As a professional organizer, I’ve seen a lot of bedroom closets in my line of work: walk-in closets, makeshift closets, and closets so full that I could hardly open or close the doors. You name it, I’ve organized it. And as a result, I’ve helped each of my clients get out the door faster because they no longer play hide and seek with their clothes, shoes, and accessories.
When it comes to organizing your bedroom closet, the truth is that it doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. The key is to use that space as efficiently as possible. So, how can you achieve order and function that results in finding the clothes you need in a timely fashion?
Here are five of the most common bedroom closet organization problems I’ve seen and how to quickly solve them.
1. Problem: Your closet is bursting at the seams.
Solution: Purge, purge, purge!
This may seem like an obvious tip, but it’s literally the first and most important step in getting your bedroom closet to look less like a hot mess. In order to achieve this, pull everything out. And I mean everything. Go through each item and honestly think about if you want to keep it. Go all “joy-sparking” Marie Kondo if you must. You should always know in your gut if you absolutely can’t live without an item.
Helpful hint when you’re purging — if you have to justify keeping an item, then it probably means you shouldn’t.
Pro Tip: While your closet is empty, start fresh by making an appointment with King of Maids, a cleaning service in Chicago.
2. Problem: So many shoes, so little places for them to go.
Solution: Place your shoes in the opposite direction.
Save space by placing your shoes facing in opposite directions. By doing this, you’ll be able to see one shoe from the front and one shoe from the back. Placing shoes this way ends up saving you a few inches of space, which might let you fit another pair of shoes depending on your bedroom closet’s size.
It’s also wise to invest in a solid shoe rack. My go-to is the expandable 3-Tier Grippy Shoe Rack from the Container Store. It provides ample amount of storage and expands so that you can add more shoes if your closet allows.
Not enough room for a shoe rack? Don’t sweat it. Investing in rolling bins are great for shoes. Not only can you store your flats, booties, and sneakers in the bins, but you can also roll the bins out whenever you need your stuff. Which leaves extra floor space for the fancy footwear you don’t want to store in bins.
3. Problem: Jeans across your closet shelf turn into one messy pile.
Solution: Use shower curtain hooks to hang your jeans.
This concept is really about thinking outside the box when it comes to how you arrange your bedroom closet and what you choose to hang versus fold. The recurring problem with shelves is when you pull one pair of jeans out of the pile and it messes up the rest. Or when you’re done with a pair and you just toss it on top of the shelf, hoping it stays, but like a bad game of Jenga, the entire pile all comes tumbling down.
To free up shelf space and ensure that you no longer have to play the jean Jenga game, use shower curtain hooks wide enough to fit on your closet rod and hang your jeans from their belt loops. This will also air your jeans out, between washes!
4. Problem: Your shirts keep falling off your hangers.
Solution: Invest in proper hangers.
Investing in proper hangers may seem silly, but what’s really silly is constantly picking up your clothes from the floor because they’re on plastic hangers, or worse, wire hangers that can warp the shape of your clothes. Two things to do here: Buy wooden hangers that have a divot in them, or a rubber end, so that they can hold your shirts in place without them slipping off. It helps make your closet look uniform and organized, which is visually pleasing to the eye.
Don’t want to invest in all new hangers? Invest in wall-mounted hooks. You can install hooks inside or beside your closet for the shirts that just don’t want to stay put, or for the ones that you wear regularly.
5. Problem: You have items stored in bins and you don’t remember what’s in them.
Solution: Store your stuff in clear bins.
What do you think you’re most likely to reach for in your bedroom closet, a colored bin whose contents you can’t see, or a clear bin where you can see everything from the outside? I think we all know the answer.
If you can’t see what you have when it’s hidden in a colored bin, chances are you’ll forget what you stored inside. Time passes and that bin sits collecting dust, which does nothing but waste your time and money.
Storing your stuff in clear bins enables you to see everything you have so that you can use those items often. If you still don’t reach for those clear bins in your closet, you either need to bring them closer to eye level or ask yourself if you really have a need for those items. If you haven’t thought about, used, or worn an item in a year, then it’s time to sell, donate, or toss it — no exceptions!
But what if you don’t want to store any bins in your closet?
Another option is to store your stuff in MakeSpace, which takes up zero space in your closet. They’ll pick up, store, and create an online photo catalog of your stuff so that you always remember what you have in storage. And when you need something back, they’ll deliver it to you. It’s like your own clear bin in the sky!
This post was contributed by Anna Bauer, a professional organizer and NAPO member based in New York City who helps people achieve order, function, and efficiency so they can truly love their space again.