Closet organization: Tips from a NY closet organizer

Are you plagued by a “scary” closet? (As a professional organizer, I hear this term all the time from my clients!) Here are some tips to get you on your way to closet organization bliss.

Clear closet clutter

The first step in a closet organization project is to clear clutter. Don’t waste space on things that you don’t need, like or use. If you’re organizing a clothes closet, make sure your closet contains only clothes that fit, that look good on you, that are in good shape, and that you actually wear.

After clearing closet clutter, you may find that you have a lot more space than you thought.

Maximize closet space

In Manhattan, where I live, space is at a premium — we’ve got a million-odd people on a tiny island. When thinking about how to use your closet space most effectively, think like the Manhattan real estate moguls do — vertically!

  • Use hooks and shelves to get the most of your wall space.
  • The back of the closet door is “prime real estate” that is often overlooked — hooks work great here, as do over-the-door pocket-type organizers which can corral a variety of small items like accessories and belts.
  • If you have a lot of short-hanging items, you can purchase a closet rod doubler that hangs from the top rod to increase your hanging space.
  • To double your shelf space, use mini shelves so you don’t waste vertical space between shelves.

Follow key organizing principles

Store things near where they are used. This is why most people keep clothes in the bedroom and umbrellas in the front hall closet. As with anything, there are exceptions: one of my clients had to wake up much earlier than her husband, so we put her clothes in the hall closet so she could get dressed without waking him.

Ensure that the things you use most often are most accessible. As spring arrives, move the scarves, hats and gloves from a low, easy-to-reach shelf to a very high shelf or to a box in the back of the closet.

Once you’ve organized your closet, it should be very easy to keep it orderly. If you put things away every day, it just takes minutes. If you let things pile up, it will take much longer!

Plan on spending some time to adjust your storage system when the season changes or if you go through a transition that requires a change in wardrobe, such as starting a new job or losing a lot of weight.

GO try it!

Set aside some time to tackle one overstuffed, disorganized closet. Work on one section at a time if it seems overwhelming. Then enjoy the benefits of being able to quickly find what you need.

As Seen On: