by Stephanie Kay-Kok
Good closet organization doesn’t just look nice. It can also boost your confidence, improve your style, and make you feel happier about your wardrobe.
That’s because maintaining an organized closet requires you make important decisions about the clothes you wear and the style you have. Instead of buying everything you like until your closet is packed, you have to consider your wardrobe thoughtfully and be strategic about your shopping decisions. This careful strategy will ultimately make you into a more stylish person.
If your closet is a big mess, the idea of organizing it may be intimidating. But in the long-term, excellent closet organization will significantly benefit your life and wardrobe. All you need to do is start.
Closet Organization in 7 Steps
1. Imagine your ideal closet
Clothes and closets are often viewed as two separate things, but in fact, the two are connected and influence each other. For example, on a basic level, the size of your closet will influence how many clothes you can keep. Likewise, the type of clothes you buy will influence how your closet appears.
When you’re trying to organize a closet, then, it can be helpful to think about what kind of wardrobe you want. Imagining this ideal wardrobe can also give you a picture of your ideal closet – something to keep in mind as you go through the following steps.
2. Create a goal
Having a goal will give you a sense of direction as you tackle this project. In addition, it can help you feel accomplished even if you don’t reach your ideal closet. It’s the first step towards that ideal, and that alone is worth celebrating.
To help you formulate a goal, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- What’s the main problem?
- What do you like / want to keep?
- What do you want to achieve right now?
3. Take everything out
Regardless of your goal, it’s worth taking everything out of your closet to start off, if only so you can vacuum the closet and wipe down the shelves. Taking everything out can also give you a sense of perspective. With the closet empty, you’ll have a clear idea of the space you’re working with, minus the clutter.
4. Choose a system for sorting through everything
Sorting out and deciding what you do and don’t want to keep is essential to any organizational project. It may sound simple, but it can actually be challenging unless you have a clear set of principles guiding your decisions.
One popular approach is the KonMari method, created by the Japanese organizing consultant Marie Kondo. For this method, you only keep what “sparks joy,” so your entire wardrobe will consist of clothes that make you happy.
Another reliable method is the “capsule wardrobe,” which limits your wardrobe to essentials that won’t go out of fashion. This approach values quality over quantity and ensures that your closet won’t be packed with clothes you never wear. For more on the capsule wardrobe, check out this video by Justine Leconte.
5. Buy nice hangers and organizers
Once you’ve chosen the clothes you’re keeping, you’re almost ready to put your closet back in order. All you need is the right hangers and organizers to make your closet look really nice.
Perhaps you already have beautiful hangers and organizers, but if you don’t, consider retiring your old hangers and buying new, matching ones you love. This extra touch will not only improve how your closet looks, but also make your experience of hanging up and organizing clothes more positive.
6. Put everything back in order
At this point, you might be tired and tempted to put everything back quickly. If so, consider taking a break and coming back to this step after you’ve rested. You want to take your time with this step because the way you organize your clothes now will set a precedent for the future.
Just like when you were sorting through your wardrobe, you might want to choose a clear system for placing your clothes back into your closet. For instance, the KonMari method recommends hanging clothes according to length, from shortest to longest. Others prefer organizing by color and/or type.
Whatever method you choose, make sure it’s one you’ll enjoy maintaining and looking at whenever you open your closet. After all, you want a system you can keep up long after this project is done.
7. Stay organized long-term
Here’s the real challenge: making sure your closet stays looking nice. Besides organizing your closet in a way that works for you, you can make your tidy closet easier to maintain by limiting the amount of stuff you add to it. This limitation will help prevent your closet from becoming overcrowded and chaotic.
Limiting your purchases can also increase the quality of your wardrobe, as you’ll only buy items you’ve thought about carefully. You’ll also have more money to spend on single items. In other words, instead of buying 5 low-quality items for a certain price, you can buy one high-quality item for the same price.
If you’re accustomed to going on big shopping sprees and coming home with bags of new clothes, this limitation may be difficult at first. But in the long run, both your clothes and your closet will look better for it.