Step-by-Step Closet Makeover

Author: Alecia Pirulis


You step into the melee, stumbling over discarded shoes and hoping the clutter crowding the overhead shelves doesn’t tumble down around you in a giant avalanche of purses, old photo albums, and out-of-season clothing. As you look at the jumble of hangers crowded and tangled together, you realize you don’t have a thing to wear – mainly because trying to find something will require foraging through the chaos. It’s time for a closet makeover – stat!

  • First, clear everything out of your closet until you have a completely empty space.
  • Now, sort through your items and get rid of everything you haven’t worn in the past year, things you don’t like, and anything in bad condition. Decide what will go back in your closet and what can be stored elsewhere (those old photo albums can go in a storage container in the attic or basement).
  • If you plan to install or build a closet organization system, remove whatever is there and patch any holes in the walls.
  • Clean the closet thoroughly – wipe down the walls and any shelves, clean the baseboards, and vacuum the carpet.
  • Paint your closet. Give it a fresh coat of white paint or try a fun color. Allow it to dry overnight.
  • Install your purchased closet organization system or start building your own (it’s easier than you think and much cheaper).
  • Replace all of your wire and plastic hangers with velvet-covered hangers. Clothing stays on better, the hangers take up less space, and they slide easier.
  • Now, it’s time to hang the clothing you intend to keep – be sure to organize by type and color so it’s easier to find what you’re looking for.
  • If your closet doesn’t have drawers, consider adding a modular unit. These are great for holding jewelry, ties, hair accessories, belts, etc. If you don’t want to add drawers, get baskets to place on the shelves to hold these smaller items.
  • Get the shoes off the floor. Use an over-the-door hanging shoe organizer, install a shoe rack, or add a shoe cubby to the closet. This will keep your shoes organized and your floor free from clutter.
  • Use storage bins and bags for out-of-season clothing. Store this on the top shelf and if you share a closet with someone, be sure to label the containers with name and/or contents. Don’t stack more than two storage containers or bags on top of each other – you don’t want to have to drag several down (or worry about that avalanche all over again) just to access one of the bins.

Now, keep it organized – throw out one similar item for every new item you bring in. Also, find a new space for items that shouldn’t be kept in the closet (the manual for your cell phone, spare phone chargers, those paintings you didn’t want to hang, those unwanted gifts you plan to re-gift, etc.). Finally, you can see what you own – and your closet is a pleasant, organized space rather than a chaotic jumble.