That new suit, those designer heels, that lovely fur coat: if your closet is a wreck, you might as well not even have these nice things. A clean, well-organized closet is the only way to maximize all of your clothing purchases and can give you a refined sense of self. If you’re like the majority of us, then de-cluttering your wardrobe can seem like an insurmountable task. But fear not, for we bring you tidings of great joy! Closet Organization 101 is in session, so pull up a chair.

First Things First

The first thing, and arguably the hardest, is to get rid of all of your old clothes. We know, that one tank top you got in South Padre is your favorite “at-home” shirt, but trust us: it’s for your own good. Tossing or donating old clothes is the key because most of these old clothes just take up space. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t worn it in over two years, it’s time to part ways. If it is two sizes too small, or two sizes too big, then get rid of it and buy some new threads. When cleaning out your old threads, just pretend that you are at a store and ask yourself; “Would I buy this again?” The only things you should keep would be items contain overwhelming sentimental value; such as a high school letterman or your wedding dress.

Storage Solutions

If you’re interesed in hiring professional help, it may be more affordable thn you think. A custom closet, is after all, a luxury that many of us can afford. Using simple storage units found at big box stores such as Walmart, Target, Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc., can be a great cost-effective way to organize. Slimline Hangars are another great way to organize because your clothes won’t fall off, but they give you twice the space of wooden and plastic hangars.

How to Start Organizing

Tops/T-Shirts/Suits

If you have the space to hang everything, then hang everything! If not, you should priotitize. Hang the suits and women’s tops with shoulder straps first. T-Shirts can be folded and stuck in drawers if need be. Suits cannot, and tops with thin straps will wrinkle easily.

Sweaters/Pullover Jackets

Fold your heavy sweaters so they don’t lose shape on the hanger. Wooden cedar hangers are not just an urban legend, it really does help to keep moths from getting into your cashmere or wool sweaters. Cedar also helps to repel insects and can make a great insect repellent around the home! Replace your cedar every six months. what you don’t use, just throw it out back and it will decompose naturally! A good tip is to organize sweaters by weight and color, or use dividers or cubbies. Investing in a folding board will help you get that perfect, department store-fold everytime.

Jeans

Organizing your jeans can be more of a personal choice. There are a number of ways to organize them, such as by cut, brand, color, style, size, or none of the above. The most common way would be by color. You might even consider taking them out of the closet all together and fold them into drawers. Also, hanging them upside-down by the hems is another great way, especially it you’re organizing them by dark to light denim.

Pants/Skirts/Shorts

Pants, skirts, and shorts can be a little tricky. Hang them up using clips and fold in the sides so that the outside of the garment isn’t marked by the clips. This will also give everything a uniformed look while it’s on the hanger and will also give it a cleaner side profile in your closet.

Dresses

For dresses, hanging them by color is way more efficient than by length, however, sorting them by length could also work. Another great way is to organize them from strapless to long-sleeve, by season, or by day/night. Never leave your dresses, or any other clothes for that matter, in the dry cleaning or plastic garment bags. The chemicals used from dry cleaning attack the fibers of your clothing and can actually damage them over long periods of time.

Bags/Scarves/Hats

Ladies, take those purses out of their dust bags because it’s hard to change up your bags if you can’t see them! 9 times out of 10, they will not get damaged out of their dust bags in your closet. Hang them up or line them up in a display and enjoy it! Scarves can be folded in piles by color or by material. It makes it easier to pull on out without ruining the organization of the rest. As far as hats go, try a hat rack! Or you could also invenst in some good old fashioned hat boxes!  To make things more fun and crafty, take photos of your hats and glue them to the outside of their respective boxes!

Shoes

The shoes are arguably the biggest part of your wardrobe that needs to undergo some type of organization. We’re willing to guess it looks like a bomb went off in there. If you have a nice shoe cubbie, you can stash your shoes to go right shoe toe out and left shoe heel out so planning your outfits will go a lot easier. It’s always a great idea to organize them by style and color. Hiding your tennis shoes and flip-flops in the least seen spaces can ensure that you always go for style before comfort.

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