How to Organize a Closet


Oh how I wish this were my closet…

Happy Friday, y’all! This is the first post in my new series which I am calling – for lack of a better term – “how to adult”. More on that later.

If you know me, you know I’m crazy-organized. Slash just plain crazy. In college, I would organize and reorganize my closet at least 1-2 times a month. And then I would throw “purge parties” in which all of my friends would come through and raid all of the stuff with which I was no longer enamored. Out with the old, in with the new.

As my friends caught on to my love of organization, they started asking me to help them get their lives/closets in order and to teach them how to organize a closet like I do. As I so love sharing my tips and tasks with them, I decided it was about time to share them with y’all! Keep reading for all of my best tips.

Step 1: The Purge

The first step in learning how to organize a closet is to start from scratch. Remove everything from your closet and go piece-by-piece through every item you own. Ask yourself: “do I ever wear this?” and “does this item make me happy?” If (and only if) your answers to both of those questions is “yes”, keep the item.

If you don’t wear the item and/or don’t get joy from the item, chuck it. Donate it to Goodwill, sell it on thredUp or The RealReal (perfect for those designer duds!). Just get it out of there.

Step 2: Get Matchy-Matchy

This step is optional but highly recommended. Invest in matching non-slip slim hangers and – if necessary – shoe storage. I recommend these hangers because when you use slim hangers, you’re able to really maximize the space in your closet. Oh, and they make your closet look so much more uniform and pretty.

Step 3: Choose a Method to the Madness

Basically, choose your method of organization. Some of my favorite methods of closet organization include color, type, sleeve length, fabric type, and season.

Anybody else have a background in coding? Think of this step as creating nested for-loops. You’re going to have a primary method (level one of the loop) and – depending on how intense you want to get – a secondary method (level two), a tertiary method (level three), and even a quaternary method (level four).

Confused? Here’s an example (from my closet!):

My primary method (level one) is type: my skirts all hang together, my dresses have their own section, my tops are all in a row (followed shortly thereafter by my sweaters)… you get the gist.

My secondary method (level two) is color. That means that my tops, skirts, dresses, etcetera are all arranged like the colors of the rainbow. My tops go from white to pink, to red, yellow, green, blue… you know the colors of the rainbow.

My tertiary method (level three) is sleeve length. I know: what? Sounds excessive, but I swear it’s not. I do this because there are colors I gravitate towards – like pink, pale blue, and navy – time and time again. Seriously though. The navy section of my closet alone could be a department store. I have an addiction. Soooo I have those navy tops and dresses sorted by sleeve length: from strapless and cami to tank-top, t-shirt length, yadda yadda yadda.

My quaternary method (level four) is fabric type. Really, there are only a few instances where I use this method. It’s only used if I have two items of the same type, color, and sleeve length (for example: two navy tank tops). If one item is silk and the other is wool or cashmere, I put the silk one first.

Organizing this way works for me – when I’m getting dressed in the morning, I can just choose whether I’m wearing a top and bottoms or a dress, choose my colors, and then easily find the right item(s) for that day’s forecast. When I was in college, I organized first by season and then by type, color, and sleeve length. You just have to determine what works for you, your closet, and your lifestyle.

Step 4: Implement that Sh**

Make your dream closet a reality! The best way to learn how to organize a closet well? Trial and error. Maybe you finish, it doesn’t feel quite right, and you need to go back to step one or step three. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve finished my closet only to take a step inside, make a really weird sound that is my way of saying “ugh god no”, and then go in and start all over again.

Totally normal.

At least I hope it is.

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