Must Have Tips for Organizing Your Closet

Whether you have a small closet or a huge walk-in closet, stuffing in decades worth of clothes that you just can't bear to part with forever can be a challenge. Sure, you haven't worn those knee-high velvet boots in years, that leopard purse in a decade, or that turtleneck cashmere sweater in quite some time...but you can't get rid of them, so you tuck them away into the dark corners of your closet. Clutter can cause stress, so do yourself a favor and take some time to organize your closet once and for all.

Not sure where to start? Lois Joy Johnson shares some great tips in an AARP article, written with women age 50 plus in mind. We've summarized them for you quickly, so that you can get started on making your closet a stress-free and tidy part of your home. The goal is to free up space in your closet, while making it more organized. Whatever you take out of your closet can be discarded, donated, or put in storage rooms.

The first step is to take everything out (ugh...). Now that your closet is empty - dust it, vacuum it, paint it a cheery color, add some lighting to dark corners by using battery powered LED lights that stick right onto walls and turn on and off by a touch-tap.

Around 50 years old is a time of change for many people. You may have gone through some major life changes recently (downsized, divorced, gained/loss weight etc.) so you may be holding onto a lot of extra stuff you really don't need. Really think about each item when you're deciding what to keep and what to save.

Your obvious "keepers" are items that always make you feel fresh, cool, fashionable - whatever your style may be. Style shouldn't be about age, size or trends, it should be about what makes you feel good and your closet should reflect that. Johnson recommends making two piles: things you wear and things you never wear. Go back through the wear pile and see what still fits and what really doesn't fit (literally or because of your lifestyle). Get rid of high heels you can't walk in and anything stained, pilled, torn, saggy, clingy, way too big or short for you now.

Make sure your rods are not too high so that you can reach them easily.

Before you put everything back in, get some closet organizers. Johnson says, "If you can't see it, you won't wear it." Try skinny flocked hangers to save space and make your closet look neater. Vacuum bags can be used for things like puffy jackets, bulky sweaters, and seasonal items and placed into bins that can slide under your bed or on a top shelf. Invest in duvet storage bags and put that luggage under your bed. Ditch shoe boxes because they take up too much space. Use a hanging shoe unit or get a multi-tiered shoe shelf to optimize vertical space. Replace plastic bags from dry cleaners with garment bags and place a rod or hook on the wall or door for items like scarves and belts. Get rid of things you don't wear like holiday decorations and pet supplies. 

If you want to get really into it, organize your closet by color. Hang and group like items within each color group. Sticking to one color group for an outfit can give you an easy and quick tonal outfit that's always in style.

Women tend to love shoes and tend to hoard them, so dealing with the shoes can be particularly hard on you. Toss anything that hurts, is broken, or you know you won't wear again. Arrange your keepers by color and heels out. Keep your sneakers in a basket and stuff tall boots with shapers.

To protect your items, get some lavender sachets or cedar blocks.


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