Not everyone has large beautiful, organized closets that can hold all their lovely clothes. And if they have a right size closet, they may not have enough room for all their sweaters, shirts, shoes, dresses, and accessories. Each house, especially if you have a home more than 30 years old, usually doesn't have enough closet space for the myriad of items we have these days. And above all else, every closet is not created equal. So, to help you with your smaller closet spaces, here are some tips on how to purge your connection and advice on how and where to store the treasured clothing in tiny areas.
But first, we need to go through the purge process!
You knew I wasn't going to give you a list of where to store clothing without reminding you that purging is necessary first, right? 😉
"Unused clothes are like uneaten canned food. They decay even if you don't use them."
~ Sabrina Quairoli
This will be painless. I promise. Since the majority of people don't use everything in their closet, before finding homes for those random clothing, Let's first clean out stuff you don't want or use. The items to keep are:
I have read The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo, an organizer who created "The KonMari Method" in Japan. Her book was an N.Y. Times bestseller. It's an easy read if you are looking for some purging inspiration.
Place all the items in a pile on the floor.
Marie and I recommend taking all the clothing from the entire house and bringing it to one place. Place all the items in a pile on the floor. Sounds scary, right? It helps you see how much you have and enables you to answer the question, "Do I need all of it?" Because when you honestly examine all the clothes and shoes, you will realize you don't wear them all. It happens every time I work with a client.
Go through and make a decision on each item.
After you have done this, go through one by one (only touch the item once) and make a decision should I Keep, Donate, or Trash. This process should be quick. Just hold the item for 2 seconds and make a decision and then place it in Keep, Donate, or Trash pile. No mulling over each piece of clothing saying things like, "Well, I wore it, (blank) years ago." "It's expensive." "Does it still fit?".
If you have an issue with "does it still fit," make a pile called "try on" items. Do this later after the first run decision process. When you do try them on, look at yourself in the mirror. Does your back look as good as you think it did when you first got the item? We very rarely watch our backs in outfits, so this is an excellent indicator if it looks good or not.
Now that you went through the items let's get rid of the things. Bag up the pile of clothes and bring to your nearby charity. Here is my charitable donation page that includes many websites for charities links to find a great location near you.
Bag up the damaged items and get them out of the room.
With the clothes that are left, divide them into categories.
Here are the types to use: Socks, undergarments (bras / underwear), bags (large and small), accessories (belts, hats, scarves), season clothing (swimsuits, shorts), work uniform (scrubs), workout (yoga pants, t-shirts), shoes(boots, flats, high heels, sandals) , outerwear (jackets, coats, gloves, hats), tops (blouses, sweaters, shirts), and bottoms (pants, slacks, sweatpants).
Now, we need to find the unique small spaces for the clothing categories.
To do this, you need to use a little creativity.
- First, grab a notepad. Write at the top of each page, what room it is. Then walk through your home and look around the space. Are there cluttered areas that are visible and that could use a decorative bin or container? These areas could be found under the bed, over cabinets, above shelves, and inside furniture.
- Then, measure those areas (height, length, and width) and draw the area on the notepad. Write down the measurements on your paper.
- Continue this for every room in your home.
When you finish, you should have found great places to store some of your categories you created earlier.
I did this process in my smaller home, and these are the 17 areas I found to store clothing:
- Hanging behind doors
- In Ottoman
- In an old locker
- In wood file drawers
- At the end of bed storage
- In old luggage
- Under benches in Bins
- In night stands
- In attic space
- On a wall full of hooks
- In a guest room closet
- In a guest room under the bed
- On shelves
- Under the desk in a bin
- Under steps in plastic bins
- Store it in a tall Ikea cabinet
- The top of an armoire
Now compare the measurements on your notepad to the size of your category piles. Will they fit? If yes, then find a bin or container to hold the items if needed. With everything else, start putting your similar articles away. All like items should be in one place. So you can see them all at once. It saves time in the morning and money when you know where everything is and can find it. Continue going through the same categories and finding homes for them until all your group items are placed in their new home.
That's it! I hope this inspires you to take a good look at your small space and see what hidden area you may have. Please share if you tried this process and let me know how much you purged. Would you be willing to do this? What is your most challenging part of storing your clothes? Please leave a comment below. I would love to continue the conversation.
Visit these other closet organizing posts below.
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