Tips for Organizing Closets

A clean, organized closet makes life so much easier!

By Tracy Leigh Ritts


Are your clothes closets overflowing? Are you afraid to open the doors? Do you dread getting dressed because you can’t find anything?

Believe it or not, these are relatively common problems. And why not? Closets are the perfect place to shove all those extras that clutter up a room. But if you are ready to clean up your act, the following tips for organizing your closets should come in handy:

  1. Buy the proper supplies. Before you can organize, you need appropriate supplies. Consider the following:
    • Plastic hangers are much better than wire hangers and you should buy anywhere from 30 to 60, depending on if you are sharing the closet with another person. Purchase them in two colors if you are; one for you and one for him or her.
    • Skirt and pants hangers will better organize your skirts and pants and keep them in tip-top shape. Look for vertical skirt and pant hangers with clips – one hanger holds from four to eight pairs of pants or skirts.
    • Expandable shoe racks get your shoes out of the pile and into an organized system.
    • Tie racks are terrific ways to organize both ties and scarves.
  2. Empty your closet out. You’ll have an easier time setting everything straight if you start with a clean and empty closet.
  3. Separate your belongings into four easy-to-manage piles. You want one for anything that is outdated, doesn’t fit, or you know you will never wear again. One for anything that needs minor repairs. One for the clothes that get worn all the time. Finally, one for anything that doesn’t fit in the other categories.
  4. Donate or toss anything you don’t want anymore. Give yourself two weeks to repair anything that needs it and if you don’t do it, donate or toss it, too. Be tough on yourself with the pile of clothes that don’t fit. Are they keepers? If not, get rid of them. If you haven’t worn something in over a year, chances are you won’t.
  5. Now that you have thinned out your inventory, you can organize everything you’re keeping using the hangers, the shoe box, and the tie racks. Try to keep the floor as clean as possible. With luck, overstuffing the closet won’t be an issue any longer.
  6. Final thoughts. If you find you need more paraphernalia to better organize, you can find terrific closet organizers that give you almost everything you need to compartmentalize your belongings. Also, you can consider using boxes along the shelf at the top of your closet to help keep sweaters in line.

Your closet will likely become overstuffed and messy as the year continues, so you may want to make this a semi-annual event. Every six months or so, start over, and you’ll always have a relatively organized and clean closet!

Tracy Leigh Ritts is a freelance writer based in Ohio. Her book on wedding planning will be available later this year.