The Top 3 Benefits of Organizing Your Closet Plus Tips & Tools to Use

By January 10, 2021How To Organize
Look at the benefits of organizing a closet - before and after

Whether you have a large walk-in closet or a small reach-in closet it’s important to keep it organized. The benefits of organizing your closet are many. The most obvious is that you can find the item of clothing or accessory easily. Another benefit is that you save money.

Benefit #1: Save money

Yes. You save money when you keep your closet organized because you know what you have so you don’t go out and buy duplicates or triplicates. And, because you are keeping your clothes tidy, they last longer.

Benefit #2: Save time

An obvious benefit to organizing your closet is that you save time. When your clothes are organized you are not hunting through piles of mis-matched shoes or a jumbled pile of clothes on a chair in the corner of your room.

Benefit #3: Clothes last longer

It’s true! If you regularly hang up or fold clothes neatly you avoid some of the wear and tear.

Now that I’ve established it’s a good idea to keep your closet organized, I’m going to give you tips and tools to help you maintain an organized closet.

Tip #1: Remove wire hangers

Wire hangers just take up space. You may think that because they are slim that they are the best to use in your closet. They are not. Clothes don’t stay put on a wire hanger. They tend to fall off.

I understand that wire hangers linger in your closet because clothes come back from the cleaners on a wire hanger. When you go to wear that item of clothing, remove the hanger from the closet.

Have a bag in your closet or near the closet to hold the wire hangers. Then, when you take clothes to the cleaners bring the bag along to return the wire hangers.

Invest in slim hangers that either have grips on the ends or have a cloth covering. The Container Store has many good options for hangers. Here’s a picture of hangers I use in my closet.

Tip #2 Create short hanging space

Add a second hanging bar if you need more short hanging space. The fashions now are much more casual than they have been in recent decades. People do not need as much long hanging space as they have in the past. It’s easy to keep the short hanging clothes more organized in your closet when you create more hanging space.

Then you can, if you want to, group the short hanging clothes by sleeve length and/or by color. When you do this, you’ll be able to see at a glance how many shirts you have that are a certain color or sleeve length. This makes coordinating outfits and getting ready a snap!

Tip #3 Clear the floor

Keep the floor of your closet as clear as possible. I encourage you to have a donate bag or box in your closet so that if something doesn’t fit, doesn’t look right, or you don’t like it anymore it can go straight into the bag. The next step is to make a date with yourself to take it to the donation site of your choice when it is full.

Gather your shoes and pair them up. Put shoes that are too worn to donate in the trash. Donate any that are still wearable that you don’t want anymore. They can go into the donate bag I was just talking about.

Then decide if you want a shoe rack that sits on the floor or if you want a shoe holder that can go on your closet door.

Another option is to get some shoe boxes and put shoes that you only wear on special occasions in boxes on an upper shelf in your closet. I like the clear boxes from The Container Store best, but you can use any box that your shoes will fit into. Take a picture of one of the shoes to put on the outside of the box to remind you of what is inside.

Tip #4: Use stackable drawers or bins

If you have lots of athletic wear (honestly, don’t we all have lots of that now?) sort them into tops and bottoms and then put them into stackable drawers or bins. They will be easy to grab when you’re ready to get dressed in the morning.

You can also use these bins for things like socks or even face masks.

Tip #5: Fold or hang

This is an age-old question. Many people ask when they are organizing the closet what should you fold or what should you hang? Some things are easier to fold and keep tidy. These include (but are not limited to) bulky sweaters, sweatshirts, and sweatpants. But it’s also a matter of personal preference.

Some people like to hang lots of their clothes. If they have the space, why not? Then there are others who prefer to fold lots of their clothes. It’s truly up to the individual and the space in the closet.

Organizing strategy

As you go about organizing your closet, start small. Do one section at a time. Take everything in that section out. Clean that section and only put back the clothes that fit and that you want to wear. Understand that just because something fits doesn’t mean that you want to wear it.

You may want to try some clothes on to be sure you still like them.

Conclusion

Remember the reason you are organizing your closet. Are you tackling this project because you want to be able to find your clothes easily, save time, save money or all of the above?

Organize your closet first and then decide if you want or need any of the organizing tools I mentioned above. It’s a mistake to buy before organizing. Know what you need before you shop.

Reach out to me for personal advice or join the Clear Space for You, virtual clutter support group for weekly guidance. There are new groups starting in February. Click here to read more articles like this one.

Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer® owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC and co-owner of Release, Repurpose, Reorganize in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane specializes in residential and home-office organizing and working with people affected by ADD, hoarding challenges, and chronic disorganization. Please contact Diane for a free 30-minute phone consultation. 

20 Comments

  • We could talk about hangers all day long! So many great options, and there are a lot of personal preferences out there. I even like the strong, plastic ones from Walmart. They are great for hanging, and also for air-drying damp shirts. I agree with you completely on the fold vs. hang discussion. It really comes down to your space. If you have a lot of hanging, and limited shelving, it is possible to hang most things (even sweaters, if you do it right). For me, I hang nice pants, blouses, dresses, and skirts. I fold sweaters, tops, jeans, and shorts. The “small and slippery” (e.g. bathing suits, bras, socks, etc.) go into drawers.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Me too! I bet our closets are set up similarly. The important thing is that the closet works for you.

  • I love closet organizing! When we get custom shelving put into our closet, I specifically said I did not want a lot of long hanging space. The space I have is only about 18 inches wide, that’s it! It works great. Thanks for all these great closet tips!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Sabrina. It’s great to think about how you actually use a space when designing a closet. I’m so happy that the custom shelving you had installed works well for you!

  • Another great blog and some really great tips!

  • I don’t know what it is, but I LOVE organizing closets! Maybe it’s that there are sections, and you can easily group things into categories. Or maybe it’s because it’s so satisfying to take cluttered, overflowing space, do some edits, and reorganize it in a way that makes it easy to access and use. I have early memories of looking inside my grandmother’s closet. She worked in women’s retail clothing. Her closets were a thing of beauty, with all items beautifully folded, hung, and arranged. Who knew that decades later, I’d launch an organizing business. Maybe those early memories of my grandmother’s closet inspired my love of organizing clothing closets.

    Your closet organizing benefits and tips are terrific. Switching to the slimline hangers is a space and clothing saver. Those wire hangers are terrible for clothes and often get tangled together.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      I love your description of your grandmother’s closet! Clothes were such a thing of beauty then, also. I’m happy to know you like to tips in this blog. I always appreciate your vote of confidence!

  • Closets are fun to organize. There are so many ways to organize a closet for functionality and to look dreamy. I think the most important reason is to find what you need quickly.
    I’ll never forget, a zillion years ago, when I was a sales girl at Bergdorf Goodman, everyone noticed, at the morning meeting, that the head buyer was wearing a miss matched pair of shoes. Funny how I never forgot that. She was most likely in a hurry and her closet needed organization.
    I agree with you that a good reason for organizing your closet is so that your clothes will last longer. If you take good care of them, they should. I’m not a fan of the thin hanger because the shoulders are quite wide and can stretch and leave pinched marks.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Which are your favorite hangers, Ronni? I’d love to know so I can advise clients.

      • I’ve used Henry Hanger for over 40 years. I think only one broke in all this time.

        All Hung Up Hangers has a great selection too. ( I might be able to get you a discount, if you’re looking, here.)

        These aren’t the least expensive but they’re well-made and sturdy.

  • Lucy Kelly says:

    Wire hangers – the bane of every closet. I like to hang clothes rather than fold them – for me, it’s hang them on a hanger or hang them on a hook.

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Me too! I’m not great at folding so if an item is difficult to fold, I’d much prefer to hang it up!

  • A good, clear step by step process to organizing and maintaining your clothes closet.

  • Melanie says:

    I’ve always had a donation bag in my closet and I encourage my clients to do the same! It makes it easy to keep prime hanging space available for things I actually like. Great tips!!!!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you, Melanie. So often people are tempted to put back a clothing item they don’t like mostly because they don’t know what to do with it. Having a donation bag in the closet makes it easy to just remove that item.

  • No more wire hangers! Joan Crawford was right about that (but wrong about everything else). All of this advice is excellent. I find that closets are the easiest of all areas of the home to organize because simple rules can create so much ease, but it’s the inertia of so many years and so much stuff that gets in the way. I love that you advice doing one small part at a time, but I encourage people, instead of going section-by-section, to go item type by item type, especially if the closet is lacking any order in the first place. If you “spelunk” and run your fingers across every single item to get all of the short-sleeved shirts, or all of the skirts, or whatever, being sure you have a sense of EVERYTHING of that item type lets you make decisions from a position of abundance. It’s so much easier to say, “Oh, from these 19 pair of black pants, I’ll keep these four” than “This thing: keep or toss?” And I love, love, love your advice to keep a donation container in the closet. It supports making good decisions in the moment!

    • Diane Quintana says:

      Thank you Julie, I like the idea of spelunking your way through a disorganized closet and completely agree that it’s easier to decide what to keep when you know how many you have.