The changing of seasons is a great time to press pause and reflect on your space—on the items you have readily accessible and what you might need in the coming months. Here are a few of our favorite tips from organization experts to help you ease into the process of stowing away your seasonal items.
1. Take a moment to evaluate the categories of items
Ideally, your closet only holds the clothing, shoes, and accessories you need right now. Still, the reality is that most of us are short on space, and as a result, additional categories may appear—wrapping paper, sports equipment, extra bedding. Take a moment to write down the different categories of items you're dealing with and evaluate whether any outliers can be relocated to free up some space.
2. Identify any seasonal favorites
As you begin to go through your seasonal clothing, it can be hard to figure out what to keep and what to stow away, so it's helpful to start by pulling out your favorite items. As you evaluate the remaining items, compare them to what you've already pulled out. This doesn't mean that everything in your closet has to be perfect, but if you have a gold standard to compare your belongings to, you'll have a better sense of what you need for the upcoming season.
3. Go through each category, one-by-one
Start small by going through one category at a time. If you have a massive collection of t-shirts, try starting with your long-sleeved ones. Generally, experts recommend taking everything out of your closet and then putting items back one-by-one. However, we've found that this approach can be overwhelming and a bit discouraging when you're stuck looking at a massive pile of clothing.
4. Organize hanging clothes by type, length, and color
Now that you've identified the items you want to keep readily accessible this fall, try sorting your hanging clothes by type, length, and color. Organizing them by type will make it easier to find what you need when you need it. Organizing them by length will allow you to maximize the space beneath them. Organizing them by color is more of a visual trick to create space, but it looks nice and will enable you to focus on finding what you need.
5. Create storage zones on open shelves
If you happen to have open shelves in your closet, pick up The Bin Trio or a set of Wire Baskets to keep things organized. We've found that it's much more comfortable to grab a bin or basket than sort through a loose pile of stacked clothing.
6. Make the most of your vertical space
Unless your shoe collection is very minimal (5 pairs or less), storing them on the closet floor is not the best use of space. Pairs get easily separated, and it's challenging to keep things neat, especially if they're competing for space with other essential items. Our Entryway Rack is a beautiful way to make the most of your vertical space.
7. Try flipping your hangers
One technique we've found very helpful is to turn all of your Clothes Hangers around, so the hook goes around the back of the closet rod. Then, when you hang up a jacket, sweater, dress, or flannel you've recently worn, turn the hanger back the right way around. After the season is over, take a look at the items in your closet that you haven't worn and reevaluate whether you need them. This tip allows you to be objective and honest with yourself about what you're wearing.
8. Use the essentials to define categories of items
Using Storage Bins, Wire Baskets, or our Entryway Rack to define categories of items will help you create boundaries. For example, if you keep your shoes on the Entryway Rack, you'll know that you have room for nine pairs. Once your collection extends beyond that, it will be time to pare down or find another home.
9. Create more vertical space
The higher you stack your folded clothes on a shelf, the more likely they will topple over. Try to minimize folded stacks to six or seven items. If you need more space, invest in a set of Shelf Risers to double the surface area on any open shelf.
10. Take advantage of the space under your bed and couch
If any off-season clothing is still floating around your closet, consider picking up a set of Underbed Storage Bins. They will immediately free up key real estate for the items you're wearing every day and happen to fit perfectly under a bed or a couch.