Whether it's your clothes closet, the bathroom closet or the space off your entryway, you've probably had trouble keeping it tidy. Maybe it's just messy by design. Closets store things you typically want out of sight, so you spend very little time in them other than when you hide presents in the corner.
But it doesn't have to be that way. You've wondered how to organize your closet for too long, and these five tips will give you a great start.
Take everything out of the closet. Yes, it's a pain to do, but it allows you to really see how much space you have. Vacuum the floor and, if it's hardwood, clean it with a nontoxic solution before wiping it dry along with any counters, shelves and drawers you may have inside. Let the closet air out while you sort your stuff. Lay everything out where you can see it and start decluttering.
Donate or throw away things you no longer use, unless of course they have special meaning to you. You probably have clothes you haven't worn in years, old towels better suited for the rag pile and miscellaneous items you put in the closet when they didn't have a home. Now, the closet should have a purpose. If it's a linen closet, store sheets, towels and laundry supplies. Don't use it as overflow from another room; this puts you right back where you started.
Containers, shelves, shoe racks, shelf dividers and hooks are key when deciding how to organize your closet. Most storage systems like the ones recommended by Better Homes and Gardens confirm that drawers are crucial to making a place for everything in the closet. Nonetheless, keep things visible and within reach, and make better use of areas that are sometimes too small or too large for the original setup.
Learn to fold and store things properly, as well. Using techniques for everything from towels, to fitted sheets to t-shirts will help make efficient use of space while allowing you keep everything an arm's distance away. Good Housekeeping suggests Marie Kondo's method of folding to get you started.
Placement of items is key to maintaining organization. Put the most used items in the center, less-used items on the sides and bottom and your least-used belongings higher up. If you can reach the things you use the most, you won't have to take out anything else to find the item you always need. Something used rarely or only seasonally can then go in the closet's top shelf, allowing it to stay out of the way but still have a designated place.
No matter what organizational systems you use, keep your closet clean with these reminders to prevent it from reverting back to its original clutter.
This article was brought to you by Colgate-Palmolive Company, the makers of Murphy® Oil Soap. The views and opinions expressed by the author do not reflect the position of the Colgate-Palmolive Company.