By Lorie Marrero, Certified Professional Organizer and author of The Clutter Diet.
Your closet is the first place you go in the morning to start your day, so it’s worth the investment of time to make it work correctly for you. Having an efficient closet not only saves time, it reduces your stress, and who needs more stress in the morning?
As a professional organizer, here are some common mistakes I see people making in their wardrobe closets that slow them down and steal their time.
1) Not using vertical space. Most builders put in one rod and one shelf, and the storage space available between the top of the shelf and the ceiling is wasted. Use Stackable Storage that you simply place on the shelf without needing to install anything, and you can add levels of shelving in minutes.
2) Having too much stuff. Your closet will work more efficiently if you take time to purge what you are not wearing. Have a friend help you who will provide an honest and objective perspective on the style, fit and color of the clothing.
3) Not designing the closet for the person using it. If your children are old enough to dress themselves, you need to make sure they can reach their clothing adequately. You can install a closet that has adjustable rods and shelves to bring the clothing down to their height, and you can also provide a small stepladder for the items that need to be stored up higher.
4) Filling your closet with long-term storage items instead of frequently used clothing. Sentimental clothing like bridesmaid dresses or college letter jackets, boxes of photographs, maternity clothing, and commemorative t-shirts often clog up the closet, leaving less room for clothing and shoes you use on a daily basis. Store them elsewhere or give them a place of honor by displaying them in your home.
5) Keeping clothing that doesn't fit you. If you are waiting for the day you lose weight to wear those pants again, every day you look at the pants you will feel bad! Store them somewhere else if you possibly can. A good rule of thumb is to have in your closet only clothing that fits and flatters you today.
6) Not having double hanging-rods. If your reach-in closet is all for long-hanging items, you can literally double your hanging space by adding another clothing rod.
7) Not having a 'Donation Station.' Once you've decided something needs to go, it needs a place to wait before you take it to Goodwill®. Don’t let it keep going back into circulation and pass by it each morning. As you flip through the hangers, put it in a shopping bag or box at the bottom of the closet or even in your car, so it’s ready to be passed along to help your community. Remember, you want your closet to make you feel good in the morning, and these mistakes make that much more difficult.
This weekend, trade favors with a friend to help each other get your closets in shape. The objective point-of-view is very valuable, it will be more fun, and you will help each other avoid these mistakes!
ClosetMaid products featured in Lorie’s video: 31 In. Horizontal Shelf and 31 In. Vertical Organizer; both are available on ClosetMaid.com. Be sure to check back later in the month for more of Lorie’s organization tips! And keep up with the #ClutterFree conversation on our Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter pages.