Guest post by Korinne Kubena Belock, of Urban Simplicity. Whether your closet is a large, roomy walk-in or the standard New York City shoebox of a space, keeping it organized is key to getting out the door as efficiently as possible. Once you’ve followed Julie’s steps from this article to get your closet in order, consider following a few best practices to keep common categories of items organized.Ideally your end result is as dreamy as…Clothing – For shirts and jackets, the best bet is hanging items on matching hangers, organized by type, then color. For shirts, I like Real Simple Slimline Hangers and a sturdier hanger for suits and blazers. Sweaters are best folded on open shelving, organized by color, and always use a shelf divider to keep stacks upright. In a dream world, every man’s closet would include a pull-out pant rack.Shoes – In some ways organizing men’s shoes is so much easier than ladies – simply because there are generally fewer of them. That said, the best way to keep shoes organized is open shelving so you can see everything you own. Always place your go-to shoes in sight-line with the shoes you wear less often, either up high or down low. And remember to keep casual and work shoes separate for easy access.Accessories – Are your belts piled in a corner and ties balled up with the knots still in them? I hope not! For belts, hooks are the way to go with a pull-out rack or simple hanger. Ties can be hung on a similar hook system or rolled and stored in a shallow drawer – always use drawer organizers and group ties by color. In closets with very limited space, I like to utilize the back of the door, and this valet system from Longstem Organizers is a great option that also keeps items like cuff links, sunglasses, and keys organized.The Basics – The best solution for everyday items like socks, underwear, undershirts and tees is to neatly fold them in drawers. Drawer organizers can be used to keep socks and underwear in order. For undershirts and tees, a good fold is key to make sure items don’t get buried. I always suggest folding tees and “filing” them away.Lesser Used Items – Consider storing lesser used items, like swim suits and baseball caps, in coordinated bins on higher shelving. Don’t forget to label the bins.Dirty Laundry and Dry Cleaning – The number one way to wreck a closet space it to leave dirty laundry lying around. Always have an open top bin to quickly throw things into. For clients with lots of dry cleaning, I always suggest a separate smaller bin to toss those items into to make drop-off easy on your way to work.Drop Zone – Men’s closets in particular can quickly become cluttered with everyday items like wallets, keys, change, receipts, and business cards. If there’s space, create a drop zone to organize these items on an open shelf using small catchall trays and bowls.Korinne Kubena Belock, founder and owner of Urban Simplicity, a professional organizing company based in New York City. Learn more about her company’s services at UrbanSimplicityNYC.com.
I spend a lot of time in guys’ closets, and let me tell you, I’ve seen it all. From paint cans and bikes to ladies’ underwear, closets can easily become a catch-all for all the stuff we don’t have the time or energy to deal with. So we just toss it in, close the door, and forget about it until we have to get dressed again the next morning. With Spring upon us, now is an excellent time for a closet sweep and organization. Below is my 6-step process for how to whip your closet into shape.1) Go through everything in your closet and assess it for fit, style and function. Refer to this post for the seven questions to ask yourself about each item as you decide whether to keep, donate, or toss. The questions make it crystal clear as to how to handle each item. During a purge, I like to lay out garbage bags flat on the floor and then pile all the giveaway items on top so I can track as I go how much is being removed.2) As you’re going through items in Step 1, remove the wire dry-cleaning hangers (and plastic dry cleaning bags). They can damage your clothes, which costs you money in the long run because it means you have to replace them sooner. Swap them out for wooden or plastic ones, and if you’re pressed for space, use slim-line hangers. If the majority of the hangers in your closet are uniform, you'll eliminate distraction, and it will be easier for you to find what you're looking for when you need it.3) Turn everything to face in the same direction, and organize by type, and then color. That means, put all your dress shirts together, and within that bucket, all solid white shirts, solid blue shirts, blue patterns, etc., go together. I get that this may be hard for you to maintain, but if you do it now and find that it saves you time when getting ready in the morning, you may be more likely to stick with it in the long run. (I don’t know about you, but anything that helps find what I need to get out the door in the morning faster, thereby affording me more sleep, is priority).4) Keep shoes neatly stacked on a shoe rack or in shoe boxes. Use shoe trees for nice shoes.5) Put belts on a belt rack and ties on a tie rack (or you can roll each neatly and put them in a drawer). Each different "type" of item should be kept together.6) Anything you don’t use on a daily or weekly basis like luggage or sports equipment should be kept outside the main areas of your closet. You want easy access for the things you need frequently; everything else can be out of sight and less accessible.Stay tuned for my next dispatch, a guest post from one of my favorite resources, closet organizer Korinne Kubena Belock. She’s going to get down and dirty with more specifics for how certain items should be stored for easiest access and maximum longevity.In the meantime, you can get started on your Spring cleaning project. Leave me a comment below to let me know how it goes for you.And if you're still feeling lost with how to whip your wardrobe into shape, my Next Level Style course might be for you. In it, I spend a whole section on how to do this, including how to create a "gaps list" to determine what's missing from your closet and how to go about acquiring these items in a strategic and intelligent way. The course also has a bunch of great bonuses, including a $50 Nordstrom gift card. Click here for more info.Cheers,Julie