Living with a small closet can be a frustrating experience. Picture the classic cartoon moment of opening the closet door and everything spilling out. Or worse yet, not even being able to close the closet door because it's too full! Even the most organized of us can find it difficult to keep an uncluttered closet. Sometimes all it takes is a little organization to make a closet work.
1. Cycle out your clothing. If you're closet is small and you have extra storage space elsewhere, move your off-season clothes out of your everyday closet. If you're blessed with a large closet, move your off-season fashions to the back.
2. Be willing to reconfigure. Closets are not one size fits all. When we moved into our condo the closet had just one shelf and one clothes hanging rack. I knew from the day we moved in that that configuration would never work for two of us and yet it took me almost two years to do anything about it. When I did finally reconfigure the closet, I was delighted and amazed by how much more fit in the closet than before.
3. Have a place for everything and put everything back in its place. The odds of keeping your closet clean and organized are much better if you know where everything belongs.
4. Leave some extra space. One mistake I always make when organizing my closet is not leaving room for new stuff. Try to leave an empty space on a shelf — or even better, leave an entire shelf empty! — for new purchases.
5. Implement a temporary zone. Having hooks inside the closet will give you a temporary space to stash things. But hooks are only handy if they're not always full of stuff. I use the hooks in my closet as a temporary stop before the items goes back to where it blongs. When I come in at the end of the day I'll hang my sweater or jacket on the hook but then later I'll hang those items where they really belong and free up that hook for the next time I need it.
6. Keep the hamper nearby. If there's enough room, keep a hamper in your closet (or at least nearby). Having a hamper in or near the closet will decrease the chances that your closet floor will end up covered with a pile of dirty clothes.
7. Don't over stuff the closet! Sure, hanging clothes can be so much easier than folding them but not if you have to squeeze those hangers into an already stuffed closet. Make room by moving some clothes into a dresser. It may mean a little extra ironing but it's worth it for an uncluttered closet.
Image: Jason Loper