We’ve all been spending a little more time at home lately, so if you haven’t considered cleaning out your closet yet (or you’ve been putting it off), now may be the perfect time to make it happen! (After all, those cute summer dresses need a tidy home.) Keep reading for some tried-and-true tips on how to keep your closet organized.
1. Clear (and clean) out your closet
Clear out your closet completely. Make space on your bed or desk and get ready to pile it on until you’re staring at a totally empty space — you’ll be able to see all of your clothing, shoes and accessories, and you’ll also be able to tell what kind of dimensions and space available. After it’s empty, vacuum/sweep it out and wipe down the baseboards. If your clothing rack is squeaky, take some wax paper and clean that off, too. We’re working with a completely blank canvas here!
2. Have a donation and trash bag ready
As you’re clearing out your closet, you’re bound to find some items that are ready for a second home. Instead of just making an additional pile of ready-to-donate items, make sure you have a bag or hamper ready to use. Once you’ve made the cut, it’ll be easier to part with those items and you’ll be less tempted to revisit them.
3. Make the cut
Depending on how you look at it, this step can be kind of fun or a little tough. Just make sure you remain objective about each item in the pile. It’s best to make snap judgments on each piece, but if you’re struggling, asking the following questions may help:
- Do I like this item?
- When was the last time I wore this item?
- Do I like how I feel when I am wearing this item?
There will be instances where you may not wear something a lot because it’s formal or for special occasions only, so keep that in mind! But those shoes that you never wear because they give you blisters or that dress that you never reach for… those items are fair game for the chop!
4. Organize your clothes by type
Once you’ve gone through all of your items and decided what you’ll be keeping, separate the pieces by category — outerwear, denim, tops and so on. If you’re noticing you have a ton of stuff in one category, you may want to revisit Step 3 again. Once you’ve finished, start placing things back in your closet and keep everything together by category — belts with other belts, coats with coats, etc. Keeping your stuff organized by type will also help you figure out how much space you need to assign to each category when you’re putting everything back!
5. Consider your prime real estate
In order to keep your closet organized, you need to keep your most used items at eye level. This is also known as your closet’s prime real estate. You may be tempted to show off those sparkly formal blouses and dresses, but keeping those in your closet’s prime real estate will also lead to you digging to find one of your wardrobe staples. This will inevitably lead to your closet becoming a mess again.
6. Know when to fold ’em
Your closet may be big enough to hang all of your t-shirts, but if you’re working with a smaller space, fold down anything that doesn’t *need* to be on hangers. Sweaters, denim, t-shirts, workout gear… fold everything that doesn’t require a hanger and then see what kind of space you’re working with. If your dresser drawers are currently overflowing, Marie Kondo has a genius method for folding everything down to instantly create more space.
7. Commit to keeping it that way
When you’re actively maintaining your closet, you’ll find that you won’t have to dedicate a ton of time to seasonal clean-outs. Give yourself a little time for monthly or biweekly tweaks and tackle another overhaul every season.
Need a reward for clearing out your closet? Make room for the new and Take An Extra 25% Off These Cute Summer Shoes from Nordstrom Rack!
Allison Wheeler is a writer, Bruce Springsteen enthusiast, and sixth-generation Texan living in Marfa, Texas.