Behind every successful, fashionable woman is an organized closet — or not! Whether your closet is magazine-worthy or your dirty little secret, we can all use some tips on getting and staying organized.
We sat down with Broker/Realtor Ellen Kelly to get some closet tips.
ORGANIZATION SHOWS — AND SELLS!
“As a Realtor, I see countless homes,” says Ellen. “When I walk into a house that is organized, I want to bring my clients. If the closets, pantry, cabinets, and drawers are in order, I know that the rest of the house will be too!”
Ellen recently saw a house where three small children lived — and she says she never would have known! “The kitchen was so clean and organized that I couldn’t wait to get upstairs to see the closets and bathrooms. The linen closet was divided into bins labeled with each child’s name,” shares Ellen. “The homeowners’ organizing skills gave me confidence that the whole house was well-maintained.”
CONSIDER HIRING A PROFESSIONAL
If organizing is not your cup of tea, ask a professional to help. Even if it’s just a closet or two, you might be inspired to do the rest of your house. “For Christmas, my kids gave me a day with Simplicity Organizers to get my closets under control. Because my brain doesn’t work that way, I picked up some great tips from Lisa Solis at Simplicity Organizers,” says Ellen.
ELLEN’S CLOSET TIPS
- Use the same hangers for all your clothing or divide areas into felt and wooden hangers.
- Organize dresses by sleeve length (who knew?) and color code them, light to dark.
- Fold sweaters. A confession from Ellen: “I would love to fold my sweaters, but my folding skills are so subpar that my sweaters get messy too quickly, so I must hang them!”
- Place exercise clothes in small, labeled bins. T-shirts, leggings, yoga tops, socks, and underwear look neat in bins even if they’re not folded
- Separate pants into dress pants and jeans.
- Organize tops the same way — everyday tops separated from dressier tops.
- Put handbags on a shelf so you can see them. Plus, displaying bags adds to the stylish look of your closet.
- Hang necklaces on wall hooks — belts too!
AN UNEXPECTED BONUS
“You just might find some items you forgot you had,” says Ellen. “Lisa found my cashmere gloves that were hidden under all the chaos!”
More Tips from Simplicity Organizers
Simplicity Organizers owner Laurie Martin recommends asking yourself what you want to accomplish:
- Why do you want to get organized?
- What is your goal?
- What is disorganization costing you?
Recognize clutter — Clutter is anything you do not use or love, plus anything untidy or disorganized that exceeds the space available. This includes items that are torn, stained, or ripped.
Pull it all out — Remove every item from your closet before making any decisions. Sort items in a different room/area. You are more likely to let go of items when they are outside of their normal space.
AN HONEST ASSESSMENT
Assess your items — When was the last time you wore that item? According to Laurie, if you continue to buy new clothes, that’s a sign you are unsatisfied with what you already have.
Group “like” items together — For example, group all your long sleeve shirts, all your black sweaters, and all your workout clothes together.
DARE TO DUMP
Try the hanger trick — If your closet is jam-packed but you still have little you want to wear, switch the orientation of your hangers so the hook comes over the bar from the back rather than the front. When you wear something, re-hang it the normal way. At the end of the season, donate or discard anything that hasn’t been worn. Don’t rethink it or make excuses — just get it out of your house.
INEXPENSIVE SUPPLIES TO KEEP YOUR CLOSET NEAT
Consider organizational supplies — Drawer dividers, shelf dividers, clear containers, and labels all help keep your closet organized.
Invest in uniform hangers — Matching hangers make the biggest difference in your closet. Turn your clothes to face the same direction.