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Chances are your work and weekend wardrobes have been hanging in your closet untouched for quite some time now. With the world reopening and warmer weather approaching, you might be wondering what you even wore before your WFH uniform of workout gear and loungewear.
Getting back into the habit of dressing up is overwhelming enough, you don’t need a messy closet to make matters worse. But how do you keep a closet organized after months of shoving leggings and hoodies into a drawer?
Whether you have more clothes piled up on a chair than in your closet, a small closet packed to the brim with lots of clothes, or you’ve always kept a tidy closet but don’t know what do with all these new items you can’t hang, we could all use a little help with organizing our clothes.
Streamline Your Wardrobe
While it might be the hardest part of organizing, getting rid of things you don’t need is an essential step to getting your closet in order, according to Jimmy Seifert, a "closet buyer" at The Container Store.
“I also recommend that every time you buy a new piece you get rid of an old one,” Seifert says. “That’s the best way to keep your closet efficient and organized.”
After the year we’ve had, there’s probably a lot of professional attire you don’t plan on wearing again or weekend clothes that don’t quite fit your style anymore. Still on the fence about selling or donating an item? Keep it in a separate bag in your closet and if you don’t reach for it in three months — it’s gotta go.
Separate The Seasons
It seems like common sense, but you should keep your most-used pieces readily available and those out-of-season and special occasion items further out of reach. If you wear the same pair of straight leg jeans on repeat, they should be front and center.
Try organizing clothes by category and then color so you always know where to find what you’re looking for.
If you’re short on closet space, it might be a good idea to store those winter sweaters and boots under the bed. Opt for a storage case that’s partially transparent so you can easily see what’s inside before sliding it out.
Upgrade Those Hangers
Chances are you’ve collected an array of metal, plastic and wooden hangers over the years, but all that’s doing is creating unnecessary bulk and friction in your closet. We’ve all pulled a hanger out only to have four more come crashing down behind it.
“An easy update is to switch to slim-line hangers to maximize horizontal hanging space and create a uniform look,” Seifert says.
Create Vertical Storage
“A hanging organizer provides additional shelves and storage space for folded clothes, while a set of boxes in varying sizes can help get your smaller accessories like socks and belts under control,” Jacquinto says.
A hanging shoe organizer isn’t just for sneakers and boots — use it to store small items like scarves and handbags. Stackable storage boxes are great for storing t-shirts, underwear and more in your closet, especially if you don’t have a dresser.
Seifert likes to use square and stackable bins and boxes (instead of round bins and baskets) to make the most of shelf space. An additional tip? Light-colored organizers will help brighten small spaces and closets.
Make It Work Overtime
While the idea of everything having its own dedicated spot is lovely (Cher’s closet from Clueless anyone?) — it’s probably not realistic, especially if you’re short on space. So you have to get savvy about making things in your closet work double duty.
Jacquinto recommends using a multi-use hanger, which can hold different accessories without taking up more space than a regular hanger.
A clever solution Seifert shared was storing sheet sets inside of pillowcases and rolling your towels and linens to fit in small spaces. And don’t forget to use the space at the top of your closet, which is perfect for towels, travel bags and hats — shelf dividers can keep things tidy.
While the aforementioned tips and tricks will work in your existing closet, a custom closet is probably the best solution for organizing your clothes. Both The Container Store and IKEA offer closet systems that can be designed to maximize your personal space and budget.
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