You long for an organized closet.
However, the idea of organizing your closet can be overwhelming. After all, it is one of the harder spaces to organize. And hiring a professional organizer isn’t always an option. So, I’m going to share my expertise and teach you how to organize your closet, like a pro.
- How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro
- Closet Organization Tips and Tricks
- How to Set Up a Closet
- How to Organize Hanging Clothes
- How to Organize Clothes by Color and Style
- Tips for Organizing Folded Clothes in Your Closet
- How to Arrange Clothes on Shelves
- How to Organize Accessories
- Tips for Keeping an Organized Closet
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How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro
The reality is, you don’t need to hire a professional organizer to organize your closet like a pro. You just need to think like an organizer. That’s where I come in.
My insider tips will walk you through some practical steps for organizing your closet.
Closet Organization Tips and Tricks
A good organization system starts with a few key elements.
Establish your goals for the space – Knowing what you want the end result to be and why will go along way in creating an organized space.
Come up with a solid space plan – Decide on the primary use of this space. Many times our closet’s purpose gets covered in clutter with a plan. A few questions to consider are:
- How will it serve you best?
- Is this space just for clothes?
- Will it house all your clothes?
- Do you need the space for storage too?
Wait to buy storage containers – First off, while bins and containers are useful and elevate the space, it is possible to organize your closet without buying anything. The trick is to making your closet look organized is to arrange your wardrobe neatly. If you are going to use containers, wait until you’ve categorized and measured. Then, as your budget allows you can gradually purchase closet organizers.
Choose a Realistic Closet Organization System – The best way to organize your closet is to choose to a realistic system you can and will maintain, from setting a budget, to the types of organizers you use to organizing techniques. If organizing by style, season or color, or certain folding techniques are too complicated to maintain, then simplify it based on how you think and live, or just skip it altogether. The goal is for your closet to serve you, not the other way around.
Doing these things first will set you up for success as you begin organizing your closet.
How to Set Up a Closet
Once you decide what clothes you want to store in your closet, you’ll need to consider your space. Note how many clothes rods you have and at what height they’re hanging. Also calculate how much shelf space you have.
- Measure your hanging and shelf space.
- Separate clothing items into hang or fold
- Keep track of how many clothing items you have
These numbers and measurements will help you determine how much space you actually have. It will also help you simplify your wardrobe so it fits into your closet.
As far as what clothes go in your closet verses the bedroom dresser, I recommend using your closet for all the clothing items you need to get dressed for the day. Use the dresser in your bedroom for pajamas, workout clothes and loungewear.
Keep in mind that when it comes to closet design, you’re not stuck with what the builder gave you. You can add or take away from what you have or even switch out your closet system if you prefer.
How to Organize Hanging Clothes
If you have enough hanging space, I recommend hanging nicer t-shirts, blouses, pants, skirts and dresses.
- How to Organize Dresses – Dresses will need to be hung from a top closet rod that doesn’t have another rod below it.
- How to Organize Shirts – Hang tops from the top rod
- How to Organize Pants – Hang bottoms on the lower closet rod below the tops.
There are hanging closet rods you can use to add more hanging space to your closet. These work well for pants and bottoms. Another way to add hanging space is use clothes racks. They can be set up in your bedroom to save on closet space.
Regardless of the size of your closet or your budget, you can maximize closet space and make your closet look professionally organized by choosing the right hangers for the job.
Choosing the Best Hangers for Closet Organization
A hanger that has a bar across the bottom can be used to hang tops and bottoms. I like rounded bars to keep from creasing pants. You can also buy clips to attach to the hangers if you prefer to use clips, but sometimes they leave marks. In that case, you can place a piece of felt between the clip and the clothes to prevent marks.
The black felt-covered swivel-head hangers from Dollar Tree are my favorite hangers. Their slim design maximizes closet hanging space, the felt keeps shirts from slipping, and you can hang tops or bottoms on them. Plus they’re sturdier than any other felt hangers I’ve found.
If you don’t have all matching hangers, that’s okay. It isn’t necessary to make your closet look professionally organized.
If you have different colored plastic hangers, group them by color and hang a different category on each color. For example, tops on white hangers, pants on yellow hangers. Or, if you share a closet, you can use one color for you and the other color for the other person.
How to Organize Clothes by Color and Style
When it comes to what order to hang your clothes, you have a few options: by color, by style, or both. I recommend using a system you will be able to maintain.
In my closet, I group hanging clothes by color. To make it easy to remember, I use the order of the rainbow… Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet ( R O Y – G – B I V) and add neutrals like white and tan at beginning and brown, gray and black at the end.
Some people prefer hanging by color and type. For example tank tops would be color coded and hung together, then sleeveless shirts, followed by short sleeve tops and so on.
You can also just keep it simple and hang your clothes strictly by category. This is what we do on my husband’s side of the closet since he isn’t prone to hang his clothes back by color.
Tips for Organizing Folded Clothes in Your Closet
Folded clothes can be stored on closet shelves, in drawers, or a combination of the two.
How to Organize Clothes in Drawers
If you don’t have drawer space in your closet, you can add it with three drawer carts. I’ve also used hanging sweater organizers for folded clothes storage. They don’t have to be used just for sweaters.
I recommend using drawer space for:
- lounge wear
- graphic t-shirts
- work out clothes
I like to put lingerie in the top drawer. From there, you can designate your drawer space with whatever categories you need. During the winter I use a drawer to organize my sweaters. During Summer, I switch out the sweaters for shorts.
File folding will allow you to see what you have and to fit more clothes in your drawers. But, file folding isn’t always necessary. Since my husband’s t-shirt drawer (the ones he wears under shirts) are white, gray or black, I just stack each color in the drawer.
Shorts can be folded or hung, whichever you prefer. I personally fold my shorts in rows by color, but in this case I arrange them into three categories: neutral, denim, colors. Black, white, and a black and white pair of shorts are in the neutral category. Any other color goes into the colored shorts row. And denim is denim.
We hang my husband’s shorts since I take up most of the drawer space in the chest of drawers. You should do what works best for your lifestyle, even if that is different for each person who shares the closet.
How to Arrange Clothes on Shelves
I like to use closet shelf space for jeans and sweaters, arranged by color. I recommend using shelf dividers or bins to keep clothes separated and from toppling over.
If you’re short on shelf space, consider using hanging closet organizers.
How to Use Space at the Top of the Closet
I save the top shelves of closets for storing seasonal clothes, shoes, keepsakes, and luggage. I also recommend keeping bins for clothes care and shoe care in an easy-to-reach place such as the shelf between the top and bottom closet rods.
How to Organize Accessories
- Belts and Scarves – You can hang belts and scarves on regular hangers, specialty hangers, over the door hooks, or on the wall with hooks. I’ve also stored scarves in a drawer.
- Jewelry – Keep every day jewelry easily accessible if you can. I prefer to use the top of the dresser for jewelry storage.
- Coats – Since coats take up so much room, I suggest designating a separate space for them. Right now I’m using a secondary bedroom closet, but I have plans to move them to the foyer closet.
- Shoes – My shoes are stored on 2-shelf shoe stackers. You can also use over the door shoe organizers, or drop-front shoe boxes. Another option is to use shoe slots either on the floor or in shoe cubbies or shelves.
Tips for Keeping an Organized Closet
Remember your goals – It can be tempting to throw anything and everything we don’t have a space for into our closet. But, if you want to keep your closet clean and organized, remember your goals and priorities for the space.
Adapt your system – Keep in mind, you will need to tweak your closet organizing system and tidy up every now and then, because life happens and circumstances change.
Find your motivation – My favorite part about having an organized closet is having a space that truly serves me. It saves time, eliminates decision fatigue, and gets rid of clutter. Now, instead of seeing a closet full of nothing to wear, I see my style and personality reflected back at me. That is very motivating.
When I step out of my closet in the morning, I feel confident and ready to shine.
Now, it’s your turn.
For more closet organization help, read:
And, be sure to check out my Amazon store for closet organizer ideas.
To get more decluttering and organizing help for your home, check out my book, Home on Purpose: Mindful Living in a Hectic World
p.s. If you need help organizing your closet, contact me for a consultation.