How to Tackle a Closet


I’ve been doing a lot of closet organizing recently and wanted to share my process with you. If you’re undertaking this project on your own, maybe you’ll get some helpful tips. If you’re considering working with me, you’ll know what to expect! 

Step 1, the Prep: The simplest upgrade we can make to the look of your closet is hangers. We will be discarding wire dry cleaning hangers which can damage your clothing, and replacing them with one or two types of hangers (i.e. crystal, flocked, wood) that suit your wardrobe and your budget. We’ll only use one type of hanger consistently within each category of clothing. We’ll also gather some large bags or containers to use later in step 3, the edit.

Step 2, the Sort: Now we separate items into categories – for instance, shirts, shorts, pants, skirts, suits, dresses, sweaters, shoes, hats, and handbags. If you have existing categories that you want to maintain, like shirts divided by sleeve length or separate categories for athleisure or formalwear, by all means maintain them! Otherwise, we’ll want to keep the categories broad at this point. Micro-categories can overcomplicate the process and slow things down. We can do the Sort inside your closet if space permits, or onto rolling racks in a larger room.

Step 3, the Edit: The edit can be the most transformative step in the process. This is when we decide what stays and what goes. More precisely, is it going back into your closet or to laundry, dry cleaners/tailors, donation, or resale/consignment. You may also have categories like store returns, seasonal storage, things to give to a friend/relative, or if you live multiple places, to move to a different property (lucky you!) In my experience, it really helps to do the Edit with a friend or a professional organizer’s help. If you haven’t worn something in a year or more, try it on. Let whoever is helping you give you their perspective on the style, fit and condition of your items. A successful Edit will save you time and frustration getting dressed, because your closet space is dedicated only to things you want to wear now. 

Step 4, the Placement: You’ve made your selections! We can now arrange your things in your closet category by category. We’ll divide them, where appropriate, into subcategories like t-shirts from collared shirts or short dresses from long dresses. This is a matter of both personal preference and closet design. With double hang, I typically like tops on the top and pants on the bottom (logical, right?). I also recommend organizing within each category by color, so you can go straight to the item you’re looking for without having to comb through them. My preferred color order, from left to right, is white, yellow, orange, pink, red, purple, blue, green, brown, grey, black. The same category-then-color approach works for folded items and even shoes.

…Now take a photo and show it off!