We’re embarking on week four of social distancing so most of you have probably already tackled your closet clean-outs (along with every other organizational project in your home). But for those of you that haven’t yet done that (or perhaps you’re just so bored that you’d like to do it again), I thought I would share a few of my personal tips and tricks for organizing your closet along with a full list of my the best gear.
Purge and Declutter
First things first: do the purge. Go through your entire closet and get rid of the following: things that don’t fit, damaged items (either take it to get fixed or let it go), and anything you don’t wear. If you haven’t worn something in over a year because it doesn’t fit or because it’s no longer your style or simply because it doesn’t spark joy, get rid of it. (I make an exception here for a selection of pieces that hold sentimental value.) Don’t hold onto something just to hold on it. It’s just taking up space. For the items I’m not keeping, I’ll either sell them on The RealReal or donate them.
Categorize and Color Code
I organize my closet by category/type and then color. That means I hang all of my button-down shirts together and then divide them by color. For dresses, I sub-divide according to occasion: day dresses, coverups, cocktail dresses, etc. I think it’s important to categorize according to your own personal approach to getting dressed. Make the categories work for you. There are certain festive items, for instance, that I really only wear during the holidays (think: sparkles! bows! extra!) so I put all of those things in their own little group. I also devote a small section at the front of my closet to my current uniform pieces. This obviously changes with the seasons (or my mood) but I focus it to the items I’m currently wearing most often. This is like a my own mini capsule collection and having them easily accessible makes day-to-day dressing so much easier.
Use All the Same Hangers
In college, I interned for an editor/stylist at W magazine who insisted on matching hangers. I’ve applied this rule to my own life ever since. It really does make the biggest difference. No matter how organized your closet is, mismatched hangers make everything look cluttered and messy.
Stack and Fold
While I love having things hung so I can really see them, there are certain things are meant to be folded and stacked in a drawer. These items are: jeans, heavy sweaters (hanging them really does cause them to lose their shape), scarves, pajamas, and undergarments.
Invest in the Right Organization Gear
Doing all of the above is so much easier when you have the right gear. Not to mention, it makes actually keeping your closet organized much more feasible. (The Container Store has become one of my favorite places over the years.) Below, my personal favorites that I rely on for keeping everything in order.
- These slim velvet hangers are a great way to maximize hanging space. They’re lightweight but still strong enough to hold heavier items.
- If you want to keep your drawers organized then dividers are essential. I use these in all of my closet drawers. They’re expandable to you can make them work in any drawer plus they’re clear so they basically just disappear.
- These acrylic shelf dividers are great for keeping stacks tidy. I use them to divide my folded sweaters.
- For organizing smaller items into deep drawers/cabinets, I use these acrylic risers. I actually use them most often to organize George’s little shoes. They’re perfect for that.
- I use these compartments for organizing my small handbags and clutches. I like acrylic so I can still see everything and these are great for stacking on top of one another.
- For my jewelry, I now have a chest of drawers with velvet inserts with little compartments. However, in the past, I have relied on a collection of small trays to display jewelry along with a couple of these acrylic chests. I also use these stands for hanging necklaces.