6 Tips for Cleaning, Organizing, and Optimizing the Perfect Closet

When most people renovate or upgrade their houses, rooms like the kitchen, master bedroom, bathrooms, and outdoor living areas get all of the focus. The closet is one of the most commonly neglected rooms. But if you’re someone who spends lots of time prepping in your closet, why wouldn’t you give this sacred space the same attention to detail? Well, you should – and it’s not as difficult as you might think.

Give Your Closet an Upgrade

If you’ve ever seen pictures from a celebrity’s home, you’ve probably been amazed by how much detail goes into the master closet. It typically looks more like a department store display than a place for stashing clothes. And while you may not have space for a sofa, TV, or floor-to-ceiling shoe display, there are some simple steps you can take to give your closet a substantial facelift.

1. Get Rid of Clothes You Don’t Wear

The very first step is to take inventory of everything you currently own – including clothing, shoes, and accessories. You’ll want to do this immediately after doing laundry, so that you have everything in front of you.

Everyone uses a different technique, but one suggestion is to go through each item (one by one) and ask yourself two simple questions: (1) Have I worn this item in the last year? (2) Do I plan on wearing it within the next six months? If the answer to both of these questions is no, donate or sell the item.

2. Clean Up

Now that you’ve purged your wardrobe, you should have a bit more space. Before reorganizing and upgrading your closet, take some time to clean. Vacuum the carpet, wipe down surfaces, fix that broken drawer slide on your dresser, etc. Getting these little things squared away will give you a blank slate to work with.

3. Deal With Moths

Nobody wants to talk about it, but moths are a major problem in many closets. While they may simply seem annoying, they can become highly problematic down the road.

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“If ignored, clothes moth larvae progress to the pupae stage, and homeowners may find their husk-like, tube-shaped cocoons (or casings) on clothes,” home improvement expert Manasa Reddigari writes. “The larvae eventually emerge as winged adults and continue the cycle of laying eggs and unraveling your wardrobe.”

There are plenty of moth prevention products on the market, but look for a safe option like this natural, non-toxic pheromone trap. Get this squared away before your closet upgrade is finished.

4. Maximize Space

One of the biggest complaints people have with their closet is a lack of space. This can mean a lack of space to walk around and get dressed, or it can mean a lack of space for storing clothing. Sometimes it’s both.

Depending on the physical structure of your closet, you may face space restrictions. (In other words, you probably don’t want to tear down walls just to gain a few extra square feet.) You may, however, have the ability to expand up.

Vertical space is often underutilized and can make a rather significant difference in smaller closets. Think about how much room you have to expand here and look for different options – including floor-to-ceiling cabinets and adjustable rods for hanging clothes.

5. Make Everything Accessible

Accessibility is key in a well-functioning closet. If you’re constantly digging through drawers or reaching behind certain items to access what you’re looking for, you’ll end up with a disheveled mess. In your upgrade, try implementing multi-functional pieces that allow for systematic storage.

6. Upgrade Lighting

Lighting is one aspect of closet design that gets ignored all the time. Not only can this be a safety hazard, but it also seriously impacts the overall look and feel of your closet. Spend some time thinking strategically about lighting – both in terms of the type of light and the placement – and you’ll notice a huge difference.

Upgrade to the Closet of Your Dreams

Your closet doesn’t have to look like it belongs in an episode of Keeping Up With the Kardashians, but it should be tailored to meet your needs and preferences. Stop treating it like an afterthought and start thinking about how you can optimize this space for comfort and style.