Taking advantage of closet space is a great way to keep a room looking clean and uncluttered. What happens, though, if the closet itself becomes over-stuffed and disorganized? We’ve all experienced the dreaded closet avalanche—opening the doors and being caught in an explosion of clothing, shoes, and accessories. Professional organizers can save their clients from such a fate with these ten tips for organizing closets of any size!
1. Choose an organizational scheme
If the closet is disorganized but not bursting at the seams, the solution might be simple. Choosing a scheme for hanging clothes can help your client find things easily and put them away in the right spot.
Sorting schemes can be the difference between an organized closet and a cluttered one. Hang clothes by type and then by color. Hang shirts on one side, dresses and skirts in the middle, and pants at the end. Next, organize each section by color. Your client will know exactly where to find things and where to put them back.
2. Upgrade from a closet space to a closet system
Most closets feature a single clothing rod, but this isn’t always enough. Consider adding an additional tension rod below so you can hang a second row of clothing. Make sure the garments on the lower rod don’t drag along the floor.
Include stackable storage bins or drawers, door hooks, and vertical shelves for shoes, accessories, or folded sweatshirts. The more places there are to put things, the easier it is to keep the space tidy.
3. Rotate according to season
Odds are your client won’t need her thickest wooly sweater in the middle of August or her sun dresses near Christmas.
Avoid wasting space by showing her how to rotate clothes by season. Separate clothing she’ll wear in the summer from things she’ll need in the snow. Put the clothes for the current season back into her closet and fold the others carefully into bins or vacuum sealed bags. Store the out-of-season clothing under the bed or on a safe shelf in the basement.
When the seasons change, your client can unpack what she needs and store what she doesn’t.
4. Clear the clutter
Once your client’s new closet system is installed, go through every item to be stored and take out things that your client no longer wears or uses. There’s no point in organizing items that your client will never use again! Encourage her to de-clutter for the sake of her new wardrobe space. If she needs more motivation, tell her that donating old clothes makes room for buying new things!
5. Free-standing solutions
Sometimes, no matter how you organize the closet, the space isn’t big enough.
Consider a free-standing organizer like a clothing rack or an armoire. Though keep in mind, these might not be best for clients with very small apartments, as they take up floor space. If you can fit a rack or armoire in the room, however, they’re a great solution for reducing closet clutter.
Armoires can store more than clothing, such as linens or books. They’re also more contained than clothing racks, which leave clothing visible. Clothing racks, however, are easier to move and take up less space.
If a free-standing solution to closet clutter is an option, analyze the room with your client to decide which kind is preferable.
6. Accessory storage
Purses, belts, scarves, hats, and other accessories pile up in the back or bottom of closets and create storage problems. A space-efficient set of stacking drawers or a vertical shelf of storage bins can stop accessories from wasting space that could be used to hang clothing or place shoes.
7. Bins and drawers
If the closet is very small, building a whole closet system inside of it can take up space that could be used to hang up clothing. Instead, de-clutter the closet and even drawers by setting up stacking bins or drawers elsewhere in the room.
These structures are space efficient because they stand vertically. Use them to store accessories and small clothing that won’t wrinkle sitting in a drawer. If you move your client’s underwear, socks, scarves, and hats into storage bins, you can move things into the dresser space you’ve cleared, making room for more clothing in the closet.
8. De-cluttering tricks outside the closet
Like storage bins, other organizational tricks outside the closet can help you de-clutter the space. One trick is to fill an empty drawer with pieces of a wide PVC pipe cut short enough to stand on end but still let the drawer close. Choose things like scarves or t-shirts that won’t wrinkle if you roll them smoothly instead of folding them and place each roll in a piece of PVC tubing, then close the drawer.
9. Use every inch of space
Just because the closet contains only a single clothing rod doesn’t mean you’re limited to that space. Do the doors swing out so you can access the inside of them? Extra hooks that fasten over the top of the door provide more hanging space for scarves, belts, handbags, and so on. As long as you can still close the door properly, almost any blank spot can become extra storage.
10. Maximize your hangers
Taking full advantage of hangers doesn’t just mean buying more.
Try using cascading hooks: these allow you to stack hangers in tiers, doubling or tripling the number of garments you can hang without needing more space along the actual clothing rod.
Using closet space efficiently can completely change a room. Professional organizers can show their clients the power of hooks, drawers, tension rods and storage bins to de-clutter not just the closet, but the rest of the room as well.