Saturday, November 09, 2013

Five Steps To End Crowded Closets – Steps Four and Five

Your wardrobe and accessories have been purged so that what remains projects your personal style and brand beautifully. You’ve compared your closet space to the volume of your wardrobe and picked up some tools to maximize the use of available space. Now it’s time to place items in your closet and discuss maintaining the order in your closet.

Sort Your Clothes
Before placing items into the closet it is useful to sort them into categories. One way is to categorize wardrobe pieces by function. Most wardrobes have items that fit different functions such as work, casual, workout, and formal. Gather items that have the same function together. Grouping items this way makes it easy to dress for each function. Continue to sort each function by the different elements: shirts, skirts, pants, dresses and jackets. Large wardrobes may even benefit from further sorting each element by color or style (long sleeve versus short sleeve, for example).
Frequency of Use Determines Location
One of the maxims of organizing is
Frequently used items need to be very easily accessible.
Translating this maxim to your closet means that the most frequently used clothes are placed front and center. For most people’s wardrobes, work and casual clothes are the most frequently used so they should be placed at the front of the closet. Using a bar doubler provides a way to store outfits the way they’re put together; that is, shirts are on the top bar and bottoms on the lower bar. Owners of large wardrobes might like to sort each category of clothes from dark to light or by style. For items that are used everyday – a robe or a hat for example – it may be easiest to just use a hook on the inside of the door.
Items that are used infrequently can be stored in the rear of the closet. If your closet is tiny, storing infrequently worn items in another closet will prevent crowding your primary closet. Generally speaking, it is easier to find things in an un-crowded closet.  Another strategy for reducing the contents of your primary closet is to store off-season items in another closet.
The previous post outlining steps two and three of organizing your closet explained how a closet can be created by cordoning off an area of a room or by turning an unused room into a walk-in closet. If you lack an extra room or an extra large room, portable closets are available. These can be placed in the laundry room, attic or basement where they will store off-season apparel or infrequently worn items.
Of course closets hold more than hanging clothes. A narrow but tall shelving unit is ideal for holding folded clothes and purses because everything is accessible. I hope found the easier things are to get to, the easier they are to put away.
Make It Easy And Improve Maintenance
This is another maxim of organizing. Eliminating steps and making things visible are two important strategies for making things easy.  I like open bins to hold small items – no lids to fuss with. When possible I prefer to use transparent containers. The secret weapon to keeping everything straight is to label everything. In fact the closet bar can even be sectioned off and labeled by using a product called Simple Division. Labels eliminate guesswork. To make it a little easier to find an empty hanger, I suggest putting all the empty hangers at the end of the bar or on a wall hook. 
One of the big obstacles to keeping the closet organized is practice of clothes dumping. Often the intention of dumping is to keep clothes that have been worn away from the clean clothes in the closet. However if the worn clothes are so dirty that they might contaminate the items in the closet, then they should be cleaned. On the chair or the floor the item becomes wrinkled and clutters the room. Clothes dumping doesn’t solve a problem. It creates a bigger one. Hang worn items in the closet. Trust your nose and eyes to tell you when something needs to be cleaned.
Plan on spending a few minutes every week to keep things orderly. Find time to tidy things up in the weekly schedule – perhaps when the laundry is being done. It takes much less time to maintain organization then it does to start from scratch.

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