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Designers share tips for organizing your closet

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Expert tips for closet organization

Is your closet a mess? We went to the closet organization experts to get tips and ideas on how to maximize your space and organize your closet.

Woman hanging cltohes

1Choose the right organizers

Julie Isaacs of the Uncluttered Home explains, "Many people are frustrated with their closet because it's not designed to accommodate the clothing they actually wear. If you wear lots of casual clothing, shelving may be more helpful than hanging space. If you don't like folding, you may need lots of hooks in your closet. Even if you can't afford an expensive closet installation, you can adjust your closet with affordable products from a home improvement store."

Types of closet organizers >>

2Hang it up

With closet organization, the key is to maximize your space. Tanya Sinovec, owner of Functioning Spaces, says, "Hanging as many of your clothes as you can will help to free up your shelves for other items such as purses. Jeans don't have to be folded. Double hang two on one hanger and watch the free space appear."

Closet organization ideas >>

3Separate seasonal clothes

"Separate out items into different seasons and store articles of clothing you're currently not wearing," says professional celebrity organizer, Jill Pollack. "If you have room, store out of season clothes in a plastic container under your bed or other convenient location. If you don't have the room, take all of your out of season clothes and put them at one end of the closet so you're not combing through your bulky winter jackets to get to your summer dress."

How to organize your clothes >>

4Get a second hamper

After you organize your closet, you need to keep it clean. "If you have the space, keep your hamper IN your closet," says Sinovec. "This will force you to put your dirty clothes directly INTO the hamper and not on the floor where they don't belong. Also, buying a second hamper and using it just for your dirty dry cleaning will also help to keep everything organized and separate."

Closet organization must haves >>

5Avoid wire hangers

With closet organization, little things can make a big difference. "Use sturdy plastic hangers or wood hangers with clips for all items," Jerry Egner, president of Closets by Design says. "Wire hangers tend to misshape clothes and, because most do not have grooves to keep clothing from slipping off, you'll spend extra time sorting and re-hanging items you find on the floor."

9 Ways to organize your closet >>

6Toss it

Are you a hoarder? Don't be afraid to get rid of clothes. "Give yourself a one season limit on clothing," says Isaacs. "If you haven't worn a garment for an entire season, it's time to let it go. Discard anything that's pilled, stained, out of style, or unflattering." Clothes that are in good condition may be donated to your local thrift store, women's shelter, Salvation Army, or other charity.

Out with the old! >>

7Draw it before you buy it

Once you know which clothes you are keeping, it's time to actually organize your closet. You may need to add shelves, drawers, boxes, hanging bags, and other closet organization items. "After you've gotten down to the most wearable items in your wardrobe, make a list of the number of items you have by category (dresses, shirts, pants, shoes, etc.)" says Linda Bettencourt, owner of Studio B Design in San Francisco.

"Now that you know how much of each item needs to be accommodated, make a quick sketch to show how it's all going to lay out. You will be able to quickly see where there might be room for double hung rods and shoe racks, and how big they can be. With your drawing in hand, you can go online to an organization store, such as the Container Store, and see what pieces will work with your space and your budget. In the long run, you will save time and money by purchasing the right items the first time and be well on your way to wardrobe bliss."

Simple steps to a closet makeover >>

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