With temperatures across the city beginning to rise—and fall, and rise again—you may be reaching into the back of your closet, behind your sweaters and long-sleeved shirts, for something slightly springier. It's a seemingly simple task, transitioning into spring, but for many of us that may have ignored the further regions of our closets for the last few months, finding what we need in a less-than-tidy wardrobe can be problematic. Shoes, clothes, and accessories strewn about, with no clear vision of what items you even like anymore, can easily raise your stress level. This looks like just the time for some spring cleaning and organization—and maybe a Claritin or two.
Cue the Eminem.
1. Clear everything out
If your closet is too small for your wardrobe (or your wardrobe is too vast for your closet), the best strategy for embarking on this process is to clear everything out, down to the last sock. Stand before your closet and revel in the emptiness, because it won’t last long.
Once you have the contents of your closet laid out before you, organize them by type and season, building a donation pile along the way. This gives you a straight view of what items you’ll actually need to organize, and in what capacity. If you’re having trouble finding pieces to either throw away or donate, hold each questionable piece of clothing in your hand, and wait to see if it brings you any joy, a la Marie Kondo's Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and Emily Gilmore. If there’s no use for it—or if you haven’t worn it in a year and a half—the suggested course of action is to be rid yourself of it once and for all.
2. Take advantage of the empty space
Once you’re ready to refill your closet, it’s best to start from the bottom up. Be strategic with your floor space by finding properly fitted floor storage and by hanging dresses and scarves with enough room to drape.
Instead of simply piling your belongings sky high on the shelving above your hangers, pick up a few stylish storage boxes or some run-of-the-mill space bags to manage your out-of-season apparel. Organize the pieces to allow for the most efficient use of space, putting your years of Tetris experience to good use.
3. Work vertically
Sometimes in life, you find yourself with nowhere to go but up, and vertically designed storage like this door organizer from The Container Store can be a lifesaver when your closet just isn’t the right fit. This particular door organizer is a step beyond the usual 15-pocket product we’ve all owned at some point. With a large, almost hamper-like section at the bottom, you’re not constricted to storing just shoes and accessories over your closet door–bulkier items will fit here as well.
Don’t forget about the walls: Even the smallest of closets can have at least one empty wall available for hanging storage options. IKEA's pegboard organizer works well for smaller items like jewelry and accessories, and their hangers, racks, and hooks page offers a wide variety of alternatives for wall hangings and displays.
There’s always an organization solution, so whatever you do, don’t fret over closet space during this year’s spring cleaning frenzy.