How to Organize Your Closet in 5 Simple Steps

Let’s see if you can relate:

Ever stared at your cluttered closet, thought about organizing it one day, muttered to yourself “I don’t even know where to begin”, and decided to binge your favourite show on Netflix instead?

Hey, we’ve all been there!

It may seem overwhelming at first, but taking the time to tidy up your closet can do wonders for your well being, help you get dressed faster in the morning, and give you that wonderful “ahh!” feeling every time you open your closet.

So let’s begin, shall we?

1.  Take Everything Out

Start by removing ALL clothing and accessories from your closet, working in sections – tops, bottoms, shoes, belts, scarves etc.

As you do this, be sure to touch every item and ask yourself these questions:

Do you love it?

Do you wear it often?

Does it fit?

Is it still in style?

Then, start sorting the items into one of three piles:

Keep – If you’ve answered yes to all the questions above, then definitely keep it!

Donate – Items that are in good shape (within reason) but you haven’t worn in over a year can be donated.

Toss – Items that are ripped, torn, stained, or are just plain ugly can be thrown away.

Bonus: Sort your clothes by season. You don’t need a snowsuit in your closet in July! In the spring, pack away your winter clothes, and in the fall, pack away your summer clothes. Store items that we won’t touch that season in a separate part of the home away from the closet if possible.

2.  Clean Baby, Clean

“Okay, now I just put back all the clothes in the Keep pile and I’m done, right?”


Remove everything in the closet, including hangars, shelves, baskets, bins, or dressers. Bet there’s a few dust bunnies lying around, isn’t there?

Take the time to do a full cleaning on the space – vacuum, dust, mop the floor, wipe off hanging rods, and wash the baseboards.

Starting with a clean slate will help you to plan and visualize the best way to organize your closet going forward.

Bonus: Your once “tiny” closet now looks A LOT bigger now, doesn’t it? 🙂

3.  Inventory and Categorize Your Keepers

“Okay, NOW can I start putting stuff back in the closet?”

Not just yet!

Return back to your pile of Keepers, take an inventory what you have, and start organizing your clothing and accessories by category, i.e. shirts, dresses, blouses, skirts, jeans etc.

Now, everyone has their preferences for how items should be organized, but here are a few great ideas to help get you started:

Group Like With Like – Keep like pieces together. Decide what type of storage solution is best depending on the item of clothing (think hangar, shelf, drawer etc).

What Gets Worn Often – Wake up at 6am everyday for work and get dressed in the dark because your hubby is still sleeping? Group your work clothes together for easy access first thing in the morning.

Colour and Size – Once you have your items categorized, go a step further and begin arranging them by colour, length, and style, depending on your preference.

4.  Plan Your Storage Solutions

Okay, NOW for the fun part!

Take out the good ‘ol measuring tape, assess the space and clothes you have, and begin to plan your closet accordingly.

Fortunately, you don’t need to break the bank to buy an expensive closet organizer. Start by looking through any storage solutions you had in the closet previously (see #2 above) and see if any of the cabinets, shelves, or baskets can be reused in your new layout.

Also, there are about a bajillion DIY solutions available on Pinterest to repurpose small bookcases, wicker baskets, etc. to store handbags, boots, jewelry, or even gym apparel.

Ultimately, you want to come up with a layout that maximizes the space available, but most importantly, is functional for your day-to-day flow. Organizing for the sake of organizing is a waste of time. Make it work for you!

5.  Ongoing Maintenance

The LAST thing we want to do is go through cleaning and organizing a closet, and having it turn into a mess a few weeks later.

Add a one-hour “tidy up closet” line item to your monthly chore to-do list, and commit to doing a full re-organization either by season or on a specific date each year (like New Year’s).

A great tip is to turn clothes hangers the wrong way (back-to-front) when you’ve completed your closet clean out. Once you’ve worn an item, hang it the right way back in the closet afterwards. This is an easy trick to let you know whether you’re actually wearing something, and to get rid of items that haven’t seen the light of day all year!