If your closet is a mess, don’t just close the door and forget about it. A well-organized closet will save you time getting ready and reduce stress. Use the following strategies for closet organization to make your storage space clean and easy to use.

1. Declutter, Sort, and Clean

The first step in organizing your closet is to gather a few trash bags or bins to help you sort your belongings. Remove everything from the space and place it on the bed. Next, you’ll organize the contents of your closet into categories. Create piles to give away to friends, donate, resell to consignment shops, repair, and throw away. Now that your closet is empty, clean the walls and sweep or vacuum.

2. Create a System to Organize Your Closet

Before putting everything back, pick an organization method that works best for you. Give it some thought and choose a method that will allow easy accessibility. You could organize your closet by occasion (casual, formal, or work) by clothing type (blouses, shirts, dresses, skirts, or pants) by season, by color, or a combination of the above. For example, you could organize your closet by clothing type and then occasion. Place special occasion and holiday clothing in the back of the closet.

3. Get Creative with Rods, Hangers, and Containers for Closet Organization

Extra rods in your closet provide more space to hang things. With a few DIY skills, you can install brackets to support wooden dowels. You can also find tension rods at your home improvement store. These work well if your DIY skills and tools are limited. A variety of hangers can also do wonders to maximize your closet space. Tiered hangers allow you to hang multiple pants and skirts.

Hanging shoe organizers with see-through pockets aren’t just used for shoes. They also work great for scarves, ties, and other accessories. Clear plastic storage bins keep items conveniently organized if you have shelf space for them.

4. Maximize Vertical Space

Over-the-door hangers, hooks, and shelves let you use vertical wall space in the closet. Attach easily removable hooks to the back of the door or inside the closet for hanging belts, ties, scarves, purses, and similar items.

5. For Closet Organization, Fold and Stack Heavy Items on Shelves

If you have heavy denim jeans and bulky sweaters, save space and organize your closet by folding and placing them on a shelf. These clothing items are sturdy and thick, so they don’t wrinkle or lose their shape when they’re stacked. Separate them into categories.

6. How to Maintain an Organized Closet

With a couple of easy tricks, you can avoid having to organize your closet over and over. Designate a space for a shopping bag or two and make decluttering and sorting an ongoing process. When you pull out an item and realize it’s no longer wanted, toss it in the bag.

One trick is to turn all of your hangers to face backward. If you take an item out to wear, turn the hanger forward. At the end of a year, backward-facing hangers indicate that you don’t need that article of clothing, because you haven’t used it.

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