Today I want to talk about how to organize your closet and be able to create 10x more outfits from what you already own. On Sunday, I went over to my mom’s house for Family Dinner and while I was there I ended up completely re-organizing her closet. It started with my mom asking me to pick her out some cute fall outfits. But once I got to her closet and she tried to explain her organization to me, I knew I had to step in and do something.
She pointed to one section and said, “these are my tops that I can wear by themselves or layer something over them for work”. The dresses had their own section and the jeans and pants had their own section. Everything else was just kind of hung up wherever. Starting from the back of the closet working to the right, I saw jackets, vests, and sweaters all mixed together. Next to the jackets/vests/sweaters were the skirts. SKIRTS!! Then were more sweaters, some cardigans, long sleeve tops, and her jewelry holder… Next were more long sleeve tops, workout pullovers, and t-shirts, and then her designated layering tops. Everything was facing in different directions and some stuff was hung up inside-out.
My mom is not much of an organizer, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There are many other things that she would rather be doing instead of taking time out of her busy day to organize her closet. So, out of the kindness of my heart, I offered to organize her closet for her, the exact same way that I organize my closet. The next day, she texted me and thanked me for organizing her closet and told me that she found so many items of clothing that she completely forgot that she had.
Now, there are hundreds of different ways to organize your closet, and I have probably tried them all, but I have found that this way is the most effective for me, my boyfriend, my mom, and all the others whose closets I have organized for them.
How to Organize Your Closet:
#1 – Start by placing all of your clothes on hangers so that they face the same direction. I have all of my clothes facing towards the right. This makes it easier to look through all of your clothes faster and better imagine them with outfits. If they’re all facing the same direction, you won’t have to go trifling through them all to find the front of every top or dress. So it saves time.
#2 – Make sure your clothes are all hanging on the hangers in a way that is easiest to see the full top or dress. This excludes bottoms. If you have a halter top, don’t just loop the neck over the hanger and let it hang like a skinny towel. It will get lost in the rest of your clothes and you will forget that you own it. Or if you have an off-the-shoulder top, use a bottom hanger like you would a skirt or shorts to show the full top. You want your clothes to be hanging in the most similar way that they will look on your body. This will also save time when you are looking through your clothes trying to find something to wear.
#3 – Separate your clothes into categories: tops, dresses, vests, cardigans, jackets, coats, kimonos, skirts, shorts, jeans, pants, scarves, etc. It’s really important to separate your cardigans from your sweaters and so on because you could reach into your closet really fast thinking you’re pulling out a black sweater, only to realize that you grabbed a black cardigan instead and your titties or midriff will be hanging out. You’ll also be able to look through your clothes quicker or walk into your closet looking for denim shorts and be able to find them immediately without digging. Again, a time saver. And you will probably find jackets and cardigans that your forgot that you even owned.
#3.5 – Hang your clothes up by category in your closet depending on the space that you have. Dresses should go on the tall rack so they don’t get crumpled. Tops should go on the rack that is closest to eye-level. Jeans, pants, shorts, and skirts should be hung up near each other but still separated into their respective categories and on the bottom rack. Coats, jackets, cardigans, kimonos, and vests should be hung up near each other also and on the bottom rack so they won’t be confused with the tops, or on the other tall rack so the longer coats and cardigans don’t get crumpled. This will make it easier to put together an outfit: 1.) grab a bottom from the jeans/pants/skirts/shorts section, 2.) grab a top from the tops sections, and 3.) grab a coat/jacket/cardigan/kimono/vest if it needs to be layered. You can easily make layered outfits without having to search or trying to remember what all you have to layer and layer with.
#4 – Once everything is separated into their respective categories, now it’s time to organize within each category. Start by organizing the clothes in each category by color. I always use the ROY-G-BIV-WBGB technique. ROY-G-BIV you should know from elementary school as Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. And I always throw the pinks in between the reds and the oranges. So RPOY-G-BIV, I guess. Then after the purple (violet), I go to white, then brown/beige, then gray, then black. I have way more neutrals than I do ROY-G-BIV colors so the neutrals are always front and center in my closet. This color organization within each category will help save time when you are putting together an outfit or looking for something specific. Now for some humorous examples of why color-blocking saves time
Example A: you grab a pair of army green pants to wear to work. You can pretty much steer clear of the entire ROY-G-BIV section of tops and only look through the white, brown, beige, gray, and black section. No one looks good in army green pants and a purple top. Except Barney or the Hulk. Therefore saving a lot of time digging for a good neutral to wear.
Example B: you are going to a Longhorn football watch party (or any other sports team) and you want to wear your cut off denim shorts and a burnt orange top. So you go into your closet and bee-line for the orange section and BOOM! Only took two seconds to find a suitable top, instead of digging through all of your tops to find a burnt orange one.
Example C: you have a wedding coming up and you know that you already have plenty of dresses that you can wear to the wedding. Since your dresses are organized by color, you can go ahead and skip over the entire white section of dresses. Save yourself some time and a lot of awkwardness and probably some trouble.
#5 – Now that your clothes are organized by category and by color, it’s time to organize them EVEN MORE! I know it seems excessive but you’ll thank me I promise. Now it is time to organize your clothes based on length. I’m not talking about dress length in particular. Each category will have its own length determiner.
Dresses: organize by sleeve length, THEN by dress length. Or most conservative to least conservative basically. Think of it as a scale from Virgin Mary to hooker. Your long sleeve maxi dresses will go at one end and your strapless, nipples cut out, hoochie mama dresses at the other end. And don’t forget this is within each color also! So red long sleeve dress, red short sleeve maxi dress, red short sleeve mini dress, red strapless maxi dress, red strapless mini dress, then pink long sleeve dress, pink short sleeve maxi dress, pink strapless maxi dress, pink strapless mini dress, and so on through every color. This will help save you time picking out a dress for what event you’re going to. Obviously you won’t wear a black strapless, booty hanging out of the bottom mini dress to a funeral. So stick to the left side of the black dresses to find a more conservative one.
Tops: organize by sleeve length and thickness. I do hoodies and sweaters to the left, then regular long sleeve, then flannels, then 3-quarter length sleeves or sleeves that are rolled up, then t-shirts, then tank tops, then strapless. Again, think of the Virgin Mary to hooker scale and all within each color, too.
Skirts: organize by skirt length. Obviously your maxi’s will be on the left and the skirts will get shorter as you move to the next color.
Jeans, pants, and shorts are pretty much all the same.
Coats can be organized by length.
Jackets, cardigans, kimonos, and vests are all pretty much the same also.
#6 – Never leave empty hangers hanging on the wrack. Put them in a basket on the ground or hang them in a designated space away from hanging clothes. This will help save time when you’re hanging your clothes back up. Plus it keeps all of your clothes hanging up much more organized.
I really hope this How to Organize Your Closet guide makes sense and is helpful! Here is an overview of everything I said above:
- Face clothes the same direction on hangers
- Hang everything up in a way that mimics how it looks on the body (besides bottoms)
- Hang your clothes up by category (i.e. tops, dresses, jeans, shorts, jackets, cardigans, etc.) and separate in closet
- Organize your clothes by color: red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, white, beige, brown, gray, black (RPOY-G-BIV-WBGB)
- Within each color in each category, organize on a scale of Virgin Mary to hooker – most conservative to least conservative
- Put empty hangers in a basket to grab when re-hanging clothes
And for some more closet organization help here are my favorite closet organization products:
- These black velvet hangers are THE BOMB! No-slip plus super sensitive on clothes. And, well… they’re my favorite color!
- Woven baskets for hats, gloves, belts, men’s ties, etc. to go on the shelves to help organize the non-hangables.
- Cotton or cloth basket to hold the hangers that are not in use, so you won’t have to go searching every time you try to hang your clothes back up. The metal hanger part will get caught in woven baskets FYI.
- A cute laundry hamper to make even your sweaty workout socks look cute.
- An acrylic purse organizer to display your small bags and wallets and keep them from getting dusty.
- Command strips to hang your hats and belts on the walls without putting a bunch of holes in them.
That’s all there is to it for my How to Organize Your Closet guide! I know that organization process doesn’t seem super simple but when I completely reorganized my mom’s closet in this way, it only took me about 30 minutes to get it all done. It’s really easy when you know exactly how you’re planning on organizing everything.
Happy organizing friends! You are about to save so much time getting ready and will find so many more possible outfit combinations when you’re done!