When hanging clothing in the closet, many people simply place items on hangers and throw them haphazardly onto the closet rod. They do this because organizing their hanging clothes seems like a task that will take too long. What they don’t realize is that organizing hanging garments need only take minutes to perhaps an hour, and that it won’t take long for you to see returns on that effort in the form of time saved desperately hunting for that shirt or pair of pants you wanted to wear on a given day.
The point of a system is to simplify your life by saving you time and making it easy to find what you’re looking for. If you’re not sure how best to find a good system, we have three of the most popular ideas for you as suggested by professional organizers. Organize clothing:
1) By item type. Split up your rod into sections or “zones.” (You don’t literally have to separate the sections if you don’t want to, but some people find it helpful to do so. One easy way to do this is to put a colored hanger or piece of duct tape between each section.) Put like garments in their own sections. You may have one section for shirts, one for pants, one for skirts, one for suits, etc. You can break it down even further if you want (like having one section for short-sleeved shirts and one section for long-sleeved shirts).
2) By season. Hang Autumn clothes in one section, Spring in another, and so on. You can have a fifth section for clothing that transcends all seasons, like the short-sleeved shirt that you wear by itself in the spring and summer and under a heavy blazer in the Fall and Winter.
3) By color. This is a great system for people who are highly-visual and color-conscious when it comes to their wardrobes. Each color goes into its own section. If you like, you can break it down further by putting like garments together within their corresponding sections. For instance, your “blue” section could be divided into pants, shirts, jackets, etc. in blue, and so on.
There’s no “right” or “wrong” way. The point is to find a system that makes sense and works with your lifestyle so that you aren’t wasting time (especially those elusive and fleeting early morning hours) trying to find that one blouse or your favorite pair of pants.
Here are a few more closet organization tips that are helpful no matter what system you use:
* Use the same type of hangers for everything in your closet. This may sound trivial, but it can be very frustrating to have three or four (or more) different kinds of hangers in one’s closet. The problem is that different hangers mean your clothing is hanging at different heights, making it harder to condense the clothing in your closet to maximize space. Additionally, some types of hangers are not made for certain rods. If the crook is too big, hangers (and clothes) may fall to the floor. If the crook is too small, you may end up having to jam the hanger onto the rod to get it to fit.
* Avoid wire hangers. You probably have tons of them; most people do. Wire hangers, like the ones that the drycleaner sends your clothes home with, are abundant because they are cheap. However, they aren’t the greatest when it comes to everyday performance. They are too flimsy for heavier garments and often end up on the floor. They also tend to make the shape of your clothes look weird, leaving little points and creases in your clothing (especially conspicuous places like the shoulders of your shirts). Wire hangers (even coated ones) rust and may leave permanent stains on your garments. Opt instead for wood, durable plastic or cloth padded hangers. You can even find “low profile” hangers in a variety of sturdy materials than not only treat your clothes more gently, but also help to maximize the space in your closet and on your rod.
* Employ a two-tiered rod system. We’ve never, ever heard a home owner say, “I have more than enough room in my closet to hang my clothes.” Almost everyone could use more hanging space, but few have the luxury of making a bigger closet. However, with some clever manipulating and efficient hanging techniques, you can create a two-tiered rod system that essentially doubles the space that you have to hang clothing.
* Perform regular surgery on the clothes in your closet. In other words, remove items that you no longer wear. If you haven’t worn it in a long time, but you’re not sure you want to get rid of it entirely, create a section or zone in your closet for those “maybe” items. If it hangs there untouched for months, it’s probably safe to get rid of it. Regularly paring back and removing clothes you don’t wear will keep your system of organization running smoothly and save you loads of frustration as well as some of those precious morning minutes.
Still need closet help? Tailored Living has solutions for every closet problem. We can help you come up with a customized closet system that is affordable and works with your unique lifestyle and limited space.