Bedroom closets are notoriously difficult to keep under control. This is because the bedroom closet is in constant use, with items coming in and out frequently. Without a good system in place, bedroom closet organization can quickly fall by the wayside.
It becomes even more difficult when you consider that most of us have a bunch of items that we never wear clogging up our closets. Whether these items were received as gifts, bought on sale somewhere, or just don't fit anymore, this stuff takes up valuable closet space that could be better used for items that we actually use.
The result of this log-jam of stuff is one great big cluttered mess! Staying on top of bedroom closet organization requires a functional closet organizer system that will provide you with the tools you need to make it easy to organize and store your clothes.
Here's how to get started on your way to a clutter-free, well-organized closet.
Clean Up Your Room
If your bedroom is a mess, you'll have to bit the bullet and overhaul the entire room. It's difficult to keep a closet organized if you can't walk through the rest of your room! At the very least, put like items together and get clutter out of the way. This way you won't be tempted to just toss the mess in the closet. It doesn't hurt to clear out cobwebs, dust, and vacuum while you're at it.
Get Rid of What Doesn't Fit
Now that you're ready to tackle the closet, start by getting rid of clothing that doesn't fit. Countless people spend wasted space and mental energy hanging on to too-small clothes for that 'someday' when they will finally fit. Do yourself a favor - get rid of these items! If you need the money, you can even earn a little extra cash by selling items on eBay, at a consignment shop, or on Craigslist. In order to avoid the temptation to hang on to this stuff, it's sometimes better to just give things away - quickly. Give stuff to friends, donate to your local thrift shop, or post items for free on Craigslist. As they say, one man's trash is another man's treasure.
Put Away Out-of-Season Clothes
There's no use in having a bunch of heavy winter clothes taking up space in your closet in the middle of summer (or vice versa). Store your out-of-season items under the bed, in plastic storage bins, or in garment bags. Make sure to protect wool items from pests by filling old trouser socks and nylons with cedar chips. A great way to save money on cedar chips is to buy inexpensive cedar pet bedding at your local pet supply store. Be sure to replace the cedar chips every month or so.
Complete the Purge
Finally, get rid of anything you haven't worn in the past year. If you haven't worn it in more than one season, chances are you never will. Keep the clutter from piling up again by choosing fewer, better quality items - resist the temptation to buy something just because it's on sale. If it hangs in your closet without ever being worn, it means wasted money and wasted space. Also, whenever you buy (or acquire) something new, get rid of something else.
Get rid of anything that doesn't make you look and feel your best. Tight, uncomfortable, frumpy, or ill-fitting clothing must go. Also, gather up items that need minor mending, like a hem or a missing button, and plan to get these repairs made within a week.
Items You Can't Bear to Part With?
After you've purged as much as possible, try this tip for any items that you just can't stand to get rid of. Put the items back in your closet on a hanger facing the opposite direction from the rest of your clothes. As you wear these items, turn the hangers around to match the rest of your clothes when you put them back in your closet. After six months to a year, you'll be able to tell by the backwards-facing hangers what hasn't been worn. Get rid of anything that's been sitting there all year without being worn.
Customize Your Bedroom Closet
Now it's time to take stock of your closet storage space. The typical (and least efficient) design of a bedroom closet is one clothes rod with a shelf above it. To customize your closet space, take inventory of your wardrobe. Do you have lots of shirts? Then double closet rods can maximize efficient us of closet space. Do you have more shoes than anything else? Then a shoe organizer might help you beat the clutter. You can also use inexpensive racks and shelving systems to keep folded clothes neatly organized.
For really efficient use of your closet space, I recommend the elfa® bedroom closet organization systems available from the Container Store. If you contact the Container Store and provide your closet measurements and answer a few questions about your storage needs, they'll design a custom closet organizer tailored just for you. I faced the challenge of squeezing clothing and toys for three children in a single closet. I contacted the Container Store for a customized bedroom closet organizer and I couldn't be happier with the result.
Setting Up Your Organizational System
Now that you've whittled down your wardrobe to only the items you love and actually use, and now that you've customized your closet organizer to match your needs, you're ready to put your organization system into place.
For shoe storage, clear plastic shoe boxes that can be labeled are a good investment. Shoes can be categorized by season and purpose. To simplify shoe storage, store in-season and frequently worn pairs within easy reach; the rest can be put away for the season, or stacked on the infrequently used top shelf of the closet.
Hang similar items together and categorize them by color. This will simplify your morning routine. For example, hang shirts together (don't intersperse them with skirts and trousers), and organize them by color.
Buy tie hangers for ties, belts, scarves, and similar items. As with your general wardrobe, purge these from time to time, and get rid of items that are worn out, stained, or that you just don't use.
Conserve space for hanging clothes by using the same type of hangers for everything - uniformity and systematization saves space. Hang shirts and jackets facing the same way so that they 'nest' against each other. Use clear plastic skirt hangers for slacks and trousers.
If you have an unused bedroom in your home, you can turn it into a walk in closet by installing shelving and closet rods around the perimeter of the room. You can also use rolling carts and hanging rods if you want to avoid installing hardware. To maximize the utility of your new dressing room, include a comfortable sitting chair for putting on your shoes and a full-length mirror to give yourself a quick appraisal before heading out the door.
You can also save money and limit clutter by using what's available around the house to help organize your closet inexpensively. Unused bookshelves, plastic bins, and carts are all good options for stacking, folding, and storing clothes. The only limit is your creativity and imagination.
These bedroom closet organization tips have worked wonders for making my life saner, more organized, and easier to manage. If you take the time to overhaul your closet, they're sure to do the same for you!
Samantha Buck is a Professional Organizer and Editor of http://www.LifeOrganizeIt.com/bedroom-closet-organization.html, where you can find solutions to not only organize your closet space, but life's organizing dilemmas too. Subscribe to the free organizing magazine "Organize It Mom!" at http://www.lifeorganizeit.com/free-e-zine.html for super easy tips and techniques to get yourself organized. Not just for moms, this free organizing magazine will help anyone get organized!