Read part one of the closet refresh series!
It can be overwhelming to organize a messy, non-functional walk-in closet. You save countless pins on Pinterest and admire dream closets in your favorite home improvement magazines. But when it comes to your own space, you can’t help but think, “Where do I start?”
That was the very issue that perplexed my sister with her messy closet. It was my job to make attacking the walk-in closet with the best plan of action based on her needs. Keep reading to find out how you can do the same!
Steps to organizing a walk-in closet
Creating the steps to tackling the closet are in order of what was the most important to least important. It was crucial that we were actually able to access the walk-in. Therefore, clearing the floor had to be first on the to-do list.
The organization and beautification plan was:
- Clear the floor
- Clear the shelves
- Organize loose items
- Vet clothing
- Measure everything
- Purchase, label and fill bins
- Switch hangers
- Change lighting
In other words, the plan was to address the walk-in closet starting from the floor and working our way up! In this post, I’ll be focusing on steps 1-6.
Clear the path
First, we moved everything that was on the floor out of the closet. After that, we cleared off the shelves. I knew that the items that didn’t have an assigned space in the closet were the items that were laying on the floor! My sister must have been confused about what to do with those things. Consequently, these items were the items most in need of sorting.
Sort, store, and give away
Next, we did a small vetting of my sister’s clothes. She sacked up clothes that she was ready to donate, as well as identified some clothes to eventually pass down to her granddaughter. I was less focused on getting rid of clothes to free up space, as I was confident that she had plenty of space to store everything she had. Our mission was to simply get rid of trash and other items that no longer made her happy.
After that, we organized all of the stuff into piles, throwing away trash as we moved. The piles we made included random toiletries from hotels, hosiery, hats (one even had a hole cut out at the top LOL), purses from two decades ago, and other miscellaneous bits. The piles with the most items got assigned a bin. One-off things got rehomed or donated. For instance, the few hosiery items were moved permanently from the closet to my sister’s dresser.
It helped that my niece was in charge of this task.
Analyze your habits
After that, we focused on analyzing my sister’s natural closet habits. What did she reach for first? I did not want to completely move where she has been storing her t-shirts for years as that is the first clothing item she usually reaches for in the morning. Where is she most likely to sit down random junk? It was important to anticipate problem areas to discourage her from adding unnecessary items back into the closet.
One underrated step in organizing a walk-in closet is measuring. You need to measure the width, height, and depth of any cubbies or shelves in your closet. Buying appropriately sized bins allows you to maximize the space. For example, the measurements of the cubbies in my sister’s closet were approximately 16x12x12 inches. I knew any bins that I purchased needed to fit within these parameters while also making room for the handles on the bins.
Additionally, measuring some of the items that you’ll need to store away is important to buying the correct bins. My brother-in-law keeps his most prized alcohol in the walk-in closet. (I don’t know why because my sister and brother-in-law are empty nesters). Anyways, the labels on those bottles add unwanted visual clutter. I’m covering those up with a bin high enough to cover the tallest bottle!
Don’t forget the labels!
After placing items in the correctly sized bins, how will you quickly know what’s inside? We purchased chalkboard labels that slipped onto the front edge of the bins. I love these erasable labels for my sister, as she can easily change them out as her closet inventory fluctuates!
Key takeaways to organize your walk-in closet
In conclusion, here are some key tips to help you organize your own walk-in closet.
- Work your way up from floor to ceiling;
- Clear all shelves to evaluate and measure;
- Get an objective person to help you sort and get rid of junk;
- Label everything!
In the next post, I’ll be discussing the power of hangers. Stay tuned to learn how important they are in organizing your walk-in closet!