California Closets longtime design expert Ginny Scott suggests getting on a cycle just like the seasons when it comes to your closet. “Know that every three months is an opportunity to get organized and prepared for the months ahead,” says Scott. “When it comes down to it, if you merely neaten your mess, you’ll be back in clutter a month later. Take the opportunity to do it right, and you’ll have a lifetime of organizational bliss.”
But how to start this daunting task? “The first step in the process is to take everything out,” says Scott. “Take every—yes, every—item out, including clothing, accessories, and shoes. This encourages you to be a bit more discerning about what you put back into your closet.” Another good trick when it comes to seasonal rotating as you are organizing your closet is to replace all of your clothes with the hangers turned backwards. “As you use an item, flip the hanger forward,” suggests Scott. “At the next seasonal change, take note of how many of your hangers have not flipped and consider it a time to purge out what you are not wearing.” It’s a great hack for getting rid of clothes you’re not wearing. Here are six other ways to get your closet in gear.
“Use uniformity for a streamlined look. Matching black boxes and coordinating white hangers create a sense of calm,” says prop stylist Erin Swift of her Brooklyn closet renovation. “Throw out everything you haven’t worn in years.” Swift worked with California Closets design consultant Carolyn Musher to build her dream closet.
“Group shoes by type, so you always know what you’re reaching for whether you’re headed to the gym or out to dinner,” says Swift. Ideally, if you have adjustable shelves, you can create a full section dedicated solely to shoes.
“Utilize under bed storage, which allows your closet to just hold clothing and not clutter,” says Swift. This is particularly useful for winter boots, coats, and other bulky seasonal items.
The best place to set your shelves is at eye level, which makes it much easier to find what you’re looking for when you’re getting ready. You could also use a shelf above your clothes for shoes. Accessories, such as purses, ties, and jewelry, should be placed on designated shelves or specialty racks so each item can be accessed and put away neatly.
“Get your shoes and winter boots off the ground,” says California Closets’ expert Ginny Scott. “Use closet shelves to avoid losing your shoes to the bottom of your closet. Another tip is to store foul weather footwear in a bin in the mudroom or on special shelves in the garage to save closet space and keep floor areas clean.”
Start by placing your shirts or blouses together, sorted by sleeve length. Then, divide your pants, dresses, skirts and so on, by type (casual, formal) and length. Use this process for each category of clothing. Once you have defined your categories, you can put them into sections, leaving a few centimeters of space between them. If you’re feeling ambitious, sort the items in each section by color.