The Easiest Way to Sort Your Closet, According to a Professional Organizer

Be gone, clutter.

Having a messy closet is no fun, and apart from looking chaotic, it also makes choosing your clothes that much more difficult. From overflowing and overstuffed shelves to an overcrowded hanging rack, how are you actually supposed to see what you own when everything is thrown into such a small space?

If just the thought of opening your closet to stare at the mess makes you exhausted, we hear you. After all, navigating a cluttered, disorganized closet is no easy feat, which is why we asked a pro for her advice on the best way to organize a closet for good. Hear us out: If you put in the time and effort now, it will be that much easier to stay motivated to maintain your closet’s tidiness in the long run. Follow these tips and your closet will be looking like it belongs on a home-organization show in no time. 

Best Ways to Organize Your Closet:

1. Sort everything by category.

When it comes to tackling a disastrous closet, you have to start somewhere, so Kirsten Fisher, a certified professional organizer and the founder and CEO of Imagine Home Organization, LLC, suggests starting by grouping all like items together to see what you have. “If one category starts to get too big, break it into subcategories until you have manageable groupings of items,” she says. “For example, separate shirts, skirts, pants, and sweaters. If shirts are a very large category, separate by tank tops, short sleeves, and long sleeves.”

2. Sort everything by color.

Next comes the fun part. One great way to organize your closet is to do so by color, so once you have everything in its rightful category, break each section down further by sorting it by color. “This doesn’t just look amazing, it serves a very important function,” explains Fisher. Sorting by color cuts down on the time it takes you to sift through a bunch of items to find what you are looking for. It will also allow you to see what colors you have the most of, so you know what you’re able to get rid of versus what you may want more of.

3. Donate duplicates.

“Remember: Less is easier to keep organized,” says Fisher. Once you’ve sufficiently sorted your clothes, she suggests going ahead and reviewing your clothing to determine what you would like to keep and what can be donated. “The reason you wait until this point is to get the best picture of what you have,” she says. “If you randomly look through your clothes and see a pair of black pants, you are likely to keep them. If you review your clothing once sorted by type and color, you may realize you have 10 pairs of black pants that look very similar.” You can then choose your favorites and donate the others. Trust us, you’ll almost *always* find more that you don’t need.

4. Decide where you want each category to live.

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Foldable Fabric Cube Organizers

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“Place the things you wear most often in the most accessible locations,” Fisher says. For items that are seldom worn (holiday garb, snow gear, or sentimental items), she says that you can place them in a bin on a top shelf. Try using either clear bins or bins with labels so you know what is up there. “Clearing items that are used less often makes room for things you access regularly,” says Fisher. “When things are easier to access and put away, you are more likely to find them easily and return them to their proper home each time.” This saves you time and makes maintenance much simpler.

5. Bonus: Use matching hangers for cohesion.

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Velvet, Non-Slip Clothes Hangers

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Mismatched plastic hangers have no place in a truly organized closet. To streamline the small space, Fisher recommends investing in thin velvet hangers which, according to her, “save a ton of space and keep your clothes from sliding off.” Plus, they make your entire closet look much more appealing, so, perhaps, you will actually enjoy looking at it.

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