Let’s just get right to the point: keeping a clean closet is hard. Even if every other nook and cranny of your house is spotless, it’s more than likely that when it comes to your bedroom closet, the buck stops there. Between the clothes and the shoes and the scarves and the belts and the crop top from 1993 that you swear will come back in style, it’s next to impossible to keep it all neat and organized, especially given the size of your “walk-in,” which is really more like a “yes, you are able to step inside but please be mindful of the piles of shoes and half-empty Rubbermaid containers.” Yes, maintaining a clean closet is hard. But luckily, we’ve come up with some tips and tricks that will make it not so impossible.
Tip #1: Get Rid of Old Stuff
Yes, this is probably a no-brainer. But is it really? Despite the fact that you know you should toss old stuff, when was the last time you actually did? Yeah, that’s what we thought -- and we’re guilty of it, too.
It’s hard to throw out old belongings: some items bring back memories, some items might be held onto for too long because you just know you’re going to be a size two again soon, and some items are likely collecting dust in your closet because you’re convinced that they will one day be considered “vintage” and you’ll make thousands off of selling high-waisted jeans and newsboy caps on eBay. Unfortunately, the odds of retiring off of clothes is unlikely -- but, again, we get it. So, here’s what you do: When it comes to items that hold sentimental value (your wedding dress, etc.) get them properly sealed and then put them away in your attic or storage space. For the items that haven’t fit in more than two years: Get rid of them. Should you get back down or up to that size in the future, those clothes will be out of style anyway. All they’re doing is taking up space. And as far as the items you’re convinced will someday be worth a ton of money? Go online and do your research. If the item you’re holding onto is worth more now than it was when you paid for it, keep it. If not, toss it.
As far as the other stuff that doesn’t fall into the above categories, here’s a tip that seemingly every lifestyle blogger swears by: Turn all of your hangers around. When you wear an item, hang it as you normally would. After a year’s time, go through your closet and donate all of the items that are still hanging incorrectly.
Tip #2: Organize by Season
If you’re like us and you don’t have a closet big enough to hold all of your belongings, probably the most important tip is to stop trying to make it all fit. Rather than stuff your entire year’s wardrobe into a too-tiny space, divide your clothes into each of the four seasons and only place in your closet what you’ll actually wear for the time being. Store the rest in plastic containers and place them in an attic or crawl space. Obviously this requires reorganizing your closet every few months, but aren’t a few hours per season worth being able to actually see what’s inside of your closet? We say yes.
Tip #3: What About the Random Stuff?
Now that we’ve figured out how to minimize the amount of clothes in your closet, the time has come to deal with the other stuff. The scarves, the yoga mats, the necklaces...the random stuff that usually ends up in piles on the floor or on a shelf. What do you do with that stuff?
For starters, grab everything that is currently in a pile and organize it. Then divide it into groups. For your necklaces, it helps to either nail holes or mount decorative knobs into places on your wall and then hang your costume jewelry so that each necklace has a place. For the rings, bracelets, etc., place them in decorative bowls on a shelf so that you can clearly see your jewelry options, all while keeping everything contained and organized.
When it comes to yoga mats and gym stuff, a good option is to place an umbrella stand in an unused corner of your closet. Place your yoga mats and extra weights in there for safe keeping. Hang a hook above it for your gym bag.
For scarves and purses, hang towel rods and purchase hooks so that your bags and wraps can be hung (and removed for use) with ease.