I’m sure everyone has experienced this problem: an explosion of clothes, shoes and other random accessories in your tiny closet. Half the things in there you probably didn’t even know you owned. Surprise! You actually own 3 white button down shirts all from the same store! What should you do when you try to actively avoid looking at your landslide of a closet? A closet overhaul!!
Usually the thought of tackling my closet mess all in one day is too daunting to even consider, but today I got inspired, caffeinated (thank you Starbucks for being a 2 minute walk from my door) and determined! Here are eight tips I’ve discovered along the way:
Get yourself inspired! When you are in my predicament and don’t want to even look at the mess, hop on Pinterest and start looking for closets that you would love to own.
These are just a couple of the spaces that I would die for! Imagine having all that space to show off your favorite pieces and organize literally everything you own. If you already own a walk in closet then you are one lucky person! I, however have a normal city apartment closet: a tiny one. I am quite lucky though because I happen to live in a building with high ceilings, therefore my closet is a bit bigger than normal. Once you have looked at all of the beautiful closets that Pinterest has to offer, transfer that excitement into your own closet!
Find a really good playlist and lots of caffeine! If you aren’t energetic and dancing around while you clean then you probably won’t last long. If you can turn up pandora and sing a long, the time will pass quickly and before you know it you’ll have a sparkling clean closet!
Organize by style first. I used to try and organize just by color, but I quickly learned that it was impossible to find clothes to match the weather. I always check the weather, mostly because New England is just so unpredictable, but also because it gives me an idea of what clothes I need to be wearing. If you have things organized by type you can just look at the “long sleeve section” or “spring dress section.” I keep all of my pants and skirts on one side. Then I go from warmest weather to coldest with tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, and lastly sweaters. It really doesn’t matter what order your clothes are in as long as they are grouped by type. I promise when you get up early in the morning and it’s really really hot or really really cold out, you’ll thank me 🙂 Dresses and pants are kind of a pain because of their longer length. For me I had to find a space where they wouldn’t be up against my shoe rack. My dresses ended up in the middle of my nice little weather progression, but at least they aren’t rubbing up against my sweaty gym sneakers.
Organize by color second. Once you know what type of clothing you need for the weather the next issue to deal with is making sure to select something that matches, relatively speaking. For me, taking each section and organizing it by color helps me figure out my outfit. Lets say it’s snowing out so I go to the long sleeve section. I want to wear my red pants and I want to top it with a solid dark colored shirt. I can just go right to that area in the long sleeve section. It takes two seconds to find what I need! In my previous disaster closet it would have taken me over 5 minutes to find a particular shirt.
Invest in matching hangers. It’s totally worth it! It took me a long time to get my act together and buy new hangers. I was previously under the impression that plastic hangers of all colors were totally fine. I learned that velvety thin ones keep your clothes from falling off AND they take up less space! Taking up less space is a big deal when you have a small closet.
Use every single inch of space. Piling shoes on the floor willy nilly makes it impossible to find what you’re looking for and it doesn’t use your space well. Remember that you have a few feet of space between the floor and your clothing. Use it all! I found a shoe rack with 15 cubbies that fits perfectly in my open space. Both Target and Bed Bath & Beyond have good options for shoe racks.
I always like to keep a row of the shoes that I’m currently using the most up front and center. That way, I can grab them quickly and go!
When I say use every inch I’m not kidding. Consider using your closet door! I used the top part of my door to display my necklaces and the bottom to hang my small purses and clutches. I used to hide all of these things away in drawers and baskets, but I’ve realized that if I can’t see them when I’m getting dressed in the morning, I’m going to forget about them and not use them as much as I would like.
A functioning closet requires some creative solutions. For me my biggest problem was that the pole holding up my clothes is old and bends easily when there’s too much weight on it. A lot of weight is kind of a given since I have a lot of clothes. I solved this by getting a clamp at a hardware store and clamping the pole to the shelf just above it. This clamp happened to be hideous, so again I had to get creative. I now keep one of my favorite scarves tied around it! I can see it everyday and it hides the orange clamp perfectly.
If there’s something completely bugging you about your closet, there is always a creative solution!
Sometimes you just need to expand your closet. If you’re like me and you just can’t possibly fit all of your things in one small closet, then you might want to consider expanding your closet space. I desperately needed some more space for my shoes. I have a bit of a high heel addiction and there was no way they would all fit in my closet. You can do this without having a part of your hallway or apartment that screams “CLOSET.” I know when I was first considering doing this Ben was not thrilled to be seeing my shoes in the hallway. Instead of just stacking the shoes on a rack I incorporated them with other objects, which makes this organizational furniture seem less like a shoe storage piece. I found this particular piece at Ikea.
I added a framed map, candle, fake plant and a bronze deer I found at a flea market. They all match the tones and colors on the shelves and make it a little less closety feeling.
I organized the selves starting with things I wanted to display on top. I have a little gold bowl from Target which holds our keys and loose change, a purse and shoes I love, and a framed picture of Ben and I. Then I did a row of baskets from Ikea. This gives me and Ben a little more closet space too! I keep scarves and belts in one of my baskets and he keeps his winter hats and gloves in another. The bottom two rows are for my crazy collection of heels. I keep the lighter colored ones on top and the darker ones on bottom. This keeps your eye moving up away from the heels on the floor, again lessening the closet feel.
Those are my 8 tips that have helped me organize all of my clothes and shoes! let me know if you have any other helpful tips to add!