Get your closet in shape–in 10 easy steps!

It can be a horrible way to begin the day: opening the closet to find a cluttered mess of clothes that’s impossible to sort through or find what you need. But for such a small space, the closet can be an intimidating place for re-structuring or organizing. If you find yourself afraid to open the closet door we’ve got a handy checklist of steps to take for wrangling control back in your wardrobe.

1. Take stock.

First, assess your entire wardrobe. Take everything out! Set aside all the clothes you know you’ll never wear again, and donate them. Also look for clothes you might not where until months from now, and set those aside for storage.

2. Clean the closet.

Before putting anything back in your closet, clean the entire thing. Sweep, vacuum, and scrub away all the dust or cobwebs that might’ve become caked inside. This is also a great opportunity for a new paint job!

3. Organize by use.

You want your most-used clothing at eye-level, so you can instantly see what you need upon opening your closet. A good rule of thumb is to keep the lesser-used stuff under your most-used, and your least-used items on shelves above the rest.

4. Put like types together.

It’ll be easier to find things when you group articles of clothing together by type. Keep sweaters together, work clothes in a row, skirts in a group and pants in a group so you can quickly reach for whatever it is you need that day. You can further organize by color within these subgroups, just so everything looks more appealing when opening the closet in the morning. 

5. Replace the hangers.

You probably have a lot of wire hangers from the dry cleaner, or maybe more plastic retail hangers than you’d like. Get rid of all of these! Replace your hanger collection with one uniform style hanger–and make sure it looks good! Before re-stocking your closet, you’ll already feel a huge achievement in de-cluttering.

6. Everything in its place.

We’ve talked about clothes, but note that you might want to store accessories, shoes and more in your closet as well. Assign a place for everything! Like grouping clothes by type, group your other objects and accessories as well and assign a place for it all in the closet. Keeping things in a group right now means you can further organize each in detail later.

7.  Invest in containers.

Your closet might be stocked with only a single bar and a shelf. This is not enough! If you can’t hang something or want to store it for a later season, put stuff in baskets, boxes or even drawers that are commonly sold for dorm shoppers. More storage options are a great way to “hack” your closet into organization bliss.

8. Let it all hang out.

There are many types and models of hangers that can be put on the backs of doors. You can use them for shirts and pants, neckties or purses. Get one for each door of your closet to drastically multiply space for hanging the essentials. And remember: organize by group! If you have multiple of these hangers, devote one to a type of accessory.

9. Let there be light!

You can’t keep a closet organized if you can barely see inside it. Install some overhead closet lighting so you can get a good look at everything when planning an outfit or putting things away.

10. Use the whole bedroom.

Your closet need not be the only place for clothes–and if you’re in a smaller home, it may not be big enough to hold everything you want to keep. Consider stowing away your least-used clothes and accessories in boxes to keep under the bed. You can also use decorative trunks for storage that doubles as smart decor. This frees up a lot of space in the closet for the things you’ll use most!


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