How to Organize a Closet With Confidence

By Aniela M / May 13, 2020

Organizing your closet may seem like a daunting task, but there is no better feeling than having a neat, organized closet. Today we'll take you through the steps and show you how to organize a closet the correct way. Once you get into it, it can be really fun, and the results are always satisfying. Organizing your closet doesn't have to be a chore at all – it can be something fun to do (especially now since most of us are stuck at home). And best of all, once your closet is nice and organized and you've (hopefully) gotten rid of things you don't wear anymore, you can treat yourself to a few new wardrobe pieces.

How to Organize a Closet

How to Organize a Closet

The first thing you need to do is have a little confidence. If you haven't organized your closet in a very long time, this may seem like an impossible challenge. Not to worry – closet organizing can be made to be fun. First, choose a day where you don't have much else to do and you're actually in the mood and looking forward to a little cleansing. Next, you'll want to put on your favorite playlist – this is key. Music makes everything better, even a chore, so having a little Beyonce in the background will totally motivate you! Lastly, think of this as a cleansing not only for your closet, but also for your soul. If you've ever seen Marie Kondo's show or read her books, you know her famous line “does it bring joy?”. Living with disorganization and clutter can actually cause chaos in our lives. By cleansing and getting rid of things that no longer bring us joy, we can make more room in our hearts and souls for the things that do. But enough about that – let's learn how to organize a closet the correct way!

#1. Take Everything Out

how to organize a closet

The first thing you'll want to do is take everything out of your closets and drawers and place everything on your bed. Now take a step back and admire or cringe at your collection. Do you have too much stuff or not enough? If you're here, you probably have too much stuff and it's time to get rid of it! Getting rid of certain items can seem hard at first, but, once you DO let go, there is no freer feeling in the world. Don't be afraid to be honest with yourself. Often times, we'll lie to ourselves. Example: “Oh I love this top, it hasn't fit me in the last couple of years, but this season, I'm definitely shedding the pounds.” That's great to hear, but instead of doing that, why not get rid of that item, and instead, REWARD YOURSELF once you do lose that weight with a BRAND NEW TOP? We all have clothes in our closet that don't fit us anymore and we've kept them prisoner for years. Not only are they out of style at this point, but they're also a sad reminder that we don't always keep promises to ourselves. A better motivator is one where you reward yourself for doing something good. So, lose that weight if that's what you've promised yourself, and once you do, reward yourself with a new wardrobe!

#2. Make 3 Piles – Donate, Sell, and Keep

Folding clothes

Make 3 piles – donate, sell, and keep. At this point, it's very important that you stay honest with yourself. Lying to yourself about what you want to keep will not help you organize anything.

  • Donate gently used items to a church, a clothing drive, or even to a friend or family member. These are clothes that you maybe haven't worn in a while or don't fit you anymore.
  • Sell items that you think are of value. Maybe you have some pieces that you've spent a lot of money on, but never really worn them – it's time to say goodbye. You can even have a fun girls night where you invite your friends over for some wine and shopping. Additionally, you can sell your things online, such as on Facebook marketplace or on Ebay.
  • Keep things that you've worn in the past year and that bring you joy. If an item just doesn't make you happy anymore, get rid of it.

#3. How to Decide Which Things You Should Keep and Which You Should Get Rid Of

closet organizing

This is the fun part! Now that you have your donate, sell, and keep piles, it's time to ask the 3 tough questions. Again, be completely honest with yourself!

  1. Has it been more than a year since I've worn it? If the answer is yes, that clothing item should go in the donate or sell pile. If you haven't used something in over a year, chances are VERY slim that you'll use it again. This, of course, does not apply to suits or special occasion dresses which you may only wear once a year.
  2. Does it still fit me? Does the item fit properly, or is it too big or too small? We've discussed this above – if an item of clothing no longer fits you, it's time to get rid of it, and reward yourself with a new item that DOES fit and complement you. If the answer is no, it does not fit me, throw it in the donate or sell pile.
  3. Does it bring me joy? You may have clothing that you're perhaps hanging on for sentimental value or because you've had it for a long time. But that doesn't mean you should always keep it. Think about why you're holding on to it, and what it would be for you to let it go. If a clothing item no longer makes you excited to wear it, toss it in the donate or sell pile.

#4. Time to Organize

Organizing Closets

Now that you've got your 3 piles, go ahead and donate and/or sell the ones that you've not worn in a year, don't fit you anymore, and don't bring you joy. It may seem overwhelming and a bit stressful, but trust us, once you see how much room you'll have and how much less clutter, you'll instantly feel a wave of calmness wash over you.

  • PANTS – fold or hang up. Depending on how many pairs of pants you have and what type, you'll want to fold them and/or hang them up. Dress pants, for example, should be hung up to avoid wrinkles and keep them organized. A multi pant hanger is a great thing to have because you can hang 5 pairs on one hanger which will save a you lot of room. Fold casual pants such as jeans. You can either fold them normally (by folding them in half, and then again in half), or, you can roll them up and store them in a drawer.
  • SHIRTS – fold or hang up. If you've got ample closet space, it's always best to hang up your shirts, especially if these are work shirts. Casual and home shirts, such as t-shirts, can be neatly folded or rolled up and stored in a drawer. For hanging up shirts, blouses, button up shirts, and other tops, choose felt hangers. They don't stretch the fabric, are anti-slip, and they'll make your closet look super neat and organized.
  • DRESSEShang up. For the most part, dresses should be hung up. A folded dress will wrinkle very quickly, which means you'll have to iron them every time. Save yourself the time and hassle by hanging up all of your dresses and using felt hangers to do so.
  • SHORTS & SKIRTSfold or hang up. Shorts can be neatly folded and placed on a shelf in the closet or in a drawer. Jean skirts and other casual skirts can also be folded, but dressy skirts (such as work skirts), should be hung up using pant hangers. This keeps them nice and organized and also wrinkle-free.
  • SWEATERS – fold or hang up. Depending on what kind of room you have in your closet/drawers, you may want to neatly fold your sweaters or hang them up. Watch the YouTube video below to get an idea of how to properly fold each and every item in your closet.
  • TANKS – fold. Small and thin items, such as tank tops, should always be folded.

Now that everything's nice and folded, it's time to put things back into the closet! But how will you decide where everything goes? This is where your lifestyle comes in! Are 80% of your clothes work clothes? If so, those should be at the front, with the most used items at the forefront. Do you work out a lot and have a number of workout clothes? Those clothes should be easily accessible.

Additionally, you can also hang your shirts and blouses by color, which I personally love to do. Put all of your blacks, whites, blues, and other colors neatly grouped together. This way, you can easily make a decision and choose: “Today I feel like a blue top!”. You can also organize your tops by putting them in a “rotation”. If you've worn something and washed it, hang it at the end. Then, wear the next top in line, and so on and so forth. This will encourage you to wear all of your tops and not just play favorites all the time.

#5. Folding Techniques

Courtesy of How to Get Your Shit Together

Watch the YouTube video above to see different folding techniques. These techniques can save you a TON of space and make your closet so much more organized. There are LOTS of folding techniques available to you, but in the end, you should do whatever fits your lifestyle. Not everyone can neatly fold every single t-shirt every single time, so you may want to hang instead of fold. For me, personally, I don't have the patience to fold everything, so most of my clothes are on hangers.

This video will also show you how to neatly fold socks and other small items such as underwear. Keeping your intimates nicely organized is super important as well, because it will save you a ton of time when getting ready. Also, always make sure you can clearly and easily see all of your items.

#6. Special Occasion Outfits

Organized Closet

Well have those outfits that only get worn once a year or maybe even less. These are special occasion outfits. These may be things like suits, wedding dresses, bridesmaids dresses, Halloween outfits, or what have you! These items should be stored separately, if possible. This means you should designate a small closet to only those items. If that is not feasible, simply place them at the back of your closet. These are not things you wear every day, so they don't need to be readily visible.

So now that you know how to organize a closet, it's time to get up and get organizing! There truly is no better feeling than de-cluttering, and cleaning one's closet is extremely satisfying. Remember to be honest with yourself, let go of things, and above all, have fun doing it! If you have any closet organizing tips you'd like to share with us, we'd love to hear from you – just leave a comment below!

How to Organize a Closet
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