- Spring is here, which means it’s a great time to organise your closet.
- Insider asked the experts at Neat Method, a luxury home organising company that has transformed the closets of numerous celebrities, for their best tips and tricks.
- Neat Method’s Lisa Ruff revealed how to store everything from jeans and swimsuits to your favourite special occasion shoes.
- She also shared why matching hangers are a must, and why you shouldn’t buy new storage products until after you’ve cleaned your closet.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Spring is in the air and we’re all staying home more than ever before, making it a perfect time to finally organise your closet.
So Insider sought out tips from the experts at Neat Method, a luxury home organising company that has decluttered thousands of closets – including those of many celebrities.
From where to put your jeans to the best way to store those massive winter coats, the Neat Method’s Lisa Ruff answers all your burning questions below.
So you want to organise your closet. Where should you even begin?
When it comes to big cleaning projects, our first instinct may be to completely empty our closet, dump everything on the bed, and try to face the whole mess right there and then (just me?).
But Ruff said this is exactly what you shouldn’t be doing (oops).
“We always suggest starting small to avoid getting overwhelmed,” she told Insider. “Start by editing one section of your closet at a time. To do this properly, it’s necessary to see everything together.”
“If you choose to edit denim, gather all your denim and put it in one place. You may be surprised by how many pairs of jeans you actually have.”
Taking too much on — and assuming you’ll finish cleaning your closet in a day — is one of the most common mistakes that Ruff has seen people make.
“It frequently takes a team of two seasoned professional organisers to organise a closet in one day,” she said. “Don’t expect this to be a sprint. Organising is an ongoing marathon.”
While online shopping is always fun, it’s not wise to buy storage products before you’ve created a new system for your closet.
Purchasing new products should be one of the last steps in your organising journey, according to Ruff.
“Sort your items by category, edit, place the items back in your closet based on use, and only then determine whether you need new products to keep it organised,” she added.
But one item that every closet can benefit from is a set of matching hangers.
“It’s amazing what a set of matching hangers can do for a closet,” Ruff said. “They instantly create a visual sense of calm and organisation. Also consider using only one type of hanger to simplify things.”
Ruff recommends buying the “suit” style of hangers, which can be used for both pants and shirts.
When it comes to the great debate of hanging versus folding, Ruff said it all comes down to how much space you actually have.
“Hanging is great because it’s so much easier to see and access clothing that way,” she said. “But if you don’t have enough rod space, then folding down items like sweaters and pants is a good option.”
One item of clothing you definitely need to fold? Those nice knit sweaters.
“The only clothes that shouldn’t be hung are sweaters that are delicate, because they have an open knit or are very heavy and could lose their shape,” Ruff said. “Those should definitely be folded on a shelf.”
Space should also determine how you store all your denim.
“There’s no best way to store jeans,” Ruff said. “It all depends on the space you have, and your habits.”
“For some, it’s easier to see and access jeans if they’re hung. For others, rod space is at a premium, so folding them in stacks makes more sense.”
Whether you decide to hang or fold, Ruff said the best way to organise jeans is by colour and style.
“This will ensure that you always know what you have,” she said. “And that you actually wear them.”
If you’re in a small city apartment, Ruff said it’s important to make sure that the vertical space in your closet is being used efficiently.
“Shoe racks are a great way to use vertical space under a hanging rod,” she said. “Temporary or permanent hooks placed vertically are another great way to organise hats, necklaces, or bags.”
Clear shoe bins are your friend when it comes to storing kicks that you only need for special occasions.
Those glitter heels may add some sparkle to your closet, but they’re taking up space that could be used for the sneakers you wear daily.
“We suggest pulling out any special occasion shoes, like heels or hiking boots, and placing them in clear shoe bins,” Ruff said. “Then stack those bins on a higher shelf in your closet, out of the way.”
“Because they’re for specific occasions, you’re less likely to forget you have them,” she added. “This will then give you more room for your everyday shoes.”
Ruff recommends applying the same rule when you’re deciding which clothes to store in places you might easily forget, like under your bed.
“We discourage clients from storing everyday clothes,” she said. “The concern is that they could easily be forgotten and never worn again. You want to store seasonal items if you live somewhere with distinct seasons, or store special-occasion items like swimsuits or evening clutches.”
And don’t just stuff those extra clothes in cardboard boxes and call it a day.
Ruff recommends either using plastic bins with holes or natural material bins that have a cotton or linen covering to store clothes under your bed or in separate closets.
“Clothing fibres need circulating air to extend their wearability,” she explained. “It’s a good idea to store them in a container with a lid, preferably in a material that breathes to protect against dust and moisture. Including some cedar is always a good idea too, if moths are a concern.”
If you have to store some clothes in a basement or garage, Ruff said you must use a heavy duty plastic bin to protect them in case there’s ever a “water leak or weather exposure.”
Reorganising your winter coats can be as simple as shifting them to a different spot in your closet when the seasons change.
“Ideally, everyone would have a secondary closet for seasonal and special-occasion clothing. Realistically, that’s not the case,” Ruff said. “A seasonal switch-out can be as simple as rearranging your closet.”
“Move heavier winter items to the far ends of your hanging rod that may not be as accessible. Or, if you have storage space outside your closet, choose bins with tight-fitting lids and label them.”
And last but not least, it’s important to remember that organising your closet isn’t a “one and done” process.
“The most organised spaces still require periodic touch-ups after the holidays or a busy work week,” Ruff said.
“But now that a system is in place, it should only take a few minutes to get it back to where it was. So don’t get discouraged!”
- Read more:
- 19 photos of organised closets and pantries that will inspire you to clean
- How to reorganise and declutter without buying anything new while social distancing at home
- 9 products that will help with spring cleaning
- 15 ways to clean your home with products you already have in your pantry
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.