Closet Organizing Step-by-Step Guide

"How to Organize Your Closet: The Effective Method"


If you've never done any closet organizing before, you might feel as if you don't know how or where to start. That's why having a complete but simple step-by-step method is important in making the organizing process successful - to make it stick and become a part of your occasional cleaning routines!

Closet organizing main
Image via Frances Janisch

Organizing your closet might sound like an awful lot of work, but believe me honey, it is the essential step to liberating yourself from a messy wardrobe and the classic nothing-to-wear-syndrom!


It's About S-P-A-C-E

I want to introduce you to the organizing method called S-P-A-C-E which was developed by Julie Morgenstern who is a veteran in the organizing industry.

The SPACE model gives you an easy-peasy reminder for how to organize your closet in 5 systematic steps:

  • Sort
  • Purge
  • Assess
  • Containerize
  • Equalize

You can also use this method for every room in your house, and not just your bedroom closet.

So to make closet organizing work for you, I suggest you to follow these 5 steps:

Closet Organizing Step 1: Sort

In this step you'll be simply amazed by how much junk and treasures have been lying in the back of your wardrobe, and of course the items you'll be re-discovering because you completely forgot about them and have been missing for quite some time.

Closet organizing how to sort

Let's take a closer look at how to sort your clothes:


Sort 'em Out!

1. Get absolutely everything out of your closet, drawers and racks and sort them by clothing type. For example: pants, jeans, shorts, skirts, etc.

2. Start sorting the contents of your drawers first and move on to your closet, racks, etc.

Emptying the closets gives you the opportunity to clean your closet, so take advantage of this moment and hit the vacuum cleaner before you put all of your clothes back in.


Back to Top

Closet Organizing Step 2: Purge

Now this one's a toughy because you'll have to make lots of decisions. You may have to try on clothes that you're not sure you need or fits you. Dedicate at least a day or an entire weekend of un-interrupted time for this closet purging step.

Closet organizing clothing piles

Go through everything you took out and decide if you want to toss or keep it. If you're unsure of a clothing or haven't worn it for at least a year, try it on and decide if it's practical to keep or curb it!


Create 6 Piles

With all the clothes and accessories sorted in your room, create 6 piles:

  • Keepers pile:
  • Items you wear daily and frequently; garments you need and look good on you. Eg. The Wardrobe Essentials such as perfectly fitted tees, sweaters, jeans, pants, jackets, etc.

  • Charity pile:
  • What-were-you-thinking and grown-out-of-it clothes (outdated styles, wrong sizes, etc.) that are in good condition. Stuff that you don't want anymore but would like to give to charity or others who might like the garments.

  • Tailoring pile:
  • Clothes you want to keep that need a little maintenance, like torn linings, hanging hems, open seams, missing buttons, broken zippers, too long sleeves and hems, etc. It could also be items you want to re-invent (like changing the buttons or adding embellishments).

  • Dry cleaning and to-be stored pile:
  • This pile includes anything you don't need right now in this season (there really is no space for super-chunky knit sweaters when it's blazing hot outside), which I usually group in two: warmer months (Spring and Summer), colder months (Fall & Winter).

    To maintain the fabric and material of these items, take the time to clean everything.

  • Trash pile:
  • Anything that has holes in it and that you don't want the world to see on you or anyone else. It also includes items that are broken and can't be fixed, like bras that are stretched and sprung, garments that have been stained, chlorine-bleached swimsuits, etc.

  • Time capsule pile:
  • There are at least a couple of things you just can't be asked to part with, which you should place in a dedicated space for sentiments. With me, I usually cop my taekwondo outfit and Mickey D job uniform from my early teens (aaah, memories..).

Back to Top

Closet Organizing Step 3: Assess

Assess closet organizing needs


In this step you'll have to evaluate and analyze what is needed to containarize the garments. You basically plan each clothing category a home where it should live permanently.


Assessing the Organizing Options

1. Start with understanding your own space limitations and find ways to organize the garments based on this information. Check out Organizeit.com for storage and organizing ideas.

2. Ask yourself:
  • How much storage do you need and have?
  • What are you planning to put in each organizer (main closet, drawer, racks, etc.)?
  • What kind of storage and organizers are needed for your clothes and accessories? Open-view or closed storage? Do you have to build a closet organizer system? (walk in or closet system, type of drawer organizers, jewelry organizers, clear shoe boxes, etc.) Research the options.

Back to Top

Closet Organizing Step 4: Containerize

Jewelry organizer wall mount rack
Jewelry rack from Stacksandstacks

You should now have some ideas for your garments and what kind of storage or containers you need.

With the completed assessment in step 3, it's time to finalize a list and go shopping!


Fold and Hang

1. After purchasing what's on your shopping list, put the items together and keep them separated from the other groups. Remember to measure the space first before you buy the containers, organizers and furniture!

2. When placing everything in place, start by separating Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter clothes from each other.

3. Work on each clothing group, one by one. Fold, hang and store your garments and accessories, and marvel at your collection as you go along!

I suggest you to group each season by item and then finally by color. I think it's the most effective system to build and maintain because it's the best way to keep an overview of your closet inventory. In this way you can take follow of what you wear the most and what's getting worn out.


Back to Top

Closet Organizing Step 5: Equalize

This is an on-going process where you evaluate what is working and what is not working and then re-adjust the areas that aren't working.

Bed risers for closet organizing
Bed risers from Stacksandstacks

Try to find out why that area got disorganized again.


Put Them Back in Order!

For example as your shoe or accessory collection grows, you may need to come up with a space-effective ways to store the items. An example is vertical solutions such as a shelf or pocket hanger.

Other ideas:

  • Don't know what's in the containers and organizers? Label them!
  • Not enough space for all of your clothes, leaving the clothes outside of your designated space? Create more space by finding practical ways to compress your items (like for example, under the bed storage, extra closet in the bathroom, bed risers, etc.)

You get my idea.

It's important to come up with a plan to stay on track. Your closet organizing system still need occasional clean-up throughout the year. You'll notice when it's needed when your closet goes out of control again :-)




More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish
Also check out the Style Makeover Shop!

Back to Top


Related Content:

Shop quality Clear Shoe Boxes for your shoes, boots and heels Shop Under Bed Storage Online Shop Plastic Storage Drawers Shop Handbag Organizers - Discover stylish ays to organize your handbags
Shop the latest Cheap Jewelry Armoires Guide to Chic Fashion Inspiration and Ideas List of Wardrobe Essentials List of Jewelry Essentials



Go Back to Guide to Closet Organizing

Leave Closet Organizing Step-by-Step and Return to Homepage





125x125 logo

11398_Shop the Work Smart Office Sale at The Container Store

Organize.com

White & Silver Studded Nesting Bowls


More Shopping & Chic Inspiration at the TCF Blog:
The Chic Fashionista's Latest Trends Picks - Chic Runway Looks and Must-have Trends and Trendessentials The Chic Fashionista's Chic Inspiration-blog - Outfit ideas, celeb style and trend styling tips The Chic Fashionista's Stylish Finds - Latest trends and shopping picks, sales & discounts, link round-ups and featured posts & blogs/sites Learn more about the fashion basics on how to look your best and dress stylish

| Return to top | Contact Me | | About Me | What's New? | Fashion Blog | Privacy Policy | Affiliate Disclosure | Link to Us | FAQ | Ask the Expert |

Copyscape banner

Copyright 2008-2013 The Chic Fashionista