8 Closet Organization Mistakes You’re Probably Making
We’re two months into the New Year, so how are your organization resolutions faring? Are you still wading through hangers and ruining shoes under the weight of all that stuff? Have your dreams of color-coded blouses and shelves just for shoes come to fruition?
If your closet isn’t quite up to par just yet, or if you’ve reorganized and things still feel less than Pinterest-worthy, perhaps you’re making a handful of these common closet organization mistakes.
Mistake #1: You’re keeping items that you’re not wearing.
Many people have a hard time parting with clothing. But if it doesn’t fit, you haven’t worn it in over a year, or it’s not a special-occasion item (be honest with yourself), then it’s time to say goodbye. Holding on to items you’re not wearing causes overcrowding and cluttering in your closet. Donate the items to a charitable organization or arrange a clothing swap with friends. However you do it, it’s time to start editing your wardrobe down to what is truly worn so you can organize in the smartest and most efficient way.
Mistake #2: You’re storing items in an inaccessible area, and thus failing to take inventory.
Are you storing items up too high or tucked away in odd places? Are your shoes hiding under bags of clothes, causing damage to your footwear? If you can’t easily see it, then you can’t easily find it—and you might not even know you have it. Without an easily accessible collection of items, you can’t purge unwanted pieces or even take inventory of outfit possibilities. It’s one thing to make a closet look organized; it’s another to make it easily accessible.
Mistake #3: You’re not placing like items together, which can create disorganization.
Your casual clothes, your office clothes, your workout clothes—items with similar functions should be grouped together. This may sound like common sense, but many times people try to organize based color or length instead of frequency and probability of any given day’s objectives. If you’re going to the park on a beautiful Spring day, you’ll want shorts and T-shirts to be grouped together—not in separate spots based on color, for example (although color-coding can be helpful within a certain category, like within work blouses or suits).
Mistake #4: You’re hanging your pants on the bottom rod.
This may sound oddly specific, but it’s a metaphor that serves a broader purpose. When pants and bottoms are folded over a hanger, they tend to not hang as long as shirts, blouses, gowns, and outerwear. Many people only hang pants on the bottom rod because they go on the bottom half of the body, but in reality, hanging pants on the top rod frees up possible shelving space between the top and bottom hanging rods. This concept applies to all organization: are you using your space in the most efficient way? How are you boxing yourself in?
Mistake #5: You’re spreading closet items around your bedroom or house.
Shoes, accessories, jewelry, bags—closets should be the home for all of these things in addition to your wardrobe. You don’t want to have to make three different stops around the room or house when putting together an outfit or packing for a trip. Put to use drawers, shelves, and baskets for smaller items—and if you have a magazine-worthy shoe collection, go ahead and dedicate a whole wall in your walk-in to those prized possessions.
Mistake #6: You didn’t know closet lighting is a thing.
Many times closets aren’t designed with lighting in mind; instead, they often employ fluorescent lighting or even a blatant lack of lighting, making visibility an issue when wading through options, especially in larger closets with many compartments and walk-ins.
Mistake #7: You’ve got stuff to hold more stuff
In an attempt to organize their closets, people often purchase organizing bins, drawers, and shelving sets that are not of a great quality and that end up just adding more bulk and inaccessibility to a closet. Really think about the function each “storage” piece offers and see if you can rearrange things to make more sense. For instance, a set of drawers dedicated to fitness clothes or undergarments might consume a lot of floor space. Instead, could you take those items and arrange them in baskets on a shelf between top and bottom hanging rods?
Mistake #8: Your closet is just a shelf and a pole.
Yes, there are tools like hanging rods and storage bins to add to your closet to organize your items, but they’re bound to the limited dimensions—and often inefficient—existing design behind your closet doors. It might be worth it to rethink the design altogether, gutting the original and installing a well-thought-out closet system in its place—complete with built-in shelving, smart hanging setups, hooks, smaller accessory drawers, and more.
Kristin Becker is a Design Consultant with California Closets in Denver. The Bay Area-based company specializes in creating custom storage systems for your bedroom closets, home office, entryway, garage, pantry and more.
Content for this article provided by California Closets.