Conquer your closet clutter

There’s a scene in the first Sex and the City movie where Carrie and Big find their dream apartment.  Amongst all of the 200 square-foot shoeboxes in New York City, this apartment has a terrace, wood floors, huge windows, and never-ending space.  Carrie is sold on the apartment until she sees it: the teeny, tiny, holds-two-purses closet.

This is exactly how I felt when I saw our closet for the first time.  I fell in love with our house, but had no idea how I would fit our clothes into that small of a space.  My wardrobe doesn’t rival Carrie Bradshaw’s, but trust me when I say that our closet is small.  I’m pretty sure that whoever designed it must have lived in a nudist colony.  Plus, I think my husband is in some sort of dare in which he cannot get rid of t-shirts.  Here is how I got creative to make it work.  Please leave me a comment to let me know how you conquer your closet clutter!


Prevent Clothing Accumulation

  • Only buy clothes that you love.  If you don’t love it, it doesn’t fit perfectly, and it doesn’t match most of the items you already have, you’ll never wear it.  It’ll be a waste of money, and will take up space in your closet.
  • Know which types of clothing you love, and which you don’t.  For me, I’ve learned that I love long shirts and sweaters, leggings, and worn-in jeans.  I don’t wear anything white (actually I love a lot of white clothing, but it makes me look ten pounds heavier) and anything ultra-fashionable (I wish I did, but I’m just not a fashionista).  I only buy and hold on to the clothing that I know I will wear frequently and that feels comfortable every time I wear it.
  • Hold on to a few items that will allow you to wear your summer clothes in the winter.  For instance, if you purchase a few cardigans, you can wear your summer tank tops all year.
  • Be a minimalist.  Wouldn’t you love to open your closet and love every item in it?  I’d take that any day over having a camisole, sweater, and skinny jeans in every color imaginable.  Quality always trumps quantity.  Have less clothes that are higher quality.
  • Every time you wear something, hang it back in your closet with the hanger facing the other way.  Every few months, go through your closet and it will be easy to find the items you haven’t worn in a while.  If you haven’t worn an item in three months, you probably don’t need to hold on to it.
  • When it comes to clothing, be an infrequent purchaser, and a frequent purger.

Organizing Your Closet

  • Some say to organize your clothing by color; however, I disagree.  It saves time to organize clothing by type.  For instance, of course you separate your shirts and your pants in your closet.  From there, rather than separating clothing by color, separate your pants into categories such as “work pants”, “special occasion pants”, and “casual pants.”
  • Add hooks inside your closet.  You can put them on unused areas of the walls, or even on the ceiling.  Use them for belts, purses, hats, or accessories.  If you’re extremely hard-pressed for space, you can even hang clothes on the hooks on the side of your closet.
  • Add hooks to the closet door, if you have one.  You can use it for the outfit you plan to wear the next day.
  • If you can, add pull out drawers to an unused spot in the closet.  I added these right behind the sliding doors:
  •  Look everywhere in the closet for empty space.  Can you add shelves?  Small boxes or tubs?  Hooks?  Utilize every square inch that you can.
  • Use two, or even three, rows of clothing rods.  These are inexpensive and easy to install.
  • If you have shelves in your closet, make sure you use all the vertical space that you can.  If you have a high shelf on top of your curtain rod, stack boxes on top of each other so that you can use all of the space between the shelf and the ceiling.  Make sure you label the boxes so that you can easily find what you need.
  • Add shoe hooks from floor to ceiling – they are the most space-efficient method of storing shoes.

Creating Space Outside of Your Closet

  • Use your closet for frequently-worn items ONLY!  Think of it as the clothing VIP area of your house.
  • Store clothing under the bed.  You can purchase pull out drawers or sweater bags for less-frequently worn or out-of-season clothing.
  •  Find separate space for your special occasion clothing such as nice dresses and suits.  You can purchase a fold-away closet for your basement, or use space in a closet that may have room (such as a baby or young child’s).
  • Keep hats, scarves, and other clothing accessories in a coat closet.
  • If you really want to save space, put clothes you wear rarely in space-saving travel bags – the kind in which you vacuum out the air.  Using these, you’ll be able to fit a lifetime of sweaters under a twin-size bed.

I hope this was helpful!  If you have a blog with a closet organization post, please leave the link in the comment so I can check it out!