Easy steps to keep a shared closet from becoming a mess

Whether you live in a small apartment or a single family home, the amount of closet space you’re gifted to work with in your bedroom never seems to be enough. And when there are two of you, sharing a closet can take space restraints to a whole new level.

Learning how to manage the confines of your bedroom closet will allow both of you to fit your clothes in it in an organized fashion so you’ll no longer have to deal with messy closet spill-out, bulging doors that won’t close and that nefarious case of evil-eye your partner happens to suffer from every time he or she opens the closet.


1. De-clutter the closet

Everyone has certain items in their bedroom closets that simply don’t belong in there. It could be a couple of folded up comforters on the floor, garments you no longer wear or fit into, or non-clothing items like briefcases or a video camera bag. Take everything out of your closet and decide what should be stored elsewhere, donated or thrown away.

Sort through the remaining garments and separate them into his and her piles. You can also separate the piles even further into seasonal clothes and then store any non-seasonal items elsewhere. Keeping only seasonal clothing in the closet at any given time will greatly increase the amount of closet real estate you have to work with.

Once the closet is completely emptied out, clean it thoroughly so you have a nice clean slate to work with.


2. Visualize it in two partitions

Look at your bedroom closet and assess the situation. In most cases, women are going to require more space than men simply because they have a larger range of garment types, so drawing an imaginary line down the exact middle of the closet will most likely not work. Men should be realistic about his-and-her closet requirements and not demand an equal 50-50 share of the space available.


3. Consolidate ties and belts

Nothing can make a closet look like a mess like a bunch of ties and belts all over the place. Gather up all of your ties and belts and use a belt and tie hanger to keep them organized and in one place.


4. Invest in storage options if necessary

There are a ton of storage products available on the market and some of them can be quite expensive. Of course, on the other hand, some of them can be quite practical and useful too, so if your closet organization skills need some help, you can always incorporate storage options like shoe holders, baskets, shelf dividers or a complete closet organization kit to help you partition the space into his and her sections.


5. Keep it tidy and clean

The fastest way to ruin a well-organized closet is to become lazy once you have it separated and tidy. Don’t hang your clothes just anywhere—keep your items on your side of the fence. If you have a lot of button-down shirts or blouses, button the top few buttons to make sure they don’t drop off the hanger. If you store handbags in your bedroom closet, keep them buckled or snapped closed and place them in their respective cubbyholes or on the shelf when you are done using them.

If at all possible, try to keep the floor of your bedroom closet open and clean, especially if it’s a walk-in closet. If the closet floor becomes a collect-all, then your closet separation will quickly deteriorate because it will be become easier just to hang the clothing on the nearest rod rather than put the garment in its proper place.


6. Repeat step one every few months

A well-organized closet doesn’t just stay that way; it does require work and dedication, so don’t be surprised if after a few months you are noticing the lines starting to blur between your two sections. If this happens, don’t get mad; it’s just time to re-establish the boundaries and organize again.

— realtor.com