Today’s post is a guest post written by Jessica, she asked me about writing a post on storage tips and if you look at the picture of my closet below you can see why I accepted her offer! 😛 She did a great job and its super helpful!
Time to Suit Up! Tips for Finding Extra Space in your Closets
A simple shortage of storage space should never stop someone from suiting up! Whether your clothes are busting out of your bureau, dangling out of your dresser or covering every square inch of your closet, getting a handle on everything isn’t impossible, nor does it have to be expensive!
Indeed, all it takes is a few tweaks and adjustments to the physical space you do have before you’re suiting up in style in no time.
Sadly, when you have amassed massive amounts of stuff and allowed those piles to grow and grow to the point that you may actually have a monster living in your closet, just getting started can seem like an insurmountable feat.
But the best place to begin is at the beginning, and in the case of one’s clothing containers, it starts with coming out of the closet and taking a good hard look at what you’ve got going on.
And there’s no need to wait for it because here are a few ways to produce a perfectly suited-up closet space now (of which even Barney Stinson would approve)!
Streamlined, Straightened Out and Squared Away
The first step to a closet purge is just that – you need to cleanse the clutter! And by breaking it down entirely, you will be able to see exactly what you are working with to build it back up again.
Start by pulling everything out one at a time and forming groups according to the type of item it is: shoes together, linens together, towels, blankets, accessories together and so on. Emily has her closet generally ‘sorted,’ but there are also jeans sharing space with blankets and sweatshirts falling off the shelves. Start by pulling it all out of there and sorting into piles of like items!
Tip: Ideally, the new and improved closet will service items of clothing only. However, if you need it to multi-task and serve as a linen closet/filing cabinet as well, keep all of those things grouped together and not intermingled with your clothes.
When the eye recognizes things that don’t belong in the same category mixed together, it reads “chaos.” By keeping unlike items segregated, your closet on the whole will appear much more organized and cohesive even though you have added no extra space to the place.
My scary closet! :O
From there, divide the clothes and shoes into 3 piles based on these categories:
Things you need to keep in the closet: This includes items that are currently in season, in style, and worn on a regular/semi-regular basis because they actually fit you. Additionally, long dresses or other items that are impractical to store anywhere else qualify for this pile. Items you need to keep but not necessarily in the closet: These are things that are in style and fit you but that are not currently in season as well as shoes and clothes that you hold on to for special occasions or for “messy stuff” like yard work or hiking or special occasions that don’t come around often.
Stuff you need to toss immediately: You can toss them to a friend or relative or toss them in a donation bin for a local charity: the point is that you toss them out of your home for good. This
• Things you haven’t worn in 5 years and aren’t likely to wear in the next 5 years: That bedazzled jean jacket attempted a brief comeback in the early 2000s but it’s been over a decade since Britney and Justin rocked “Denim-gate” and it didn’t stick…it’s time to let go. Look forward to fun at the thrift store when the next ’80s themed party runs around instead of saving it ‘just in case.’
• Things that are out of style: This absolutely includes anything with shoulder pads. Unless you’re a linebacker, you should not own a pair. Period. Also, red cowboy boots if you’re a guy.
• Things that don’t fit and will never fit again: if you’re still holding on to your high school cheerleading outfit that you squeezed into 15 years ago, your messy closet suddenly doesn’t seem like your biggest issue.
All joking aside, the goal is to remove things that are wasting space in your closet, your room and your life, so be very discriminating when selecting the keepers and the kickers.
Ready to Reinstate
Now that the cleansing is complete, here are some tips for reinstating your items for daily duty.
• Only return current-season clothes. Conduct a closet rotation twice a year and when half of your stuff is not in use, keep it stored somewhere else. Under your bed or in another closet is ideal, but if you have just the one space, invest in a couple of inexpensive stackable storage bins that you can load up and push to the side or back of your closet until you need them. Those clothes that are shoved onto the top shelves in Emily’s closet would be far more manageable in clear plastic bins!
• Keep things grouped together and either hanging in cohesive groups or folded neatly and stacked in straight lines. With stacks, make sure they’re functional: building them too high creates issues with getting to items at the bottom, knocking them over and not being able to access things because the stack is squished under the shelf above it.
• Clothes that you wear the most should be placed within easy reach, directly in front of you, and preferably at eye level.
For shoes and accessories, look for ground level stacking options. A deep closet may even accommodate a stacked shipping pallet or two, and will keep shoes unbent and in great shape. Even bricks and boards can make shelving with customizable height.
Finally, if your closet is door-less, a shower curtain can be a great “door” for your closet if you make sure to hang it so that the hem barely brushes the floor. Otherwise, the excess fabric is a tripping hazard that also disrupts the smooth and sleek lines you just worked so hard to achieve. Emily’s got a nice curtain that matches her room, but consider a solid color or real curtains for an elegant look that truly puts your closet out of sight.
What are some of your smart storage ideas for a less-than-suitable closet space?
Jessica Johnson works for www.extraspace.com and contributes to the Extra Space Storage blog, exploring various aspects of organizing and storing possessions.
I was going to show the before and after pictures in this post but I didn’t want to take away from Jessica’s post so you’ll have to wait till next week to see how my closet transformed! Also, I was in high school when I picked out the curtains, my room is a little too pink for my tastes now!