There IS Room In That Closet! How To Organize Like a Pro

By Organizer Lisa Zaslow,

Would you like to have more closet space without a costly renovation? Follow these closet organization tips and you'll feel like you've got more room. You'll never again stare at a stuffed closet lamenting that you have nothing to wear.

As with any organizing project, the first step in organizing a closet is to clear clutter. Your closet should contain only things that fit, that look good on you, that are in good shape, and that you actually wear and use. After clearing clutter from your closet you may find that you have a lot more space than you thought. And you'll probably find that lone shoe you've been looking for.

Related: Why Your Home Will Never Look Like a Magazine Cover-- and Why You Wouldn't Want It To

In Manhattan, where I live, space is at a premium! To use your closet space most effectively, think like the Manhattan real estate moguls do -- vertically!

  • Use hooks and shelves to get the most of your wall space.
  • The back of the closet door is "prime real estate" that is often overlooked -- hooks work great here, as do over-the-door pocket-type organizers which can corral a variety of small items like accessories and belts.
  • If you have a lot of short-hanging items, get a closet rod doubler that hangs from the top rod to increase your hanging space.
  • To double your shelf space, use mini shelves so you don't waste vertical space between shelves.

To maximize every inch of your closet rods, use super-slim hangers. As an added bonus, your closet will look neater with a uniform set of hangers.

These key organizing principles will help you organize your closets like a pro:

Store things near where they are used.

This is why most people keep clothes in the bedroom closet and umbrellas in the front hall closet. As with anything, there are exceptions: one of my clients had to wake up much earlier than her husband, so we put her clothes in the hall closet so she could get dressed without waking him.

Related: Mission- Be Organized "Enough"

Ensure that the things you use most often are most accessible.

Store every-day clothes front and center. Black-tie attire can go in the far corners of the closet. As warm weather arrives, move the scarves, hats and gloves from a low, easy-to-reach shelf to a very high shelf or to a box in the back of the closet. If you are really starved for closet space, store seasonal and seldom-used items elsewhere, perhaps in an under-the-bed storage box.

Group similar things together.

Organize clothes by type of garment. Take your closet organization up a notch and sort by color. This may prompt the realization that you own far too many pairs of tan pants. Keep short-hanging clothes together; this creates space below them so you can store more.

Keep things in order.

Plan to re-organize your closets when the seasons change or if you go through a transition that requires a change in wardrobe, such as starting a new job or losing a lot of weight.


Set aside some time to tackle one overstuffed closet this weekend. If it seems overwhelming, work on one section of the closet at a time - shelves, the closet rod, the floor. Enjoy your new space!

Do you have trouble organizing your closets? Do you have any TIPS on how to obtain a rockin' closet, worthy of Martha Stewart?

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