Spring is here! That means it’s time to put away all of those bulky coats, sweaters, hats, scarves, and boots. Winter wear and gear take up so much more space. So, spring clean and organize your closets and let them breathe again!
The first step in organizing any space is to declutter. As you put away your winter gear, consider what you wore and what you didn’t. If you didn’t wear it all season, are you really going to store it all summer only to not wear it again next year? Maybe your style has changed or you have similar items that you like better. Take the time to do a quick review before each item earns a valuable place in your off-season storage area.
Now that you’ve put all of your winter stuff away, it’s time to pull out your spring and summer clothes. As you are putting them away, go through them and make sure you want to keep everything there. Donate or consign anything that doesn’t fit, or items that you don’t want anymore. Make a plan for the space. Do you need hanging space? Could you use shelving or storage for small items? Do you need a place for shoes? Assess the space and get the supplies you need to organize it before you start putting things away. Be sure to measure the space as well to ensure you get the right size solutions.
Depending on the size of your closet, you can really get creative with all of the containers and options out there. Let’s start with the basics. Here are five of the most functional (and versatile) organizing solutions for your closets.
Freestanding drawer systems make great storage solutions for loose items, such as light scarves, bathing suits, and hats. If you have a large enough closet, have a drawer for each member of the family. If not, you can use drawer organizers or dividers to give everyone their own space. If you don’t want to go out and buy something new, consider repurposing and old dresser. Children’s dressers work great in these typically smaller spaces. You can also set up a dresser or drawer system outside of the closet, in a hallway, or entryway where extra storage is needed.
If you prefer open spaces to closed drawers, cubbies are a great option. They come in a variety of sizes, so chances are you can find some that will fit your space and your stuff. Put them on the floor, or up on a shelf to get more out of the vertical space in your closet. As with the drawers, try to assign one or more per family member. You can use baskets or bins within the cubby to corral loose items. Be sure to label them for easier identification.
I have a motto: “A hook for the back of every door”. Hooks are a great solution for hanging bags, purses, umbrellas, backpacks, jackets, dog leashes; really just about everything! Fill the back of your closet door with hooks (unless you have a hanging organizer there – see below). You might also have room to hang hooks on a wall in the closet. If you have an odd-shaped closet, hooks can be the perfect solution for otherwise dead space. Even if you only have a few inches of wall space, a hook will fit there.
4) Hanging Organizers
Hanging organizers are great for small items such as accessories. Pocket organizers are perfect for child-size items. You can also use an over-the door shelving unit or utility rack for storage of larger items, such as bags. Hang one over the door, or mount one on a wall. If you need a little more space, hang one on the front of the door, or on a wall next to the closet.
5) Shoe Racks
Line them along the floor, stack them, or put them up on a shelf. Shoe racks or shoe cubbies will give you a lot more storage space than you would have if you just lined your shoes up on the floor. To keep mud and dirt at bay, set up a boot tray or shelf liner underneath the shoe racks.
If you are tight on closet space, then think outside the closet. Look at other areas where you can create storage solutions. Hang hooks along a wall by the door for coats and bags and stack shoe racks underneath. Place a dresser or cubbies in your entryway for accessories. Buy a storage bench with baskets underneath. You can also make the most of a dead-end hallway by creating storage space there.
With these solutions and a little organizing work, you’ll be able to spring clean your closets, so you easily grab your essentials and enjoy the season!
Sarah Buckwalter is a Certified Professional Organizer® with over 18 years of experience running an award-winning organizing business, Organizing Boston, the largest professional organizing business in New England.
Nationally recognized as an organizing industry expert, Sarah shares her expertise through speaking, writing and on television. She is a regular guest blogger for nationwide companies and has appeared several times on the hit series, “Hoarding: Buried Alive” on TLC.
With a desire to share her experience, Sarah developed Organizing U. Organizing U is an online training platform focused on business development, to help Professional Organizers and small business owners achieve their dreams of success.