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How to Organize Your Closet

Are you constantly searching for the answer to how to organize your closet? Here is the good news: no matter what the algorithms or Instagram tell you, there is no one way to do it. The best way to organize your closet is the method that works for your space, schedule, and overall feeling of overwhelm. Having said that, I will reveal two of my favorite answers to how to organize your closet.

Method #1 for Organizing Your Closet Quickly

One of the least stressful ways to help organize your closet is to take your process one step (or, rather, one hanger) at a time. Let’s say that your closet is a complete disaster. That can feel entirely overwhelming. You might not know where to start in the reorganization process, get frustrated, and quit before you even begin. Sound familiar?

Set a Timer

My answer to that overwhelm is to set a timer and give yourself a comfortable amount of time to start decluttering. You may only want to allot 10-15 minutes this first time out. That’s fine. Perhaps you feel like 30 minutes might be more useful, or you really only have 5 minutes on the first day (or the 8th day of the 30-day decluttering challenge). Whatever feels reasonable to you is the amount of time to set on the clock.

Start Easy

Next, do you automatically see a pair of jeans, a sweater, or a pair of shoes that you never wear because they are uncomfortable, don’t look great on you, or are so damaged that they can’t be worn? If so, pull that item (or those items, if you immediately see more than one), and place them in a pile outside of the closet for donation, fabric recycling, selling, or the trash. If it is going in the trash, you need to toss it into the garbage can at the end of your time block. If it sits in a pile in your room, you’ve just created clutter elsewhere. Similarly, if you are going to donate items, move them into a bag and take them out as soon as possible.

Single Item Approach

Next, pull out one single hanger. Do you love that item? Do you feel great wearing it? Is it a cozy go-to item? Fantastic – it stays. If the answer is no, take a second to think about why you are keeping it. If it is just habit and exhaustion, move it out of your closet and onto a pile for donation or selling.

If you still have time on the clock, grab another hanger. If you don’t, you are done for the day. I know it doesn’t seem like much, but you now have a method to answer that age-old question of how to organize your closet.

Method #2 for Decluttering Your Closet

If you have the time and the space, I recommend taking everything (and I mean everything) out of your closet when you feel perplexed about how to organize your closet. This allows you to see the space you have. It will enable you to clean the shelves and the floor. It also allows you to consider making changes to your closet, like adding shelving, installing new lighting, or putting up wallpaper.

Create the Piles

Now that everything is out, you can easily use your favorite process – whether it is Marie Kondo’s approach or another one you adore. Handle every piece. Try things on. Create four piles: Donate, Trash, Maybe, and Keep. But don’t agonize. If you really can’t decide what to do with an item, you aren’t required to get rid of it. Place it in a maybe pile and give yourself six months.

Remove the Items

Again, if you are donating or trashing items, you should remove them from your house or apartment as soon as possible. Actually, I’ll amend that – you also shouldn’t keep those items in the trunk of your car. If you have a big enough trunk, they could stay there for months or years, creating clutter elsewhere.

Clothing and Accessories Only

I like the idea of removing non-clothing items from the closet. I did that – I moved suitcases out. I also removed things like hand-held exercise equipment and artwork. But I was fortunate enough to have the space to do that. If you live in a tiny house, small apartment, or a place with very little storage, that might not be practical. Don’t stress.

Vertical Space is Key

Don’t forget about the vertical space. Command Hooks, or more permanent hooks, are perfect for holding hats or purses if you have limited shelf space. Using unused vertical space guarantees that everything can be seen and kept clean.

Voila! Those are my two favorite answers to how to organize your closet. I’ve done both at various times, and it really comes down to how much time I’ve had. I hope one of these approaches works well for you. Good luck!

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