A closet filled with tangled tops and mismatched shoes is tough to navigate in the morning. If you're tired of the hassle and disorder, put a stop to it with these easy habits.
Where to begin: Hold your own once-a-year fashion show. Empty the closet, then try on each garment in front of a full-length mirror. Does it fit? With what outfits and on what occasions will you wear it? Does it need mending? Will you ever be able to get out that ink stain? Separate pieces into four piles: keep, mend, donate, throw away. Follow the same steps for shoes. Now you can start organizing the keepers, eking out extra space with over-the-door storage and hanging shelves.
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- Toss mismatched hangers: Their irregular shapes take up more space, and the wire ones that dry cleaners use are hard on your clothes. Try a coordinated set, like the Huggable Hangers ($14 for 12, HSN; hsn.com).
Keep your clothes stored by outfit: For example, store cardigans with matching slacks, blazers with skirts, rather than by type. Then return hangers to the closet so the hooks face out. Once you've worn a set, hang them the other way (with the hook facing in). At the end of a year you'll be able to tell which clothes you haven't worn - it'll help streamline next April's fashion show/spring-cleaning.
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Remove out-of-season items: Wash or dry-clean your winter gear, then bag or box it and stash out of the way.
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Smart storage: You can maximize your sartorial space without spending a fortune on a custom closet. Use labeled, see-through, or otherwise easy-to-scan boxes and bins to hold accessories (e.g., scarves, nicer shoes, hats) on the floor as well as on the higher shelves. Your pieces will stay dust and damage free - and ready to wear at the drop of a hat. We like this Tweed Drop-Front Sweater Box ($30, The Container Store; 800-786-7315, containerstore.com).
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A note on closet organizers: DIY closet organizing systems aren't cheap, but quickly locating both of your black pumps on a harried morning is priceless. GHRI observed while consumers assembled seven systems. Find out how they fared.
Get more tips for conquering closet clutter and tell us your tricks for staying organized.
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