Do you need help organizing the walk-in closet? Did you know you a professional organizer would be busy presorting a walk-in closet? A packed closet can be overwhelming to tackle come time to sell the home. If you allow an organizer to do the first half of the work by presorting clothing into categories the tougher job of weeding each category will be more manageable. We used an unused side room to lay out the categories so they could be triaged without disturbing the use of the bedroom.
Each category has been named with a sticky Post-It note so that the client does not have to go through each pile to determine what it is. Tops were put to one side while bottoms put to another with dresses in the center. Once each category was weeded the collection was brought to the new home to be put into the walk-in closet. We then cleaned the walk-in from which they came to ready the house for sale.
Organizing the Walk-In Closet on Your Own
In a time when it seems hard to escape binging Netflix’s latest hit ‘Tidying Up With Marie Kondo’, you might be inspired to KonMari your living spaces. If hiring your own professional organizing consultant is out of the question, you’re faced with tackling the project on our own. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you out. If you’re having trouble finding an item you know you have somewhere or your wardrobe is full of things you never wear, it may be time to edit your closet. Follows are a few guidelines for the process of decluttering the closet and creating a wardrobe that functions efficiently for you.
Sorting While Emptying the Closet
The first step to organizing the walk-in closet is to completely empty and clean the closet. Once everything is out of the closet, wipe down the shelving and vacuum the floors to start new in this space. Sort into t-shirts, blazers, shoes, etc. so you can judge better which you want and which you don’t. Get a few bags or boxes and label them with ‘donate’, ‘sell’, ‘give away’, ‘toss’. Does it fit? Is it damaged? Have you worn it in the past year? Next decide which category each piece in your wardrobe belongs to. If the item is worth a significant amount you might try selling it on Ebay, UpThread or Poshmark if you are tech savvy.
If you’re not tech savvy you could try a consignment shop but just know that there is the added work of opening an accountIf you’re not tech-savvy and don’t want to go through the hassle of selling online, see if your friends or coworkers are interested in a clothing swap. Not feeling like going through the steps to sell at all? Donate. As long as the item is in working condition and is decent quality, it’s a contender for the donation bag. If it doesn’t meet the sell or donate standards, it’s time to toss it. Starting the sorting process may seem overwhelming at first, but don’t let the stress of deciding to sell, donate, or toss prevent you from finishing the task. Simply gather what you no longer need and let it go.
Once you’ve decluttered, consider redoing your set up to maximize space in your closet. Try to have at least one clothing rod to store clothes hanging up. Take advantage of your closet’s height. You’ll make the most of your storage space if you use the spaces high and far for storage of less-used items. You can double hang the rods to store shirts, jackets and pants doubly dense but you may want to leave a small space for long dresses and robes, etc.
In a small walk-in closet take advantage of prime real estate. Plan to hang your most frequently worn clothes in the middle spots of the closet. To organize your closet and make sure it stays that way, put all like items together. Within each category, organize by color or “coverage”-the less material in the garment grouped with like.
Tools of the Trade
It’s time to part ways with your wire hangers from the dry cleaners or just old age. Wire hangers can be space-saving they are too flimsy for heavy clothing and make creases in whatever you hang on them. Try matching hangers made of wood, plastic or velvet, depending on your personal preferences. Just be sure you have a few wood hangers for the heavier items because both the felt and plastic break more often than I would like. Otherwise try to buy matching hangers for a streamlined, uniform look. Try hang clothing from dark to light then by how heavy the garment is.
You can opt for built-in shelving, decorative baskets or clear storage containers as long as everything is easily accessible. I like to put shoes on the top open shelf for ease of view and ability to vacuum the closet floor easier. Hooks can be a good addition to add storage to the back of a door or empty walls. Scarves and belts can be hung on a hanger. You can ask a handy wo/man to install a premed closet system like Elfa or from Lowe’s or Home Depot or use old shoe boxes, to compartmentalize your drawers. Try rolling T-shirts or non-wrinkling shirts to maximize drawer space. If you must use drawers try folding clothing in drawers using the ‘file fold’ method where clothing is folded upright like papers in a file cabinet. Just be sure you roll with the characterizing sign or mark of the shirt revealed in the crease of the fold so you don’t have to remove the shirt to remember which it is. It’s easier to see everything.
Store out of season clothes in a comforter bag (finally you can use those you have saved for decades right?) or a plastic bin labeled out of the immediate area but as close as possible. If you have to go into the attic to access them you will be less likely to do it. You can store it under your bed, to save valuable closet space but I don’t like things under the bed myself. You can use extra ice cube trays to organize your rings and earrings.
Another storage idea for your walk-in closet is to cut pool noodles to insert into your boots to help keep their shape. You can also make pretty inserts if you are a sewer. There are boot shapers you can buy specially made as well. Standing boots help maximize closet space and look neater. Hanging a mirror is a great trick to make the space look larger for any size closet. You can also use it to see how you look when getting dressed. Keep gloves, hats and other accessories in small bins or in available drawers. Try cloth, clear plastic, crates and baskets. Adding labels will help you find exactly what you’re looking for everyday.
Enjoy Your New Walk-in Closet
After removing, sorting and containing your wardrobe you will be able to once again feel good getting ready in the morning.
Do you have a walk-in that needs some taming? Contact us for help!
Interested to know more about hiring a professional organizer? Check out this New York Times article!