Is your closet an overflowing disaster? Clothes packed tight, shoes in a hodgepodge on the floor, purses, scarves and sweaters piled high on the shelves?
Some tips for organizing your closet in 10-minute chunks:
1. Plan. Decide what sizes you are going to keep, what is going to be stored in the closet, where you are going to take things you no longer want, said Standolyn Robertson, certified professional organizer in Waltham, Mass.
2. Take the dry cleaning bags off, said Lisa Zaslow of Gotham Organizers in New York. "It takes up space, makes it harder to see your clothes and is actually bad for fabric," she said in an e-mail. Remove empty hangers.
3. Organize clothing by type - blouses, pants, skirts, jackets, suits, etc., said Zaslow. Then spend another 10 minutes arranging by color. As you go, get rid of anything that is worn or stained, doesn't fit, isn't flattering or you just don't like. Store the things you wear most often in the most accessible parts of your closet.
4. If you have a lot of short-hanging items, use a closet doubler that hangs from the top rod to increase your hanging space, said Zaslow. Put your slacks, blouses, jackets and skirts on the bottom rung.
5. Hang all of your fall clothes backward, said Ecker. As you wear them, put the hanger back on the rod the traditional way. At the end of winter, if an item is still hanging backward, it's probably something you should get rid of.
6. Tackle the shelves. Use dividers to create cubicles, said professional organizer Erica Ecker of The Spacialist in New York. "They slide right in a shelf and make perpendicular barriers so your piles of sweaters, shirts and jeans don't avalanche into each other."
7. Put like with like in terms of shoes, said Robertson, immediate past president of the National Association of Professional Organizers. Stick all the tennis shoes together, the sandals together and so forth. Put a magazine in the boots to get them to stand up. Remove shoes that are too small or need to be repaired.
8. Take advantage of unused space. The dead air between the floor and the bottom of a skirt or dress can hold clear plastic bins on wheels for shoes, belts and other accessories. The back of the door can have hooks or over-the-door pocket-type organizers.
- Megan K. Scott,
The Associated Press