closet organization


Once upon a time, I didn’t lay my head down at night before planning the next day’s outfit. That began in grade school, but it’s like a distant dream to me now. Somewhere along the way, real life trumped fashion. Most mornings I reach in my closet and grab whatever strikes my fancy.

But I’m a fashionista at heart and that’s why I’ve become a bit of a maniac about closet maintenance. I believe that a well-organized closet is the best friend of any woman who wants to dress well in a minimum of time. Whatever time you spend putting yours in order will pay you back five-fold when you’re getting dressed in a hurry. Ever open your closet and swear you have nothing the wear? I’m about to give you a $1 solution to that problem: organize your closet.

One of the most indispensable tools for closet organization is a white plastic hanger. I use them for tops, jackets and dresses because they don’t leave dimples in my garments. As a bonus, I’ve discovered that white hangers make clothes more identifiable at a glance, allowing you to see potential color and pattern combinations you hadn’t noticed before. See? You don’t need a new wardrobe; you need new hangers! I’ve discovered the best deal on plastic hangers at Dollar General where you can buy 10 lightweight hangers for $1 and three heavyweight hangers (for jackets) for $1.50.

I make an exception on hangers for slacks, capris, shorts and skirts. I like my casual slacks folded over the hangers we get from Classic Cleaners. The tacky cardboard keeps them from sliding off. I use clip hangers for dress slacks, clipping them at the hem. Skirts, capris and shorts hang from the waist.

At the lowest level of organization, file things by color. It makes getting dressed so easy. Black pants? I have a few. I don’t have time to look here, there and yonder for just the right pair. When they’re all filed together, I can go straight to the pair I want without a big search.

Group like things together from shortest to longest. I have two closets in our bedroom. One has all my tops, jackets and dresses. The other has shorts, skirts, slacks and some out of season clothes. I file them by graduated length, then by color. Shorts come first, casual slacks next, capris, then dress slacks and maxi skirts. Maybe it’s the librarian in me, but I love going straight to the object of my desire. A simple system like this works for me.

Keep your shoes at eye level. Clear plastic boxes help me keep track of my shoes, which I also file by color. When I remove a pair from my closet, I place the empty box on my bed as a reminder to put them back where they belong. I’d be lying if I said I do that the right way every time. Sometimes my shoes get staged on the catwalk between the master bedroom and the guest room. We don’t have a lot of company there, so I can leave them for a day or so until I have time to put them away.

Use every space intelligently. Similarly, I have a hook on the back of the bedroom door where I hang things I’m too lazy (or tired) to put away or launder. This gives dry cleanables a chance to breathe before I brush and return them to the closet for another wearing. Washable fabrics stay nice until I can fold them and place them in the laundry basket the next morning. (Remember what I said earlier about folding my dirty laundry?)

I know that none of this is rocket science, but it’s worth an afternoon of work to put your closet together in a searchable way that makes sense to you. You can usually do that without building a new closet, although it may feel like new when you finish.

Share your closet organization secrets here! We’d love to know what keeps you fashionably ready to roll. P.S. Where are those red, white and blue entries???

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.