You've done the work to streamline this space—now ensure it stays that way.

By Lauren Wellbank
June 02, 2021
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There's nothing quite as frustrating as sorting, purging, and organizing your closet only to watch it slowly fall back into a state of disarray. Sticking with a new organizational system, however, can become difficult over time, as the newness of it wears off and the initial excitement fades, causing you to slip back into the old habits that had you overhauling this area in the first place. To help you break the cycle, we checked in with an organization expert who shared her best advice for keeping your closet tidy for good.

large organized walk in closet
Credit: IP Galanternik D.U. / Getty Images

Change you perspective and stay consistent.

Have you recently made a major change to your closet and want to find a way to adhere to its new system? Organization expert Jeni Aron says that it all comes down to consistency. "Return items to their homes on a daily basis so that you're not left with an enormous homework pile on the weekends," she says. "Just a few minutes every day will keep your home tidy if you have set up your systems in the right way for you." While this might sound simple enough, it's easy to put off these daily tasks when busy schedules take over. To get around this, treat these chores as nonnegotiable must-dos—you wouldn't leave the trash out to rot, and you shouldn't leave a pile of clothes on your bedroom chair, either.

Troubleshoot any commitment issues.

It's not uncommon to slip up a few days or weeks into a new set-up. To get back on track, Aron says you should first ask yourself why you are having difficulty. "Are the systems not in tune with your life?" she asks. "Maybe you do need to hang up your jeans instead of folding them on a shelf." Ae you not following through because you're tired? If that is the case, you might need to rethink your schedule (cull clutter in the morning, for example—not at night). "If the system you set up to begin with was designed with your behavior in mind, a simple tweak should fix the issue," she affirms, adding that this is why she finds it so important to work with a trained professional whenever you begin a new organizational routine; they know which lifestyle-related questions to ask. "A professional organizer can also give you helpful examples of what has worked for other clients and what products might be useful in your situation (if any are needed at all)," she adds.

Regularly review your clothing collection.

If your problem isn't following your system, but overloading it, it may be time to implement a cut-off for the number of garments you have at one time. "Whenever you buy new clothing, you should be quickly analyzing the items you already own to see what can possibly be donated, sold, or tossed," Aron says. "If a drawer is getting too full, something needs to give." Use seasonal clothing swap-out sessions as an opportunity to review your items before packing them away. "Gloves and hats don't last forever," she notes. Staying on top of what comes in and what goes out will ultimately prevent your closet from becoming overwhelmed with clutter.

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