Trying to create an on-point outfit from a cluttered excuse for a closet is like trying to get political candidates to play nice: nearly impossible.
Instead of fumbling around for a blazer that’s been stuffed who-knows-where, having a well-organized setup will make your mornings a million times easier. It’s also step one in cleaning up your personal style, since being able to see everything you own in an ordered fashion makes pulling together new combinations and remembering old favorites a piece of cake.
And there's no time like the present to tackle a woefully cluttered closet. As a general rule of thumb, keep your most used items at eye level and the lesser used items (like that silk smoking jacket you swear you’re going to debut one day) tucked in the back or stored above head.
To get a little more granular, try these five tips to keep your closet in tip-top shape.
To start, you’ve got to streamline your hangers. Invest in a few packs of cedar ones. Your clothes will drape better, the cedar will keep moths away, and your closet will look a lot more visually appealing. Or go with some handsome walnut wood hangers if you want a darker vibe.
The next step is to match the right hanger to the right garment. For tees and shirts, a standard narrow one is all you need. For suits and blazers, you’ll want to use wide-shouldered hangers. The shape mimics the natural slope of your shoulders, so your jackets will hold their proper shape rather than developing creases in the shoulders from a hanger that’s too thin.
Strapped for space? Save hangers and add hooks to the back of the closet door for your heavier jackets.
Know When to Fold
Sweaters, especially heavier ones, should always be folded. When you hang them up, gravity’s pull on the delicate fabric means that you run the risk of the knits stretching out and losing their original shape.
Pants can go either way, depending on the type. Anything made of denim? Fold ‘em. Dress pants, khakis, and especially suit trousers should be hung so you don’t waste time pressing them every time you want to wear them.
Once everything is hung nicely on the appropriate hangers and folded where it should be, group items by color. Not only does it look nicer, but it'll make coordinating your clothes much easier – especially if you're getting dressed before you’ve had your morning coffee.
If you want to really go for the organization gold, group by style and color: start with tees by color, move on to color-coded button downs, and group blazers in the back.
Don’t Forget the Small Stuff
The details can make or break your outfit, so don’t relegate your belts, scarfs, and ties to the dark back corners of your drawers. Instead, hang 'em up nicely on a tie rack and/or belt keeper. Just a few hooks are all you need to keep things neat and tidy without overdoing it.
That will keep your gear from getting wrinkled or twisted out of shape. Plus, having them all nicely displayed at eye level will make choosing the perfect finishing touch that much easier.
Finally, make sure you’re taking advantage of your floor space by getting shelves for shoes. If you have odd items like yoga mats or umbrellas floating around without a proper place, pick up an umbrella stand or even nice wastebasket to store them neatly.
Spending an afternoon doing all that doesn't sound like the most fun, we know. But the order it'll bring to your sartorial decision-making is well worth the time – not to mention how it'll make your closet as Instagram-worthy as your outfit. That’s a win-win.