Confession time. When’s the last time you were actually able to walk into your bedroom’s walk-in closet? Do you still hang things up in there, or is it more like you open the door, throw something in, and slam the door shut before the mountain of accumulated stuff can spill out like an avalanche of clothes and shoes? Or maybe your bedroom closet isn’t a walk-in. Even if your closet space is small and cramped, it doesn’t have to be messy.
With a few organizational tools and some ingenuity, your closet can go from disaster to mastering in no time.
Clean It Out
The first step in getting your bedroom closet organized is to go through everything in there and decide what stays and what goes. You may have to be brutally honest with yourself about a few things. Are you really ever going to fit into those jeans again? And even if you do, didn’t the acid-washed look go out in the late ’80s? And your grandma may have given you that appliquéd Christmas sweater covered with glitter, but really—it’s time to let it go.
Once you’ve sorted through all your clothes, shoes, and accessories, the real organization can begin.
Rethink Your Hangers
What the heck does it matter what kind of hangers you’re using in your closet? Well, depending on how much you’re left with after your sorting session, you may still have quite a bit of clothing to hang up. Thicker, heavier hangers take up more space on the rod, while slimmer hangers will allow you to hang more items without having to squeeze everything together in a wrinkle-inducing clump.
You may want to keep a few sturdy hangers (consider wood or cedar) for heavy things like overcoats, and a couple of padded hangers for formal wear or lightweight robes. But for the rest of your clothes, slender hangers should work just fine. Consider hangers that are coated with a fleecy, non-slip material. Not only do they take up much less room, but they’ll also keep even your most diaphanous items from falling to the floor.
By the way, moving those heavy coats to the coat closet (or to a spare bedroom closet) will free up even more space for your everyday clothes.
Shape Up Your Shoes
If you have enough space in your bedroom closet, you can simply line up your shoes neatly along the walls. You may be able to get away with a couple of rows, but any more than that, and you’ll probably be tripping over shoes every time you walk in.
Rather than lining up rows outward from the walls, you could create two or more vertical rows with shoe organizers. Most shoe organizers are stackable, so a low rack of maybe two rows would fit underneath all your clothes. If you have a small column of wall space available, you could stack several organizers from floor to ceiling.
But maybe you’d rather not take up any floor space with row after row of shoe racks. If you have a little extra closet rod space, consider using hanging shoe organizers. They attach to the rod, usually with hook and loop fasteners, or with snaps, so they’re easy to put up, take down, and move around as you try to find the best layout for everything in your bedroom closet.
Keep Your Accessories Accessible
Most closets consist of nothing more than a rod, a shelf above it, and a whole lot of empty space. If you’re not lucky enough to have a custom shelving system installed, you can make use of that open space by filling it with decorative storage boxes.
They come in a variety of colors and patterns so you can find the ones that fit your style. They also come in all shapes and sizes so you can find the ones that fit your accessories. Use them to store hats, gloves, scarves, wraps, and even sunglasses. The larger boxes are also great for sweaters as putting them on hangers can stretch them out. You can keep them on that top shelf, on the floor (if all that space isn’t already taken up by shoes), or any other shelves you may have in your closet.
Closet storage boxes are also perfect for specialty seasonal clothing like ski suits, swimsuits, or anything else you don’t wear very often. Except for those acid-washed jeans. Seriously. Those have to go.
It’s All About Maintenance
Now that your close is cleared out and organized, the trick is keeping it that way. Before things get out of hand again, make a point of doing a quick inventory on a monthly or quarterly basis. Give or throw away the things that are unwearable for whatever reason, and make sure the hangers, shoe racks, and storage boxes you’ve put into use are still in good shape, replacing anything that’s broken or torn.
One method of keeping your bedroom closet neat and tidy is, for every new article of clothing you buy, you give one away. If that seems too daunting, just try to keep up with the clutter on a regular basis and keep it from taking over.
The less time you have to spend cleaning and organizing your bedroom closet, the more time you have for more fun activities—like shopping to fill all that empty closet space you just created. Have fun!
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