Let’s face it; we just don’t seem to have enough room in our closets for everything that we want to get in them. Clothes are jammed in and when pulled out are wrinkled messes. Empty hangers are hanging in haphazard fashion. Remember what our closets of our childhood looked like? Mine was an 1/8 of the size of my current closet. At the time it seemed the right size. That was when my mom bought me clothes once a year, at the start of school. Now kids as well as we buy clothes all year long and for no particular reason. But my theory is we all have enough room in our closets if we just follow a few steps to make it happen.
1. Take all empty hangers out. If you are tight on space, simply taking the empty hangers out of the closet and storing elsewhere can added valuable space. I store my extra hangers for my kids in the laundry room. As their clothes come out of the dryer, the hangers are right there for me to hang them out. There are also products like a hanger hamper that will help you contain the hangers in an orderly fashion. Or maybe having a hook on the back of the closet door to hang the empties on?
2. Hang like items together. By hanging all of the like items together you suddenly realize what you have in your closet. This will help when you are out shopping as you know that you already have 10 black long sleeved shirts in your closet. If you don’t group like items together, we can’t get a true picture of what we have. First organize by type of clothes, and then color. So for example I have all of my short sleeved shirts in one section of my closet and they are all in color families. My middle son even naturally did this on his own and the picture shown here is of his closet.
3. Figure out what you use. There is a law called Pareto’s law that states that we use 20% of our stuff 80% of the time. So I challenge you to figure out what is the 20% that you use. Can you imagine getting rid of 80% of the clothes in your closet? Here is an easy trick, simply place all of the clothes in your closet with the hangers facing backwards. As you wear an item of clothing, and it is washed and ready to be hung back on, hang the item the proper way on the hanger. After a period of time, remove all of the clothes that are still backwards on the hanger.
4. Find products that create more vertical space.There are products on the market that can contain purses, shoes, jewelry, scarves, tank tops, camis and belts and hang them instead of them taking up shelf space in a closet.
5. Size of your hangers. Yes they make skinny hangers and I only suggest to my clients to buy them if they live in an old house with small closets. If you go to small hangers you automatically think you can put more in your closet. I actually use wooden hangers. My clothes hang better on them. Plus I only bought a certain amount of hangers, and when they are gone I can’t buy anymore clothes and this leads to my last tip.
6. Practice the one in one out rule. Because I only have a certain amount of hangers I know if I buy a new clothing item, something will need to leave my closet. I always joke with my clients that when I buy a new shirt I then donate one of my husbands! That way I get more clothes and he has only a few things left. Seriously, though I don’t do that but it is in the back of my mind as a safety plan.
So where can you find room in your closet? Take a couple of these tips and see what space you can create in just a few minutes.
To Joyful, Simplified Living,
MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/
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