Ideally, you wouldn’t describe your closet as a daunting disaster, overwhelming mess or bottomless heap o’ junk. But let’s face it, it’s always easier to tuck things away than it is to keep them organized.


Wrest back control of your closet with these tips:

Ideally, you wouldn’t describe your closet as a daunting disaster, overwhelming mess or bottomless heap o’ junk. But let’s face it, it’s always easier to tuck things away than it is to keep them organized.


Wrest back control of your closet with these tips:


Think bite-sized


Break the job into small projects rather than tackling it all at once, says Donna Smallin, author of “A to Z Storage Solutions” and www.unclutter.com. Maybe one day you organize just shoes, on another you take on belts, scarves and other accessories. Look for items (photo albums, sports equipment, wrapping paper) that can be moved to more appropriate locations.


Be realistic


Don’t sort through all of your clothes at once, Smallin says. Do a foot of the clothing rod at a time and try on everything. If something doesn’t fit, is out of style or you “don’t love how you look in it,” give it the heave-ho. If you’re squirreling away stuff for when you lose 20 pounds, store it somewhere else, Smallin says. And if you haven’t worn something in a year, you probably never will.


Maximize space


Clear plastic boxes you stack on shelves are great for out-of-season shoes, Smallin says. So are plastic boxes rolled under a bed and racks attached to the back of doors. Space-saver bags allow you to vacuum out excess air between items, which means you can store a huge amount in a small space.


Be charitable


Most people use only about 20 percent of the things they own, Smallin says. If you give something to charity, someone who really needs it benefits immediately. Get a receipt so you can claim a tax credit. Or consider making some cash by selling unused items at a consignment store.


 


What you need


Here are some new products that can make your closet-organizing job easier:


Twisthanger: Umbra’s vertical space-saver provides clips to attach hats, belts, scarves and other accessories. Hang it from a closet rod using the metal hook at the top. Container Store, www.containerstore.com; $7.99


ClosetMade 25-Inch Wide Closet Organizer: This unit has six shelves and three extendable bars to provide additional storage for reach-in closets. Home Depot, www.homedepot.com; $89.97


6-Tier Blouse Tree: Six blouses or shirts can be hung from a single hanger via arms that descend vertically. www.organize.com; $5.79


Dot-it Linear Swivel Light: Sylvania’s portable, battery-operated LED light offers illumination in closets where lighting is a problem. It has a 90-degree swivel and can be mounted adhesive, Velcro or a hook and loop backing. www.sylvaniaonlinestore.com; $9.99