One of the more difficult aspects of moving can be trying to fit your current stuff into certain areas of your new space. Closets can be one of the more tricky areas to work with unless you are lucky enough to have a new space with expansive nooks that you are already salivating about filling.
Let’s be honest, most of us would love to have a showroom closet. In the bedroom you would open the closet door and walk in to something Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City would swoon over. While you might not be able to pull off that type of high-end look, with a little bit of planning and organization you can easily go from functioning to fabulous during your move.
A quick closet reduction
Rather than just grabbing everything in your closet and stuffing it into boxes, something I am sure all of us – myself included – has done, it makes more sense to do a little housekeeping first. By slimming down your closets you not only save time and energy in moving what you really use, but you also have more flexibility for organization at your new space.
Start by asking yourself important questions about everything in your closet:
- Does this fit? A size above or below can be acceptable if the item passes the rest of the questions.
- Have I worn this in the last 12 months?
- Is it likely I will wear this again…ever? If not then out it goes.
- Is this in style or does it match my style? See above.
- Is the item damaged and if so will I actually fix it? If it has been six months or more than it is doubtful.
- If I was in a store would I buy this today? This is a great question for those items you are on the fence about.
- Do I like to wear this? Items we feel comfortable and confident in get worn more often while items that don’t meet that criteria regularly are passed over.
When you are truly honest it can be fairly easy to make a decision about what to keep and what to donate. Really there is no point to take up space with items that you don’t really love or that serve an important function in your life.
Working with the new space
New spaces are exciting because you have possibilities. Even on a budget there are ways to maximize any closet to make the most of the space while also being organized. Remember, organization helps save time and energy when looking for and using items. After completing the above step you should have a better idea of how much actual ‘stuff’ you have to work with.
Now it is a matter of using some tips and ideas to better organize it:
- Take measurements of your closet, including depth, before shopping for storage solutions. Aim to make every inch count.
- Use a variety of storage units to fit needs. Dresses, suits, dress shirts and the like should be on hangers. Drawers and shelves are perfect for folded items including sweaters. Boxes and bins are great for odds and ends like socks, underwear and scarves.
- Multi-level shoe racks fit under most hanging clothes and can help keep shoes neat and orderly. Hang your longest items before measuring the space underneath.
- Use coordinated hangars. This creates a clean look and allows more items to fit in a small space because each hangar works with the next in regards to spacing.
- Consider drop hangers for limited space. This is where you have hangers that attach at the front of each other taking up less space on the rod for multiple items.
- Store most-used items at eye level and less-used items below. Those used absolutely least go up top. This makes it easier to get what you need quickly.
- For folded clothes use dividers or stacking systems to ensure they stay in their own space.
- Hooks are a great way to add storage space to small nooks along with racks on the back of a door, bedroom or closet.
- Additional space can be made under beds with storage boxes. This is a great place for seasonal wear to go and then can be alternated out as the year goes on.
- When shopping for storage solutions don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. In addition to the storage section in a store like Bed Bath & Beyond, check out the kitchen, bath and laundry sections as well. Different sized spaces have different needs and you might find something that works perfectly in another section of the store.
A more organized closet is part of a more organized, and thus efficient, life. Taking some time to reduce your clothing collection prior to moving and ensuring your new space is organized well from day one will end up saving a lot of time and energy that can be spent on more enjoyable pursuits!