Guides, Tips & How-To

Home Neat Home: 7 Steps to an Organized Closet

If you’re like us, you’ve recently added “tidy up” to your growing 2019 to-do list, opened the closet door, and silently begged Marie Kondo and the organization gods to grant you the strength to get started. Deep breath. Help is coming. Use these seven steps to maximize your storage space while maintaining your sanity — and if it gets too overwhelming, find a Tasker to help!

Empty the closet and group like items in piles. Once you’ve taken stock of all the pants, t-shirts, blouses, etc. you own, sort each group into four piles: keep, repair, toss, or donate.

Tasker Cheryl D. tells her clients to get good at parting with things. “If it’s stained, faded, has broken zippers, or is missing buttons, get rid of it,” she advises. If you’re making repairs, make a list of what needs to be resewn. Place the Repair, Toss, and Donate piles in appropriate places so they stay top-of-mind until they’re taken care of. Cheryl suggests by the front door or in your car — “or they will sit in your closet.”

Unsure whether you’ll actually wear something? (Be honest: if you have to ask, you probably won’t.) Hang all clothes hangers with the hook facing out. Then switch the direction once you’ve worn the item. Revisit your closet at the end of the season and donate or toss clothes on the hangers that haven’t been touched.

Make sure your most-used items are the most easily accessible. Usually that means most-used items (shirts, pants) at eye level in your closet, less-used items (rain boots, lounge-at-home sweatshirts) below, and spare bedding or that jacket you only wear on ski trips on the highest shelves.

Hang and store the Keep pile by category (dresses, pants, skirts, tops), occasion (fancy, everyday, sleep, workout), size, and fit (skinny jeans, bootcut, baggy sweaters, strapless shirts) (similar size, similar function). If you want to go one extra step for an eye-catching closet, sort each category by color as well.  

“Bins, baskets, dividers, and hooks are your friends,” says Cheryl. Use them to keep socks from taking over the underwear drawer, to hang belts and scarves, or to . Get creative by covering paper boxes in wrapping paper and adding labels. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box — we love storing jewelry on thread racks.

Organizing is emotionally (and physically) exhausting, says Cheryl. Break it into manageable chunks so you have the energy to store each item in its proper place. “Two hours at a time is enough,” she advises.

However you store them, make sure all your clothes are visible on first glance. We like to stack shirts horizontally in drawers (try the Marie Kondo or rolling methods) and vertically on shelves (try the Japanese folding method).


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