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How to Organize and De-Clutter Your Closet in Five Simple Steps

Step 1: Prepare

The first step to a clutter-free and organized closet is to get prepared.  It is important to handle each piece of clothing only once.  In order to do this you will want to be able to make an immediate decision on each piece.  You will want a large trash bag or box labeled “Donation”, a large basket or tub labeled “My Best Friend’s Closet” and another basket or tub labeled “Mending”. If you don’t have matching hangers you may want to consider purchasing enough hangers to replace all the mismatched hangers you currently have.  Uniformity in your hangers will create a cleaner space both visually and spatially.    


Step 2: Assess

Now it is time to assess your inventory. Consider removing all the clothing from your closet or drawers to start.  Ask yourself “If I were shopping right this very second, would I buy this item?” If the answer is yes, then place it back into your closet or neatly folded (see Step 4) in your drawers in color order (see Step 3). If the answer is no, look over the item.  Are there any stains, holes, missing buttons, etc.?  If there are, and it can be easily mended (see our article 101 easy fixes) or would you rather donate the item?  Place those items in their respective containers. If there is no visible imperfection or wear you are going to want
to place these items in your container labeled My Best Friend’s Closet.  My Best Friend’s Closet will pay you cash or double in-store credit for your items that are in excellent condition and current styles.  It may also be useful to ask a stylish or fashionable friend to come over and help, as she/he might offer new ways to wear something, and be honest about how an item looks on you.

Step 3: Hangers

Like most of us, your clothing probably hangs from an assortment of mismatched plastic, metal and wood hangers that you have gathered over the years. And, even if you have committed to only using thin space saving velvet hangers in your closet, having different versions of these in mismatched colors and brands is less visually appealing. Instead, we advise buying hangers in the same style and color.  You might consider buying hangers that you can easily replace in the future.  Trick: if you hang your clothing up with the hook backwards on the pole and back to the right side next time it’s worn they are still facing that direction in six months you know it’s time to sell or donate that item. 

Step 4: Color Order

Organizing your clothing according to color can make a world of difference when putting together an outfit.  We suggest dividing your wardrobe first by clothing type and then each type by color going light to dark following the rainbow, going from left to right (since that’s how the eye naturally travels). Many of us have a great deal of prints, so use the base color of each garment and place each printed piece to the right of solids that bear the same color.

Step 5: Small Spaces

You can purchase folding boards like the department stores, which is easy and inexpensive. Or you can check out this link on how to get the perfect fold every time.  These uniform stacks will not only look great but also saves space.  For small closets toss shoeboxes.   They take up a ton of space and serve little purpose. Instead, line shoes up on the floor of your closet side-by-side or toe-to-heel. You’d be amazed at how much extra space this provides. Hint: You can also face your shoes towards the closet and back around once you’ve worn them.  Again, if you haven’t worn them in six months sell or donate them.  This also helps me switch up my shoes more often!