How to Conquer Closet Clutter Once and For All

Don't wait until it's nice out to start your spring cleaning. The best time to tackle the big home projects is during the cold, miserable winter months. The closet is a daunting task, but we've broken it down into three main objectives to help get you started.

1. How to create more space.

Begin by taking inventory of the essentials that must be stored. Do this as you sort through your wardrobe. Then you can evaluate the space for its real potential.

Choose double hanging bars to create more room for tops, skirts, and pants. Shelves along the back wall keep handbags within easy reach. Out-of-season clothes are stowed in drawers at the front of the closet, and shoes moved onto shelves and built-in racks.

Tip: Place a trash can in your closet to conveniently toss out price tags and dry-cleaner bags.

Related: Maximize your space with these decorating ideas.

2. Organize, organize, organize!

Plastic shoe boxes are ideal for storing off-season shoes or special-occasion pairs that get minimal wear. Shoes stay dust-free, and the clear plastic makes it a snap to find the pair you're searching for. Storage Containers can be pretty as well as functional. Decorative bandboxes are perfect for tucking away hats, scarves, and other accessories. Avoid hunting through boxes by clearly marking each one with its contents. Look for ones that come with label holders. Clear containers, or those with "windows," are another time-saving solution.

Tip: Think vertically. Don't let those few extra feet be-tween your closet's top shelf and the ceiling go to waste. Install floor-to-ceiling shelving and store rarely used items up there. For instant access, get a handy folding stepstool.

Related: Simple Kitchen Organization Tips.

3. Get an instant upgrade.

Dress up your closet's interior for ambiance. Wallpaper, a fresh coat of paint, or a stencil will work wonders to personalize the space. Quality hangers help minimize wrinkles. Toss those wire dry-cleaner versions for hardwood hangers. Keep sweaters and woolens free of pests and odors with softly scented drawer liners.

Tip: Make the time you spend getting dressed a more pleasurable experience. Little things - plush carpet, good lighting, or even a radio - can improve your mood.

Continue: Tips to put your closet in order.

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Get a Goodnight Sleep

Turn Trash into Treasures

Crafts That Will Keep You Organized

Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.