A properly organized closet can give you more than just Instagram-worthy images. It can also provide some serious benefits, like keeping outfits from getting wrinkled or speeding up your morning routine. Unfortunately, some homeowners make some big mistakes when it comes to closet organization, but we don’t want you to be “that guy.” Here’s a list of eight common closet organization pitfalls to avoid so that your closet can enhance your life—not complicate it.

Avoid These Common Closet Mistakes

(Pixabay / teenacobb)

1. Placing Things Randomly

Custom closets offer a convenient way to store a range of items, but make sure to group them first. Instead of putting everything and anything in storage baskets and bins, sort through the items, and group similar ones together. You might also want to use labels, so you’ll know what’s inside each space at a glance. The bins and baskets should truly add function and value to your space; otherwise, they can become just additional bulky pieces to accommodate clutter.

2. Leaving Unfilled Hangers Inside

Empty hangers occupy valuable closet space and make the unit look disorganized. Don’t leave them inside! A better approach is to store them in a basket. Most hangers are 19 x 9 inches, so if your pop-up basket is just a little bigger, you should be able to store them diagonally inside it. You can also streamline laundry by carrying the basket of hangers with you and hanging clothing as you take them from the dryer or washer.

3. Not Investing in Uniform Storage Accessories

Although you may be tempted to buy different brands, colors, and styles of accessories, don’t! When it comes to these accessories, it’s best to go with a uniform color palette and style so you can achieve a clean, minimal aesthetic. Invest in similar hangers, baskets, and bins for a cohesive appearance. Taking this approach will help you create a space that’s pleasing to look at.

4. Going for raised shoe shelves

When you see a home design website recommend luxurious raised or angled shoe shelves, you think it’s the answer to your shoe storage problems. It’s not! The issue with many of these shelves is that they make dead space due to the way they’re designed from the back. If you’re like most normal people, you can’t afford to waste inches in your closet space, especially when you have loads of footwear and less space. A better option is to get adjustable, flat shoe shelves. These can be designed with less than 1.00 steel to accommodate more shoes in the same flat space.

5. Not Utilizing the Wall Space

You likely use most of your closet hangers, but you might not be taking advantage of the wall space inside of your closet in the way you should be. And while having a built-in shelf is a blessing, it’s just as convenient to set up custom shelves in order to cover the blank spaces inside. This can be your answer to the areas of the closet with weird dimensions. Homeowners can also hang a rack for purses and belts over doors or on walls to maximize what space you have.

6. Not Switching Out for Seasons

Having the same outfits hanging up all year round means less effort on your part, but it also makes it challenging to find the right clothing. You might even overlook certain pieces of clothing if you have to dig through rows of items to reach them. It’s better to put out-of-season items away in a basket on a shelf unit until they’re appropriate to wear again. We recommend taking stock of items so you know exactly what you have for each season. This will also help you get rid of the clothing you no longer wear or find stylish. (Don’t just throw it away, donate to someone in need.)

7. Not Using Shelf Dividers

Stacks of t-shirts are bound to get mixed up, and totes will topple unless you start using a shelf divider. This accessory is designed to make a partition, keeping things tidy and upright. And because they slide onto shelves, you don’t need to spend time on installation. You can also take the DIY route and just put a box on the shelf. Flip it so that it achieves an opening that faces front. The back of it can prevent items from falling in hard-to-reach areas while its sides can play the role of dividers. Just make sure its aesthetically pleasing and coordinates with other storage pieces if you want that clean, streamlined look.

8. Not Taking Advantage of Lighting

Lighting can significantly improve the overall design and feel of your closet. Go for super-bright, stick up lights to ensure you’re not wasting more time in telling red clothing from maroon. Spotlight lighting can also be used to showcase artwork, accessories and shoes while giving a boutique feel to the closet. LED lighting will help reduce your utility bills, and a brightly lit closet will enable you to keep things tidy.

Besides avoiding these common closet mistakes, you can make use of custom closet systems that are easy to maintain and organize. The investment will be well worth it when your closet becomes a beautiful part of your home that facilitates your quality of life.