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Straighten Up

Updated: Jan 29, 2021

CLOSETS...always a challenge - too few, too small or too full! Regardless, we’ll guide you through the process of working with what you have by organizing what you’ve got.

Now that we are spending our days at home, it’s time to turn closets into more organized sanctuaries. To this end, we’re devoting our most recent article to editing and organizing your valuable spaces.  As New York Times, bestselling author Marie Kondo remarked in her first book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “It’s about choosing joy”’  Marie brought tidying to a whole new level and you can too by taking a few, perhaps initially overwhelming but necessary, steps.  You’ve got this!

During the COVID 19 epidemic, those organizations typically accepting clothing and other items, like Jersey Shore Rescue Mission, The Visiting Nurse Association of Monmouth County, Restore by Coastal Habitat for Humanity and Madonna House are currently closed but will gladly accept items when they reopen.  Until then, we suggest that you store your give-away items in an inconspicuous spot and know that they will be in even greater need when these charities reopen.

A necessary step in the organization process may be parting with items to which we have an emotional connection. This may be challenging but if you can remember that:

1)Recycling is better for the environment 2) It helps people in need 3) Helping others is rewarding and 4) Organized spaces can bring you peace.

Do something good for yourself and for others by:

Editing Your Clothes - Don’t hang on to sizes that don’t fit, or you haven’t worn in 2 years. We are big believers in giving things away—to thrift shops, your family members or friends. Recycle, recycle, recycle! Consider what looks good on you and be realistic about what you’ll wear. You’re stuck at home right now so take the time to try your items for fit and wearability.

If possible, ask your partner or your kids for their opinion—tell them to be honest but be ready for possible critics!

Organizing Clothes by Category - Shoes go with shoes, bags go with bags, tops with tops, dresses with dresses, coats with coats—and so on.

Color Coding Your Clothes - Organizing from light to dark, from left to right—it’s a merchandising trick that helps the eye follow the clothes.

Choosing Your Hangers Wisely - Using the same type and color of hangers throughout really does make a huge difference in both making good use of space and improving the look of your efforts.  For the most streamlined look in your closet, it makes sense to choose only one or two types of hangers.  We prefer reasonably priced, no-slip velvet hangers that won’t misshape your clothes.

Accessorizing to Make it Work - Get drawer inserts, a jewelry organizer, a tie and belt rack, purse stuffers (dry cleaning bags or tissue work well) and boot trees-so your boots will stand up straight. These are all inexpensive online items that can be purchased at a reasonable price point with a big impact.

Stacking Your Sweaters - If possible, consider buying a hanging cubby to stack them in if there is no shelf space available. This will free up drawer space and keep each sweater wrinkle-free.

Making the Most of Every Space - If you are tight on space, there are two ways to organize your shoes. If you have more shelf space - that is, it’s longer instead of deeper, place one pair with the toe forward, the other with the heel forward. If your space is deeper but not as wide, put one shoe in the front and the matching pair in the back behind it.

These recommendations can, of course, be adapted to nearly any space in your house.  And professional organizers offer a great service - some will even work remotely. The point is to make the most of what you have and enjoy your newly organized spaces.


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