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How to Declutter Your Closet

Organized and decluttered closet

When stuff starts to pile up it's easy to shove it in the closet and forget about it. But after a certain point, that stops working. That's because so much ends up in the closet that it can become the new mess you need to get rid of — only bigger. Use these tips to learn how to declutter your closet. Then let them help you stay organized so the clutter doesn't happen in the first place.

Do you dread opening your closet door? I'm sure it hasn't always been that way. Mess has a way of creeping up on you. The problem is, when left unattended, it can spill over into other areas of your life. The best course of action is to set aside some time and clean out the closet. Whether you're just trying to relieve stress or vying for an overall more organized lifstyle, consider these wardrobe organizational tips to help you declutter your bedroom closet.

5 Tips to Declutter Your Bedroom Closet

  1. Put away your out-of-season clothes: Nothing takes up more space in your closet than unused clothes. Take some time to sort through what you have. First clean and then carefully pack up those items you won't be needing for the next few months. If it's summer, that means your winter snow boots and sweaters. If it's winter, pack up your beach wear. I like to use old suitcases for this purpose. That way it's easy to grab the suitcase you need in the event that an opportunity for an unplanned trip or cruise to another climate comes your way. Storage boxes and bags can also work. But don't overstuff. And make sure you are only packing up clean clothes with no body oils on them. This can't be emphasized enough. Storage of silks and other delicate fabrics that haven't been cleaned first can cause your clothes to become permanently stained by body oils that you don't even see when first putting the garment away. You'll see it around the collar and underarms when you take the clothing out of storage, however. Plus, body oils attract clothes moths. Cedar and lavender can help, but the clothes still need to be clean before putting them away. Store the suitcases in an out of the way, but easily accessible area that is cool, dry and dark. Some attics and basements are suitable. Others are not. Perhaps there is room under the bed or on the top shelf of the closet. You know your home best and should choose an area that works for you. This will ensure that your closet space is not overwhelmed with heavy sweaters and jackets in the summer and bulky beach towels in the winter.
    suitcase packed with clothes
  2. Donate your old clothes: Before packing everything away, you will want to pass on any clothes that no longer suit you. This is especially relevant to those trendy, but now out-of-date, clothes you purchased several years ago. This is really hard for a lot of people but it's a key component of keeping your closet organized. Ask yourself, "Does it fit? Does it flatter? Will I ever wear it again?" Let that be your mantra for deciding what to get rid of. Weed out your clothes that don't belong at least twice a year. Don't let something you know you'll never wear again clog up your organized closet! Instead, set these articles of clothing and accessories aside for some worthwhile charity. They'll find a new home with someone who can appreciate them. This semi-annual purge will free up some extra space in your closet that will come in handy later.
    donate old clothes
  3. Use a closet organizing system for what's left: Consider purchasing a closet organizing system with unique storage options such as shelf dividers, bins, and accessory drawer inserts geared towards your wardrobe needs. Ranging from simple, inexpensive solutions to complex, one-of-a-kind custom closets, these organization systems can work wonders to declutter your space by ensuring that every square-inch is put to good use and no areas are left wasted. When using one of these systems, always store like items together. That means hang blouses in one section, pants and skirts in another section, and jackets in another, etc. You should do this because it's easier to "shop" your closet when the clothes are grouped together. You can further divide sections of clothing by color — it looks good and makes it easier to find a certain item.
    custom closet organizers keep clothing orderly and the closet decluttered.
    This custom closet uses organizers that keep clothing orderly. It maximizes all available vertical as well as horizontal wall space and runs to the ceiling with storage. The custom system provides specific places to keep all of the owner's possessions so that the closet always appears neat and decluttered. Matching hangers tie the look together and create a closet you'll want to spend time in.
  4. Organize your small accessories: Clothing accessories like belts, scarves, and even jewelry contribute to a lot of the clutter in a closet. The good news is that there are special organizers for accessories designed to specifically keep these wardrobe items from creating a problem in your closet. Take advantage of the special slide-out belt, scarf, and tie racks made to organize these accessories. They need very little room and disappear into the recesses of the closet when not in use. Similar organizers for pants, fashion eye glasses, necklaces, and other jewelry are also available. Be sure to include some of these where needed while sorting out your closet. They can make a big difference in the overall organization of your wardrobe and the appearance of clutter in your closet.
    Slide-out tie rack with shirts.
    This sliding tie organizer keeps the whole collection ready to wear while preventing wrinkles. It slides in and out when needed, slipping invisibley into the closet next to the owners shirts when not in use.
  5. Leave room for a hamper: Make sure to leave room for a nice in-closet hamper while decluttering. Otherwise, a messy pile of dirty clothes left on the closet floor would certainly spoil your time and efforts to clean out and organize. Built-in hampers are extra convenient. Many have multiple compartments that allow for sorting of laundry as soon as you change your clothes. They also come with removable bags/liners that make laundry chores easier and nicer.
    Built-in closet hamper.
    This tilt-out hamper remains hidden in this closet system.
  6. Get your shoes up off the floor: There are so many new and ever-changing shoe / outfit combinations. Because of this, many people need a lot of space to store their shoes so they are highly visible. Consider adding a shoe rack, shoe cubbies, or shoe shelves in your closet organizing system. Shoe shelves are one of the easiest footwear solutions to implement. A row of shelves that is wide enough for several pairs of shoes across is ideal. Keep the off-season and dressy shoes in boxes on the top shelf of the closet since you won't need them every day. Take a photo of the shoe and tape it to the box to easily identify what's in the box. If your shoe collection is extensive, you can also go with a rotating closet system designed specifically for footwear. That way, you can keep up to 200 pairs of shoes organized and ready for use.
    Shoe Shelves.
    Shoe shelves are one of the simplest, but most effective ways of organizing shoes.
  7. Utilize space with hooks: Hooks are among the most hard working and unappreciated closet organizers. They are a very practical and economical addition to any closet. Many types are available. Think outside the box and use them for more than just hanging your robe behind the door. Consider specialty hooks as a way to organize your belts, ties, necklaces, backpacks, purses, and more. Hooks are a great way to take advantage of that narrow space behind the door or on a wall that can't be used for shelves or hanging. They can be used for clothing, purses, belts, necklaces and hats. They come in different sizes and finishes to match any closet.
    Assorted hooks behind door
    Use a variety of different types of hooks in those small, often overlooked areas to help get your closet organized.

Still wondering how to declutter your closet?

The basic formula for success when decluttering any closet is to purge, donate what you don't need, clean and store out-of-season items, organize what's left by type and color, then maximize available closet space with closet organizers before putting things away. Key items not to be forgotten are a closet hamper to keep dirty clothes organized in addition to the clean ones, a shoe organization system, and hooks. If you follow those basic principles, your closet will be in good shape in no time at all.