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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 That's why it's critical to regularly get rid of clothes and accessories that are outdated, stained, or don't fit.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.

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

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