As a professional organizer, I’ve worked in hundreds of closets – all shapes and sizes. I’ve re-built or edited an existing closet, designed and installed custom closet systems, brought in product, removed product and a lot more. But at the very foundation – the core of it all – I want to make something very very clear. Getting organized does not and should not ever simply involve buying a single product or designing a beautiful new closet system. Adding product isn’t the answer. Because doing that doesn’t solve the clutter or space issue. Your very first step always is keeping in mind the available space you DO have and removing items from the space.
In every closet I declutter, there is a list of items I see that can easily be removed to create more space. Some closets have just a few items from this list, some have all 5. No matter the case, when removed we have a lot of extra space to work with. So today, and while you may be decluttering closets during this time, I am sharing with you the top 5 items you can remove TODAY to create more space.
And remember, it’s space to keep as space…not space to fill back up again. haha!…
Hangers change everything. Some organizers swear you need them all to be streamlined, giving the closet a boutique or aesthetically pleasing feel. Others are fine to just widdle down your hanger collection to those that fit best, are similar in color or maybe bring in a few that are better for hanging pants or skirts. All good. And not where I’m going with this point. I’m not going to suggest you immediately run out to buy all the slim, flocked hangers.
Instead, I am talking about hangers because of the EXCESS numbers I find in closets.
Hangers take up hanging space when nothing is hanging on them. It’s a fact. And I see this is nearly every closet.
Dry cleaning hangers, wire hangers, hangers brought home from the store when you purchased something…there is excess. In a lot of cases, a lot of excess to the point of me dragging out a trash bag full of them to donate at the end of a project.
On top of that, if you have a mix of hangers with some being slim and others thicker, consider removing the wood hangers as they are thick and take up a lot of space. There are few items that require a wood hanger such as heavy coats or men’s sport coats. But using them to hang your blouses or tanks is going to waste space. And especially if you have a large volume without anything hanging on them.
LUGGAGE AND BAGS
This is another big item. Literally. haha! When I say bags, I’m not talking about purses or handbags. We’re talking luggage or duffel bags. There’s reusable shopping bags too. If at all possible, consider removing luggage or bags from your closet and relocating to another space. A spare bedroom closet, hall closet, garage.
Bags can be nested within themselves to make their overall footprint much smaller.
Since bags tend to end up on the floor underneath hanging clothes or overhead on your top shelving, you’ll be amazed how much new space you’ll have when they aren’t there anymore.
It’s not often I find a wedding dress hanging in a closet, although I have and they do take up a lot of room. But I’m mainly talking about the preserved wedding dresses found in oversized boxes. These boxes are cumbersome and generally don’t have a great footprint to sit neatly anywhere. If up top, they overhang. If on the floor, they trip you or stick out too far. Regardless, chances are you are NOT wearing it, haven’t worn it in a long time and aren’t going to be wearing it anytime soon. So why keep it in your daily wardrobe closet where you need more useable space?
If you definitely don’t want to pass the dress on to someone else, it can be relocated again to another space in the house. If preserved correctly, it can even go to the attic, basement or garage.
OUT OF SEASON ITEMS
Out of season items are always an easy purge because you aren’t getting rid of anything. You’re just relocating it until the season returns again. The heartache involved with having to decide what to keep or donate isn’t part of the equation here. So it’s just a matter of safely binning and moving to a new spot for a period of time. And you’ll be excited to see how much air and space this creates in your closet.
Another perk to this items being removed is when you bring it back into the closet, it gives you a chance to take a closer look to decide if you still love it, it’s still in style, still fits, etc. Having that separation does wonders on your mindset.
Heavy coats, jackets and oversized sweaters meant to wear as jackets…these are all great items to relocate to an entry, guest or hall closet. You’ll still have access to them for those brisk morning or evening walks but they aren’t taking up master closet space. Which means you have more room for the everyday.
Since I mentioned hangers in this post, I’ll be sharing more soon about the variety of hangers I can recommend for your closets. This was a topic that popped up several times this week during the webinar series and thought it would be fun to break down one of the tools of the trade.
Hope you’re having a great weekend!!!