How to Organize Your Closet

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How to Organize Your Closet

Are you looking for some simple tips on how to organize your closet?

Do you want some straightforward pointers that will teach you how to organize a closet?

Clothes closets are small and defined spaces.

Theoretically speaking, it should be relatively easy to keep such a relatively contained space organized.

It’s not as if we’re talking about organizing an entire room or home.

So why is it so difficult to keep a closet organized?

Well, it all comes down to two main items: 1) daily use, and 2) lack of structure.

When you think about it, a closet is used pretty much every single day of the year.

There’s a good chance you’ll be diving inside your clothes closet to retrieve a pair of shoes or your favorite shirt on any given day.

And with such frequent use, a lack of order or defined structure within the closet can quickly cause things to become disorganized…

In this post, I offer several practical tips to help you organize your closet.

Whether you have a small or large closet at home, these tips will help you keep things in order…the smart way!

How to Organize Your Closet


Declutter clothing and accessories.

Before you become steeped in reorganizing your entire wardrobe, you’ll want to do yourself a favor and thoroughly declutter your closet. There’s no sense in spending valuable time organizing your entire closet if you only wear a fraction of the items sitting inside your closet.

Don’t skip this step! Grab a large trash bag and take time to remove any clothing and accessories you no longer want or need. It’s also a good idea to remove items that no longer fit or are hopelessly damaged, torn, ripped, stained, or broken. Why? These items will only take up valuable real estate in your closet. Better to deal with them now and remove them from your life.

Still unsure as to which items you should keep and which items you should donate, recycle, or trash? You can ask yourself any one of these twenty-three decluttering questions to get a better handle on the situation.

Match like items with like.

The next step in organizing your closet is to match similar items with similar items. And yes, this step is really as simple as it sounds. You’ll want to match shirts with shirts, sweaters with sweaters, slacks with slacks, belts with belts, shoes with shoes, and so on. Doing so will make it easy for you to both locate and store items in your closet.

Your closet may be in such a state where you’ll have to physically move or remove items in order to place similar items next to one another. This may seem annoying, but trust me, it will be worth it!

If you want to get really fancy, you can organize similar items by color so it’s easy to find what you need in a pinch. You can use the abbreviation ROYGBIV, which stands for the colors red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, to help you organize clothes in a pleasing manner.

You can of course place clothes that are black, white, grey, and tan, in any arrangement you’d like. By all means, feel free to use any color organization method you so choose!

Assign specific storage locations for items.

Now that you’ve matched like items with like, it’s time to find a specific storage locations in your closet for each item. Doing so will make it easier to find and store items because you’ll know *exactly* where to place things. All you have to do is select where items will be stored inside the closet.

It’s time to put your thinking cap on! Where does it make sense to store items?

Generally speaking, items that are used on a frequent basis should be placed within easy reach, while items that are seasonal or infrequently used should be placed in an out-of-the-way location, such as in the side or back of the closet, or on a high shelf. Clothes of similar use, say work clothes, workout clothes, casual clothes, and pajamas, should be grouped together for easy access.

If you find it helpful, you can sketch out some storage ideas on a sheet of paper or notebook using a pencil. In one of your sketches, for example, you may decide shoes will be stored on a shoe organizer on the floor of the closet, with shirts located on the left of the closet hanging rod, and slacks located on the right of the hanging rod.

Or you may decide to simply organize your clothing by color from left to right on the main hanging rod. You may even come up with a couple of unique ideas to store other items of clothing. The choice is yours!

Make use of all available space.

Are you using every available inch of space within your closet? Don’t be afraid to expand your storage mindset both horizontally and vertically.

Sure, a standard closet rod is an obvious storage method. But how else could you utilize space behind the closet door, on the closet floor, underneath dressers, vanities, or shelving, or near the ceiling?

You’ll want to take a good look at your closet so can get a better idea of the space available to you. You could place a small dresser inside of your closet for an instant set of drawers, use an over-the-door storage unit to store shoes and accessories, or purchase stackable boxes and bins to make sure you use the upper storage space in the top part of your closet. When in doubt, think up, down, and around!

While you’re thinking about closet space, now would be a good time to remove any non-clothing items from your closet. You’ll want to relocate these items to another permanent storage area in your home.

Remember, you want to use all of the space within your closet, not just a fraction of it.

Fix damaged closet hardware.

Take a moment to address all those nagging fixer-upper or DIY projects you’ve been meaning to address over the past few months in your closet. You know, these are the items that need to be replaced or updated, but you haven’t yet gotten around to doing.

Which items need to be repaired or fixed in your closet? Go ahead and recycle and those broken plastic hangers with a new set, fix that broken closet door hinge, replace the lightbulb or light fixture(s), repair those broken drawers or shelves, and properly mount that clothing rod. Your closet will seem just like new with just a few minor adjustments.

Avoid the “throw and go” mindset.

Want to keep your closet in tip-top shape day in and out? It’s important to keep in mind your closet isn’t a self-organizing system.

Remember, whatever you don’t take care of now will have to be addressed later. Take care to thoughtfully replace items in your closet after use or laundering. A little bit of daily maintenance will keep your closet neat and tidy.

Here’s some quick things you can do at the end of the day to tidy up your closet: replace shirts, slacks, and suits on hangers, fold and stack t-shirts and sweaters in drawers, match and place shoes in storage bins, place purses on shelves, and store accessories on hooks or in containers.

Use smart storage solutions.

Nowadays, there’s no end to closet storage solutions for the home. You can shop for ready-made storage closet solutions for individual item of clothing, such as belts, slacks, scarves, and accessories.

There’s also a wide variety of full-organizational unit solutions that make it easy to store similar items together. Do some research online and in the store for some ideas. Before purchasing closet storage products, check to see if you already own storage solutions in your home.

Are you on a fixed or limited budget? You can make your own storage solutions using a bit of creativity and elbow grease. Which items in your home can be reused or repurposed? Search ’round your living areas for clean and unused sturdy bins, boxes, crates, hooks, and hangers.

Would that overflow of unused food storage containers be the perfect in-drawer storage solutions for your jewelry and accessory collection? Could you use a series of milk crates to store and stack your collection of small purses? How about mounting that collection of temporary stick-on hooks to hang your ties or belts?

Above all, remember that no storage solution tool or item will keep your closet organized: you have to put in the work to keep things looking neat and tidy!

How about you? What do you think is the most difficult thing when it comes to organizing your closet? Which of the above tips are you going to put into use for your closet or wardrobe? Join the conversation and leave a comment below!

Do you want help getting organized? I offer professional organizing services and organizing mindset coaching. Click here to learn more.

Want to get organized the easy-peasy way? My eBook, 31 Easy Ways to Get Organized in the New Year is filled with quick tips to help you bring more order to your space. Click here to learn more.

How to Organize Your Closet
Follow Rashelle:
Rashelle Isip is a New York City-based professional organizer and productivity consultant who helps people get organized so they can stress less, have more fun, and be happier at home. Her work has been featured in Good Housekeeping, Fast Company, Cosmopolitan, The Washington Post, Business Insider, and The Atlantic. Get access to her free guide, 10 Simple Ways to Make Your To-Do Lists More Effective, by clicking here.
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