How to Organize Your Clothing Closet

Many of us feel we don’t have the time to clean out our closets, so we keep on stuffing things inside of them until the doors barely close. Yet, a healthy way to reduce daily aggravation is to set aside some time (preferably on the weekend) to clean out that closet once and for all — and organize it so it’s easy to navigate on a daily basis. Purging the unnecessary items from your closet and organizing the ones you want can help you tremendously when you’re searching for that special pair of shoes you want to wear to work tomorrow. We’re going to show you how to reduce clutter and neaten things up inside that cooped up little place that your blue jeans call home.

What You Need:

  • Time (at least an hour, or more if you have an extremely messy closet)
  • Patience (to sort out your different piles of clothes)
  • A friend to help you make decisions about what you want to toss, keep and donate
  • Organizing bins and a shoe tray to neatly place your footwear
  • Several plastic hangers with swivel tops (the kind you find when you purchase a shirt at a department store)
  • Garbage bags (for the clothes you’re going to toss or donate)

What You Do:

Step 1: First, decide which closet you are going to organize. The organizing process is fairly similar for all closets, but there could be a variation in the amount of time it takes, depending on the size of the closet. Starting with your clothes closet, you can start a few weeks in advance by one simple step. Everytime you wear and wash an article of clothing, turn that hanger backwards. This will help you realize which clothing articles are worn on a regular basis. This will help in the purging process.

Step 2: Take every single item out of the closet. Empty it completely and lay the items on your bed, a table or the floor.

Step 3: Dust out the closet — clean it from top to bottom. Get rid of the cobwebs and dirt. Give it a good paint job if it needs one!

Step 4: Evaluate your items. Create three piles; keep, donate, and throw away. Divide your items into the appropriate piles. If you’ve got a ton of items, it’s a good idea to have a friend or two help with the sorting — especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to throw away or donate clothes you don’t wear (you know, the ones that take up precious space inside your closet).

Step 5: Evaluate your empty closet space. Comparing your items that you have left to put back in your closet once you have purged the necessary items, you can get a good idea of how well they will fit back into the closet. Count how many pairs of shoes you are putting back in, if you’re working on a clothes closet. Home improvement stores sell clear shoe boxes that are a great way to store shoes neatly.

Step 6: Group shirts together either by color or by sleeve length. You may also want to group your clothes together based on what you wear them for: workout clothing in one section, work clothes in another. Make sure every item of clothing goes into the closet facing the same direction, or else this will look messy and confusing.

Step 7: Neatly fold all sweaters and delicate items that shouldn’t be placed on a hanger. You may want to neatly fold your jeans and stack them on a separate rack.

  • TIP #1: You may want to invest in transparent plastic organizing bins with multiple drawers. These work well for shorts, pajama pants, pajama tops and other clothing you don’t necessarily need to put on a hanger.

Step 8: If you are doing this project without the help of a design company, you might need to take a trip to your local home improvement store to get some more racks, or shelves for your closet. These stores have employees that can be very helpful. Measure your space with a tape measure. Bring along dimensions and pictures of the space you are re-doing, so they can help you pick out everything you will need.

  • TIP #2: Make sure that no matter which closet you are re-doing, that you are able to utilize every inch possible. Storage is key, and you don’t want to have wasted space.

Step 9: Once all of the racks and/or shelves are installed, it’s time to put your items back in, in an organized fashion. Organize your pants by color. This will help when it comes to laundry too; whites go with white, darks with darks, etc. Group like items together, and color code them. If all of your shoe boxes can fit together, put those together. Long sleeves, short sleeves, sweaters, pants, etc. This will make it a lot easier to find what you are looking for. Use the rainbow as your guide.

Step 10: Once everything is back in the closet, in order, you can step back and take a look at how great it looks! Keeping it like this will make you appreciate all of your hard work! You’ll find it much easier to have an idea of what you have on hand. This also works for your medicine cabinet, linen closet, or any other closet.

Congratulations! If you’ve followed all of our instructions, you now have an organized closet!


Contributors to this Article:

Seana Turner, PO

Danielle Travali

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