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Tips on Organizing Closets for
Men and Women

There are many tips on organizing closets out there but they usually don't divide them into men's and women's spaces. I have done that here because I do think each have certain challenges that have to be solved. So, here are my tips on organizing closets for men and women.

The Man's Closet

The way a man's closet is organized or shall I say the lack thereof says that you may think most men don't think about closet organization. But it doesn't mean they don't want their space to be organized.

Think about the way mens' wardrobes have grown. There are more retail stores out there catering to the male population. Because of this there is more interest in fashion and accessories now more than ever before. Men are buying more things and thus the need for tips on organizing closets for men.

Many men would like their closet to be functional and tips on organizing closets can help. Men still don't tend to have as much as women. The main reason is that men still don't have the complex wardrobes that women tend to aquire over time.

That being said the following are some tips on organizing closets for men.

Tips on Organizing Closets for Men

  1. Group Similar Items - It is an obvious thing to do but sometimes we overlook the obvious. Separate business and casual attire. If you have some clothes that can pass for both place the item in the work category. (It is easier to find when you are in a rush in the morning as opposed to a relaxing Saturday morning).

  2. Inventory - Take inventory of all of your items. Once you know what you have it is easier to decide how much space you will need for that category. For help with inventory click here.

  3. Hanging Items - Men typically have less hanging items than women. Suits, dress shirts, polo shirts, dress pants, coats, tuxedos all need to be hung. Make sure you place them on the correct hanger, especially the heavier items. Doing this will keep the piece of clothing in shape and prevent it from stretching. Always measure the amount of short items you have and divide by two to make them a double rod(placing one on top of the other in the closet).
  4. Folded Items - The key here is not to stack more than 3 items high. This enables you to get an item without an avalanche of things falling and keeps the pile neater. If you have big bulky sweaters, they may best be suited for a deep drawer or a storage chest. If you are doing a custom closet something to ask for may be pull out shelves to make the process of getting items even easier.
  5. Accessories - Items such as tie clips tuxedo ties, watches etc. are best for drawers in divided compartments.
  6. Ties - Organizing ties is one of the biggest challenges for men. You should keep them separated and clearly have each one visible. You should not have to move another tie to see the selection. Ideally a group of dowels at varying levels are a perfect solution.
  7. Shoes - Slanted shelves are a great choice but usually only available from custom pieces, they also take up more vertical space. So, if space is a concern and you are doing the project yourself stick to the flat shelf variety. Boots are best on a high shelf as long as you can reach the heel to get them down. The next option is on the floor but you will loose space if you do it this way. It all depends on your wardrobe - Do you have 1 or 5 pair of boots?
  8. The Valet Organizer - If there is one thing I think all men do as a ritual when they walk in the door is empty their pockets. The wallet, change, money clip etc. - you name it it has to be emptied and find a new home. But where? Well, a valet organizer is a tray or divider with compartments to do just that - divide and organize. This is a better option than emptying everything onto the dresser or worse piled in a drawer. These can be placed on a dresser or in a closet.

This was the list of tips on organizing closets for men. If you continue you will find tips on organizing closets for women. . .

The Woman's Closet

Let's face it - women on average generally have more clothes than men and need more tips on organizing closets than men. Women face some

unique challenges in planning a closet space. This is also due to the fact that our wardrobes are more complicated. We can have 6-12 differenet length garments needing space in our closet at one time!

This doesn't include the variety of accessories from belts to hats and hosery. Well my tips on organizing closets include these and more.

So, how do you start? Well, if you reached this page first then visit my page on Create a Great Closet by Design. This will start you off on sorting through your items first. Then come back and check out these must read tips on organizing closets.

Tips on Organizing Closets for Women

  1. Keep business and casual attire separate. - This is more challenging now with casual workdays in most businesses. When in doubt group an item in your work area -you are usually more rushed on a workday to get dressed than on your day off and it will be easier to find the item in businesss attire.
  2. Inventory - Take inventory of each item. Once you know what you have it is easier to decide how much room you need for each category. For help with inventory click here.

  3. Double Hang - All short items (those from about 40-42 inches) should be grouped together. Once you measure how much space they occupy divide this number by two and use a double hanging system. (Hanging one group above the other)
  4. Single Hang - All long items shoud be divided into categories. If one category takes up more than 18 inches of space then start a second space. Remember that all long items should clear the floor by at least 3 inches.
  5. Stay away from "multiple hangers" - You have all seen the commercial of the hangers that can accomodate 8 pair of pants etc. Well believe it or not they are probably not your best bet. They make it very difficult to see what you have as well as retrieve it. Your main goal is to see what you have in your closet - translation "If you don't see it it doesn't exsist" - therefore it doesn't get worn.
  6. Use the Correct Hanger - Women have special clothes that are delicate and others that just will last longer and look better if hung correctly. See our page on choosing the right hanger - treat your clothes right and they will reward you by looking good!
  7. Sweaters - Try not to be rigid with your folding. I know we all get into habit of how we fold things. But it is best to fold the item to fit the space not find a space to fit the item.
  8. Remember to fold items and stack no more than 3 items high! Stacking higher only makes it more difficulty to get to and putiing back an item.

  9. Hats - The best place for these are in hat boxes - preferably clear ones that allow you to see the contents taking out the guesswork of what is inside.
  10. Scarves or Shawls - There are 3 options here. First - fold them and place them on a shelf or in a drawer. Second - hang them individually on an open end hanger. Third - fold them over special dowels than can be made in a custom closet system.
  11. Lingerie, Hosery and Socks - All of these are best folded in divided drawers. Again , remember that your goal is to see what you have.
  12. Shoes - There is always a question of whether or not to keep shoes in their original box. I say if necessary it is O.K. but it is not my first choice. The boxes over time collapse and it is sometimes difficult to stack them due to their varying sizes.

    If you do choose this option there are 2 tips. One is cut out the end of the box so you can see the contents. It also gives you easy in/out access to the shoes. Second, if you choose to not cut out the end take a picture of the shoes that are in each box and then attatch it to the corresponding box.

    I say it is best to use clear boxes if you have to store at all. You should store seasonal and special occassion shoes. Others should be on a shoe rack, shelves or a door rack.

  13. Handbags, Totes and Briefcases - Again, this category is just another example of he varying size and shapes that have to be considered in your closet.

    Group like bags together and don't store them in plastic - it's not good for the leather. If scuffing is a problem place a piece of felt between the bags - it is soft and allows the leather to breathe.

  14. Jewelry - If your jewelry can be placed in a custom drawer with inserts that is the prefered method. They can also be stored in a jewelry armoir or creatively hung on hooks.

As you can see there are many thing to consider when organizing your closet. These tips on organizing closets for women and men are a start to helping you in this process.

As my tips on organizing closets continue to grow I will add them to the present list to help you organize your best closet.

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