Dear Shopping Savage,
I have a standard-size walk-in closet but it seems like every time I buy something new I have to throw two things out just to make room! I donate old clothing regularly and I'm pretty good about making smart choices when I do buy something so I don't believe I'm a closeted hoarder (pun intended).
I want to try out a closet organization system, but I don't want it so organized that I can't get to things when I need them! What do you suggest?
Woman on the Verge of a Closet Breakdown
A few years back I reorganized my closet and it made a WORLD of difference. Not just organization wise, but also aesthetically. I replaced all of the plastic "thank you" bags I would store my shoes in - I was convinced they helped saved space and made the shoes easier to stack! - and started using sterilite storage shoe boxes instead. I then took all of the dry cleaning bags, wire hangers and mismatched plastic hangers and tossed them. I opted to go with all white hangers - thinner ones for hanging collared shirts and light weight jackets, thicker ones for winter coats and jeans (denim seems to warp thinner hangers by making them sag in the middle) and those with clips for dress and casual pants. Everything else is folded down into organized color-coordinated stacks. With visibility and reachability not an issue, I can get dressed without making (too much of) a mess.
As the weather changes, so does my closet. Seasonal clothing is cleaned and then stored in clear containers until they are reintroduced into the closet as the now out-of-season clothing goes though the same "clean-and-store" process. This saves me from having to sift through impractical clothing options and makes for better use of my closet space.
I also found that the shoe boxes I use are great for storing accessories that can't be hung (bowtie's, gloves, wallets, some hats, etc.) which makes them easy to find and keeps my closet looking that much more organized and contained.
This approach to closet organization works well for me. Try to use my system as your guide but modify what doesn't work for you. For example, if you're the type of person that would want to try on several pairs of shoes before deciding on one, then individual shoe boxes may not work for you, but this might.
If you want to test your hand at reorganizing any other part of your abode, I found this site helpful.