What's the best way to make my closets feel less cluttered?
Real Mom Problem
“You could get lost in the mess called my closet, and I would have to call out the National Guard to go find you.”
- 1. Organize your clothes by frequency of wear, color, season, style, or all-of-the-above
- 2. Use bins to store seldom-worn or out-of-season items
- 3. Do a regular inventory of your clothes and consider getting rid of things you don't wear often
- 4. Put your clothes away before they have a chance to pile up
Real Mom Solutions
Is your closet clutter out of control? Get organizing tips from the moms of CafeMom!
Our Expert Mom Says...
The best way to manage closets is to get clarity on the frequency of use of your items. Talk about your stuff and your storage in terms of A-B-C and D. You want to store the most frequently used "A" items in the most accessible "A" spaces. Your favorite workout clothes are "A" (used daily), your dresses might be "B" (used a few times a month), your ski boots are "C" (used rarely or seasonally), and your letter jacket from high school is "D" (not used but keeping for other reasons). Anything A or B needs to be as handy as possible, and anything C or D needs to be put out of the way. Making these decisions and prioritizing your storage "real estate" gives you a more objective perspective on how you are using these items, and you may decide that if you have too much "D" stuff, the D can stand for "DONATE!"
Lorie Marrero is a Certified Professional Organizer® and the bestselling author of "The Clutter Diet: The Skinny on Organizing Your Home and Taking Control of Your Life." She is also the creator of ClutterDiet.com, an innovative program allowing anyone to get expert help at an affordable price. Lorie is the spokesperson for Goodwill Industries International, and she is a sought-after expert for national media such as CNBC, "Family Circle," WGN News and "Woman's Day." She writes regularly as an organizing expert for "Good Housekeeping." She lives in Austin, TX with her husband, two human sons, and 30,000 bee daughters in her backyard beehives.
The Moms of CafeMom Say...
I'm very strict about not keeping things you don't need, use, or want. I cannot stand to see stuff just lying around looking sad and unwanted. I keep my closets fairly well organized.
We have some totes in the bottom of our closet that hold out-of-season clothing. We can also put out-of-season shoes on top of it. I find that as long as I keep it organized, it does a fine job.
We live in an apartment so our closets pull double duty; for our clothes, linens, Christmas decorations, etc. We have shelves in the closest; some built in some we added. The kids have Rubbermaid tubs in their closet for their mementos and keepsakes. All the decorations are stored in big tubs in the master closest. It's tight, but thankfully all our closets are walk-ins so we can make it work.
My closet is organized. From left to right it goes: My husband's sweaters, button up shirts, t-shirts. Then it goes to my sweaters, dress jackets, long sleeve dress shirts, long sleeve shirts, t-shirts, short sleeve dress shirts, "nice" shirts (form fitting), thick strapped tank tops, tank tops, dresses. And all the shirts are facing the same way.
Never let stuff lay on the floor...put everything away.
My closest is usually very organized. Shelves and canvas bins are what have helped me the most. Also, organizing by color always makes me think it looks better - more appealing to look at.
I hang my dress shirts, slacks, dresses and skirts. Sweaters and jeans are folded neatly and stacked on the shelves above the hanger bar. Shoes are lined up neatly under my hanging clothes or under my dresser if I'll be wearing them the next day. I also have my clothes hanging in order of season.
I love baskets. We don't have space in our master bedroom to fit two dressers, so my husband got the dresser and I took the shelves in our closet. Then I lined them with baskets to hold tops and casual skirts, which are all folded neatly and lined up in their baskets so that I can see each of their patterns. Jeans and pants are folded and stacked neatly on top of each other. If I notice that our closet is starting to get unruly from rushed mornings, I'll take a little time to just straighten it back up before it turns to chaos. I think once you have a set system to keep it all organized, just taking the time to keep up on it is key.
I keep my closet very well organized - that way I always know where everything is. There are sections for dressy, warm-weather, cold-weather, and skirts. And I keep shirts in rainbow-order as well....that way I can easily 'grab and go' while getting dressed.
My closet is organized. I keep coats, short sleeve, long sleeve, etc. together, and shoes are on shelves, or lined up on the floor.