Top 10 Closet Organizing Mistakes

Closet Organization can be a tricky task and often, space is left underutilized. There are a number of mistakes that people make that create more chaos than before.  Here are a few of them:

1. Failing to Purge –Know what needs to go. This NEEDS to be your first step. Don’t try and organize more stuff than is necessary. Get rid of some things first and make the whole process easier.

2. Failing to Take Inventory – After the big purge, the logical next step is to make a list of what you have. When you don’t know what you have, you don’t know what to plan for. Know what’s in your closet and what you NEED to keep. When this mistake is made, the likelihood of committing mistake number three increases exponentially!

3. Stuff to Hold Your Stuff – Storage is big business these days, with all the Big Box Stores displaying more and more “stuff to hold your stuff.” Some of these products are well designed and effective.  But many times, buying a bunch of unrelated items creates a big mess of containers and dividers, and the “solution” is worse than the original problem.  Also, the cost of those containers can add up and become an expensive mistake.

Closet Organization4. Lacking Goals –Figure out what you want to accomplish with this project. Set up specific goals to achieve. Going into the task without any planning can create a bigger mess than before. Some good goals to get you started might be finding a place for your shoes or making room for purses.

5. Drawer Deficiency – Organizing a closet that has no drawers is a very difficult task.  Even a couple of drawers for underwear and socks makes a huge difference so you can get dressed all in one place without going back and forth from the bedroom to the closet.

6. Shoe Storage – We all have shoes, and some of us have hundreds of pairs.  It’s virtually impossible to effectively and completely organize your closet without shelving dedicated to your shoes.  Correctly designed shoe shelves also allows you to see every pair, so the daily frustrating shoe hunt is no longer a part of your life!

7. Depth of Shelves – Most homes come with 11 ¼” deep shelving, which is OK for shoes and small purses, but completely ineffective for folded clothing, linens, large handbags and totes.  You will be much better served with 14” or 16” deep shelving for your folded items and larger shoulder bags.  Anything deeper than this (18” or greater) is too deep.  Overly deep shelving is very difficult to keep organized, and just as bad as shelving that is not deep enough.

 8. Wasted Corner Space – Running a hanging rod into another hanging rod in a closet corner is the cardinal sin of closet design.  It makes it very difficult to access the clothing that is tucked back in the corner.  On one wall, the hanging should run into the corner.  On the adjacent wall, something other than hanging that is less deep (shoe shelves, purse shelves, folded clothing shelves, drawers) should begin 24” off of that corner to allow easy access to those hanging clothes.

Closet Organization9. Lacking Visibility – Try to keep all items in your closet visible. Storing things behind other things will just lead to a mess in the long run. It’s likely that when it comes time to find these hidden items, desperation will take over and things are going to be thrown around in the hunt.

10. Hanging Pants on Bottom – This is my personal favorite.  Most people put their folded pants on the bottom of the double hang and their shirts/tops/jackets above, because that’s how we wear the clothing.  Your pants hang less deep than your shirts/tops/jackets and are shorter. So put your folded pants on the top!  It’s revolutionary!  Your closet will seem wider, and you will be able to store things on the middle shelf which is now accessible.

To get a good idea of the RIGHT way to get organized, take a look at our post How to Organize Your Closet. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to organized bliss!