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Tips on keeping your closet organized

Dionne Middlebrooks

Women are busy no matter whether they are kicking ass as a mom at home or killing it at work, and being busy usually means there's not much time in the morning to get ready for the day ahead. It would be great if we could wake up with a perfectly pressed and accessorized outfit hanging on the bedroom door, but most of us aren't able to employ private help to make that happen. What can you do to ensure your style isn't compromised by lack of time? Answer: Organize your closet.


You don't have to go full-out Marie Kondo (honestly, who's going to fold their camis into origami cranes?), but with the tips I'm offering here you can better realize the full potential of your wardrobe, keep space open for new purchases, and enjoy putting together your look every day. Ready to begin? Here are five tips for starters:

Go seasonal

If you're guilty of keeping your cruise clothes intermixed with your Christmas sweaters, it's time to take Mom's advice (finally), and put your warm weather clothes away when cool temperatures set in. Consider a few space bags; once you vacuum the air out, the compressed clothes can fit easily onto a top shelf or under the bed. Avoid storing your clothes in the basement even if they're sealed -- they might acquire mildew or a lingering odor.

Use hooks & hangers

Do you wish your closet or dressing room were larger? It can be. Look for ways to maximize storage space. Hang a shoe holder over the door and use it for lightweight slippers and flip-flops. Invest in hooks (Anthropologie has a stylish supply) and install a row of them inside or around the area. Visit the hardware store and explore the fascinating collection of velcro strips and clips you can use to hang up your jewelry, belts, scarves, and other items. Do you have a sloppy mess of yoga pants? Try one of those snazzy hangers with multiple layers and pack them in. The tools are out there -- find them and use them.

Categorize

Organize your clothing according to fabric weight, style, or purpose. Many people I know have a separate area for workout clothes, such as a dresser or shelf, to make it easy to throw together an outfit for a class after work. You can apply this same concept to your entire wardrobe, keeping the clothes of each category together in a designated space. Use shoeboxes or drawer dividers for bras and socks, and a few pull-out bins for things that are hard to fold or hang like strapless tops or silky lingerie.

Play stylist

Imagine that a top stylist came into your closet -- what would they say? An overstuffed closet prevents you from looking your best and limits your potential. When you can't see most of your clothes, it's easy to fall into a rut and wear the same looks over and over. I try to purge every few weeks by going through a shelf or rack that needs attention. Keep a thrift store pile nearby for things that no longer fit or have gone out of date. Rotate your pieces, putting favorites in view to inspire you every morning. Keep a notepad nearby and jot down the things you need to buy.

Try color-coding

Once you've gotten your closet in good order, take a tip from the pros and color-code your sections and categories to give the whole area a pop of excitement. Hang all the whites together, then the blues, then the greens, ending with the darkest colors like purple, red, and black. You can even go a step further and arrange the color sections according to style, such as sleeveless first, short sleeve next, then long sleeves.

Living day to day is better when your closet is organized, something you can accomplish on your own without paying a cent. In fact, you'll save money and time. Now that sparks joy!