6 Step Guide to Closet Organization

The closet. An oasis, your own mini shopping mall, a place where you can reinvent yourself. Oftentimes these exciting purposes of closets get out-shadowed by mess and disorganization. Clothing can also hold a deeply personal bond which makes it even harder to organize and separate from.

1. Bring It All Out

It will feel wrong to make a huge mess in an effort to begin organization, but trying to clean out your closet requires you to see the big picture. Being able to bring all of the clothes from your closet and dresser allows you to see the magnitude of the project, a mental “Before” picture. It also has the power to let you see and really compare the clothes you love versus the ones that are just ehh.

2. Designate Outcomes

Pick locations in your closet, or bedroom in which the clothes can be sorted to. For example: A trash pile, Goodwill pile, Hand-Me-Down pile, Resale pile, Winter/Summer separation pile. Make as many piles as you need, but be realistic about what you will actually do after you’re finished organizing; making a pile for Goodwill is only charity if you make the drive there!

3. Sort It

Just as easy as it sounds! Put your clothing in your different piles. Some good things to keep in mind are:

  • If you haven’t worn it in over a year, don’t keep it.
  • Only keep 1 or 2 items of clothing that are your “goal weight” incentives
  • Consider deciding what clothing you definitely don’t need for certain seasons. (i.e. snow shoes in summer)

4. Clean Out

Take this time to also vacuum/sweep/mop your closet or the area around your dresser(s) that are typically inaccessible. Getting rid of the excess dust and grime will also help keep your clothes fresh and smelling good.

5. Refill

Whatever you are planning on keeping, move it on back into your closet. This is a great time to toss out your broken hangers, and to make sure everything is easily accessible. There are many ways to organize your closet; by type of outfit (casual, work, party or top, pants, skirts, dresses), by length or even by color.  Any system that makes it easy to see what you have will work.

6. Take to Final Destinations

It’s your moment of truth! Time to actually do what you said you were going to do. Make that trip to Goodwill or other charity with the donations box, throw out the discards and then open the door and admire your new, beautiful closet.


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Marisa Rinchiuso is a Design+Production major at Carnegie Mellon with a passion for DIY, budgeting and event management. She's always on the search for a great deal and new projects. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, crafts and travel.

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