Organizing @ Home #15 The Master Closet

Organizing @ Home the Master Closet [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/organizingathome-logo2-small.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

Today’s Focus

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– Assessing Your Closet
• Dry Cleaning & Wire Hangers
• Hangers
• Suitcases & Travel Bags
• Purses & Cosmetics Bags
• Mysterious Boxes

– Sort,  Purge & Organize
• Clothing
• Dresses
• Suits
• Outerwear

-The Hanger Zone
-Reflective Questions
-Donations

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– Organizing Supplies
• Shoes
• Belts & Ties
• Sweater
• Scarves
• Purses
• Sun Glasses
• Jewelry
• Dressers

-What is Prime Real Estate?

-Homework

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Welcome to Organizing the Master Closet

Our focus is the master closet, but most of what I share here is applicable to other clothing closets as well. Like all spaces that we’ve addressed in the past we’ll start by assessing the situation. It’s important to do so with a fresh pair of eyes, trying to see it as if you’ve never seen it before.

We’re doing things a little backwards today. Before I send you out shopping for organizing supplies, I want you to sort and purge.  Understanding your supply needs will be easier AFTER you have purged, grouped like items together, and determined what is actually staying in the closet.

[blockquote sub_text=””] Grab some white trash bags for donations, black bags for trash, and some boxes for items that go away.  [/blockquote]

[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/trash-Bags–e1522793597613.jpg” align=”center” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/trash-Bags.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

 

Assessing Your Closet

Do you feel like you’re running out of room? Often there are hidden obstacles in your closet you’re not even aware. Let’s step into your closet and go on a scavenger hunt…

Wire Hangers and Dry Cleaning Bags[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/closet-with-dry-cleaning-bags-and-hangers-e1522792904849.jpg” align=”left” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/closet-with-dry-cleaning-bags-and-hangers.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

If you dry clean your clothes you most certainly have more hangers then you need. It’s like they multiply while you are sleeping; and because they are so skinny they easily accumulate without you even realizing it. And don’t get me started on the dry cleaning bags. I am positive there are empty hangers in there too.

To avoid this compounding problem you gotta remove the dry cleaning bags when you bring the clothes into your closet. If you regularly have dry cleaning, having a place to put the dry cleaning until it’s “processed” is a good idea. Maybe a hook on the back of the door or the first spot on the rod as you walk into the closet. Then when you have two minutes, pull off the bags and all the paper, and hang the clothes in their appropriate space. If you like to switch out hangers, now’s a good time.

Do you return the hangers to the dry cleaner? If you switch out your hangers, wrap them up using one of the empty bags, and you’re done. Stick in the bottom of the dry cleaning bag for the next time you’re ready to drop it all off. If you accumulate them as you use them, pick a spot on the rod as you wear the clothes. Then before you head to the dry cleaner next time, stick them in the dry cleaning bag.

 

Empty hangers

It isn’t just wire hangers that multiply in your closet. Regular hangers are just as sneaky. It’s obvious why, what’s not so obvious is that they are there. Developing the habit of regularly pulling out the empty hangers serves more than just collecting hangers; it’s a visual cue that it’s time to do laundry. Every time you get dressed or even every couple of days, pull out the empty hangers to get them out from amongst the clothes. It’s a good habit with fringe benefits. Read my blog on Why your closet needs a hanger zone.

Suitcases & Travel Bags

Look in the corners of your closet – under and behind the clothes. I’ve been into many a closet that was stuffed with travel bags and suitcases. It didn’t seem like there would be so many squished in there at first glance, but there were. This has happened time and time again, so it’s worth noting here. In most cases about half were donated.

Purses & Cosmetics Bags

Do you buy makeup at a department store? Then chances are you receive a makeup bag every time you buy something new. That “gift with purchase” is just too tempting. Well, those often end up on the floor of closets (if not crammed into your bathroom cabinet).

I’ve met lots of women that looove purses, and collect them, but forget to get rid of the worn-out purses, or the ones whose style no longer appeals to them. You’ll be looking through your purse collection to make sure that everything you have is worthy of your wallet and keys. 🙂

Mystery Boxes

Look at the upper shelves of your closet. What’s up there? What’s in the cardboard box anyway? If you don’t know, it’s time to take a look.

What do I usually see in those boxes? Well, most of the time they are empty!

I am big on taking things out of cardboard and putting them in a clear box. First because cardboard is bug food, and secondly, when things are in clear boxes you can easily see what is in there. For me, there is no point in owning things that no longer serve you. If it’s something that is meant for regular use, then it needs to seen so it can serve that function. Mementos and keepsakes should be kept in a clear box too. They will be better preserved that way.

As you go through those mysterious boxes, remember that just because they are in your closet doesn’t mean that is where they should stay. Unless there is no where else to put it, your closet should serve to hold your clothes and shoes first, then other stuff.

Sort, Purge & Organize[pullquote_right sub_text=”pullquote_right”] Before you begin, take a minute to read the “Donating” section for some important information! [/pullquote_right]

As you assess and make determinations about what you’ve got going on in the closet, you will be compelled to start sorting and purging, so let’s move right on into that and address whatever else we find along the way.

Start with whatever area you desire, but if you’re looking for a suggestion I say start with clothes. It’s usually the biggest task, the most intimidating, and it will also take the longest (usually). May as well just rip the band-aid off and jump right in!

Clothing[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/sorting-through-clothing-closet.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/sorting-through-clothing-closet.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

Beginning at one end of the closet, work your way through looking at each article of clothing. You’ll be making a conscious decision about every item you have. Some will be easy, some not so much, but for everything I want you to consider how it makes you feel when you wear it. Do you like how it fits? Do you like the color against your skin? When you put it on, does it make you feel good inside? Do you feel pretty, or do you feel like a slouch?

Your answer should always be “I feel good when I wear this” – period.

As women we spend so much time thinking about how we look. Whether you admit it or not, we are programmed to. All the more reason we should only have clothes that make us happy! We should only wear clothes that make us happy. Wearing clothes that makes us happy, makes us happy! We walk different, we are more confident, we radiate a positive energy. This is a good way to live!

Now I realize that this may be a new concept to you, and you may have a closet full of clothes that do not make you happy. Statistically we only wear 20% of what’s in our closets anyhow. That means the other 80% we aren’t wearing. Why is that?

I think it’s better to have a smaller wardrobe full of things I love, than a full wardrobe that makes it hard for me to see what I really like. A wardrobe full of things I’m not in love with make getting dressed take longer.

About 3 years ago I read the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. There’s nothing like hearing your message spoken through someone else’s mouth to motivate you.  It had been awhile since I had done a good purge, and that book motivated me to go through all of my clothes once again. I got rid of about 25% of what I owned and since then have purged even more. Now, I can’t say that 100% of my clothes I love to wear, but I I would say it’s more like 85%. That’s pretty good! That means that 85% of the time when I reach into my closet I’m going to choose something that I like to wear, and that makes me feel good. Now getting the right combination of clothing maybe the next challenge, but that’s another course!

For now, sort through your clothes being as honest as possible. Work to keep only those that make you feel great!

[blockquote sub_text=””] keep only what you L♥VE! [/blockquote]

Tops

Group by Like Kind
At some point you will begin to grouping like items, for most it just happens naturally.

If your clothes are particularly scrambled, the following method works well for unscrambling and grouping: Start by searching for all the white t-shirts. Poke through to find every white shirt and pull it out. Doesn’t matter if it’s a t-shirt or a blouse, just pull it out and group them together on the rod. I usually choose a color that stands out, so if you have a lot of red shirts start with red, then go to the next color that stands out. You can go in color order if you like, but it doesn’t matter – whatever gets the job done. Continue on until you have sorted all of the shirts and they are grouped by color.

Repeat with dresses, skirts and pants.

[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/top-zone-e1522793239162.jpg” align=”center” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/top-zone.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

 

Colorize
When it comes to organizing, there is a color hierarchy. In general, I like to organize in a particular order, but it also depends on how much of what color there is, and how well the colors transition from one to the next. Do what feels most natural to you, after all you have to keep it up.

My order is:
white, beige, brown, yellow, orange, red, pink, green, blue, purple, black – or something similar. I like to start with white and end with black. Sometimes I change the order of the colors in between, it just depends on what customers have.

[pullquote_right sub_text=”pullquote_right”] Tops = tank tops, camis, strapless tops, t-shirts, polo shirts, button-up shirts, blouses, or anything you would wear “on top” under jackets, sweaters or coats [/pullquote_right]

Sub-dividing Tops
Sleeveless, short sleeve, and long sleeves and the basic breakdown of tops. As a rule of thumb, if you have 3 to 4 feet or less dedicated to your tops, I suggest you group by COLOR FIRST, then by style. That means all of your white shirts are together, and within that collection will be: sleeveless, then short sleeves, then long sleeves. Repeat with the next color in your color hierarchy.

If you have more than 4 feet of tops, STYLE is your FIRST category, and within that will be the color hierarchy. So for example, if you have 30 strapless tops you will colorize beginning with white, then beige, brown, yellow, orange… all the way to black. Next will begin short sleeved tops in color order, then all the long sleeved tops in color order.

I usually hang tops on the upper rod and pants on the lower, and that works well. I have swithed around to the opposite having pants on the upper bar. If you have a shelf just above the lower rod, hanging the pants on the upper rod creates a little space to store things on the shelf and still see what’s there. It typically doesn’t look very neat, but it is functional.

Bottoms

Pants
Pants are a little easier to organize and sub-divide. The right order is the order in which you wear them the most. If you wear jeans most of the time, you’ll start with jeans, then khakis, then dress pants (or whatever the right order is for you. Keep your jeans grouped together, keep your khaki’s grouped together, etc.

To keep the pants zone looking neat, hang pants consistently the same direction and use hangers that match. See video.

If hanging them over the hanger is your preferred method, I recommend using either a dry cleaning hanger (believe it or not) or spending the money on the felted hangers. The reason I like these options is because pants won’t side off, and they are sturdy. Pants on inexpensive plastic hangers slide around, stretch the hanger out of shape and just look messy.

Some people prefer to hang their pants long, and don’t like the crease that can develop when folding them over. Most pants will not develop a crease unless they hang for a really long time without being worn. Another complaint I have heard is dust collects on the top of the fold; which is also attributed to hanging for too long without being worn. Which beckons me to say, why are you keeping them if you never wear them? Just sayin’.

Sometimes it’s the limitation of the closet that makes it necessary to hang pants long. That’s understandable. Do what you need to do to work with the space you have, but as long as we are re-evaluating everything, revisit why you do what you do. If the last house you lived in had mostly long hanging space and your new closet doesn’t, it might be time to change the way you hang your clothes, or get rid of some.

However, some fabrics just wrinkle easily and do better hanging long, and make sense hanging with the dresses. If you prefer to hang them long, I like clip hangers rather than wooden trouser hangers. See video.

[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/pants-zone-e1522793134381.jpg” align=”center” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/pants-zone.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

 

Skirts and Shorts
If you like to hang your shorts, keep them grouped together and not mixed in with your skirts. Keeping them separate makes it easier to find them. Colorize as you would your shirts. To keep skirts and shorts looking neat, I prefer clipping hangers. By aligning the garment with the edge of the hanger on the out-facing side, pull the waistband taut to the next clip, and then allow the in-facing side to flap free it will cause all of the skirts and shorts to all line up. See video for examples, this is a concept better understood visually.

Men’s Jeans
If your man is tall enough and can easily reach the shelf above the hanging clothes, consider folding his jeans on that shelf. Usually the long hanging closet rod has a shelf that is easily accessible for men. Be sure to sort and purge first as a stack can turn into a tower quickly. Aim to limit each stack to 5 pairs; 8 at the most with his favorites on top. More than that and it’s either time to purge or split into more stacks.

To keep jeans visible and accessible, clothes should not hang low enough to touch them.

Dresses [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Dress-Zone-e1522793031841.jpg” align=”left” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Dress-Zone.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

It goes without saying (but I need to say it) that dresses should hang on the bar that doesn’t have another bar underneath it, usually referred to a a long hanging bar. Sort as you would tops using the same parameters. Most women I’ve worked with wear mostly tops and bottoms, but there are a few that looove dresses! I secretly wish I were one because dresses are just so comfortable. If you are a dress lover, you might be short on long hanging space. If you are, there is a glimmer of hope for more room.

You may already be occupying an upper rod which causes your dresses to fold over the lower rod. Did you know that some of those rods are removeable? Yep. Check if yours is and yank that puppy out. I typically store my spare rods in a corner or pushed up against the wall under the lower hanging clothes.

Even if your rod isn’t easily removable, sometimes they are held on with just a screw. Look at the underside of your rod where the bracket is holding it. That is where a screw is added to hold it in place.

 

Suits [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Suits-zone-e1522792260553.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Suits-zone-e1522792260553.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

In my opinion suits need breathing room. Suit coats aren’t cleaned nearly as often as the coordinating pants or skirts, so a little elbow room helps them air out. If you are a regular suit wearer, or your husband is, you probably know this. If you are a younger generation, or your parents didn’t wear suits, or you didn’t pay any attention to what they did with their suits, you might not realize how important hanging a suit properly is for the life of the suit.

I’m not a big fan of the wooden suit hangers, unless it is holding a suit. Wooden suit hangers are excellent for their intended purpose but if you don’t own any wooden suit hangers, but you own suits – how did that happen? No worries, you can make what you’ve got work, but take the time to be sure

A) The hanger is strong enough for the suit. If all you have are plastic tube hangers, use two of them.

B) Be sure the suit is hanging straight and any buttons are buttoned closed. The hanger should be even across the shoulders. This makes a difference in how the fabric stretches, and ultimately how it lays across the human shoulders.

C) Dress pants of skirts should be hung with the suit unless the suit coat is rarely worn but the bottom piece is worn frequently. Use a hanger that will hold onto the piece. I don’t like the cheap slippery tube hangers, especially for suit pants. Suits aren’t cheap, spend $4 on a package of clip hangers at Target or $10 for a few of the felted hangers. Be sure the pants /skirt is hung neatly. See “bottoms” for tips on how to do that.

A well taken care of suit looks better on the human. Chances are the suit is worn in a professional environment where this look is important to the career. Go that extra mile to hang the suit properly.

Outerwear

Outerwear are sweat shirts, hoodies, sweaters, jackets, and coats. Anything you wear over your clothes. Most of what I understand and recommend is geared towards warm-weather climates. Having never lived where is snows, I only have my imagination and common sense to draw from, but no practical advice. So if you live in a cold weather climate, take what makes sense to you and leave the rest. You’ve been fore warned!

 

Cardigan Sweaters, Lightweight Sweaters & Jackets [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/outerwear-zone-e1522792842169.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/outerwear-zone-e1522792842169.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

I’ve seen many a sweater hung in the closet with a shirt still inside it. It always makes me chuckle a little, wondering if they were in a big hurry or were feeling lazy or wanted to keep those two items together for another day.

I usually end up separating the two, putting the shirt back in with the tops and allowing the sweater to go solo with the other sweaters. In a sense, you gain another shirt and another sweater to wear by splitting them up.

All of my sweaters and sweatshirts hang on felted hangers. This allows me to easily hang them up without having to sip or button them to keep them on the hanger. I love wearing sweaters and sweatshirts and really wear them year-round. My threshold of tolerance for temperatures is very narrow (74-76), and our downstairs is tiled, so it’s cold a lot downstairs. So sweatshirts and sweaters are my friends. I have several and wear them all in a sort of rotation. I wear one, leave it somewhere like the car, or in my office and then I’ll wear another one. I am forever collecting my sweaters and hanging them back up. 🙂

All of my outerwear lives together in my closet, except my heavy winter coats which live in my office closet. I keep lightweight raincoats, casual jackets, sweaters and zip up sweatshirts together. I don’t have many pull-over sweaters or sweat shirts, but I keep them in this section too. Lightweight sweaters that are mostly wear as shirts can be kept with long sleeved shirts.

Heavy Coats

I’ve already mentioned that I store my heavy coats in my office closet. Other clients I have met keep their heavy coats elsewhere too. I think it makes sense. At one time I had my coats in my main closet, but as my wardrobe has grown, I had to move them out. I should mention we don’t have a hall closet, where one might put a heavy coat, but still, here in east Texas it doesn’t make sense to give up a closet that way.

If you live where it’s cold more often, store those coats in a more accessible closet. If you live in a warm climate and you have the room in your main closet, put them there. If not, put them in a guest closet. If you really are short on space, use a space bag to shrink them down further.

Pull-Over Sweaters

If you wear your sweaters as a top, you’ll want to keep them in the same area as your tops. The most logical place would be at just after the long sleeved shirts. Obviously they are not a year round item, so if you have a lot of sweaters and are short on closet space, you might need a place to store them in the off season.

Deep sweater bins[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Deep-Sweater-Box.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]
Deep sweater bins are excellent for storing sweaters (hence their name). You can stack up to 8 sweaters, 5 if they are thick. They are the perfect shape and size, and if you toss in a few cedar boards or balls you can keep the bugs away that like to eat sweaters. They also stack nicely, and are the perfect item to store on the upper shelves in your closet when it’s summer. During the winter and you can switch out your short sleeve or sleeveless clothing for your sweaters.

Everything Else

Clothes aren’t the only thing that need to be purged, sorted and categorized in a closet. Continue with your hunt taking the time to search all the nooks and crannies where you are bound to find that missing shoe, dusty purses full of change and lipstick, wadded up scarves, old tote bags from 1980, and random old cardboard boxes stuffed in the corners and under clothes.

Do you have a shelf that sits above the lower clothing rod? Reach on in and feel around. It’s an easy area to overlook, but I have found ridiculous amounts of junk crammed there. Last year’s Christmas gifts to your mom, that new necklace you bought that you swore your daughter stole…it’s like the black hole of the closet. You might even find old mismatched socks in there – I hear it’s where the dryer spits them out. For obvious reasons, I like to keep this shelf clear. Not only because it turns into the black hole, but because it allows your clothes to move freely and easily.

To address Everything Else normally found in the closet let’s do so while discussing organizing supplies, just be sure to go through every inch of your closet if you really want to do a thorough job of organizing it.

 

Prime Real Estate & Compartmentalization

Remember, accessibility and visibility are key components to an organized closet. How often you need to access anything will determine the placement. Consider for a moment what your prime real estate is. What is the easiest part of the closet to get to and reach? What will take the least amount of time to grab what you need and go? That is your prime real estate.  When you are determining where to place your everyday clothes, it makes the most sense to put them in your prime real estate area.

Dividing your closet into compartments creates additional clarity so you can find what you are looking for easily. The brackets that hold the rod create a natural divider and it’s helpful if you can get your clothes to fit within the confines, (but it doesn’t always work out that way). You can create visual cues to help define one section from the next, like hanging your scarves, belts or ties in between sections. Because those things look different, they create a visual gap between blocks of clothes.

The section on closet organizing supplies gives you some good examples of how to organize your closet. As do the before and after photos provided at the end.

 Wait! …. be sure to create a Hanger Zone [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/hanger-zone-e1522792704473.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/hanger-zone.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

As you work your way through your closet, you’ll pull out those empty hangers and gather them in one section. When working with clients, I always set up a hanger zone – an area to store empty hangers. A slice of the closet that’s easily accessible and just on the fringe of Prime Real Estate. For instance, in my closet my Hanger Zone is above a dresser we keep inside the closet. Your zone might be with your jeans… there is no wrong spot. Read my blog on Why your closet needs a hanger zone.

Reflective Questions

I love asking you questions to prompt the REAL answers. These are no-nonsense practical questions that just make you think. Which is one of the hardest things to do. I’m not knocking ya, I have others around me to walk me through my own problem areas in life (it’s just not about organizing, haha.) These are the legit, to the bone questions that when answered tell you what to do with that “thing”.

• These questions can be asked about clothing, shoes, purses, belts, etc.
• When was the last time you wore it? Or used it?
• How does it make you feel (keep only what you love!)
• Is there guilt associated with it? ‘Is it in wearable / useable condition?
• Does it need repairs? If it does how much will it cost? When  will you take it to be fixed? (Give yourself a short deadline 1-2 weeks).)
• How many of the same items do you already own? Which one(s) are your favorites and which ones can go away?

Seriously, as I type these out I think, “These are too basic to share; surely they must have thought of this already.” But when I walk my clients through these questions, it’s like a lightbulb goes on and they suddenly become awar of their thought patterns. That’s when change happens! You can’t change something  you are not aware of.

 

Donating

To save you time after you are done organizing, before you begin read the following advice regarding donations.

  1. As a rule of thumb if you don’t think an article of clothing is worth reselling at a garage sale, it should be thrown away. No one is going to want to buy it and most donation centers will just throw it away.
  2. Be sure anything you donate is clean. Donation centers don’t wash clothing before it’s put it out for sale, and if it is visibly dirty they will just throw it away.

The exceptions

    1. the Salvation Army:  Anything that can be sold will be sent to their thrift stores. Clothes that aren’t garage sale worthy will be considered cloth and sold in large “lots” to other countries.  Think of it as cloth recycling and can include sheets, blankets, etc. It all still needs to be washed, because yuk! Don’t make other people touch your dirty clothes.
    2. H&M Stores: They have a clothing recycling program similar to the Salvation Army. Nothing will be re-sold, only recycled, so if you want your clothes to get back into circulation, better take it to a charity. In return they will give you a coupon that never expires to you can use in their store.

Please take the time to sort your clothes into bags that can be resold and bags that are cloth.

 

Organizing Supplies

Just like in the kitchen, there are organizing supplies that will help you in the closet. The following are my tried-and-true supplies I like to bring into closets when organizing them.

Shoes

Let’s talk shoes! I have been too many homes that have attempted to use an over-the-door shoe organizer. Sometimes those will work, but most of the time I don’t like them. What I do like instead are these shoe organizers:

Shoe cubbies
Shoe cubbies work great for women’s shoes. Each cubby holds one pair when you position them heel-to-toe. 2 1/2″ heels will fit, 3″ heels will be snug.

Available from the Home Depot or Target they are made of laminate mdf. The quality is comparable of the two, however the number of shoes you can fit will depend on which one you buy.

Room essentials from Target at $30 has 15 cubbies whereas ClosetMaid from Home Depot at $50 has 25 cubbies. Both can be stacked or turned sideways.

What I like about cubbies is they use space efficiently and can be combined with shoe shelves. Not every person is a good candidate for shoe cubbies though. Shoe cubbies require patience in order to position the shoes so they fit. You can’t just shove them in, unless they are flip-flops or sandals. You must position them to get two shoes to fit in one slot. If you have a small closet and need to fit a lot of shoes so they are easy to access, and don’t want them all piled up, and shoe cubby is an excellent solution.

Shoe Shelves[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/shoe-shelf-e1481494133469.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ] [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/organized-shoe-closet-e1512001089183.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]
If you are not a good candidate for the shoe cubby, then you’ll want to consider shoe shelves.

Shoe Shelves come in 24″ and 31″ in width, they stack on top of one another and can be combined with the 24″ shoe cubby if needed. You can comfortably fit 3 pair of women’s shoes size 7 on a 24″ shelf. A size 8 will work but wider shoes will be a little tight.  A 31″ shelf typically will allow for 4 pair of women’s shoes, or 3 pair of men’s shoes.
I like that you can toss a pair of shoes in easily, and that it’s easy to see what shoes you have.

Hanging Shoe Bag [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/shoe-bag-e1512001252521.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]
Typically sold with 10 slots, a hanging shoe bag attaches to the clothing rod with velcro. You can easily fit at least 10 pairs of shoes. When storing multiple pairs of flip flops, sandals, or flats in one slot, store them soul to soul so as to not get the top of the shoes dirty. If you wear heels over 3″, this is an excellent solution because the sides are flexible. Angle shoes and position them heel to toe.

The bag is slender, measuring about 5″.

Belts

The Belt Loop[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Belt-Loop-e1512000047247.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]
If you have a lot of belts and limited space, this giant loop is my favorite. It is a little tricky to use, but once you get the hang of it, it’s easy.  I use it myself. Hooks on the wall would be my first choice, but if you have multiple belts and no wall space to hang them, this is a very efficient way of storing belts. See my video for how to use it.

Hanging Belt Hooks[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Horizontal-Belt-Rack.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]
If you don’t have space on your wall to hang hooks, and the loop is too challenging, this is a good option. It’s functions like a wall hook but hangs on the bar. Each hook holds 2-3 belts.

To make belts easily accessible, I recommend storing them either at the end of the rod or in between to categories, like between the pants and sweaters, or between dresses and coats.

Scarves [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/scarf-organizer-sm.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

Scarf hanger if you like to wear scarves as an accessory, you probably have a lot of scars. A good way to hang scarves that are thin is by using this Thai holder. If you have bulky scarves a better system is to use this hanger with loops. Slip your scarf through the hole, or folded in half then slept through the whole. The Hanger will get stick and the puppy but that’s okay. Their scarves that’s how they are. An alternate method of storing scarves would be the hanging shoe bag.
You can easily store gloves scarves and hats and a hanging shoe bag.

Purses

Have you seen this nifty little gizmo? I’m not one for gadgets, but this is an exception. [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/totehanger-e1511904333498.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

If you have enough hanging space, this hook is an awesome way to hang your purses and tote bags. Prior to finding this doo-dad I just twisted wire hangers into the shape I wanted to achieve the same result.

If you have a hanging bar that is waaaaay up there, storing purses and totes are a good use of that space AS LONG AS you have the ability to reach them. Either a step stool that is permanently stored in the closet or an extended hook.

Sun Glasses [image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Our-Accessory-Box-sm.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

If you like to buy designer sunglasses and change them from time to time, you might have them stored in your closet. I have had many clients who do. It’s best to put them in some sort of container to help keep them from getting scratched up and protected. If you are going to set them out and have a decorative box, you can use that as long as you won’t forget they are in there. That’s the downfall of containers that aren’t clear, but if you switch them often enough, you will more likely remember where they are stored. Otherwise you can use a clear container (xs or s).

If you have space in a drawer, you will still want to put them in something. Most often when working with clients I will go ahead and use a xs or s clear box if they don’t have something I can re-purpose, but my advice to you is to use something you already have. Excellent contenders are shoe boxes, especially skinny ones that flats come in. Kids shoe boxes are great too. It doesn’t matter much what they look like because you aren’t going to see them, however, if looks bother you you can always wrap it in a solid gift wrap or contact paper – the key is to make it solid and neutral. Patterns will make things more difficult to see. Insert the shoe box int o the drawer experimenting with direction, but I usually will position them “up and down” rather than “left to right”. Usually more fit that way and you can reach in to the back of the drawer. But experiment with what works best for you.

Jewelry

If you like to store your jewelry in the closet, do you have a reliable method to keep things from tangling? There are MANY organizing products there’s bound to be one that meets your needs. Personally, I store my jewelry in a simple jewelry box with small compartments. I works well for me because I have small earrings. Next to it is a small box that holds any necklaces I might wear, and I like the box so that’s a bonus.

In my closet I have a secondary jewelry box that was my mother’s and holds fancier jewelry that I do not often wear but like to keep. It sits on top of an extra dresser we keep in the closet for seasonal things.

[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/necklace-trees-e1523202142444.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/necklace-trees-e1523202142444.jpg” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

If you have a lot of jewelry, you are going to need something larger. What you choose and will like will greatly depend on your current habits and what would be easier to interact with. For instance, if you like to wear necklaces and are already using a necklace tree, then it’s not a stretch for you to hang hooks on the wall, or purchase an additional necklace tree.

If you aren’t used to interacting with necklaces in this way, you might purchase something to lay your necklaces in that will keep them untangled. My habit has been this my whole life and I stick with this because my hands know what to do. I don’t want to fumble with things on the wall or it the “air”, I like to work with gravity in this way – but that’s ME.

Bracelets

The same would be true for bracelets and would also depend on how they were made. Rigid bracelets don’t tangle and work well on a peg-type display, whereas link-type bracelets are like mini- necklaces and are prone to tangling. Individual hooks might be better for those, or coiled up in individual compartments of a jewelry box.

If you wanted to create your own jewelry organizers you could in the same way you’d create drawer organizers, I’d just include a piece of felt or felted paper in the bottom to help keep items from sliding around so much. I’ll give you the same advice here as up above, and that is to keep the palette neutral. The more neutral and mono-chromatic it is, the easier it will be to see what you have.

Avoid These[image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/closet-rod-jewelry-holder.png” align=”left” border=”image_border” link=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/closet-rod-jewelry-holder.png” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

I hate to put down organizing products because I can appreciate the thought that goes into so many of them, however in my line of work, some things just do not work for the customers I help. These type of jewelry organizers would be one of them. Nearly every client I have helped who had one of these was unable to incorporate it into a routine that worked and was sustainable. I think there are many factors as to why which I won’t go into, and they don’t matter anyway! In short, avoid these.

If you have one and it is working, give yourself a pat on the back! If you have one and it isn’t working, don’t feel bad – they are just not everyone’s solution!

Closet Dressers

Does your closet have a built-in dresser? You are so lucky![image src=”https://katyhomeorganizer.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/dresser-in-closet.jpg” align=”right” border=”image_border” link=”” alt=”” title=”” lightbox=”false” ]

In my city in east Texas we have so much new construction and many of the larger nicer homes have closet with built in dressers. I don’t have a dresser built in to my closet, but I have an extra dresser that we decided to use in our closet for bathing suits, winter hats and gloves, and other misc items, and in our main bedroom we each have a regular dresser where we store the usual socks, underwear, pajamas, t-shirts and shorts.

If you have a room for an additional dresser in your closet, they are quite useful.

Now What?

 

Your next actions:

Be sure to take a moment and mentally prepare yourself.
Set the intention that you are going to kick some major closet ass today!
Intentions are HUGE for getting results. Approaching with a half-hearted attitude will bring you half results.
Follow advice given in “The Process” on how to proceed systematically!
Where to begin?
If your closets has a lot of trash, start there. It’ll be much easier to sort and purge your clothes once the trash is out (that is most likely in the form of empty shopping bags, dry cleaning bags, and random papers).
After that, or if trash isn’t your issue, just start at one end of the closet and work your way around.
You’ve got this! You can do it!!

If you have any questions, comments or thoughts, reach out on Facebook or join us on our bi-weekly ZOOM video conference calls! For access join the Clutter to Clarity Club here!

Until next time…

 

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