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Everyone's habits are a little different and everyone has different requirements for an organized closet. You may need lots of room for your designer handbag collection while someone else may need to have their closet function as their dresser, linen closet, and laundry staging area. Everyone is different and has different needs, so it is important to evaluate what you need before you organize. There is no "one size fits all" approach to designing a closet that will work. If you spend a little extra time really personalizing the closet to suit your needs, then you will have a much easier time staying organized and you'll be much happier with the finished product.

First, determine what really has to change. Do your shoes end up in a mountain instead of in that over-the-door rack you bought? Are those hanging canvas shelves just too flimsy to use without wadding up your clothes? Do you wish that you could keep your pajamas separate from your underwear? Are you tired of having to dig through piles of folded t-shirts? Do your hanging clothes slip off the hanger? All of these things should be considered. Make a list of what you don't like and it'll help you determine what you should change about your closet.

Now look at what you own. Get rid of anything that you can. You might even decide to set parameters for yourself so that you don't have more than you need. For example, you may decide that you shouldn't own more than five pairs of jeans, five black t-shirts, twenty pairs of socks, or three heavy winter coats. Go through and try to limit what you allow yourself to own. Try to respect the space that you have by acknowledging that some things will need to go.

Now take a look at your clothes and try to categorize them by use. You don't necessarily want your work clothes mixed up with your work out gear. Keeping them separate will help you to be able to get ready more quickly when you're in a hurry. You can coordinate outfits on cascading hangers to make extra room on the bar while keeping items that go together paired up and ready to use. If you want, you can coordinate like colors or hang things by length. Just decide what works best for you.

When you've got everything pretty much how you want it, choose the right clothing hangers for your closet. There are space saving clothing hangers, wooden hangers for suits and coats, cedar hangers, and many types of specialty hangers that will help you make the most of your closet. Follow these tips and you're sure to have an organized, functional closet in no time.

About the Author: Jo Granville is on the staff of Only Hangers. For more information, please visit