Does it take more than a minute to locate a favorite outfit in your closet? Do your freshly laundered or dry cleaned clothes come off the hanger in need of pressing?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you could save time and rejuvenate your wardrobe by organizing your closet and the contents inside.
Here's how to declutter your closet in 5 easy steps.
To declutter your closet, start by removing all the clothes and accessories inside and separating by type: shirts, pants, suits, dresses, coats, shoes, belts, and handbags. Set aside the things you don't wear anymore, and consider their future. Here are a few possibilities for dealing with these items:
Among the remaining garments, you'll probably find numerous wrinkled but wearable items that you haven't slipped on recently because you couldn't find them. Make a mental note to place these "aha!" items in plain view.
Now is a good time to evaluate your past closet storage methods and consider how you can be more efficient.
Have you spent far too much time searching for the right shirt to go with a favorite suit? Consider hanging the two pieces side by side.
Are you a separates mix-and-matcher? Then create a color organized closet (so you can quickly scan for the day's color scheme) by type of garment, placing blazers next to shirts and pants beside skirts.
Decide whether it would be easier for you to view your clothes by type (work clothes and weekend wear), outfit, color, or length, and then arrange your clothes accordingly.
You can double your space by adding a second rod below shorter items such as shirts and folded-over trousers. Then hang more of the same there.
Alternatively, you might consider adding shelves for your T-shirts, sweaters, and shoes beneath hanging items.
After all, when your clothing is buried inside dresser drawers, it's out of sight and less likely to be worn. What's more, hanging a knitted or lightweight garment on a hanger can distort the shape of the fabric, detracting from its appearance and requiring more frequent - and more time-consuming - pressing.
What about those odds and ends that can clutter drawers and dresser tops? Hang a mesh laundry bag in your closet to keep socks, stockings, handkerchiefs, and other small items easy to find. Try looping belts over a hanger next to your pants, or hang them on hooks inside the door. You can store hats or bags this way as well.
If you still have more stuff than room after organizing your closet, it's time to bring in reinforcements.
There are plenty of inexpensive organizing tools that can help you maximize your wardrobe space. Back-of-the-door shoe bags keep shoes off the floor and in plain sight.
Also, there are plenty of racks for scarves, belts, hats, and other accessories that can save space in your closet.
If the basic design of your closet simply isn't functional for your wardrobe or leaves you short a hanging rod or three, you have several simple options: You can buy a new or antique freestanding armoire or wardrobe.
You can purchase a prefabricated closet kit (available at stores that specialize in home organization online) and retool the space yourself. Or, you can hire a closet designer to create a system tailored for you space and wardrobe.