15 Things You’re Doing to Your Closet That Professional Organizers Wouldn’t
If you’re making any of the following mistakes, your closets are a whole lot messier than they need to be. Here's how to get organized—and stay that way.
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Hanging clothes "correctly"
Yes, you read that right. According to Ashe, professional organizers don't hang their hangers "correctly" if they want to keep things organized over the long haul. Instead, her secret is to "turn all the hangers around, so they face backward on the rod. When you wear an item of clothing, turn the hanger around, facing forward." This helps you see what you're wearing regularly—and what you're not. This system doesn't lie. Betsy Fein, president of Clutterbusters, seconds this technique and offers this timeline: "After six months, decide what may be donated."
Forgetting to cascade
Organizing is all about, well, organizing. It's important to have a general idea of where to find what you're looking for so you don't have to rifle through your entire closet. Vicki Norris, organizing expert and "life reclaimist" of Restoring Order, reveals her secret: "I chain-link the clothing using linked hangers, creating vertical columns of similar clothes." And remember: You don't necessarily have to group by type of item. Certified professional organizer Amy Trager invites you to think about grouping clothes by how you dress—for example, activewear, work clothes, and formal wear. "However you dress is how you should group clothing" she advises.
Not having a system for confusing colors
When you're in a rush in the morning (or it's still dark out and you're trying not to wake your partner), it can be difficult to tell what's what. You end up taking out way more items from the closet than necessary and can potentially make a mess that has to be dealt with later. Professional organizer Jodi Granok, owner of Organizing Magic, says you can use a laundry marker to "put a single dot or the letter 'N' on the tags of all your navy-blue-colored clothing." No more wasting time trying to tell navy and black clothes apart—or, worse, leaving the house before you notice the mistake. Now that you can tell your clothes apart, never lose a sock again with this genius laundry trick.
Forgetting to separate everyone's items
Hall closets can easily become a mess. But grouping jackets and coats by family member can help you prevent this problem. "When the cooler weather comes around, you may forget what you have unless you see all of yours grouped together," says Lowenheim. Try using write-on clothing-rack dividers to separate the coats. And remember: Human family members aren't the only ones who need to stay warm during the colder months. Here are the 12 coziest dog coats for winter.
Using deep bins
As they say, out of sight, out of mind. In this case, it's easy to forget about accessories when they're stored in deep bins. Instead, Lowenheim suggests these clever storage solutions for hats, gloves, and scarves: "Put scarves on the hanger with the coats that you wear them with. And tuck hats and gloves in the pockets of a clear shoe bag hung inside the closet door."
Stuffing your master closet with anything and everything
Your bedroom closet should be for clothes—and that's it. "If the master closet is not designated for clothing only, you might hide your kids' holiday gifts, find last year's tax documents, stash extra linens, or even have your dog crate in there for when company comes," says certified professional organizer Ellen Delap. Instead, she suggests designating the space for the single purpose of storing clothes. Sure, you might think that tucking those other things in there is a temporary solution, but those temporary solutions have a way of becoming permanent when life gets busy. Avoid this problem altogether by finding other hiding spots for everything else. Need a little nudge to get started on all this? Check out these 10 inspiring home organization makeovers.