The Anatomy of an Organized Closet

This may sound a little dramatic, but your closet is a sacred space in your home. Whether or not you love fashion and shopping, your clothing is a way for you to express yourself and represents who you are. Your closet is an extension of you, and you should feel confident not only in what you wear but also the space you get ready in. 

Contrary to what most people think, organizing a closet (once the purging process is complete) is pretty straightforward and doesn’t require a significant amount of time. 

Whether you have a reach-in closet with a single door, a large walk-in, or a freestanding closet, follow these five organizing principles, so you can feel confident in your sacred space.


Sort your clothing by type. Use the categories below as a guide. If there are less than 3 items within a category, combine categories together. 

Sample categories:

  • Jackets
  • Sweaters
  • Long-sleeve blouses 
  • Button downs 
  • Long-sleeve shirts
  • Short-sleeve shirts 
  • Short-sleeve blouses
  • Tank tops (dressy) 
  • Tank tops (casual) 
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Pants  


Within each category, organize shirts by color, placing neutrals at the front (white, gray, tan, black) and then follow the colors of the rainbow (ROYGBIV).


It’s amazing how you can completely transform a closet by swapping out the random assortment of hangers for one type. I recommend investing in wooden hangers rather than suede for three reasons.

  1. Suede hangers shed and can leave black or cream fuzzies on your clothing.
  2. Although velvet hangers prevent clothes from slipping, the material makes it hard to get clothing onto the hanger. You can purchase wooden hangers with rubber edges to solve the problem.
  3. Plastic and suede hangers can leave clothing wrinkled. They can leave “nipples” on the shoulders of your shirts. Wooden hangers allow your clothing to breathe. 


Get those shoes out of the cardboard boxes! The cardboard packaging creates visual clutter, and the variety of shapes and sizes means the boxes don’t stack well. Putting your shoes in stackable, uniform boxes will immediately enhance your space. Stack containers on the floor of the closet or on upper shelves.


Typically, there is a lot of wasted space in closets beneath hanging clothing. If people do place anything below the clothing it’s something short like a laundry basket or a box of shoes. 

Here are three ways to maximize vertical space:

  1. Add a set of drawers. My go-to dresser for this solution is the IKEA Malm dresser. You can also add a set of Elfa drawers if you have a small, reach-in closet
  2. Use a hanging organizer. Fold bulky sweaters and add a few pull-out drawers to corral swimsuits, cover-ups socks, and other items that don’t need folding but do need a home.
  3. Invest in a shoe rack. A tiered shoe rack is a great way to keep your shoes accessible and looking nice.

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An organized space reduces distractions and allows you to stay focused on what you want to be focused on. With my system, you can find exactly what you need quickly and with confidence.

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