1. Excess Hangers
Hangers are clunky and can occupy valuable closet space, so don't hold on to more than you need. Designate a hanger for all of the items you like to hang, then ditch the rest. If you buy something, make it a rule to get rid of one item before hanging the new one.
2. Out-of-Season Items
Warm, fuzzy boots are the epitome of coziness come winter. But in July, your bulky boots are taking up precious storage space. Stash out-of-season items in the basement or under your bed, then switch out items as the weather changes.
3. Anything That's Not on Brand
Whether you wear all black, prefer skirts to pants, or have a thing for sparkles, you know your own style by now. Rid your closet of items that don't match your personal brand. As a bonus, having a distinct style makes it a lot easier to get ready in the morning -- everything you own goes together flawlessly!
4. Bulky Coats
Coat closets exist for a reason. House bulky parkas, umbrellas, and outdoor blankets in your entryway or an extra closet. This will not only free up space in your bedroom closet, but also stop dirt, salt, water, and other debris from tracking into your sleep space.
5. Items You Haven't Worn in a Year
We all have those items we never wear, whether a gift or clearance rack steal that was impossible to pass up. No matter the history, purge any item that is too big, too small, stained, or threadbare. As a general rule, if you haven't worn an item in a year, it's time for it to go.
We'd all like to take an impromptu vacation, but there's no need to keep a suitcase so close. Instead of storing luggage in your closet, stash it under your bed or in the basement or attic. But don't let that empty space go to waste. Suitcases are a prime storage spot for out-of-season items or extra linens.
7. Outdoor Accessories
Keep hats, scarves, and mittens in a cute basket by the door instead of shoved into a closet drawer. You'll never forget to bundle up again.
Pretty jewelry can double as art if it's displayed correctly. Keep necklaces on a tree and rings in a chic dish -- but keep them out of your closet. Closet space is typically tight, so you might knock valuables over when pulling out a long dress or grabbing a bin from the top shelf. Storing jewelry on a vanity is a much safer option for small accessories.
9. Your Wedding Dress
Whether you're holding on to your wedding dress for the next generation or for sentiment's sake, find somewhere other than your closet to store it. Most gowns need special storage and take up too much space. Wrap the dress in a garment bag, then place away from the light in a hall closet or under the bed.
Keep your furry friends (and any animal toys or beds) out of the closet. Dog hair and black pants do not mix, nor do a cat's claws and leather boots.
11. Food Gifts
Keeping food gifts in your closet invites a host of pesky problems. Moths, mice, and other critters can show up uninvited to wreak havoc on your wardrobe. Better to be safe than sorry -- store food items in the kitchen.
This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com