How to: Organize Your Closet

How to: Organize Your Closet

It’s time to get real with your wardrobe. The fact is most of us only use about 20% of the clothing we own. So, eighty percent of your closet is clogged with stuff you don't wear or use. Toss it! You don't have to go the full Marie Kondo and pile everything you own on the bed. But you should have a good hard look at everything you have in there at least once a year and decide if it justifies your wardrobe real estate or not. 

TOP TIP: Try to make a habit of regularly grooming your wardrobe. It'll make getting dressed easier and help you make smarter choices when buying. This is an excellent job for the weekend! 

TIME: 2-5 hours, depending on the size of your wardrobe. Avoid falling into the trap of trying on clothes endlessly and wasting time. Be ruthless. If you haven't worn it for a year (or longer), it's time to say goodbye. Toss or donate! 



Start with plucking out all the clothing, shoes, and accessories you want to toss or donate. 

1. Stow Seasonal Clothing

Very few of us have the luxury of ample closet space. You need a winter coat (but not in the summer). I wash and rotate seasonal clothes twice a year (even my shoes). Doing this not only gives you more hanging space but also removes visual clutter, which makes it much easier to get dressed. 

2. Wipe it down

This is a good time to clean very corner of your closet. A good hand-held vacuum will come in very handy here!

3. Use Real Hangers 

We’ve talked about the importance of good-quality hangers before. Consider this your second nudge!

4. Group Clothes in Categories

You probably already do this, but if you don’t, now is the time to start! Just hang like-with-like (e.g., pants in one section, shirts, and dresses in another), etc. This will go a long way to help keep your closet organized to make finding something to wear a lot easier!

5. Hang from Light to Dark

Working within your groups, hang clothing from light to dark. For example, shirts>>>light to dark. Pants>>>light to dark. Organizing your wardrobe this way does two things; it helps you find what you want to wear based on color and category. It sounds complicated, but it becomes automatic once you do it for a while. It makes getting dressed so much easier!


The Empty Hanger Trick. This is the ONE SIMPLE TRICK THAT will help you to keep your closet tidy forever. I’ve never seen it mentioned anywhere by any organizing Guru (which is baffling because it’s so simple). Here it is: Once you pick a garment to wear, don’t put the empty hanger back where it was, hang it at the very end of your closet (I use the left side of my closet), and keep it there until you need to rehang something. This will ensure that you always have a hanger handy when you need one AND you aren’t taking up valuable real estate in your closet with empty hangers. 

7. BE ORGANIZED (and skip the Dry-Cleaners)

Most of us over-launder and dry-clean our clothing way too much. I'm not saying you need to wear second day-yoga pants, but I AM suggesting an easy setup for the stuff that's lightly worn. Get yourself a valet hook, a row of pegs, or even a curtain rod. I know it sounds weird but stay with me. The goal is to have a dedicated place to hang lightly worn clothes, so you don’t forget about them when they're back in the general population. For example: If I’ve worn something once and it's not dirty enough to wash, but not clean enough to rehang, I hang it in a dedicated place in my closet (or just outside on a hook) and wear it again on a Saturday. I only wash something once I’ve worn it at least twice (underwear and yoga pants excluded). And BTW: You can launder many DRY-CLEAN ONLY clothes with mild laundry soap on a cold water setting, as long as you don’t use too much. Get a measuring cup and use it! 

Lastly: Deal with your shoes. If your closet is small, reconsider where you store your shoes. Inside your closet isn't the only answer. There are plenty of good-looking options at every budget for storing shoes that look good and take up less space in the wardrobe.  

REWARD TIME! The refreshed and renewed space that used to be a cramped closet is now an efficient dressing room. Well, almost. Treat yourself to a gorgeous set of storage baskets, a chic Valet stand, or classic coat hooks.

INSTANT GRATIFICATION: I suggest a nibble on a frozen Peppermint Patty while staring at your newly organized closet. So refreshing!

Happy Sorting!

xx, mlk