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Organizing a Closet

Martha Stewart Living Television


Without periodic reorganization, even the most immaculate closet will eventually fall into a state of disarray. That's why it's critical to regularly get rid of clothes and accessories that are outdated, stained, or don't fit. But beyond the standard maintenance regimen, there are some simple storage techniques you can use to help keep your closet orderly and its contents looking their best.

To properly store your shoes, always wipe them clean and stuff them with tissue to help them maintain their shape. Line boot tops with cardboard, and lay extra-tall boots flat; you can also use cedar shoe trees, if desired. Be sure to keep a shoe-care bin, equipped with polish, a brush, and other supplies, readily available, as well as shoe bags, which are perfect for traveling.

To maximize your storage space, hang hooks on the inside of your closet door for bathrobes, laundry bags, and other frequently used items; for scarves, towel racks are ideal, while hanging racks are suitable for belts. Be sure to always fold knitwear, T-shirts, bathing suits, sarongs, and workout clothes, all of which can be stacked in canvas boxes for a tidy appearance. When storing winter garments, such as wools, first make sure that they're clean. Then, fold the clothes with acid-free tissue to prevent creases, and keep them in breathable storage bags on the upper shelves of the closet. For suits and coats, always remove dry-cleaning bags and wire hangers, replacing them with wooden hangers and garment bags.

Keep in mind that there are certain clothes, including pressed shirts, linen and rayon garments, and 100 percent cotton blouses and dresses, that should be hung only on wooden hangers. Slippery silks and satins can slide around in drawers, so they should be hung on padded hangers, while pants and skirts should be suspended from clip hangers. To prevent the marks often caused by clip hangers, place pieces of felt under the clips. In general, it's best to group hanging clothes by category and color, and to keep empty hangers at the end of the rod for easy access. Clothing-care supplies such as lint brushes, sweater-pill removers, static guard, and lint rollers, as well as mending supplies such as extra buttons and a needle and thread, should also be kept within reach.

Resources
Cutlery holder from Bed, Bath, and Beyond. Natural canvas storage boxes and storage tins from The Container Store.

Comments (13)

  • lisaemc2 10 Oct, 2010

    My closet wouldn't even hold all of the misc items suggested. What can you do about a tiny apartment if you have a huge wardrobe? That's the tip I'm looking for.

  • fixedmortgagerates 29 May, 2010

    Have you ever had a need for more storage in your home? A great alternative to making a huge financial investment is by using a stackable storage bin to increase your available space within your home. You can use them in most rooms like the dining room, living room, bedrooms, or kitchen.

    Read More: Stackable Storage Bins,
    http://www.stackablestoragebin.com/

    <a href="http://www.stackablestoragebin.com/" target="_blank">Stackable Storage Bins</a>

  • jeannemara 27 Feb, 2010

    Woodfern,
    Kosher or not, I love your idea and will use it! We stack our comforters on top of the washer and dryer (both are front-load.) I've tried to think of what I could use to make sure that they are secure!

  • jeannemara 27 Feb, 2010

    Woodfern,
    Kosher or not, I love your idea and will use it! We stack our comforters on top of the washer and dryer (both are front-load.) I've tried to think of what I could use to make sure that they are secure!

  • elaynemay 31 Mar, 2009

    I moved into a temporary small apt. with plaster walls so could not screw extra storage hardward into the walls. I used 3M Command adhesive hooks with appropriate weight capacities--doubling up hooks as needed

  • mccandlesstrekkies1 30 Mar, 2009

    We also don't have furniture as we are house hunting in this new community, so ours is in storage. We have a small armoire with two drawers and two shelves for personals. Hats, scarves, belts, and the like were put on 1/4" X 2" firing strips mounted (minimal screws) on the wall behind doors, with dollar store clothes pins glued to them spaced apart for whatever item was to be hung up, some close, some further apart. Took care of all the problems! Could use this idea for toys

  • mccandlesstrekkies1 30 Mar, 2009

    Not until after we signed on the dotted line of a rental, did we realize not a closet in the "barely a house" we rented. So we have had to be really creative. 1st I went to the $1 store and bought a 2pk of over the door double hooks two for each door front and back, for a total of 4. We have 2 doors one to the bedroom, one to the bath, giving us 8 double hooks. Each of us having one door for our clothes. Hanging those that wrinkle most on the top, wear the least, or later in the back.

  • elaynemay 30 Mar, 2009

    I moved into a rental with minimal storage

  • lindacabler 8 May, 2008

    I have tiny closets so i have 2 rods in each one. One above the other. Allow about 2' from the hem of the shirt hung on the top rod so the shirt will not rub against the top of the lower rod. I have a shoe bag installed on the back of the closet door.
    lindacabler@charter.net

  • woodfern 1 Apr, 2008

    I'm sure this isn't kosher, but it's worked great for me with little room and not so picky ways. I cut the elastic off all my hubs worn out underwear or anything else sturdy enough. I fold up a quilt, comforter, mattress pad to put on a top closet shelf. After I've folded it as well as I can without spending a day doing it, I add two of the bands of elastic around it and it keeps it folded or at least together on the shelf.

  • lizen 20 Mar, 2008

    Carmelita, here's what I did in my son's 2' X 6' closet: I bought assemble-yourself melamine shelves and drawer units from Target and stacked them on one end and across the bottom of his closet. Then I just used a shower-curtain tension rod as a second hanging rod ( set lower down), and he has plenty of space for his things (and keeps it all fairly neat!). Hope that helps.

  • carmelita_arburua 7 Feb, 2008

    Yours is good, but what about thouse of us who have small closets, not walk in closets?

  • carmelita_arburua 7 Feb, 2008

    Yours is good, but what about thouse of us who have small closets, not walk in closets?