I’m often asked the best way to organize a closet and keep it organized. The first step is to go through every piece of clothing you own, and I mean EVERYTHING!
Try on every piece of clothing and separate them into 4 piles: Fits – I’m going to wear it!, Out of season, Donation, Toss. The clothes that make the donation pile should be donated that day if possible. Having items like this lying around the house is a recipe for clutter, not organization. While we’d like to donate everything that we don’t want anymore, the truth is that no one wants those pair of jeans that have ten holes in them. Toss the clothes that aren’t donation quality. For the clothes that are out of season (and that you really will wear next season) choose the best storage option for your circumstances. I’m lucky enough to have room in the back of my closet to hang these items and I keep them back there. Other good solutions include: purchasing long bins to put the clothes in that can slide under a bed. The key to organizing is to utilize all of the space available to you, including underneath a bed! If neither of those options work for you, purchase plastic bins to store the clothes and they can be stored in one of the following locations: unused closet, the attic, the basement or (as a last resort) a storage unit.
For the clothes that fit, are in season, and you plan on wearing again, it’s time to sort even further! You want to separate clothes into groups, such as: Everyday, Work, Formal, Workout, and Lounge. The key to finding what you’re looking for in your closet is to have it broken out by what you use it for! Within each group, you want to separate the shirts from the pants and from the dresses. Before you start hanging, remember: all clothes should always face the same way and all of the hangers should match. This is an instant way to have a polished look.
The next step completely depends on whether you are going for look or functionality. If you are about to sell your home or have a fancy party during which you’ll be showing off your closet, you’re probably going for look. In that case, organize each sub-section by color. I like the order of: white, cream, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, brown, black, and gray. Your color order might vary depending on the amount of clothes you have in each color and their shades.
For everyone else, go with practicality! Once everything is hung in its sub-section, you are done! No further organizing at this stage. When does the organization come in? After you do the laundry! When you have a stack of clean clothes to put away, here’s the rule: always put the clean clothes at the back of their sub-section. The next rule? ALWAYS grab from the front of a sub-section when getting dressed. This applies to dresses and shirts. Don’t pick out what you want to wear each day, let it pick you! For pants, you need to match the shirt. If the first pair doesn’t match, keep going in order until you find a pair that does. This is advantageous for so many reasons, not the least of which is saving time each day! It also allows you to cycle through your clothes so you don’t wear the same outfit repeatedly just because it is your favorite. If you find yourself skipping over the first item for more than a week, ask yourself: Do I really need this piece of clothing if I never wear it? Two answers could apply here. You might simply have the item in the wrong section. Maybe you thought you could wear it to work, but now you realize it is a little too formal, switch it to the formal section of your closet. The other alternative is that you simply no longer want to wear it. Donate it!
These tips will help you utilize everything you own while allowing you to find exactly what you need when you need it!