Monday, June 4, 2012

62 Conquer Clothing Clutter!

Happy Monday!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

This past weekend I found myself realizing that time has gotten the best of me and I haven't done my seasonal closet cleanup yet!  In case you are wondering what that is exactly, I basically just assess our clothing and closet situations and adjust, purge, donate, restock and organize as necessary.  Not just for myself, but for the boys as well, as they are always growing and handing down their belongings.  I try to do this twice a year {spring and fall} as the climate changes, however, this year I dropped the ball a bit and we have been feeling some clothing pains.

Because I am spending my week focusing on a big clothing cleanup, I thought I would have you all join in on the fun!


Today I am going to share with you my favorite closet and clothing organizing tips that I have gathered over time.  I also scoured the www for some great inspirational images to drive home the ideas.

Then, all this week, I will be sharing with you clothing projects that we are doing around our abode to get things back into organized shape.  Real time stuff here my friends!  At the end of it all, I thought it would be great fun to do a big "Conquer Your Clothing Clutter" link party!  Who's in?



We have all seen the insanely dreamy closets.  The ones packed with storage for every type of item, loaded with built in custom systems, a place to sit... sigh.  Although we can't all have these insanely amazing closets, there is no reason why we can't look to them for inspiration and incorporate many of the traits into our own real life closets.  I have learned a lot from looking at inspirational closets and clothing systems, here are some of my favorite tips:

  • Plan first, add storage second.  Take inventory of the items that you need to organize and check your home for potential solutions before heading off on your shopping trip.

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  • Many homes come with standard closets that contain a single shelf and a clothing rod.  However, the closets that really pack the most storage punch, are a mixture of different storage methods for the different items being stored.  Hanging rods, hooks, cubbies, drawers/bins, shelves and door organizers all provide specific yet versatile clothing storage.
  • Place purses in a lined basket or on a shelf to extend their life, vs. hanging them on hooks.
  • Stay mindful of how often you use certain types of clothing.  Items worn daily should be at levels that are easy to reach.  Less frequently used items should be stored higher or lower.
  • Stash a foldable stool in the bottom of your closet to reach items on upper shelves.

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  • To really maximize the vertical area within your closet, hang a second rod to double the amount of hanging space.
  • Organize clothing by type {shirts, pants, sweaters, etc... }
  • Hang clothing by color to give quick options when putting together outfits.
  • Use thin, hugable hangers to keep clothes from slipping and to maximize space in a small closet {or make your own!}.  Using consistent hanger types also gives your closet a streamlined and polished appearance.

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  • Install a clothing hook to give yourself a place to hang your clothing for the following day.  By laying out your clothes the evening before, you are giving yourself a less stressful morning. 

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  • Hooks are also great options for longer items such as scarves and belts.  The bonus is they take up very little space.

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  • Don't forget about using the space on the floor and back of the door for storing shoes.
  • Over the door shoe organizers are great solutions for shoes, but they also rock for accessory storage for things like belts, scarves and ties.

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  • Edit your wardrobe frequently and toss or donate the items that no longer work for you.  Make it easy by keeping a bag or bin specifically for this purpose, right inside your closet.  Be sure to ask yourself the following questions every six months:  Do you have similar/duplicate pieces taking up valuable space?  Have I worn this?  Will I wear it?  Is the pieces damaged, stretched, torn or stained?  Does it fit?
  • Don't forget the golden clothing rule: One item in, one item out.  Try to keep the same number of hangers in your closet so if something new comes in, something has to go into the donate bag.
  • Think of alternate areas to store seasonal items to free up valuable closet space {under the bed storage, linen closets, etc...}

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  • Use shelving dividers to keep stacked clothing and sweaters from toppling over and eventually becoming a jumbled mess.

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  • If you opt to store your shoes in boxes to keep them protected, use clear shoe boxes so you can easily see the contents.  A budget friendly option is to store them in their original boxes and use photos of the shoes to label the fronts.

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  • If your closet doesn't come with custom built in storage, adding simple options such as a dresser or bookcase or inexpensive mix and match closet solutions from a big box store gives your closet additional storage on a budget.
  • Also, if you are not blessed with any closet in a room, don't fear.  Use modular systems or wardrobes to create your own!

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  • You know I love labeling, and when it comes to clothing, it is a must!  With kids it is especially important so they can help manage their laundry and select their clothing.

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  • Clothing dividers are great when storing baby clothes of different sizes.  They are also awesome for anyone of any age to divide clothing types such as long sleeve, short sleeve, pants, etc....

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  • Give yourself a spot to place up fashion, clothing and outfit inspiration.  That way when you are feeling stumped with your clothing selection, you can find ways to give new life to what you already own and think up fun new color combinations.

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  • Drawer dividers are great for keeping floating socks out of the undergarments area, or to avoid t-shirts from mixing in with pj bottoms. 
  • Don't be afraid to get creative with drawer dividing solutions, inexpensive dollar store baskets, leftover shoe boxes or DIY dividers are all great options when organizing drawers on the cheap.

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  • Remember to treat your closet as it is another room in your home.  Adding a little paint or some pretty wallpaper will go a long way in giving you a place that you will love and be more eager to maintain!


Who is inspired and excited to tackle closets and drawers and all things clothing related this week?  What clothing organizing tips do you want to add to our list?

62 comments:

  1. Great post and one that I have already started tackling myself. It is going to be my July Challenge on my blog. I started with my husband's side of the closet first because his was the easiest. I am not looking forward to working with my side or my daughter's closet. Yikes!!! Good luck on yours and I can't wait to see how it all goes. ;)

    xoxo,
    Kristin

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    1. I had to laugh at this, as I'm sure most women feel this way. I however, am terrified of my husband's side of the closet. I seriously regret not pushing for his and her closets more when we bought our house. There are days I think about buying an armoire for myself so I can avoid the closet entirely! Wish I could get him to follow a system that doesn't involve the floor or my little section of space!

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    2. I am jealous! I won't touch my hubs armoire. That is why we have his and hers, lol!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  2. I love this post, I really want to get some new types of storage containers for my closet. I wish I had a single door on my closet, I have the folding doors on mine. Any tips for how to make those doors useful and not a waste of space?

    kelsiesbeautifullife.blogspot.com

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    1. Check out Ana White's folding closet door storage option - a friend just told me about this plan and I am inspired to try it myself:
      http://ana-white.com/2010/08/behind-closet-doors.html

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    2. Wow, that is incredible! Thank you so much for sharing that site! We have bi-fold doors all through out our home and they drive me completely crazy. I have been tempted several times to take them off completely and just put up curtains for wider access to the closets but didn't think it would look as tidy. I am definitely considering this plan. My only hesitation is that we have carpeting and I'm not certain those wheels would roll as well on carpet. In any event, thanks for sharing that amazing site!

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    3. That is AMAZING genius! Love it! What about adding some sort of smooth plastic piece to the bottom that would just easily glide on the carpet {think about those things you stick under furniture to easily move it around a room}.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  3. Perfect timing! I'm in the process of purging and re-organizing my closet right now. :)

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  4. Ooooh! I can't wait to read the next posts! I'e started fighting my winter clothes in April, but didn't come to an end. Now, I'm more motivated then ever!
    Thank you!

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  5. Hi there, looks like a beautiful post! I think you didn't mean to write asses up in the first paragraph - maybe access?

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    1. "assess" is correct... "access" wouldn't make sense :-)

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    2. Oh my goodness I am laughing out loud! I totally did spell it wrong when I first posted and caught it moments later when I was re-reading. Darn spell check doesn't catch those silly mistakes! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  6. I'm actually going to be doing a whole house clean-out, including closets, after we get home from our honeymoon. It MUST be done!
    These tips, especially the first one about planning storage before buying solutions, are awesome.

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  7. This is so perfect! I just finished my son's closet on Saturday, and am trying to muster up enough courage to start on ours!! I am now more than motivated! Bring it on! :)

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  8. I just have to say that I have a "closet vanity" in our master bedroom and I LOVE IT!

    It makes getting ready in the morning so easy. I can easily choose my outfit/accessories and do my hair/make-up in one space. Then, when I am done, I close my closet door and the clutter is hidden.

    I blogged about my closet vanity. Check it out: http://the236.net/2011/06/04/closet-turned-vanity/

    Love your blog!
    Michelle from www.the236.net

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  9. Is the link up on Friday? I SO need to conquer our clothes closets!

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    1. Yeppers! But I will keep the party open for about a month to give everyone a fair chance to organize and join! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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    2. Awesome. Working on our master closet already :)

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  10. Perfect timing! I'm working on this project now. I found huggable hangers for $10 for a box of 35 at Costco, and it was just the kick I needed to tackle this.

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  11. Perfect timing! I'm working on this project now. I found huggable hangers for $10 for a box of 35 at Costco, and it was just the kick I needed to tackle this.

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  12. I actually did this last week, and came away with 2 garbage bags of clothes to get rid of. The best part.... I had to get rid of them because they're now too big!! I did it on a spur of a moment whim and did not take before after photos, too bad!

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    1. Just after photos would be awesome! Would love to see how it turned out!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  13. This is what I've been working on this week! Yay!!! I actually ran out of hangers in the process so I need to pick up a few more bins/baskets/hangers and finish up! So excited to finally have an uber organized closet in this house. I've been here for like 6months and slacked majjjjorly! Thanks for the inspiration love!

    xoxo

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  14. Im in. Perfect summer project. Thanks for the inspiration .

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  15. LOVE IT!!!!! I'm in!!! I could use some serious closet organization!!!
    Ashli

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  16. LOVE LOVE LOVE! You probably won't believe it, but before checking my email (and with that, reading your post) I sat down and made a to-do list. Tomorrow is my last day of work and then I am taking the summer and the Fall semester off to spend more time with my kids (I'm a professor). Before I "got going" on the things I thought I had to do, I decided to take today and make lists of all the projects that are awaiting me. Which projects make up the larger "organize the house project" and included is the "clean and tidy up the closets). I'm excited, am looking forward to it. I might even take before & after pics...

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    1. Oooh, you totally should take some photos! :)

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  17. What's a link up party and how does it work? Obviously, I've never done that before.

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    1. Hi Mindy!

      Great question! In blog land, it's our way of sharing projects easily with one another. You would just have to blog about your closet organizing and then when the party goes live on Friday, you can add your blog link and we can all see it! It's simple and fun! Hope to see you there!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  18. I was just thinking this morning about doing a major clothing/closet organization! I am in for the linky party! So excited for this!

    Silver from A Silver Snapshot
    http://starthinker-silverbarter.blogspot.ca/

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  19. Do you have recommendations for modular units for a closet from somewhere other than Ikea? My daughters room doesn't have a closet and I can't seem to find a decent substitute. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Carrie!

      Great question! I am actually giving one away this week from Yube Cube: http://iheartorganizing.blogspot.com/2012/06/iheart-yube-cube-giveaway.html

      You can also find options right at Target.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  20. I love these ideas. I want to redo my closet now haha

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  21. I read this idea recently... tie a piece of yarn around each hanger after going through your closet. As you wear an item, take the yarn off. After 6 months or a year, anything that still has yarn on it, gets donated! (I thought it was a great idea for people who have trouble making decisions about what to get rid of!)

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    1. This is the BEST idea!!! I have shirts that I have been saving for YEARS just in case I need it..... ummm yeah havent worn any of them! I am doing this! Thanks

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    2. That is a splendid tip! I have also heard that you put your hanger back in the opposite way for the same reason. So smart!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  22. Oh those closets make me drool! Love the reminders and I especially like the inspiration board. Now if I could just knock out a room to turn it into a closet to make mine larger....

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  23. Jen - don't forget the digital component! Using tools like Dress Assistant, Netrobe or Stylebook on iphone or your computer makes it a snap to see what you have when you are out shopping and need to find something that goes with what you already have. I just started using Netrobe and love the feature where you can drag and drop your items into a packing list that is permanently saved. So anytime I go to a "wedding weekend" or "beach trip", I already know what I am taking.

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    1. thanks for the suggestion of digital. stylebook looks like what i need!

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    2. I had never heard of those sites/apps! Thanks so much for the great tip Jenn!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  24. This is really inspiring! I think I'll be cleaning up our closet this weekend... :)

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  25. Over the last week, I have completely gone through my 3 boys bedrooms - closets, dressers and all. I feel pretty good about how I have organized things for them. Now to tackle my daughters room and closet - which is one shelf with the rod! Gotta think about how to use the space better - right now "stuff" is in boxes in the closet.

    I do have a question - I also recently went through and cleaned my bedroom closet (well my half, hubby can do his own!). We have some shelving in the middle and he has two rods on his side. My side is very deep with shelving BEHIND the rod! Any suggestions on how to use this space effectively? So far, I've put out of season clothing in the back. Also, we have sliding doors which makes getting to the middle of the closet tricky...suggestions? I'd love to replac the doors somehow but hubby would never go for that...
    Thanks and I LOVE your blog!

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    1. I like that you are using the back for less frequently used items. Do you also have a double rod? Could you pull the shelving forward to utilize it? I am having a bit of a hard time visualizing.

      I wonder if you could replace the doors with a simple curtain. There are so many great ways to do it and it can look SOOO good.

      xoxo!
      Jen

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  26. Inspired, jealous, all in one. Need some time to catch up....maybe when school's out I can tackle one project at a time starting with my master closet

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  27. Wow perfect timing! I just did my daughter's last Monday and today worked on the Master closet!

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  28. This is perfect timing! I will be starting a new job at the end of July and need to re-organize my closet and clean some stuff out before I go shopping for some new work clothes. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  29. Another tip to conquering clutter is just to have less clothes! It's really true that we only wear about 20% of our clothes 80% of the time. I've been purging like crazy and it really feels amazing!

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more! Thanks for the sweet reminder!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  30. Lots of great ideas! I love what you said about the hooks for scarves, but I wanted to show you this Pinterest idea. This is what I did for scarves in my closet, and I LOVE it! They're just shower curtain rings on a hanger.

    http://pinterest.com/pin/285274957615751819/

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    1. That is such a smart idea! I adore it! Thanks so much for sharing!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  31. Hey, another great idea is to upload pics of all your clothes (while your organizing, of course) to Go Chic or Go Home. I'm trying it out myself.

    Silver from A Silver Snapshot
    http://starthinker-silverbarter.blogspot.ca/

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    1. Love the digital side of things! So neat! Thanks for sharing!

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  32. Wow! Great minds think alike re the "Give" bag in your closet! I think that's a great tip for continually reducing closet clutter!

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  33. Great ideas! I'm not a big clothes horse so it's not an amount problem with me but who can't get better organized regardless? I loved the clothing dividers on the rod, the DIY no-slip hanger trick and the GIVE bag. Oh, and I'll be making some those DIY drawer dividers too! Thank you! Great post!

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  34. I needed this today! I have been putting this very thing off, thanks so much for the inspiration!

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  35. Awesome! We just had our second boy and are having to enter the world of room sharing... Its definitely tricky getting everything into one little closet. I'm always checking out your site for inspiration. Oh and btw that little truck shirt in the the donation pile is too cute... I need to live closer to your Goodwill! :-)

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    1. Awww, congrats on your new addition!

      My son really got some good use out of that pj shirt. Now, it will get handed down to a good family friend so I know it will still get some love. :) Always hard to let go of those cute favorites...

      xoxo,
      Jen

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  36. Love all these tips!! I already use several of these (thanks, Mom!) and will be implementing as many of the others as I can. I just cleaned out my closet last weekend, and my husband is due up this weekend before I head to goodwill. Now that everything has been pared down, it's time to re-organize - my favorite! :)

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  37. Very inspiring closet, I enjoy the tips and am always trying to work on my organizing.

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  38. Love this post, however no one ever shows examples with sliding closet doors and having to share half with a hubby. Can you help?

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  39. I think your ideas are amazing as well as perfectly executed! I do have a random question (problem)! I have 2 boys and work 2 jobs (which gives me little time for home life :-( I really have let our clothing overwhelm us and I don't know how much to keep and how much to get rid of. What is a sufficient amount of clothing to keep for your children? They wear uniforms to school as well as play sports and I just can't keep up ! HELP PLEASE...... Tricia

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  40. Last summer I bought clothes hangers for the first time in my life because I wanted to have all the same hangers in my whole armoire. I bought "magic" hangers and they are really really good, because they take up less space and the clothes don't slide off them. Also it looks very nice that they are all the same now instead of the mix that I had inherited from my Mom's and collected from different department stores where they gave their hangers away with the clothey yyou bought. ;) Yesterday I bought a dresser and am determined to conquer my closet chaos in the VERY near future. I have also put several clothes in a bag today and willl take it to a donation container tomorrow.

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