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How to Organize Your Closets in Easy Steps

Jennifer L. Betts
Organized closet

Are you looking for suggestions on how to organize closets? Dealing with a messy closet every day can certainly cause a great deal of stress. However, keeping the area where you store your wardrobe in order can also be quite challenging. Find out how to keep your clothing, linen and coat closets clean and orderly.

Getting Organized

Before you start on any organization project, you'll want to make sure that you start with a fresh space. This will mean that you are going to remove any clutter that is in the area. If you are working on a clothing or linen closet, you'll want to assess the items that are going back in. As a general rule, if you haven't worn or used something in over a year, you are not likely to use it again. Give it away, take it to a consignment shop or store it in an under-bed storage box if you want to keep it. You can also repurpose old towels and washcloths into cleaning rags and dish towels.

Looking at a Linen Closet

When you are looking at organizing your linen closet, you'll want to first measure your space. This will not only help you to plan out how to organize but let you know how big your bins or baskets need to be. To get started you'll need:

Organized linen closet
  • Measuring tape
  • Bins or baskets
  • Labels
  • Shelving systems or racks (if not already installed)

What to Do

When you are designing your space, it can be helpful to create a quick sketch of where you would like things to go and how you would like to organize your shelves. With your idea in hand, you'll follow these steps.

  1. Put up your shelves according to your design.
  2. Grab your bulkiest items like blankets and pillows or items that you don't use daily like seasonal items.
  3. Fold and add them to the bins and label them.
  4. Put these on the top shelf.
  5. On the next shelf down, you can add extra household items and cleaning supplies. You could add these to the bins and label or organize them on the shelf.
  6. In the middle shelf at eye level, you can fold and add your bath towels. In a labeled basket, you can add washcloths and hand towels.
  7. On the last shelf, you can fold your sheet set and place them in the matching pillowcase and add them to the bottom. (Putting them in the matching pillowcase keeps everything together.)
  8. Add a basket to the bottom for dirty towels and linens.

Organizing Your Clothing Closet

When it comes to organizing your clothing closet, everyone has their own organization methods. Additionally, it is going to depend on how big your closet might be. The tips for organizing a large walk-in closet are going to be slightly different than working with a small bedroom closet. However, no matter the size of your space, there are a few things you are going to need:

Organized clothing closet
  • Hangers
  • Bins
  • Labels
  • Shelf dividers
  • Vacuumed sealed bags
  • Hanging rack

Step 1: Hang Like Items Together

Place similar items together in your closet. Hang all of your shirts together, preferably arranged by color. Follow suit with your jackets, skirts, slacks and dresses. You may also want to group casual and dressy items within each category together. Try to arrange all of the longest clothing items on one side of the closet. This will make it easier for you to find things and ensure that the hanging items that are side by side hang to approximately the same place.

Step 2: Fold and Stack

If you have limited hanging space available, fold and stack clothing in short stacks on shelves. You will want to keep like items with like items, like jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, etc. You can use shelf dividers to keep your stacks neat and organized.

Step 3: Utilize Floor Space and Small Bins

Once you have all of the shorter items grouped together, this should free up some space on the bottom of your closet for you to place shoe organizers, stacking crates or even a night stand or small dresser that has a few drawers. This will allow you to keep non-hanging items, like socks and ties, stored in the closet in an orderly manner. Label bins and add items like bras, panties, cover-ups, bikinis, leggings and even workout clothes together. This will keep them organized and make them easy to find.

Step 4: Put Seasonal Items on the Top Shelf

If you have a top shelf available, you will rotate your seasonal items out and place them in bins or space bags. If your closet is small, pull out season items off the hanging rack and store them in a guest room closet or in under bed storage boxes.

Step 5: Use the Back of the Door

Place a hanging rack on the back of your closet door. There are several styles available. Some offer rows of wire baskets that can be used to store small non-hanging items while others are bars that contain robe hooks or racks that can be used to organize your purses, shoes or clothing.

Step 6: Make Use of Wall Space

Place hooks on accessible areas of your closet wall and use them to store accessories like scarves, purses, hats and other items. As an alternative to hooks, you may simply want to hammer long nails into studs or install a wire closet organizer rack on the wall.

Getting Your Coat Closet Organized

When it comes to your coat closet, it isn't just used in the winter. There are great ways to maximize your space and make sure that your coat closet is ready for every season. To get organized, you'll need:

Organized wardrobe
  • Over-the-door hooks
  • Plastic pouches for over the door
  • Heavy duty hangers
  • Stackable bins or short plastic drawers
  • Labels
  • Adhesive strip
  • Adhesive hooks of various sizes
  • Stackable shoe organizer drawer

How to Organize

Remember before you begin, you need to pull everything out. Then you'll complete these steps.

  1. Hang up your coats in order of bulkiness from heavy winter coats to light jackets; you can even group coats by size.
  2. Fold snow pants and place them in a labeled pin on the top shelf of the closet.
  3. Place snow boots on the top shelf.
  4. Place the over the door hooks on the door and hang all your scarves.
  5. Cut the plastic pouches to the size you need and add slippers, flip flops, etc. Place an adhesive strip on the bottom of the plastic pouch to hold it against the door.
  6. On the bottom of the door under the scarves add a jumbo hook and organize bags.
  7. Use adhesive hooks on empty side walls to organize and place umbrellas.
  8. Add stackable bins or plastic drawers to the bottom of the closet and label for hats, gloves, earmuffs, etc.
  9. In the other half, use stackable shoe organizers drawers for organizing every day and guest shoes.

General Tips for Closet Organization

When it comes to organizing your closets, it is going to depend on your space and what you have available. But there are still a few tips that can follow to get yourself organized.

  • Use the same hanger in every closet. This makes everything uniform.
  • Group skirts or slacks that you wear with specific jackets.
  • Use labeled bins for small items like socks, underwear, bras, ties, etc.
  • Consider folding and stacking casual apparel like jeans and sweaters.
  • Bulky or professional clothing like blazers and slacks should be hung.
  • Place seasonal or special occasion items on the top shelf.
  • Consider organizing special occasion shoes in your clothing closet and everyday shoes in your coat closet.
  • When assessing your space, look at the backs of the doors, accessible wall space, the floor and the area above the hanging bar to see if it might be possible to install hooks, shelves and closet organization kits as a way of maximizing the area.

Tips for Maintaining Your Organized Closet

Now that you have your closet just the way that you want it, you have to think about maintaining it. Everyone gets busy and your carefully planned organization can get thrown out the window. To make sure that your efforts aren't for naught, try out these tips.

  • Add tidying your closet to your weekly or monthly cleaning schedule.
  • Declutter and reorganize at least twice a year. This is easy to do during seasonal clothing rotation.
  • Bring your laundry right into your closet to put it away.
  • Keep your organization simple enough that it will be useful.

Organizing Your Life

Getting your closets clean and organized is not only pleasing to the eye but will stop your family members from not being able to find something. Now that you are equipped with the know-how, it is time to get organizing.

How to Organize Your Closets in Easy Steps