Closet organization is always tricky, but there are a few things you can do to make your life easier. This year, however, has been somewhat different due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and wardrobe reorganizing needs might differ from one family to another. If you’re working from home right now, you might feel that there isn’t much use for your fall and winter office clothes anymore. But don’t give them up just yet—most likely, you’ll need them again in the future. Instead, make sure they are properly stored. Here are some steps you can take to properly store your clothes.

1. Sort your clothes first

It’s true that if you haven’t worn something in a year, you are probably not going to do it in the future. This year being somewhat special, you can probably make an exception to that rule and instead do the following: You can start by grouping your closet items by season and keep at hand only items that you are likely to wear. To further test the waters, place clothes on a hanger on the rod backward. You will be able to tell which clothes get the most use and which items never get worn once the season is over by seeing which hangers are left unturned.

2. Donate to Goodwill or The Salvation Army

Select the clothing items you’re certain you won’t be using again and prepare them for donation. If they’re gently used and in good condition, consider donating. Make sure that the clothes you donate are freshly washed. Also, put them in plastic or garment bags, not just in cardboard boxes, for extra protection. Given that it’s a sensitive time for sharing personal things call your local Goodwill or Salvation Army to learn more about their donation policy in the context of COVID-19.

donate clothes

3. Keep clothing in sealed bags

While in-season clothing stays on the rack in your closet, what do you do with the rest of your wardrobe? Make sure you get vacuum-sealed bags and either store them on the top shelf of your closet or make use of your under-bed space. Although vacuum-sealed storage bags are excellent when it comes to saving space in your wardrobe, they’re not recommended for office clothes, as they will wrinkle badly. It will be very difficult to get them to a “wearable” state again. Reserve vacuum bags for winter parkas, sweaters, and other clothing items that don’t crease much.

4. Cover clothing with garment bags

This tip is especially helpful for hanging clothes. Use garment bags to cover your dress shirts, suits, skirts, and dresses. This way, your clothes will be better protected from dust, light, and other environmental factors and will remain in excellent shape even if you won’t be wearing them for a while.

5. Shoes need TLC too

While clothing gets our full attention when we organize our closets, shoes also need the same special treatment. Store out-of-season shoes in shoeboxes, but make sure the shoes are clean and dry before you put them away for the season. Treat your shoes with the same care you would when packing them for moving.

6. Give the open closet design a try

Alternatively, you can experiment with the open closet design. It might seem like a less tidy option at first, but if done right, it can bring a lot of charm to your home. This is a practical solution, especially if your home does not come with a lot of closet space. Americans renting a tiny apartment in Seattle are probably dealing with this issue more frequently.

open closet

7. Use self storage

But what to do if your home is not big enough for all the contents of your closet? For many Americans, living space is in short supply, especially if you’re a renter. According to our latest report on home sizes, apartments have lost almost 90 square feet in the last ten years, shrinking from an average size of 1,245 square feet in 2010 to 1,156 in 2019. A viable solution is using self storage to keep some items away from their apartment. You could especially use a storage unit if you live in  Charlotte, Jacksonville, or Washington, DC — cities where apartments lost the most square footage among all the big US cities.
Did we help you reorganize your closet? Let us know in the comments section.


Mirela is a real estate writer and lifestyle editor for Yardi. With an academic background in English and translation, Mirela now covers a range of topics including real estate trends, lifestyle and economy. Her previous experience in proofreading academic articles has inspired Mirela to choose a writing career path. In her free time, Mirela enjoys reading, but also hiking and creating art. You can contact Mirela via email.

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