Give Your Closet a Once-over

Has your closet become so cluttered that it’s easier to throw things on the floor in front of it than to untangle what’s inside? Have you gotten into the habit of hanging hangers on other hangers, because there’s just not enough room? And whatever happened to that one sweater you really, really loved… either your sister “borrowed” it or it’s in there, somewhere.

There’s really nothing like a visit to the closet section of a specialty store to strike down my self-esteem. My closets have never looked like that—full of designer-made white cotton shirts, each on a beautifully polished wooden hanger. C’mon, who lives that way? No one I know. I mean, we have lives to lead. And we need a quick once-over to take back our closets.

A “once-over” is inherently less stressful than a “re-organization” or an “overhaul.” If your closet is a mess, it’s probably that way because you are busy. You might not have the time (or, in my case, the willpower) to take everything out, sort through it and hang things on color-coded hangers. Let’s get real, and take a few simple steps to give the troublesome closet a once-over.

First, move whatever is in front of your closet aside. And if your closet has a door (hey, lots don’t, especially in city apartments), take whatever is behind it and move it somewhere else—like to your local Goodwill. It’s nice to be able to close that door sometimes.

Next, have a quick look at what is right in front of you. Are these the things you want to wear to work, school or out with friends? If what you see is: a gift that you never really liked; totally out of style but it was expensive so you are keeping it; too big and you’ve been meaning to get it tailored or make it into a body pillow… check out this article about selling your stuff. Transform that sweater your grandma gave you into cold, hard cash. (Hey, you can always buy grandma some flowers with the proceeds!)

If, right in front of you, are things you use, but in a different season—a wetsuit, ski pants, a heavy winter coat, etc.—then pack them away, in the garage or in your storage unit. Your closet will serve you best when it’s filled with what you actually wear. For the items you wear occasionally but are really cool—your Panama hat, vintage smoking jacket, or smoking hot boots—find a space in the back or to one side of your closet.

Then, check the hangers in front of you to see if you’ve doubled-up on any of them. I do this all the time: hang a jacket over a sweater and throw a belt on the hanger, too. And then I wonder why I can’t find anything.

If you feel like you need more room in your closet, I have something amazing to show you: SlimLine hangers. I switched over to a generic version of these and doubled my closet space. They are not expensive, especially if you go to your local discount store (TJMaxx, Marshall’s, etc.) and find them on sale, like I did.

By the way, there’s no need to put your old hangers in the garbage. Many dry cleaners will recycle them (the wire ones) for you and the others can be donated to thrift shops or given away on FreeCycle.

An organized closet is good feng shui (we’ll talk about that in a later blog!). It’s also a huge time-saver as you are getting ready every day. Finally, it can save you money, too—no more buying another belt for a fancy occasion because you can’t find your “good belt” (or any belt). Now that you’ve given your closet a once-over, you’ll know exactly where to find what you need.

Conna Shannon

Conna Shannon

Conna is a writer, editor and aspiring filmmaker. She's into DIY, upcylcing and macrobiotic cooking. She lives in Monterey, California, with a yellow lab named Daisy.
Conna Shannon

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