by Zahra Sethna
Having an organized wardrobe with smart closet storage solutions makes getting dressed easier, faster and much more fun. Plus, bringing an efficient storage and organization system to a cluttered closet could have other benefits as well. Make some money by taking your old clothes to a consignment store and then using your newfound cash for a shopping spree. For more great ideas, check out the follow tips on organizing your closet.
Taking stock. Go through everything in your closet and honestly assess what works and what doesn't. Be ruthless and realistic. Don't hold on to things that once looked good or that might look good again at some point in the future. Make a pile of the clothes you wear all the time -- the items you love and that look great on you. Add to this the things you wear fairly often or items that are pivotal to certain outfits. Put these items aside.
Cash or trash. You should now be left with a pile of clothes you hardly ever wear. Start by sorting out the things you hate -- you know, the things you bought on sale but now can't remember when or if you have ever worn. Now pull out the clothes you are still undecided about. Go through this pile piece by piece and assess whether each one is something that can add value to the collection of clothes you have decided to keep. If not, put it in the "discard" pile. Look at what you have edited out of your closet and pick out those items that might have value if brought to a consignment store. Donate everything else to the nearest charity shop or nonprofit in your area. If something is damaged beyond repair, throw it out.
Strategize your storage. Think about how often you use something before putting it back in your closet. If an item gets used only rarely, does it really need to go back in your clothes closet, or is there another place it can be stored? Bags, belts, scarves and other small accessories can be hung on hooks, racks or a peg board fastened to the inside of your closet door. Store your seasonal clothing in storage wardrobes to keep them clean and safe until you're ready to wear them again. Put the shoes you don't wear often in clearly labeled boxes on a high shelf or under the bed. Use drawers, bins or baskets to sort out socks, stockings, undergarments and other accessories that can't be hung up.
Sort it out. Find the system of organizing your hanging garments that works best for you. For example, you could sort everything by color, from light to dark. Or, you could hang similar items together -- skirts, dresses, blouses, trousers. This will make it easier to see your options at a glance. Do the same with your folded items, placing heavier items at the bottom of each pile and keeping like items together or sorted by color.
Your closet needs accessories, too. Using the same type of hanger for everything in your closet will make it look neater; choose either wood or plastic (tip: wood helps clothes hold their shape) and take your wire hangers back to your dry cleaner to be reused. Get a durable garment bag for storing fine items such as suits, leather jackets and special occasion dresses. If your closet does not have shelves, think about buying a set of hanging canvas shelves to go over the door.