10 Tips for Organizing Your Closets

By Scott Gamm

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Closet space is usually tight, whether you’re living in a house or a studio apartment. If most of your clothes and belongings are jam-packed into a small closet, chances are you closet is in need of a makeover.

Even after spending the weekend cleaning out your closets, within a few weeks, the closets are back to its original state: a mess.

Keeping an orderly closet involves some planning, which is why we asked the organizational pros themselves to weigh in on the top tips for a tidy closet:

1. Keep what you need.

Why waste space by storing clothes you haven’t worn in years? To make this distinction between what items you need and which ones should be donated or even thrown out, it’s time to empty everything out of your closet.

“Go through each item one-by-one and sort into three categories: keep, donate or trash,” says Christine Kell of Gaining Space, a professional organizing service.

And while you may be inclined to sell clothing you don’t wear, Kell offers a contrarian point of view. “Don’t bother with a ‘sell’ pile – be realistic! Is that ‘sell’ pile going to become clutter in the corner for six months or a year while you procrastinate in selling it? Get it out of the house immediately and donate it to a reputable charity and take the tax write-off,” she says.

2. Ask: “How big is your closet?”

Now that you’ve figured out which items you want to keep in your closet, it’s time to maximize the space you have.

“Measure the closet's dimensions and determine how many racks you need for hanging pants, shirts and blouses, jackets and coats,” suggests Christina-Lauren Pollack, creator of the lifestyle blog Inspirations & Celebrations.

You also may need storage containers for accessories. “Gone are the days of relying on clear plastic tubs. Plenty of retailers offer a wide range of options, from cloth containers (in striped and floral patterns) to woven baskets to fit the decor of your space. These containers are a great way to keep scarves, bags and belts organized and within reach,” she adds.