Its amazing how two very different people can fall in love and get married. Seems most couples end up finding that they are polar opposites in a lot of ways. My husband and I are no different. Type A/scattered, numbers person/writing person, restless/chill, disaster for a closet/OCD closet organizer.
It amazes me how quickly my husband’s closet goes from already bad to worse. He doesn’t know how to fold a pile of things in one uniform way, he is incapable of putting shoes on a shelf, and he keeps old, random junk. I am usually chomping at the bit to get in there and clean up his dumping ground but lately the pool has been calling a lot louder than his closet. But it had gotten so bad that he actually asked when I was going to help him with his closet (i.e., help him find his t-shirts and favorite flip-flops from beneath all the clutter.) At some point even this closet slob is ready for a little order.
I have done this job before and so now I have it down to a science. This job was done before lunch.
Step 1: If it is not on a hanger, remove it from the closet for assessment. Clearing some of the clutter is a start in beginning to organize. Plus it is helpful to have room to walk!
Step 2: Assess the “categories” of clothing that is worn. For my husband it is: work clothes, casual clothes, and work-around-the-house clothes.
Step 3: Create piles to match the categories. Separate what is a keeper and what will be donated/tossed/consigned.
Step 4: Go back to the closet and determine, based on your space, if you will need storage. If you have high shelving I suggest clear tupperware containers. They can be placed out of the way and are see-through so you can easily identify contents without having to haul it down every time. If you have ample room for all of the clothes then skip this step.
Step 5: Imagine the closet in compartments: current season, opposite season, casual, formal, folded, hanging. The piles you have started should fit into one of these sections. Determine which type needs the biggest compartment and start there. For my husband it was suits so they were hung in one large compartment all by themselves. With the clothes folded in piles from earlier it was easy to visualize which categories needed more/less space. Next were all of his casual shirts. They were separated into long- and short-sleeve. His pants came next: work ones folded over a hanger, casual ones folded on a shelf.
And so the process went, neatly folding, hanging, separating trash from actual keepsakes, and making sure everything had a home that was not cramped and easy to find!
*Keep current-season clothing up front. Keep off-season clothing in storage or in the back.
*Utilize over-the-door hooks, tie racks, and shoe hangers to maximize your space. Also find appealing ways to store receipts, extra buttons, and cuff links with boxes or trays.
*Fold pants so that the back pocket is visible. Most pants can be distinguished based on their pocket creating easy retrieval.
*Use different methods of folding to distinguish different types of clothing: shorts and jeans folded in 1/2, t-shirts folded in 1/3, swim trunks rolled into tubes, etc.
*Color-code!! Always start with with white items and work your way to darker colors. Makes life a breeze when trying to find what you need.
*Use uniform hangers. Although I prefer wire for work shirts and plastic for casual shirts, I only use one kind per section. It keeps things orderly and prevents tangled hangers!
*Bring out your inner merchandiser for his hats, glasses, watches, and other accessories. Display things like you would find in a store for easy access.
The last and final step is to organize your cast offs. Through this re-organization you will hopefully be left with plenty of extra hangers. Keep plastic and wooden ones and recycle all of your wire ones to a local dry cleaner. For gently-worn clothes consider consigning. There are several options for men (and women) here in Charlotte:
(click for links)
Revolve: Upscale, high-end brands
Buffalo Exchange: high-end to vintage and everything in between
Plato’s Closet: name-brand clothing (think, Gap, American Eagle, Citizens of Humanity, Levis, etc.)