by Debra Wyatt
(last updated November 1, 2018)
I couldn't stand my closet any longer. I felt like I was walking into a dungeon and that I would never escape. It was a nightmare, and I felt that I wouldn't wake up. Needless to say I hated my walk-in closet. I knew that I had to do some organizing, but I didn't have much money to get the "fun" organizing stuff that I'd seen all over television. So, I decided to get creative. I knew that there was some advantage to having an organized walk-in closet—things like efficiency, functionality, and (best of all) space.
I began by assessing what I did have in my closet and what would make it better. With pen and paper I wrote down some of the things that I needed in order to accomplish my goal of having a functional walk-in closet. I knew that I needed shelves. (I had a few, but not enough.) My hangers didn't match, and while this didn't detract from functionality, I knew that having matching hangers would help make my closet seem less cluttered. Also needed was some type of container to hold my clothing accessories.
I then draw a small map of the closet and wrote where the shelves would be and where I would place the different articles in the closet. After looking around the house I found that I had a lot of different baskets that I could use for my accessories. I also noted that I had a bookcase that could be used as shelving in the closet.
After addressing the above questions it was time to begin. I found that setting aside a full day to accomplish the organizing of the closet kept me from getting frustrated. Wanting to have everything ready so that I didn't need to "slow down" in order to locate pieces and parts was important to me. So, I made a shopping list and purchased the items I needed ahead of time.
Finally my set-aside day arrived, and it was time to clean and organize. First I removed everything from the closet, as I find it always easier to start with a clean closet. After everything was removed, I took the time to clean the closet, including washing the shelves, washing the walls, and vacuuming the floor. I then moved the bookshelf into the closet along with the baskets. With everything situated, the closet was finally ready for my clothing and accessories.
Going through my articles of clothing and different accessories, I begin to make three different piles:
I applied a single rule to this winnowing process—if I hadn't worn the item in the past year I needed to get rid of it.
Starting with my accessories, I begin placing my hats and purses on the shelves, followed by belts and other small accessories such as scarves, watches, and jewelry. Each item went into the baskets or shelves, as appropriate. I also placed my shoes on the shelves, grouped by type. (I placed dress shoes together, then everyday shoes, and lastly the gym shoes.)
The clothing articles came next. I hung all my shirts and blouses together, grouping them by color. I repeated this with the dresses, skirts, suits, etc.
When done, I was quite proud of how the closet looked. I love my finished (and fully organized) walk-in closet. No more frustration with trying to find the right article of clothing, as every item is right where it should be!
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