Closets… Many of us have forgotten what a real one even looks like. Since the majority of us don’t have the luxury of having a walk-in closet, having an organized one is essential. (By the way, in case you’re wondering what’s behind the left side of my closet, I have no idea. It belongs to my neighbor’s apartment.) Below, I’ve broken down the steps to achieving a useful, maintainable space. But remember, no wire hangers!
Empty the entire closet out.
Sort through everything following the OHIO rule (Only Handle It Once).
Guidelines for piles:
A. The Donation Pile: If you haven’t worn it in more than a year, chances are you won’t wear it again. These items can be placed in a pile to donate.
B. The Repair Pile: This is a great time to take in shoes that need to be repaired, zippers that are broken, shirts that are missing buttons, etc. Add items that need to be dry cleaned to this pile.
C. The Garbage Pile: Do you really think someone wants that pair of frayed jeans?
D. The Goes-back-in-the-closet Pile: Set aside.
Clean out the closet. Do you really want to stick everything back in a place infested with dust bunnies?
This is the perfect time to invest in hangers. The wire hangers that your dry cleaner gives you will rust if exposed to any moisture, resulting in rust stains on your clothing. Simple plastic hangers will do; however, if you’d like to step it up a notch, wood hangers is what all the cool kids use.
Only put clothing that needs to be hung back in the closet. Everything that can be folded, set aside.
There are a few options as far as shoe storage goes:
A. If your closet door swings open, a great option is a plastic over-the-door shoe holder, which has individual pockets for each shoe.
B. If you have space at the bottom (or top), an option is individual, plastic shoe boxes which, depending on the size, can hold 1-4 pairs of shoes.
C. Again, if you have space at the bottom, you can use a shoe rack.
Once you’ve put your clothes and shoes away, you can put in everything else that you want stored in the closet.
Now, maybe you’ll be able to open your closet door!
Lastly, I’ve listed some other tips for clothing storage:
– Of course, dressers are the ideal way to store clothing, unfortunately, if you’re like me, you don’t even have room for a full-sized dresser.
– If you have a bookshelf, sweaters or other easily foldable items can be stacked horizontally and take up minimal space.
– Under-the-bed storage boxes are a great way to store seasonal clothing.
– Different retailers (Ikea, The Container Store, Target, etc.) make boxes that look great that can house different items. For example, since I don’t have a linen closet, I use boxes from Ikea stacked neatly in a corner to house my sheets, towels, etc. I also have more of these boxes on top of a bookshelf to hold seasonal clothing.
– As silly as it may sound (or look if you were a visitor), I use the bottom drawer of my refrigerator to hold paper towel and toilet paper. Please don’t tell anyone!
Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!
Jose, thanks for the tip. I actually have my shoes in plastic boxes from The Container Store and use my top shelf of my closet, above my clothes, as a storage shelf for them.
i think i’m at the beginning of having a great apartment….thanks, for the help. i will check in repeatedly…also, i wanted to say that if you can place your shoes somewhere else and have extra closet space, plastic containers filled with items can also be stored above and below your clothes
great thinking, amanda! i loved the idea! OHIO is good for something considering what it did for the last presidential election…haha, sorry, i know it’s a bad joke. nonetheless, i tried your idea and it worked. my closet looks so organized and neat. thanks! i can’t wait to see what other ideas you have in store…
Oh my gosh! I just followed the “Ohio rule” and for once, it didn’t take me a day to clean! Cheers!
Depending on your budget, The Container Store sells varieties, but they are a bit more costly. IKEA’s are great quality, and the price tag is not so bad either!
IKEA has 8-packs of solid wood hangers for $3.49. Can’t beat that!
Wow! I’ve really been meaning to organize my closet and I think this helps give me a good “agenda.” Where can I find inexpensive wood hangers?