How to organize a closet 

Organizing clothes is a big topic, learning how to organize a closet is a great start. One of the first things to note when learning how to organize a closet, is that organizing clothes tends to bring about emotions. These emotions can range from joy to a somewhat confronting experience or something in between, as you are looking at all the clothes you own.

Clothes will bring about memories from times that have passed - think about the baby stage, or the time you still fit into those skinny jeans. Regrets about decision made - what were you thinking when you bought those $100,- neon pants?

On the upside, organizing clothes and learning how to organize a closet will allow for a new phase to emerge. A phase in which you can create a new identity based on who you are now and the journey which took you here. Within this phase you can also think about what you would like to look like, what you want to wear, moving forward from here.  

Organizing a closet tends to be a great organizing project in its own right.

How to organize a closet –
Could you have too many clothes?

Based on my experience as a professional organizer I think most of us living in the Western world, have too many clothes. 

However, before you throw out most of the clothes you own, a few things do need to be taken into consideration; 

  • There is an element of personal preference, for example some like lots of clothes, others like myself are rather minimalist with the clothes they own. 
  • External pressures often in the form of a job will also have a lot to do in terms of how many clothes you own. If you need to look very neatly groomed, or work in uniform, this obviously will have a big impact on your wardrobe and on the basics of how to organize a closet in your case. 

How to organize a closet - not enough closet space

It might surprise you, but in most houses, the setup of your closet is initially against you. It is therefore sometimes extra hard to organize a closet and getting a nice functional wardrobe, if for starters, there is nothing but a rod in your build ins. 

In a lot of cases (even in the pretty new houses) I add shelving or storage cube solutions to the closet as without additional shelving it will be very hard to organize your clothes.

How to organize your closet – things to note before we begin

I am not an organizer who is going to force you to throw out clothes you didn’t wear for six months. 

In general, as long as, you love;

  • the clothes you wear
  • the clothes you have

You will have a good basis to start organizing.

If you don’t like your clothes it is time to declutter and if looking in your wardrobe is not for the faint hearted, then there might be a combination of decluttering and organizing required.

Having said this, you don’t have to throw out your ski jacket which is only used once every two years or the amazing black dress or suit you wore to a fancy occasion. My main premise is you need to like what is in your wardrobe.

How to start getting your closet organized

For starters, create a clear space (I like to use a nicely made bed) and take out the clothes one by one. If you like the clothes keep them, if not create a pile to donate. 

Secondly, once you have decided to keep a piece of clothing we will need to look for “like clothing”. Ask yourself what type of groupings you see emerging, for example: jeans, t-shirts, dresses etc. 

Once you have groupings you can assess volume, whether you really want to keep all of the remaining clothes and how you will store this. This means that you could then decide to purchase additional shelving or get a builder in to add some shelving for you if your wardrobe is limited. Once the storage solution for your clothes is organized you can decide if you want to fold or hang your clothes – most people will have a combination of both.

How to organize a closet –
Do the “same – same” thing

Whether you hang or fold. I think it is important to make things “same-same”. This means all T-shirts are folded in the same way, all pants are hung up the same direction etc. 

Doing things “same-same” means that after a while folding and / or hanging your clothes becomes an easy effortless task because you can do it on autopilot (or teach your kids to do it themselves). It also means that your closet will look a lot neater as there is consistency in the way things are stored and put away. 

The best way to fold and hang clothes…..

Some people swear by one way of folding and hanging clothes. Personally, I tend to steer away from the one best way mentality, you therefor won’t find me talking about the one and only way to organize your clothes or fold your items. Instead I suggest you experiment, see what works for you and the wardrobe you have - then keep it consistent and have things "same-same". Also know that what works in this house might not work in the next. 

Overall, creating closet space, combining this with simple routines for hanging and folding (applying the “same-same” rule) your laundry and making this a habit, will keep you in good stead.

Before you know it, you will have an organized closet all the time.

Want to learn more?

Have a look at our page on the capsule wardrobe. Our check out the YouTube channel with a multitude of videos on organizing clothes, the capsule wardrobe etc.


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