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10 tips for organizing your closets

  • Story Highlights
  • To organize closet: if clothing doesn't fit or you haven't worn it in a year -- toss it
  • Measure and utilize backs of doors, floor space, and all interior walls of closet
  • Tuck folded bed linens inside one of the set's pillowcases
  • Use padded hangers for delicate fabrics, wood hangers for suit jackets
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(MyHomeIdeas) -- Get organized and clear the clutter with these clever ideas, methods, and products.

If your closet is small, rotate out-of-season clothing to attic, basement or under bed.

If your closet is small, rotate out-of-season clothing to attic, basement or under bed.

Tip 1: Clear it out

Distinguish clothing and shoes that you wear and items that you need to get rid of. You can do this by the golden rule of closet organizing: If you haven't worn it in a year, toss it.

Also, if it doesn't fit you well, it is time to get rid of it. Instead of hanging on to your "skinny jeans" until you lose a few pounds, donate them. Then, when you get down to your goal weight, treat yourself to a new, stylish pair of jeans.

If you are on the fence about an item, "flag" the hanger. As you wear each item, remove the flag. At the end of each season, items that are still marked with a flag should be donated. If the item is in good condition and/or if you paid a lot for it, think about selling it at a local consignment store or online at a site such as eBay.

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Tip 2: If the shoe fits

If you are keeping your shoe boxes, label what is inside. We like the Post-it Durable Tabs because they offer a writable surface and are quick and easy to apply. Alternatively, invest in clear shoe boxes with drawer-front pulls; they allow you to see what's inside so you can easily access your shoes.

Tip 3: Measure up

Once you have whittled down your wardrobe, you need to assess the layout of your closet. Measure the space you have, making sure to utilize backs of doors, floor space, and all interior walls. When you go to shop for boxes, bins, and other necessary space-savers, make sure you have your closet measurements in hand.

Use every square inch of your closet. Hang shoe racks on the back of your closet door. Classic belt hangers with multiple hooks are also a good solution for hanging camisoles, bras, or scarves.

Tip 4: Get hung up

Invest in the right kind of hanger for the type of clothing you are hanging. Use padded hangers for items made from delicate fabrics, plastic hangers for button-down shirts, and sturdy wood hangers for suit jackets as they help retain the shape of the items.

Remove all wire hangers (they don't properly support your clothes) and plastic dry-cleaner bags (they don't allow fabrics to breathe, keeping the chemicals used in dry cleaning in your clothes).

Save time in the morning by coordinating your wardrobe. Sort by color, and hang like-types of clothing together (i.e. skirts, pants, blouses, etc.).

Tip 5: No sweat

Sort sweaters, T-shirts, and other folded clothing by color as well. Always remove sweaters from hangers and fold them. Hangers will ruin the shape of sweaters over time.

Store sweaters on shelves in manageable-sized stacks using sweater dividers to keep them from turning into leaning towers of Pisa. Even better, store them in sweater boxes with well marked labels.

Tip 6: Eyes have it

Keep items you use frequently at eye level or below and items you rarely use higher up. Labeled boxes are good for storing things like bathing suits or turtlenecks because you can rotate them higher or lower in your closet depending on the season.

Move any snow boots, rain boots, or other "outdoor" gear to your front hall closet (or mudroom if you are lucky enough to have one); restrict what goes in your clothes closet to dress shoes only.

Tip 7: Seasonal change

It's possible that no matter how much you try to edit and organize, you just have too much stuff to fit in your closet. If that's the case, then you need to resort to a seasonal system by rotating your fall/winter clothes with your spring/summer clothes. Covered clothing racks can be filled with out-of-season clothes and kept in your attic or basement or under your bed. Flat storage boxes can serve a similar purpose.

Tip 8: Linen closets

Store folded sets of bed linens inside one of the set's pillowcases. Group same-size sheet sets together on shelves. Use attractive, easy-to-attach tags to mark the edge of the shelf with sheet sizes.

Tip 9: Storing table linens

Always clean and iron table linens after use. Tablecloths are best stored hanging from a pant or skirt hanger in your closet. Bundle clean, folded, matching napkins together in a paper or plastic bag and loop it over the top of the hanger.

Tip 10: China and crystal

You don't have to take up precious kitchen cabinet space to store your crystal and china unless you use both frequently. Find a safe place elsewhere in your dining room, basement, or other closet. Place paper coffee filters in between each plate and bowl before you stack each on top of one another.

Do not store crystal rim-side-down, as the rim is the most delicate part of the glass. Also, make sure you leave enough room in between glasses so they don't knock rims and accidentally chip.

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