31 Days of Closet Clean-Ups

Keep an attractive but easily accessible laundry basket either very close to the closet or within it. We love these simple canvas ones from The Laundress.

If you’re very tight on space, use tiered hangers for pants and skirts. You’ll get farther faster – $9.99 at The Container Store.

If you’re not sure you love it and you haven’t worn it more than once in the past 12 months, it’s time to let it go. Still can’t give it up? Try it on. You may find that you don’t like the way some things look anymore. You don’t want to end up a Glamour don’t!

Compare the items of clothing you have with each other, you may find that you have “doubles” or items that are too similar. If you find them, get rid of the one “double” you wear least. {image via Siblings of Yesteryear}

Bite the bullet and fix the frayed seams and minor tears on those everyday items you love to wear. There’s a neat tutorial on how to fix frayed jean hems by Jo at EmbraceThePenny.com. Or if you’re terrified of the sewing machine (like me), head to your local tailor. Either way deal with them all at once. Just rip that band aid off, people!

Save floor space. Use a door-hanging device to organize shoes. There are simple and cheap options like this basic hanging shoe organizer for $3.99 by Imperial on Amazon.com or simple and chic options like this 36-Pair Overdoor Shoe Organizer for $39.99 at the Container Store.

If you feel like you don’t know where to start, just keep it simple and begin by tossing any and all unused wire hangers and bits of trash (ahem, we see those receipts cluttering up the floor!).

For clothes that have sentimental value but aren’t likely to be worn again, like a wedding dress or a prom dress you made yourself, create a separate space for them, in an attic or guest room closet. {image via bridal designs by erin on Etsy}

Invest in some quality hangers. We’re not talking about much money here – you can get a set of 50 slim, flocked Real Simple hangers for $29.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond. They’re worth every penny. Not only do they keep your clothes neatly hung, but your entire closet will look pulled together in a way that makes you want to keep it that way.

Use rolling carts or labeled boxes & bins for extra storage on the floor of your closet. They are great for storing accessories, mementos like love letters, and hats. {image via Martha Stewart}

Simplify your morning routine: mount a hook on the outside of your closet to hang up whatever outfit you want to wear the next day. Added bonus: if it’s a horrible mess, you can avoid looking at it first thing. {image via Polyvore.com}

Rather than looking at the closet as a whole, which is what makes you think “I don’t have enough time to deal with that,” break the cleaning process up into manageable parts. Start with one shelf at a time instead of dumping everything out.

Give yourself a time limit to work on organizing your closet over a few days. It will give you motivation knowing that you only have to do so much in one day. Set an egg timer to keep yourself honest. We’re convinced it makes you work faster, like you have to “beat the clock” or something.

Before you start cleaning your closet, decide who will get the castoffs. Knowing that your clothes are going to a favorite charity or homeless shelter is a goal that you can feel good about. {via Housebeautiful.com}

Try organizing your clothes based on function (work clothes, weekend clothes, evening clothes). It could make assembling outfits easier once you’ve got the system set up. Keep items you wear in both worlds in the middle.

If you store shoes on shelves, if you face each one in opposite directions, you’ll be able to fit more on each shelf. {image via Elle}

If you have a small closet, focus, focus, focus. All outwear should be moved to your front hall closet, or mudroom if you are lucky enough to have one.

If you’re not sure about whether or not a piece of clothing is too worn out, ask yourself: would I buy this in a thrift shop? If the answer is no, then toss it. You don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t care about the way they look. {image via dixiblog.com}

Research your local consignment stores. You could be making some money to invest in new clothes with every old piece you sell.

If you find you have enough vertical space, but only have one hanging rod – you can double your closet’s efficiency by simply adding a second rod. No need to call the handyman either – a wonderful inventor out there has made a hanging rod that simply hooks over your existing closet rod. Available at the Container Store ($9.99), where else!

If you invest in shelving, make sure that it’s adjustable, so that you can change the layout to meet your needs over time. Rubbermaid has some excellent and affordable adjustable shelf solutions.

Large purses and bags will slump over and lose their shape sitting on shelves. They’ll look neater and last longer if you hang them on durable hooks instead. If you’re scrapping for space, use the floor for your shoes and hang a series of hooks on the back of your closet door. {image via The Shabby Nest}

For children’s closets, make sure you keep any toys on lower shelves, so that they’re easy to access and put away. {image via bhg.com}

Everyone’s closet slips back into chaos sometimes. But 5 minutes can make a tremendous impact. Every night for one week, take 5 minutes before you head to bed and work on cleaning it up. {cool clock via homeloo.com}

If you’re still pressed for space and can’t figure out which clothes to get rid of, try sorting your clothes into complete outfits. It might be time to donate that shirt you like but never know what to wear with.

If you’re not sure about a piece of clothing, “flag” the hanger by pinning a clothespin on the top, and removing the pin when you’ve worn the piece. You can also hang it in the opposite direction from the rest, and turn it back around when you’ve worn the piece. When you’re at the end of the season, donate the pieces that still have a flag. {image via houseofdecorum.org}

Sweaters will lose their shape over time if left on hangers, so sort them out and store them on a shelf. Organize.com has some handy shelf dividers to help keep them organized for only 5.99.

Set up a separate basket in the front hall closet for your family to store their mittens and gloves in when they come inside, so you’re not searching for a matching pair while you’re in a rush. {image via photobucket.com}

If you don’t have another room in which to store off season items, invest in an underbed storage unit. {image via marthastewart.com}

Always losing your reading/sun glasses? Use small adhesive hooks on the back of your closet door to keep them visible, organized, and easy to find. {via containerstore.com}


If you’re organizing a linen closet, store folded sets of bed linens inside one of the set’s pillowcases. {image via closetstorageideas.com}