing your closet.
4. By how often wear them
Another neat way to organize your clothes is to organize according to how often you wear them. This will serve the additional purpose of monitoring how often you are wearing certain clothing items. Then you can decide which items are not getting enough wear and you can purge your closet of these items the next time you clean it out.
Items that Eat Space
There are several items that eat space in your closet. Some of these are listed below. Often it is the smaller items that cause the most trouble because they often take up space that could be used for many other larger things. By pulling out some of these items and designating a separate space for them, you will have much more space for the other things.
3. Purses and Bags
5. Other Accessories (belts, ties, and other small items)
How to Organize Your Coat Closet or Front Closet
Once you have organized your bedroom closet, you will also want to organize your coat closet or front closet. You can do this in any way that you choose as long as it provides a practical method of organization that can be done in a systematic method. You also want to figure out a method that you will use and that will be fairly easy to implement without a lot of thought.
Once you figure that out, it just takes a little discipline to implement your system by reminding yourself to always hang up items according to your organizational system each time you change clothes. When hanging coats, you should also hang coats according to the frequency that you wear them so that you will be able to easily locate them when you are on the way out of the door.
DIY Closet Organization Ideas
If you are ready to tackle your closet, empower yourself by reading this article again, taking notes on the things that resonate with you, and watch the videos we’ve included in this post. It may inspire you to create your own organizational ideas like Alejandra or our other closet organization experts that we have featured in this article.
Remember that you can do it yourself if you just create a plan that will work. Look at your space and see what you have to work with. Then think about how you will organize. Will you organize by color, style, function, or other criteria? What criteria will you use to decide which clothing you will keep, discard, donate, or trash? These are all important questions to answer before you plod forward.
Having a sense of your own priorities is important to your overall system of organization. Creating order out of chaos should be your ultimate goal.
Here is an excellent infographic that you could print out and save to remind you of the important aspects of closet organization. You could apply this technique to any closet that you want to organize, whether your bedroom closet or front room closet.
ire it done. It is really a contest between time or money. If you do it yourself, you will save money, but not time. If you hire it done, you’ll save money but not time. Which is most important to you?
Some people really prefer to do it themselves because it allows you to maintain control over your decluttering project and allows you time to think about what type of organization you want to do. If you hire a professional organizer, they are likely to have a specific idea as to how they want to do it, whether it aligns with your own ideas or not.
If you have any areas of your home that you wish to declutter, here is another resource that you may benefit from. It’s an eBook entitled, “10-Minute Declutter: The Stress-free Habit for Simplifying Your Home.” If you combine the resources and tips in this audiobook by S. J. Scott and Barrie Davenport for decluttering your home with the tips and tricks for closet decluttering that we have provided to you in this post, you may find that your house (including your closet) will be freed from clutter and chaos in no time at all.
Over to You…
Now that we have presented some of our best ideas from our top resources on how to declutter and organize your closet, think about your own ideas. Have we missed anything? Is there anything you would have liked for us to have included in this post that would help you to organize your closet in a more practical manner?
If so, feel free to contact us and who knows; we might even feature your tip or idea in a future post.
Organization is never easy. The important thing is to think about your own lifestyle and consider what works best for you. Then start weeding out your closet. Your life will be much simpler and organized and you’ll be glad you took the time to do it!