Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

When you were a kid, there were monsters in your closet. Now, it’s just piles and piles of your clothes, accessories and old photos and magazines, which is probably even scarier. After all, the monsters will be gone in the morning, but that closet clutter needs to be dealt with. Eventually.

The sad truth is this: when it comes to organizing your closet , you’ve got to mean business and leave your emotions at the door, because you’re going to have to purge (we promise, you’ll feel better when it’s over). After you’ve eliminated the items undeserving of your precious space, there are five other things you can do to make your closet less of a battlefield, and more of a sanctuary.

1. Divide and conquer
Instead of battling the scarf or necklace octopus that forms when you toss a bunch in a drawer, mount a basic peg board on one wall of the closet and hang each item so they stay separate. You could also do this on the inside of the door.

tjusig rack1 Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

Tjusig rack, $10, Ikea

2. Create a Hideaway
Off-season items don’t deserve prime closet real estate. If you have tall ceilings in your bedroom or living room, put a board shelf high up on the wall, and store out of season clothing like winter outerwear or summer swimsuits and flip flops in cute boxes or baskets. Keep track of what’s in what box by labeling each one.

storage box Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

Reisenthel Storage Bin, $13, Organize.com

3. Show Off Your Goods
Bags are super-bulky, so don’t even think about housing them in a small closet. Instead, turn them into bedroom decor by displaying them on a shelf. It provides easy access, they won’t get squashed, and you get instant wall art. The same goes for your favorite heels.

wall cube Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

Room Essentials White Wall Cube Set, $15, Target

4. Expand your space
As far as we’re concerned, the space under your bed is an extension of your closet, so take advantage of it! Store your shoes in bins under the bed or use the room for that mass of tee shirts you’ve been accumulating since middle school.

canopy under bed storage Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

Canopy Under-Bed Storage, $9, Walmart Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

5. Think outside the box, er, closet
Don’t be afraid to venture even farther out of the closet. Invest in a couple storage ottomans for your living room, and use them to house off-season clothing and things you don’t wear often. In the bathroom, keep extra sheets and towels on an above-the-door board shelf or a fixture that goes over the toilet. It’s a great place for space eaters, plus it gives your bathroom a luxury-hotel feel.

storage ottoman Spring Cleaning: Tips for a Organizing your Closet

Faux Leather Storage Ottoman Set, $40, Bed, Bath & Beyond