8 Steps To Organizing Your Closet
The golden rule for my closet is this: If I haven’t worn a piece of clothing in a year, if I dread the thought of seeing myself in it ever again, if I can’t believe I ever bought it in the first place, I give it away to someone who will appreciate it and needs it more than I do. For the items that I do decide to keep, here are my basics for clothing care:
1. Sort by color and fold clothing properly, from button-down shirts to T-shirts to sweaters. Hang all shirts together by color (from white to black, left to right). When folding T-shirts, use a clipboard as a template so they stack neatly on the shelf.
2. Just as Mommy Dearest said, no wire hangers! Recycle them, or return them to the dry cleaner. Invest in cedar, wooden, or plastic hangers! Make sure they match!
3. Men’s and women’s pants should hang either full length or folded, depending on closet space. Skirts and dresses should be hung, colors coordinated, from short to long and from summer to winter or white to black. Jeans can be neatly folded and stacked on a shelf.
4. Treat apparel with the same care and respect with which you treat your body. Let your dry cleaner know in advance precisely how to clean and press your clothes. Polish shoes regularly, and repair heels when necessary. Avoid dry-cleaning matching tops and bottoms separately. Dry-cleaning chemicals can alter and distort color, so it’s best to keep matching pieces cleaned together, even if you’re in the habit of only wearing the bottoms!
5. Leave your shoes out on a rack and dust regularly. (Keep seasonal shoes in boxes.) Your belts should be hung or rolled neatly in a divided drawer compartment. Neckties can be rolled or hung and assorted by color.
6. On top shelves, place storage boxes filled with out-of-season items, such as bathing suits in winter, and gloves, caps, and scarves in summertime. Store anything cashmere in bags with a few cedar balls so the moths don’t think they have awakened to an all-you-can-eat buffet!
7. Store winter clothes when they are dry. Polish shoes, then wrap in shoe bags before storing. Avoid storing clothing in an area exposed to direct sunlight, because those shirts and blouses closest to the light will fade and have permanent damage. Read the manufacturer’s instructions on how to best care for leather bags and purses.
8. Like every other room and everything else in life, the closet requires constant maintenance! Spend some time each week keeping it all in place.