It’s easy to shut a closet door and forget about what’s inside. But you’ll need to open the door again, and probably soon. Disorganization rarely gets better on its own and organizing a closet is a great wintertime job. You can tackle one closet at a time, when you have a couple of hours to devote to it. And once you’re done, you won’t have to worry about a box on the top shelf falling the next time you need to put something away. (Read: 3 Ways to Take Control of Your Closets)
Here are a few tips for organizing the closets in your home:
Organizing a Closet for Linens
Linen closets don’t get a lot of attention, but they’re a part of your home where you can make a big difference. Chances are you have worn out sheets and blankets, and towels that have seen better days. Separate out old things that you don’t use anymore, and donate them to a local pet shelter. Now your best linens won’t find themselves stuffed on shelves among others, and the closet will stay organized when you can find things easily.
Storing sheet sets together, neatly folded and tucked inside one matching pillowcase from the set, makes sheet-swap day a lot simpler. And if folding a fitted sheet has always been a mystery, check out this video from Real Simple. It’s easier than you think!
Install an Organization System for Clothing
We probably spend more time in our clothing closets, so it's no surprise that they can get out of hand quickly. After organizing a closet, you'll find getting dressed in the morning is more relaxed, and not a treasure hunt. First things first — pull out everything that you haven’t worn in a year or more. You don’t have to throw these things away, but they’re taking up precious closet real estate. They’re better kept in a vacuum-type storage bag or bin.
Once you’ve thinned down the volume, then it’s time to think about a closet organization system. There are so many to choose from, you’re sure to find one that suits your style. Whether you only need a double hanging bar, or numerous components for shoes, belts, drawers for folded clothing, you can put together a system that fits your closet and your needs. Check out what Closet Maid offers for inspiration.
Get Creative with Craft Organization
If you’re a busy crafter who'd rather focus on making things, and your craft closet could probably use a little tweak. Unlike a closet for linens or clothing, nearly everything in a craft closet is small. And small things easily get lumped into containers with more small things until you can effectively find nothing. By organizing a closet filled with ribbons, fabric, yarn, beads, needles of all shapes, your glue gun and more, you'll free up more time to enjoy your crafts versus the frustration of not finding what you want.
Plastic containers are a great tool for organizing a craft closet. You can find tiny ones for small items like seed beads, and those containers can fit inside larger containers or a canvas box (my preference is ones with handles). The back of the closet door is perfect for some mid-size items, such as glue guns and special craft tools or skeins of yarn, and you can use a hanging shoe organizer for keeping them off the shelves but still organized.
It helps to draw up a plan for your craft closet, and group tools and materials by the type of projects you use them for. Label things you can't identify from the containers, and consider how easy it is to grab go. One of my favorite organizers is a bright green tackle (fishing) box that I take to quilting classes. Classes are a lot more fun when I arrive with everything I need, and yes it means duplicating some things but it's worth it.
Organizing a Closet for Your Favorite Coats
If you own more coats than you’d ever wear, at least on a regular basis, think about donating a few to organizations that help those in need. A warm coat means the world to a person who doesn’t have one, and you’ll probably never miss it. (Read: Organizing Closet Clutter & Gifting to Others) After you’ve thinned down what you have, you can hang them in groups by who wears them, or put the most commonly worn coats at the center, within easy reach. Hang a pouch or an organizer on the back of the door for coins, flashlights, tissue packs, and anything else that might get left in pockets.
A good shoe rack is another great idea for coat closets. When you take off your coat, you can switch out of the day’s shoes into house slippers and your floors will thank you. With a rack, shoes won’t land in a pile on the floor. And if there’s room, think about a few hooks for back packs and purses. That way, bags have their own spot instead of hanging from coat hangers where coats should be.
As a general rule, closets work best when the things you use most are handy and the things you use least are out of the way. From there, you can design your own system that works best for you. While rearranging what you’ll keep, don’t forget to check for loose or missing buttons, stains, and other things that need attention. With the excess items removed, you’ll have a much better idea of what you’ve got and whether it needs mending or cleaning.
Are you happy with your closets? What would you like to change about your closet?