Tuesday, April 23, 2013

That Pesky Closet: Tips on Closet Organization

In the interest of being real, here is a picture of what my closet looked like when I started this project.

That’s pretty bad, right? I can feel clean freaks cringing all over the blogosphere. But to be honest, it drives me nuts too. I’ve never been the cleanest person in the world (my mom and all former roommates are screaming AMEN to that!), but my closet has ALWAYS been organized. So the fact that I have let it get this bad is pretty dadgum bad. I mean, a shoe rack with only one pair of shoes on it? What the heck is up with that!!

I was so glad this challenge with Simple Mom popped up, with this week’s focus on the closet. I tried to find pictures of the closet before Ben put up the organizing system, but I couldn’t find them ANYWHERE. But we used a simple system made of brackets and shelves that we bought from Home Depot. I knew I needed a bigger hanging section for dresses, pants, and Ben’s clothes, so that takes up about half of the closet. The other half of the closet was measured so that my longer tops could hang on the top rack, while still leaving room on the bottom rack for skirts and some shorter tops. We finally bought the shoe rack after Ben and I got some beautiful boots for Christmas this year (not that its doing us any good with all the shoes on the floor!).

And here are the pictures after I spent a little less than an hour organizing.

The shelves still need organizing, but its much better!

Here are some simple tips to organizing your closet, at least from the point of view of an OCD messy person (yes, they do exist!).

1.     Start with a good organizing system.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, or even fancy. It just has to work. If you have a crappy builder-basic closet like I do, then making the most of your space is key. Without our closet system, Ben would probably be getting dressed in the spare bedroom. : )  But in all seriousness, this system adds space and function to a small space.

2.     Divide your closet by item (or color).
Organizing freaks everywhere argue about this topic all the time. (Cant you just imagine clean freaks meeting up and being OCD about stuff like that? Hilarious!). Personally, I prefer to sort everything by clothing type, and then further sort by color. For example: my closet is divided into pants, dresses, shirts, sweaters, skirts, and jackets (with a little bit of Ben’s clothes thrown in there). My shirts are further divided into sleeveless, short sleeve, long sleeve, short sleeve t-shirts, and long sleeve t-shirts. These categories are further divided down into color, arranged with the ROYGBIV method (obviously the only way to organize colors). This works for me because I know EXACTLY where to look for the blue and white stripe long sleeved sweater (although there may or may not be a few of those…I have a small (major) obsession with stripes, ok???). In all seriousness, this really does help when I am putting together an outfit.

3.     Consider arranging your closet by items that you wear most often.

keep all of Ben’s clothes in the center so he doesn’t get frustrated going to the back of the closet each day to find what he wants to wear. I also keep my jeans and dresses on the far left, and my sweaters and jackets on the far right. I don’t wear these items as often as my shirts and skirts, so it is more time effective to keep those lesser-worn items out of the way.

4.     Keep your nice shoes off of the floor.

Let me explain. Ben and I both have a nice collection of boots (btw-not all are pictured). We would both be sick if they were chewed on by our sweet-but-mischievous 60-pound lab puppy that seems to want to get into everything within sight. So we arrange our shoes with our nicest ones on top. Now truth be told, it isn’t going to keep her from getting into them if she really wants to, but the stray shoe laying in the middle of the floor is a lot more attractive than the flats neatly stacked by pairs.

That is all I have to say about closet organization, but let me leave you with this: do what works for YOU. The world’s most expensive and genius organizing system won’t work if you don’t get it. So play around and figure out what does!

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