Although usually small in size, closets can be magnets for clutter.  When you’re trying to clean up a room it’s so easy to stash something in your closet and say, “I’ll deal with this later.” Somehow later never comes, and what was once a place to hang your clothes is now a mess of dirty laundry, the sweater you were too tired to fold or hang up, random shopping bags, and more.  Whether you’re a clothes horse or someone who just wants to get dressed without having to dig through piles, you can have an organized closet with a few simple tips.

Where to Start

– Take everything out of your closet and use your bed and the floor to sort by type. Make individual piles of t-shirts, sweaters, pants, jeans, skirts, etc.  One you see all your black pants in one place, it’s much easier to see how much you have and then make a decision about what to get rid of.


– We wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time, so how much do you really need? Go through your sorted piles and decide what to keep or donate. Only keep clothes that you love, fit you now, and make you feel good when you wear them. You may have great aspirations to return to a size you once were, but it’s likely if you do, you’ll want new clothes anyway. If you really think you might wear items again that do not fit you now, store them in an overflow closet or storage bins in a lesser used area of your home.

Zone Your Clothes

– During the sorting process, you grouped your clothes by type.  Now you can decide the best place to store them. Will your jeans be folded or hung? Where will you store your special occasion items like dresses or suits? For the items you do keep in your closet, I recommend arranging items by season, by type, and then by color. For example, tank tops and short-sleeve shirts near summery skirts and shorts; long-sleeve shirts near sweaters and jackets.

Build Out Your Closet

– The best way to maximize a typical closet is to go beyond the standard shelf and rod.  You can find closet systems at every price point from Ikea, to Container Store, to customized solutions from a local closet company.


– Specialized closet accessories maximize your closet space and make it easier to find what you’re looking for.

  • Huggable Hangers – Whether you’re tight on space or just want uniform hangers, these are a great solution.  You get maximum use of your closet space, clothes don’t slip off, and you won’t have those funny looking shoulder imprints on your favorite sweater (unlike traditional plastic or wire hangers).
  • Shelf Dividers – If you like to store your folded clothes on shelves, these prevent your stacks from getting messy and falling into each other.
  • Bins – Small items (scarves, socks, underwear, workout apparel, etc.) can get lost or buried on shelves, and bins provide a natural home.  You can also use clear front bins in lieu of shelf dividers to contain folded clothing on shelves.
  • Shoe Storage – I don’t recommend storing shoes in their original boxes. You’ll never remember what is inside and eventually the boxes will break down. If you prefer the boxes, tape a picture of the shoes inside to the outside of the box. As an alternative, I prefer clear shoe bins, a shoe rack or shoe cubbies depending on your closet space and layout.  If you are short on space for shoes, you can store your less frequently worn pairs (evening shoes, heavy boots, etc.) in an out of the way location.
  • Accessory Organizers – Handbag Cubbies, Belt Hangers, and Scarf Holders are just a few of the specialized products that add an extra touch to your closet organization.

Organizing your closet makes the space visually appealing as well as functional. Who knows, you may find a whole new wardrobe you didn’t even know you had.

Photo Credit: Jeh Amorinha