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Three Keys to Controlling Your Closet…For Good

By Clare Kumar, Streamlife

Have you spent time organizing your closet only to find that within days it is an unruly mess? A truly effective organizing system like Rubbermaid Configurations not only establishes order, but makes it easy to maintain. Here are three simple steps to ensure your closet continues to work for and not against you:

1. Design your closet to suit your preferences and your wardrobe

Working with clients over the years, I have uncovered a plethora of approaches to storing clothes. Let's take a long sleeve top as an example. Some folks love folding (really!) and storing in drawers or on shelves, while others prefer to roll and stuff the shirts into a space. Others enjoy 'rummaging'. Okay, only one person ever told me that, but if that's your preference, it has to be respected. Some find using hangers faster than folding, while others find them a struggle and prefer to use hooks. But, many people have never really thought about what they prefer most, and simply take an inherited closet as is and try to make it work. So, for each category of clothing, figure out how you like to store it best. Then take a closer look at your closet and assess if it has the right mix of hanging space, shelves, drawers and hooks to organize your wardrobe.

Make sure you can see and access pieces easily and it will be easier to maintain order. It is often the quick removal of a garment from storage that contributes to a messy mound of clothes. In researching a product I developed to help fold and store clothes, I learned that one of the biggest complaints people have is re-folding clothes they have already folded once. Two ways to avoid re-folding are by ensuring shelves are not too far apart to avoid piling folded garments too high, and 'filing' clothes in drawers so you can see each garment and extract only the one you are looking for.

2. Respect the space

One of the most common challenges I see clients facing is over-stuffed closets. Space is finite, and even when fully maximized must be respected for a system to stay organized. n the Streamlife® Four Step P.L.A.N. ™ to Get Organized, the second step "Liberate" is about letting go of things to help keep focus on the "Priorities" of the space. If you pull out three items of clothing at once because they are so jammed together, it's time to curate your closet to respect the physical limits of the space. Clothes must not only be visible, they must be as easy to retrieve as to return. Keep an opaque garment bag in your closet to make it handy to package clothes you no longer wear for transport to your favourite charity or consignment store.

3. Put things away

The last step in P.L.A.N. is "Nurture" - in this case, the act of putting things away to maintain order. Sounds simple, but putting clothes away is another very common challenge, simply because the process often feels tedious and can easily be put off. People are often perpetually busy and in rushing from task to task it's easy to forget to restore order. Take a look behind you when you leave your room and see if there is anything to put away or move to another location before you go. Even better, plan time in your day to tidy so it doesn't become an overwhelming task.

Since you face your closet every morning and evening, it's a worthwhile investment to establish a system that starts and ends your day on the right note.

Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, Clare Kumar has inspired thousands of people to live an organized lifestyle since 2005. Simply put, Clare creates 'flow'. Perhaps you've seen Clare in her favourite role - sharing tips and tricks as an organizing expert on