A closet is more than just a place to store stuff. It’s the process for how you interact with the space, find items, manage inventories, etc. This article and video gives tips for increasing easy access; maximizing space utilization; streamlining; and increasing visibility.
Everyone is different in terms of what makes an organization process work most effectively for them. Take for example organizing your workspace at work. Some people may organize their desk one way to best fit their working style and processes, but the same desk layout would drive someone else crazy.
So if you view optimizing your closet as a “process improvement” exercise, then what are the various approaches that you will want to have in your “process improvement” toolbox? Here are 4 process improvement approaches that we suggest you can apply to improving the usefulness of your closets: Increasing Easy Access; Maximizing Space Utilization; Streamlining; and Increasing Visibility. So let’s go through each one of these and give some examples.
INCREASING EASY ACCESS
“Increasing easy access” are the types of improvements that will make the process of getting things in and out of your closets much quicker. Some examples of these process improvement enablers include:
- Adding cubbies, so that you can easily see where things go and quickly grab what you need, without having to open drawers, take things off hangers, etc.
- Getting a sturdy ladder, which allows you to easily reach items that are up high in your closets.
- Using a high-reach hook, so that you can use this long stick to quickly place and retrieve items that are up high.
- Adding valet hooks or stand, so that the items that you need for the following day will be right there at your fingertips.
- And lastly, taking a few minutes to sort the items in your closet by types, so that it’s easier to find them when needed.
MAXIMIZING SPACE UTILIZATION
To maximize the space at the top of your closet, you can add shelves that go all the way to the ceiling, or you can place stacking boxes or hooks there too. Of course the previously mentioned sturdy ladder will also come in handy here.
Regarding the middle of your closet, there are a number of things you can do to maximize the useable space in this area, and some examples include:
- using double hangers, which create a section above and below for hanging items.
- adding shelf dividers, both vertically and horizontally.
- adding baskets and bins to fill up open space, and
- using hanging shoe racks or other types of efficient hanging racks.
And for the bottom area of your closet, you can add a shoe shelf for storing shoes or handbags. Or you can add baskets or bins to fit under where your clothes are hanging.
Next, there is the wall spaces which may either be exposed, or can be behind where clothes are hanging. For exposed wall areas, you may be able to add a thin chest of drawers or an array of hooks. Or you can add hooks on the walls behind other clothes (but you might want this to be just for clothes which you don’t need to access very often).
And lastly, you can maximize space utilization by adding hooks or door hangers so that you can use the space behind your closet door.
Next, let’s look at “Streamlining” your closets. Streamlining involves changing the contents of your closets to make accessing what is there much easier.
Examples of streamlining include:
- Putting non-seasonal items into storage. This not only gives you more room in your closet, but it also makes it easier to sort through items to find what you need.
- Rotating back non-seasonal items. If for some reason you don’t want to put non-seasonal items into storage, you can still streamline your closet by rotating non-seasonal items to the back of your closet, so that you can more easily access the items that are needed for the current season.
- Donating items that you no longer use will both free up space, and can enable you to get a tax deduction.
- And finally, investing in good hangers will support your clothes much better than the wire ones that come with dry cleaning, and better quality hangers will also look much nicer in your closet.
The last of the potential process improvements for your closet is “Increasing Visibility.” Examples of increasing visibility of the items in your closet include:
- adding see-through bins
- adding rotating racks that can be for belts, scarves, ties.
- adding drawer organizers.
- adding labels to shoe boxes.
- and adding labels to garment bags.
We hope this video has given you a new way of thinking about organizing your closets, and these four areas of process improvement have been helpful for you. And remember, the process improvements that work best for you, may not work best for your spouse or partner . . .. so maybe one side of your closet needs to focus on increasing visibility and access (for him or her), and maybe the other side needs to focus on maximizing space utilization and streamlining (for you!)
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