If you’re a busy man on the go, you can minimize prep time in the morning and gain valuable minutes by creating a closet that’s as organized as your timetable. Putting the clothes in your closet together in a way that makes intuitive sense means that it’ll be easier to create outfits that look good and you won’t have to agonize over what to wear. Plus, if you learn how to organize your closet, you’ll never again have to rush around frantically searching for your favorite shirt or belt while worrying about whether you’ll be late for a meeting or social event.
To find out how you can sneak in some extra time to read the last few pages of a company report or even just give yourself time for a more leisurely breakfast, read our top tips on how to organize your closet.
Don’t keep what you don’t need
One of the biggest problems facing overstuffed closets is that they’re full of clothes the closet owner doesn’t need. Some people are simply lazy and haven’t cleaned out their closets in ages, while others are attached to certain garments or feel wasteful throwing out items that are not full of holes.
The fastest way to organize your closet is to own fewer clothes because visually it will be easier to find what you’re looking for. To organize your closet, take everything out and dump it on your bed; go through each piece of clothing one item at a time and assess when you wore it last. Apart from formal wear, if you haven’t worn something in one year and it’s in good repair, donate it to charity. Most charities will come to your door to pick up your castaways, so don’t think giving away your clothes is going to become an arduous chore you don’t have time for. Every year, repeat this process to make sure your closet stays organized.
Another way to organize your closet clutter is to store seasonal apparel. In the winter, take all your summer clothes and store them in a suitcase, then do the same in the summer with your winter apparel.
Lastly, every time you go shopping and buy something new, get rid of another garment from your closet that’s looking a little old or is no longer trendy to ensure you maintain approximately the same volume of clothing.
Hang like garments together
Stop wasting time rummaging around in your closet by using two simple systems that will help you retrieve individual garments. First, hang all garments that belong in the same category together — i.e., sweaters next to sweaters and dress shirts next to dress shirts. At all costs, avoid hanging clothes by color family. This system will simply make a big mess of your closet because people tend to think “I want to wear a sweater,” rather than “I want to wear something brown,” so use the more intuitive grouping system of clustering similar items together; this is the correct approach when figuring out how to organize your closet.
Within a category of garment, however, do maintain a color system. For example, hang all your dress shirts from darkest to lightest, and do the same with your pants, sweaters and T-shirts. Abiding by this rule makes it a snap to find specific items.
In addition to these systems, organize your closet by arranging classes of garments on a continuum from most formal to least formal so that all your suits are together (in color order of course) at one end, while your most casual T-shirts hang together at the opposite end of your closet.
More helpful hints on how to organize your closet…
Use closet organizers
If, after purging your closet, you still have a lot of clothes but not enough space to fit them in, consider using closet organizers. There are a lot of great models out there that are inexpensive, straightforward to install and likely available at your local hardware store. For heavy sweaters that will stretch out if placed on a hanger or for cashmere and other delicate fabrics, you’ll definitely want a shelf, so get one immediately if your closet doesn’t have one built in.
If you have two or more pairs of black pants or multiples of any other color of pants, use multitiered hangers to save space. When it comes to shoes, use a shoe rack so you can see all your footwear laid out instead of jumbled up. Make sure to buy a floor shoe rack, however, because the ones that hang over closet doors don’t provide proper support for men’s shoes. Squeeze as many shoes as possible onto your shoe rack by placing shoes in opposite facing directions.
Make small accessories visible
While it may seem like a good idea to place smaller accessories like ties, belts and the like in a drawer, the truth is that you might end up wearing them less often because when you can’t see them, you’ll forget you own them. Get the most out of your wardrobe by purchasing a set of hooks or even a small rack to throw over your door and hang your accessories. These sets can be extremely cheap, so don’t be reluctant to look for one even if you’re on a tight budget, and the ones that go over your door require absolutely no time or effort to install.
You can even inspire yourself to dress up a little more often by placing cufflinks that don’t cost a fortune in small sealable plastic bags on a hook attached to your closet door. Just don’t forget to group similar items together in this space as well because you don’t want to have to sift through all your ties to find your favorite belt.
Use the bottom of your closet wisely
The bottom half of most people’s closets is a sorely neglected area that can actually double the amount of functional hanging space available to you, particularly if you have a small closet. To organize your closet, take note of where the bottom edge of your longest garments hang and install a rod a couple of inches below if your closet could use some extra space for hanging clothes. For those with more minimal wardrobes and not much to hang, you could install your shoe rack in this space instead. For sweaters that cannot be hung or underwear and socks, consider buying a small set of two or three drawers that could fit under your hanging clothes. You can also put your laundry hamper here so that your dirty clothes stay out of sight.
cleaning out your closet
Rearranging your closet is a task that may take a few hours, particularly if you have a lot of clothes. If you can find the time to do it, however, you’ll reap the rewards for a long time to come — if you maintain your new closet’s organization, of course. A closet that looks nice also makes getting dressed more of a pleasure, especially in the morning, so try a few of these simple suggestions as soon as you can to make your routine more relaxed and stress-free.