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14 Tips to Stop Closet Clutter

Is clutter taking over your closets? These simple steps will help you create instant space.

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Fold What You Can

Fold What You Can

Folding clothing, in most cases, will save space. Fold all the clothing you can, stack it in piles, then measure the piles to determine the amount of shelving needed to accommodate them.

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Weatherproof Closets

Weatherproof Closets

Cope with wet stuff in an entry closet by installing a boot tray over a plastic pan. Hang wicker or wire containers on the closet door; they allow ventilation for faster drying of damp gloves and hats. (Some baskets can be folded up when they’re not in use.) Install a grille in the closet door to increase ventilation, or replace it with a louvered door.

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Smart Hang-Ups

Smart Hang-Ups

Attach a piece of Velcro to the end of a hanger to keep thin straps from sliding off it. Sew a big loop at the neck of kids’ jackets to increase the odds that they will be hung up rather than finding a home on the floor.

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Colour-Code Linens

Colour-Code Linens

Select a different colour or pattern of bed linen for each family member. Whenever a fresh set of linens is needed, it will be easy to pick out the pieces for a particular bed from the linen closet.

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Plan First

Plan First

Weed out a closet before reorganizing it. Measure everything that needs to fit back in, then translate these measurements into a design on graph paper. Then, and only then, go out and purchase a closet organizing system.

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What's Included?

What’s Included?

Not all closet organizing systems include the mounting hardware in the price. When comparing prices, find out exactly what you will get for your money.

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The Eyes Have It

The Eyes Have It

Save time by placing the most frequently used items in a closet at eye level.

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A Favorable Reflection

A Favorable Reflection

Glue a square mirror tile on a closet’s ceiling to inspect the top shelf without climbing a stepladder.

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Relieving the Load

Relieving the Load

When the clothes rod in a closet sags under too much weight, replace it with a length of galvanized pipe placed inside PVC piping. Remove the manufacturer’s name from the PVC pipe with lacquer thinner.

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Neat Clothes

Neat Clothes

If you want to keep clothes uncluttered, file tiny notches about 1 inch apart in a wooden clothing rod; the hangers won’t slide together.

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Use the Two-Year Rule

Use the Two-Year Rule

Increase storage space by decreasing the number of things you have to store. Use the two-year rule to help: If you haven’t worn or used it in two years, out it goes.

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Less Luggage

Less Luggage

Save space when storing luggage by placing smaller pieces inside larger ones.

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Loaded Luggage

Loaded Luggage

Pack away off-season clothing in pieces of luggage and slide them under the bed. If you take a trip, temporarily unpack the clothing and stack it in laundry baskets.

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Don't Make the Cut

Don’t Make the Cut

Many wire shelving systems are based on a 12-foot shelf module. Don’t try to cut down shelves that are too long for your closet with a hacksaw; you’ll wind up with sharp, jagged ends. Ask your supplier to cut the units to the right length.

Originally Published on Reader's Digest