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Five Easy Ways to Organize Your Clothes

Closet organizers have always kind of confused me. I feel like the people who need them the most—the shoe addicts, the cocktail dress junkies, me—are exactly the people who don't want to spend money on anything other than clothes. Why buy a box to put t-shirts in when I can just buy another t-shirt? Annnnnd scene.

But then I rounded the corner on my third year in an apartment with a closet the size of an oven, and I slowly began to rethink this whole lifestyle choice—if for no other reason than I can never freaking find anything.

So about those knick-knacks and gadgets: I might need to invest in some. I'm not aiming for a Dewey Decimal System-style operation or anything, but yes, it'd be nice if I didn't have to hunt for my new skirt for 20 minutes, only to give up and leave the house wearing something else.

So here are the five things I'll be doing—and the three things I'll be buying—to get everything in order (which, in turn, just means I can buy more clothes).

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Installing a Valet Hook

My bed and armchair make a perfectly decent war zone to lay out outfits. But things pile up, and then I never want to put them back, which infallibly unravels even the most freshly organized closet.

Screwing in this one little valet hook to a bit of wall space or back of my door would fix everything. Everything. It'd all be less cluttered if I just had a specific place to lay out outifts or hang dry cleaning so that I can see what's there and remember to put it back in the right place. (And as a bonus, it folds up flat, so I won't walk into it when I'm not using it. Not that I would do that.)


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Organizing by Occasion

To me, childhood-style organizing by shape and item (short-sleeved shirts in one drawer, long-sleeved ones in another) is about as useful as cataloging a DVD collection by length instead of genre. It's just not how my mind works.

Organizing by occasion instead (work-friendly tops, weekend-only shirts) takes just a few minutes more and helps me put together outfits that actually make sense for wherever I'm going. Which is usually the first thing on my mind when getting dressed anyway.

Conde Nast Archive

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Kicking Out the Shoe Boxes

As much as I love a pretty shoe box (Miu Miu's soft pink ones, French Sole's leopard print) I know they're not practical for everyday access. Like, at all—just think how long it takes the shoe store guy to wrangle out the right pair even in an ultra-organized setting.

Instead, I'm investing in individual drawers that are both a) totally see-though and b) easy to open horizontally. They're stackable in a zillion different configurations, and don't have the ickiness of  behind-the-door shoe racks, which press dirty soles up next to clothes. Eww.

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Hanging vs. Folding

Since I have more hanging space than folding space, it seemed only logical to hang those things people would otherwise fold. But it only creates problems with certain things. Like jeans. In a sea of hangers, I can never tell which pair of blues is which style, so I end up pulling them all out and off the hanger.

Folding my jeans instead and labeling the shelf underneath ("wide leg", "skinny", etc) would make this about nine million times easier. Because certain things are really meant to hang and some just need to be folded, regardless of how much space you have for each.

Fairchild Archive

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Dividing and Conquering

I feel like I need five of these drawer dividers, since keeping track of the little stuff is kinda my biggest challenge. Lumping everything together means I'm not only constantly searching for things, but sometimes I'm accidentally ruining them, too.

Thankfully, this divider breaks apart and adjusts to different drawer sizes, ensuring I'll never snag a pair of tights on a bra hook again.

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