I did it! I opened the closet doors not just to grab a shirt, dress or shoes to get ready. I opened it to face those items that haven’t seen any love in a good year or two. This is the process I dreaded. Closet Organization 101. Can I skip this class?! I’ve been avoiding this for awhile, but morning after morning my one shoe find tested my patience. It was time. I now faced the inevitable question..Where do I begin? And more importantly, how do I prevent this from happening all over again, by say next week.

I set out to make this organization the best one ever. So good I wouldn’t possibly let it get back to the hot mess it had become. The one of mismatched hangers, piles of forgotten clothes smooshed side by side with their equally unpopular friends of 2010. The ones where the love affair was so strong and is now a thing of the past.

I wondered how my folding skills from my retail days long ago didn’t stay with me and prevent this from happening. Don’t get me wrong I can still free fold a shirt like no other, just not the ones in my closet. I longed for the kind of closet of a celebrity. Regardless of the fact my whole closet is probably the size of the one they use just for their underwear. Simply put, I wanted a closet that looked good and was accessible with cool storage solutions.

I set out to remedy this situation and got started. I found a few surprises along the way. Some good ones and some scary. I’m not gonna lie that as this process starts you may find yourself saying something along the lines like “I bought this?!” “Eww, why?” But also some long lost finds that make you happy and leaving you feeling as if you just got something new. I’m going to stop while I’m ahead before you think my closet was a bottomless pit of disaster featured on an episode of Hoarders. Happy to report after an hour or two my closet is now organized, functional and camera ready.

Time for some Listology for Closet Organization 101. Ready? Class is now in session!

1) Clear it all out. I literally took everything hanging and put it on my bed so I could remove the hangers. I also cleared out the pile of shoes at the bottom so I could start with a clean slate.

2) Sorting through what you should keep and what to donate. This is the hardest part of the process. You have to be honest with yourself, if you haven’t worn it in a year it’s not likely to gain new appeal to you. Just get rid of it.

3) When you are ready to start putting things back in the closet group things that are alike: have a dress area, belts, folding sweaters on a shelf, work clothes, jeans..

4) Utilize prime spots for the clothes you wear the most and the ones you don’t to the back of the closet. Doing seasonal closet maintenance lets you trade out those items to always keep what you need right at your fingertips.

5) Don’t feel you have to buy a fancy closet organizer. Measure your space and see if you can utilize things such as bookcases, baskets, bins and shoe organizers, etc

6) Not everything has to go into your closet. Finding old dresser drawers and making them into hideaway bins for under the bed is another option for those “once in awhile” pieces.

7) Get creative by using a silverware tray for jewelry storage on the wall, a ladder for shoes and everyday items like shower curtain rings on a hanger for scarves and S-hooks for purse storage.

8) Labeling items and color coding as much as you can will be a huge help in finding things. Color coding hangers makes things easier and gets your good stuff off those bad wire hangers that can ruin the shape of clothes.

9) Try not to stack more than 3-4 items in a pile on the shelf when it comes to pants and shirts. It makes it easier to get at the items lower in the pile when you need to without it toppling over.

10) Stand back and admire your newly organized closet!

Follow these tips and do a little closet organization at the start of every season. This will help you go through what you have and keep it maintained all year long. It makes it so much easier for future organizing. Good luck!

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