Tips for Better Closet Organization and a Calmer Home

Taking inventory has never felt so good.

Overwhelmed by all that… stuff?

Your linen closet is bursting with balled up fitted sheets, your closet floor is strewn with dresses that have slipped from their hangers and the hall closet — well, don’t get us started on the hall closet.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

Take just a little bit of time to improve your closet organization and you might be surprised how much better you feel each time you open it to look for a fresh set of pillowcases or your long lost favorite sweater.

Why you should organize your closets

Closets are notoriously messy. (Plus, everyone knows it’s where the monsters hibernate when they’re not under the bed.) It’s easy to forget about your messy closets because, well, they’ve got doors. Out of sight out of mind. Shut the door and the mess goes away, right?

But a seasonal closet cleanout and reorganization goes a long, long way. And it might even stay that way for, say, a couple of weeks. Yes, it’s daunting to tackle the chore that is the closet revamp, but we’ve got some tips and suggestions for making your closet a bit tidier and an all-around better place to store your stuff.

A clean closet, much like a clean anything, can reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Just knowing that behind your closed closet door, an organized collection of towels or blazers or winter coats awaits, will put your mind at ease.

Especially when you’re packing for a trip, expecting company or swapping out seasonal layers, an organized closet will streamline whatever otherwise annoying thing you’ve got to do (replacing the guest room sheets, packing for a beach vacation in the middle of winter, struggling to find winter hats and boots when the temperature unexpectedly drops during the fall).

Tips for bedroom closet organization

So, clothes don’t exactly have expiration dates. But maybe they should. Let’s start by digging through your belongings from dress clothes to casual wear to shoes, hats, bags and accessories.

Take inventory of your clothes, et cetera

Have you worn them lately? Do they hold sentimental value? Most importantly: Will you wear them again? Give each item a quick mental evaluation, considering those things.

Make a keep or toss pile. Sometimes it’s easier to part with things when you know they’re going to be rehomed to someone you know will appreciate them. Organize a clothing swap with friends or simply take the stuff to a thrift store and donate it.

We recommend doing either of those things within a couple weeks or cleaning out your closet, before you either change your mind and end up keeping the stuff, after all, or you leave that pile somewhere where it’s creating more stress and clutter — only now, it’s outside of the closet.

Invest in some new, slender, matching, non-slip hangers

Wood hangers are clunky, plastic hangers are slippery and breakable, and felt hangers are just right. We can’t rave about these enough. They fit exponentially more things into the closet, come in a multitude of colors (fun!) and prevent clothing items from sneaking off onto the floor, where they get wrinkly, dusty, and lost.

Dust and vacuum your closet.

How often does this get done? Hardly ever? So it’s probably quite dusty in there. Remove all your clothes and shoes before dusting, or you’re going to have a lot of laundry to do.

Grab your Swiffer Duster with its extendable handle and hit those hard-to-reach high shelves. Use a vacuum or Swiffer Sweeper, wrangle the dust bunnies that have been hiding out with your lesser-worn shoes.

If your closet is smelling a bit musty, give it a spritz with some Febreze Air Effects and leave the door open for a couple hours to air it out. For more long-term scent mitigation, try sticking a Febreze Small Spaces deodorizer somewhere discreet in your closet. They come in a huge variety of scents and last up to 45 days. (Try one in your linen closet, as well!)

Organize your clothes by usage and season.

Pull out your favorite clothes and your most-worn items (even though work clothes might not be your favorite clothes, they deserve a priority spot for simplicity’s sake). Maybe you want to get crazy and further organize by color. We like separating long and short items, too. Stick lesser-used clothes towards the back.

You can even implement a bit of a rotation system once you’ve inventoried and made a mental note of where all your things are, so that maybe you even wear forgotten clothing more often. Try storing seasonal stuff in labeled bins or baskets, so they’re easy to rotate in and out as the weather changes. Speaking of bins and baskets…

Organize with bins and baskets.

Small items like purses, bathing suits, belts, hats, gloves, tights and scarves can live in bins and baskets. Keep your shelves organized with these fun storage containers. We like clear acrylic ones so you can actually see through them to easily locate items. Also, label everything. It keeps you accountable for putting things back in the right place and then also finding them again later.

Consider moving your dresser + hamper into the closet.

If you’ve got the space and don’t have built-ins, instead of using flimsy hanging shelves, try moving your entire dresser into the closet. Then you can utilize the top of the dresser for bins and baskets, and it won’t look cluttered… because it’s in the closet. And keeping your hamper in the closet might help to mitigate the piles of clothes that collect on the floor around it, or at least keep them out of sight.

Utilize all the space, including the walls and back of the closet door.

Over the door hanging racks, hooks and even installing a towel bar for extra hanging space works wonders for shoes, accessories and oddly shaped items. You can even install an additional rod in the closet so that your clothes can hang in two layers.

Learn better folding techniques.

Unless you’ve worked extensively in retail, you’re probably a sloppy folder. Most of us are. But the more carefully you fold your clothes, the more items you can fit onto shelves and in drawers and the less wrinkly your t-shirts will be when you pull them out to wear them.

Use acrylic shelf dividers to manage folded clothes stacks

People adore these things, even if they feel a bit silly. But putting tiny, clear walls in between your stacks of clothes (especially on top shelves) will prevent the piles from falling over and getting all sloppy and mishmashed.

Extra credit: Put up some peel and stick wallpaper on the inside of your closet to give it a super chic feel. You might feel more inclined to keep it clean and organized when it looks so hip.

Tips for linen closet organization

Towels are bulky and sheets are admittedly a bit weird to fold. Plus linen closets tend to accumulate lots of miscellaneous items. It’s just in the nature of the closet.

Take inventory of your closet

Still got those sheets from college? Do you own fitted sheets that don’t even fit on the size bed that you own? Are those towels frayed and unraveling? Bye. Donate that stuff to a local animal shelter, where they’ll be happy to take your used towels and bedding (even old, used pillows and blankets!).

Shake out and refold everything according to category:

  • Bedding
    • Sheets
      • Flat
      • Fitted
    • Pillowcases
    • Duvets
    • Mattress covers
  • Towels
    • Consider separating beach + bathroom towels, then shower and hand/face towels (Use bins! More on that in a second.)
  • Blankets/quilts

About those bins…

Or baskets. Whatever works. Baskets and bins also help utilize the space on the ground in the closet, without feeling like you’re throwing your stuff on the ground. Sort all of your neatly folded piles up into bins or baskets accordingly and then replenish your linen closet using your new organizational system. You can rotate baskets and bins, as needed, and pull stuff out easily to access bins or baskets behind one another. All the while, without messing up your piles.

It’s so easy, we’re wondering why we didn’t do this years ago.

Tips for entry closet organization

Coat closets can get haggard really fast. Coats are cumbersome, causing hangers to break. Snow boots get haphazardly tossed in there while still wet. Then there are the gloves and hats and scarves and assorted camping gear and pet paraphernalia and maybe, a yoga mat? Yeah, entry closets are like the all-purpose closet where you can stuff anything and everything that’s leftover and in need of a home.

Start by pulling everything and taking inventory

Should some of that stuff go in the garage? The laundry room? Your regular closet? Reorganize based on seasonality, usage and whether or not that item can find a home anywhere else. This will help you narrow down what actually needs to live in the coat closet and what can be delegated elsewhere. Sports equipment, tools and toys can be evicted.

Donate or discard any old items that you no longer use, umbrellas that are broken and gloves that are missing their pair.

Consider finding a local homeless shelter for your old coats and winter apparel, if they’re still wearable. Sometimes we even keep them in our car during the winter months to distribute to those in need if/when we come across them, along with some fresh pairs of socks and granola bars.

Dust + vacuum your entry closet

Grab your Swiffer Duster with its extendable handle and hit those hard-to-reach high shelves. Use a vacuum or Swiffer Sweeper, wrangle the dust bunnies that have been hiding out with last season’s snow boots. You might even want to hit the bottom of your closet with a wet mop, especially if it’s muddy.

If your entry closet is smelling a bit musty, try sticking a Febreze Small Spaces deodorizer in there or freshening with Febreze Air.

Invest in some sturdy wooden hangers for coats

This is self-explanatory. Plastic hangers usually won’t cut it in here.

Follow the 80/20 rules

Best to keep your entry closet at about 80% capacity, so coats have room to breathe (especially down). Also, it’s nice to save some space for potential guest’s coats.

Get some over the door hanging racks + hooks

Over the door shoe racks provide excellent pockets for loose items, such as gloves, scarves, and hats. Hooks add some residual overflow hanging space for bags, backpacks, dog leashes, and grocery totes.

More bins and baskets!

This way, you can keep the top shelf and floor area more organized and compartmentalized. Bins and baskets are also helpful for easily swapping out seasonal items.

Before you run out the door to buy all of those bins and baskets we’ve been raving about, may we suggest that you work cleaning out all of your closets into your seasonal cleaning routine? It’ll certainly help keep you sane, knowing exactly where all of your belongings reside — even when they’re behind closed doors.

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