The fluctuating weather definitely means spring is here! With it comes a primal urge to organize, thus the term “spring cleaning.” Whether it be organizing and cleaning your car, your pantry, your office or closet, it’s always useful to get tips from the professionals. Today, we welcome Kelsey Jackson and Allison Millard, the founders of Order Restored, to share their five favorite tips for an organized closet. As a naturally unorganized person, I plead to my other like-minded souls, “Ladies, it’s time!” Make a date on the calendar, follow these instructions, and feel the oddly unparalleled joy of accomplishment that an organized closet can bring.
Kelsey and Allison:
Spring is here and it’s time to do your seasonal closet swap. We are all pulling out our warm weather clothes and shoes, and even hitting the stores to pick up some of the latest spring fashions. So now is the perfect opportunity to get your closet organized! Carve out a few hours this weekend and follow these same five tips that we use with our clients, and enjoy the beauty and manageability of a well-organized closet! You’ll be amazed at how much time you save simply by knowing where everything is, being able to actually see it all, and knowing that it fits. The added bonus is the peace and tranquility that a well-organized closet will bring you each morning and each evening.
5 Tips to Spring Clean Your Closet
This is the hardest and most dreaded task, yet it’s one of the most important steps in the organizing process. When taking inventory, ask yourself these four important questions:
- Do I like it?
- Do I wear it?
- Does it fit?
- Does it need repair?
For example, you might be afraid to get rid of your favorite tattered sweater from college because of all the great memories associated with it. Remember, you will still have the memories even without the sweater! You might also fret about getting rid of an item you splurged on, feeling like you should keep it because it was so expensive. Wrong again! In fact, every time you look at that item it may trigger feelings of guilt and anxiety. Yet another great reason to send it packing! And don’t forget the one-year rule. If you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s probably time to remove it from your closet.
Donating items gives you a sense of satisfaction knowing someone else will enjoy them as much as you have. Consider donating your clothes, shoes and handbags to charitable organizations. In Nashville, where we are based, we always suggest Dress for Success or the Martha O’Bryan Center. You can consign nicer, designer pieces at a consignment sale or store in town. This will put a little cash back into your wallet for something new.
After you have purged … you should clean! This is the best time to pull everything out of your closet, dust the shelves, rods, boxes and bins, and then vacuum the floor. This is also a great time to assess the paint color on the walls. You will be amazed at how a fresh coat of paint can impact your mood when you step into a room (even in the smallest of spaces).
It can be time-consuming and even a little overwhelming, but a good purging and cleaning of the closet should take place at least once a year. Otherwise, it will take more time and cause unnecessary stress trying to navigate through a dirty, messy closet that is full of unused things!
Don’t get too excited, this is not the time to go out and start filling up your closet again! When we say “shop” we are referring to shopping for things that will help you create and maintain a more organized closet.
- Hangers: We like to hang as much as possible to avoid wrinkles. Hanging also creates a cleaner, less cluttered appearance. We use of variety of hangers depending on what we are organizing. A sturdy, wooden hanger is good for heavy coats and suits. We use thin, wooden hangers with clips for skirts, and thin, felt hangers for most everything else (shirts, pants). The felt keeps your clothes from slipping off and ending up on the floor. And because they are thin, you end up with more hanging space. You can also use hangers with multiple metal hooks to hold belts, ties and scarves.
- Bins, boxes, baskets: You can find an assortment of boxes for your out-of-season items, sweaters and shoes at stores like Target and The Container Store. Boxes are perfect for stacking on shelves and can be clear or labeled so you know what’s inside. We also use bins and baskets for scarves, hats, gloves and purses. This allows for a cleaner more uniform look for the odds and ends (especially if you have limited hanging space). It also gives you the opportunity to be creative by using boxes with different colors and patterns to show off a little personality.
- Hooks: Hooks are great for belts, robes, necklaces, hats, scarves and purses (hanging helps keep their shape). You can hang hooks on the inside of your closet or closet door.
Now where does everything go? Your closet should have a mixture of hanging rods, shelves/cubbies, hooks and vacant floor space. In smaller spaces be sure to use the space behind or over the door.
Put the clothes and shoes you use and wear regularly within reach and store seasonal/rarely used items up high or out of sight (under a bed or in another room). In order to maximize all of your vertical space you may want to consider installing shelves to the ceiling. Top shelves are the perfect place to store out-of-season items in labeled boxes or clear bins.
We like to organize clothing by category, grouping like items together (dress pants, jeans, casual shirts, then blouses, etc.). And, we can never resist organizing items by color, too!
Last but not least, don’t forget the lighting. As with any room in your house, make sure your closet is well-lit. This helps you see things clearly so you don’t waste time searching or accidentally mistaking a black top for navy blue. You can even brighten your closet without using a contractor. There are many options for wireless lights that run on batteries. They are easy to mount and some come with motion sensors. Good lighting is not only important for practical reasons, but it also helps create a bright and welcoming environment. If you have enough space, you can hang a mirror and throw a rug down, too! Never underestimate the power of a nicely stylized space, even a closet.
Okay, now you can go to the mall and hit your local boutiques!
Thank you Kelsey and Allison! Follow them on Facebook and Instagram for more inspiration (really, follow these gals!). If you would like personalized help — specializing in functional organization which you can maintain — contact Order Restored and enjoy an organized home!
Need more ideas for how to keep your home organized? Click here.