First thing’s first: if your closet is overstuffed, you have too many clothes! Simplifying is always the solution to organization.
I honestly do think one of the keys to neatness is having less stuff than your space allows. That sucks for those of us who have teeny closets in old houses.
Rather than give up all of my clothes (or keep them stored in rotating seasonal bins!) when I moved from a walk-in closet to a 1940s tiny one, I decided to make my space bigger – I turned a room into a closet 🙂
Sometimes thinking outside of the [closet] box leads to new possibilities.
[I don’t recommend my Target clothing rack – it’s a POS and sometimes falls apart on me]
This solution meant that I could have more clothes. But you know what? I still felt frazzled every time I walked into the room. If you give yourself more space, you’ll get more stuff. And I did not need to be buying more stuff!
So I weeded through my closet TWICE and really made myself consider each item seriously.
Get Rid Of It If…
You wear it once a year. You have no idea how many things I wore once a year so I felt I needed to keep them for that ONE day. I am here to tell you folks that once a year is not enough to warrant closet space! I only wore them once a year for a reason: I didn’t love them.
It’s a beautiful, yet uncomfortable, item. Maybe you just love a shirt’s pattern or the style, but it doesn’t feel comfortable when you wear it. If it doesn’t make you feel fabulous, give it away. Even if you really, really, really love the idea of the piece. I had a lot of tops that I loved but were just so uncomfortable/shifty/small that I never wore them. Same with shoes – if they are so uncomfortable that you never wear them they aren’t worth the space no matter how cute they are.
It doesn’t fit. Too big or too small, it’s not worth the space. Most classic rule of closets.
It’s stained or ripped or otherwise damaged beyond repair. Case in point: your favorite underwear has a hole in them. You know you have some! You want to throw those away. *Exception are those items that are ripped or stained but you still wear all the time like a favorite old sweatshirt or jeans.
I promise having a closet of only clothes that you LOVE will make your life happier.
Once you have made space, keep the space available! It’s so much easier to get clothes in and out if you have some wiggle room in there.
My pants are stacked on a Linens n Things shelving unit. They are one of the only things I fold. (RIP LnT 🙁 )
When we moved into our house, I found this great shelf unit in our basement. It was the perfect width to fit on the back wall of my closet and act as a dresser. I would ideally like to paint it white, but it was so heavy getting up the stairs I just can’t see taking it down to paint! When the weather is warm I might throw open the windows and paint inside, but not sure that would be such a great idea either.
I keep beauty stuff on top, intimates next, then a row of workout clothes, pajamas, long-sleeved shirts and on the bottom are summer shorts and t-shirts and thick running pants.
Another example of how you have to invest in some organizing baskets for maximum neatness. I gawked at the $15 price tag on these a few years ago, but I bit the bullet and bought four of them and have gotten TONS of good use!
Here’s a time-saving secret: I never fold laundry!! Things that aren’t affected by wrinkles like workout clothes and PJs just get stuffed into my “drawers.” It saves me SO much time to simply sort my laundry into like piles of clothes and slide them into the drawers.
The top of my shelves have my makeup, lotions and hair stuff. I had a few of these vases leftover from my wedding (the green balls were on our tables as centerpieces!) and at our old house they sat in a box. When we moved to Cville, I decided to store something in them. They ended up being perfect for the Queen Room for headbands, lotions and my hair dryer
Finally a good way to store headbands!
Makeup clutter is closed away into a box
The one small closet in the room is filled with summer clothes, shoes and purses. Every inch is used!
Another new uses for old things was to turn an antique desk into a jewelry and perfume center. My grandmother gave me this desk when they moved out of their house, and it was too delicate to be of much office use at our old out. But it’s perfect for jewelry!
Another inheritance: a little chest that stores bathing suits and little extras!
I also LOVE the blue ribbon I tied to my light that makes turning it on and off so much fun. There’s no light switch in the room – just a metal pull. The ribbon is so much more fun than getting on my tip-toes to reach the pull.
Storage For Him
Matt gets the real closet in the master bedroom! Sadly, it’s pretty small – that’s why!
He doesn’t have a ton of clothes, so he’s able to keep it pretty neat.
Although for the longest time, his shoes were overflowing into the room and made the door unable to close. I finally took over the situation and turned this brown shelf on its side and put his laundry basket on TOP – meaning he had all the floor space for shoes. Problem solved!! (He was pretty please with my solution 🙂 )
After his hoodies ended up on the floor over and over again for a few months, I bought him some over-the-door hooks and he has been very happy with those too.
Hooks are the best!!
He also has full use of our dresser (which we shared at our old house)
As much as I love clothes, I do think they are overrated. Have you seen those magazine articles that showcase: “The only 5 pairs of pants you need.” That simplicity is tempting! But I know for me, 5 pairs is a bit unrealistic. However, the message is clear: love everything you wear.