Closet Organization: How to become “unstuck”




Through the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) we have access to many CD’s of the guest speakers from the NAPO annual conference. I just finished listening to a Psychologist who spoke about “stuckness”. What a great word even if you can’t find it in the dictionary! My guess is we all face stuckness at some point in our lives and many of our clients feel that way when it comes to their closets.

Here are just a few tips to create clarity out of clutter and chaos.

  • First, take a good look at your closet. Anything need mending? Anything stained? Anything that doesn’t fit? Any blazers with the padded shoulders from decades ago?
  • Look at your clothing with a critical eye and start a donate pile.
  • Try to refrain from saying, one day I might wear this…..”  If the one day has not come in the past two years, chances are it may never.
  • If you find yourself becoming sentimental about a bridesmaid dress or gown you wore to a special event but know you never will wear again, take a picture of it. Or, better yet, take a picture of you in it and then let it go. Separate the memory from the physical item and it will be much easier to let go. That is true whether it is a piece of clothing, or a gift grandma gave to you years ago that you never use.
  • Use some product! We do with our hair, so let’s have some fun and buy some for our clothes. There are many tools you can use to make your closet more functional. And, we use them often! We are frequent visitors to The Container Store and Target. There are shelf dividers to shoe organizers and slimline hangers…..all products designed to make your closet more functional.
  • If it’s a tight space, always remember to think vertical. Often there is unused space high above or a level of space below dresses that is a missed opportunity to become functional.
  • Of course, there are also high-end closet designers that can do magic with all sorts of pull-outs and shelving units, and Elfa shelving that is more affordable and can be very practical (from The Container Store).
  • Be realistic and ruthless. Tools are great, but if you have so many clothes and one small apartment closet, at some point, it just won’t work unless you are ruthless in discarding or storing seasonal items.
  • If you have an alternate closet or safe storage place in your attic or basement that is free of dampness and bugs, try rotating your seasonal clothes. Remember, cedar needs oil to restore its protective properties against bugs.
  • If you don’t have the luxury of additional closet or attic space, then consider other storage solutions. Other options may include plastic underbed bins for bulky winter jackets and sweaters off- season. Or, the vacuum storage bags that you can suck the air out of to reduce a bulky down comforter off-season. Some dry cleaners have storage options for winter clothing.

Of course, when I listened to the tape on “stuckness” it was from a clinical perspective that was very insightful and actually had nothing to do with closet organization.  However, it resonated and I immediately thought of all our Boston clients who are challenged by the limited closet space a one or two bedroom apartment offers.  They are experiencing a level of “stuckness”.  That’s where we come in and offer storage solutions and tips and help them use a discerning eye when it comes to evaluating belongings. Reduce the clutter and become “unstuck” and while you are at it, use some of the fun tools that will help get your space organized.