A proven way to dress better is having an organized wardrobe. The easier it is to access your clothes, shoes, and accessories, the quicker a complete outfit is put together. Moreover, if everything is nicely presented, it ignites your creativity. As a result, getting dressed becomes a pleasurable experience instead of a daily hassle.
And because I know how good it feels to have a well-organized wardrobe, I suggest you follow these 5 steps to clean out your closet, get it organized, and keep it that way forever.
Organize Your Closet in 5 Steps
- Declutter and clean out your closet.
- Check if your clothes need maintenance.
- Plan and optimize your storage space.
- Beautify your closet.
- Keep your wardrobe organized forever.
Step 1: Declutter and Clean Out Your Closet
I guess it’s no surprise that wardrobe organization becomes so much easier when you decluttered your clothes beforehand. Like Marie Kondo wrote in her books, don’t start with organizing. Decluttering always comes first – creating a beautiful storage space for the things you love and want to keep, second. If you’re not familiar with Marie Kondo’s work yet, check out this post:
As much I support the KonMari Method, a quick warning, though. Don’t go overboard with decluttering!
I always recommend decluttering alongside proper wardrobe planning. Believe me, I’ve been there. And I still regret throwing out too many things I had to replace later. Planning your wardrobe first helps you decide what to keep and what to discard. Sounds complicated? Don’t worry. I guide you through the entire process:
- Wardrobe Planning: Recap + Free Printable Worksheets
- Wardrobe Inventory: Questions Beyond “Does It Spark Joy?
Clean Your Space
When you’ve read Marie Kondo’s books, or my basic wardrobe decluttering post, you know that you have to take everything (!) out of your closet to decide what to keep or let go of. Hence, it’s the perfect time to clean out your cabinets, shelves, and drawers so everything is nice and fresh before you start organizing.
- Remove the dust and then wipe down your cabinets, shelves, and drawers with a damp cloth.
- Use a mild cleaning product that doesn’t leave an unpleasant smell.
- Add some drops of natural lavender oil to the water if you like.
Step 2: Check If Your Clothes Need Maintenance
Sometimes we get so captivated by creating a beautiful storage space for our belongings that we almost forget to take proper care of them. However, wardrobe maintenance is key when we aim for a well-organized closet. Or who wants to rush out of the house, noticing that loose button or stain a little too late?
Checking your clothes, shoes, and accessories if they need attention should be a regular task. And if it isn’t yet, it’s now the best time to start.
There’s a simple checklist that you can apply to everything in your closet:
- Does the item need to be laundered or cleaned?
- Are there any stains, discoloration, or anything that requires special care?
- Does the item need extra protection (e.g., waterproof spray for shoes and handbags)
- Is there anything that needs to be fixed or repaired? (e.g., loose buttons, run-down soles)
- Does the item have to be altered or changed?
Sort everything into different piles:
- Take to dry cleaners
- Alter or repair myself
- Take to the tailor, shoe service, etc.
Step 3: Plan and Optimize Your Storage Space
The next step on our way to an organized wardrobe is to make the most of your closet space. To do so, ask yourself the following questions.
How much and what kind of storage space do I have?
Make a list or quick sketch of the storage space you have, e.g., three dresser drawers, four shoe shelves, one drawer for accessories, one meter hanging space, etc.
Which of your clothes should be hung, what should be folded?
As a general rule, everything that doesn’t hold its shape, such as knitwear, should be folded. Items that wrinkle easily and don’t contain elastic fibers are better hung. Especially linen, as it’s a non-elastic fiber that can even break if stored folded for a very long time.
When you answer this question, you may find that your storage space doesn’t quite meet your needs. For instance, you could have more than enough room for hanging clothes, but not enough drawers – or the other way around. Here are some tips on how to adjust your closet to your requirements:
- Get a small cupboard or dresser that can be placed inside your closet.
- Get foldable hanging shelves.
- Use storage boxes.
- Get a portable clothes rail (also great for planning outfits).
- Add coat hooks where possible.
Protect Your Clothes from Dust and Sunlight
I know from experience how sunlight and dust can damage our clothes. I always dreamed of a walk-in closet with open shelves. When we moved to our current home, I got it. The problem is that the room has two large windows. I can’t tell you how upset I was to see that my loved leather jacket had faded after the summer. To be precise, only one arm of the jacket did. Not to mention how tedious it can be having to remove dust from darker-colored clothes every time before wearing them.
With that experience, I will certainly plan my next closet differently. In the meantime, I decided to use opaque dustbags and storage boxes to protect my clothes.
Step 4: Beautify Your Closet
Here comes the fun part. This wardrobe organization step brings beauty to your closet to ignite creativity. It’s all about making it an enjoyable and inspiring experience, opening doors and drawers filled with your precious belongings.
How to Beautify Your Hanging Space
The easiest way to upgrade your closet is to use matching hangers instead of a random collection. Personally, I love quality wooden hangers. But I also have a few velvet ones for everything that could slip.
In her book Spark Joy, Marie Kondo suggests sorting what has to be hung by length, the heaviness of the fabric, and color. Here’s a quick sketch that shows what this exactly means:
Make sure your hung clothes have enough space to breathe and can be easily retrieved from your closet.
How to Cheer up Your Drawers
Again, I have to refer to Marie Kondo. This time, to her famous folding technique. From my experience, it makes sense to practice how to fold clothes and store them upright. Some boxes or dividers can help to keep smaller items organized.
The big advantage of this folding method is that all of your clothes become equally important. When you open a drawer, you pick what you’re drawn to. And not what’s on top of a pile.
To make your drawers even more attractive, sort everything by type and color, similar to the suggestions above.
Step 5: Keep Your Wardrobe Organized Forever
The key is that everything you own has to have a home. Otherwise, it’s impossible to keep a space tidy and organized. But there are a few more tips that can help:
- Plan your outfits the night before so you don’t pull out five different ones in a rush.
- Commit to tidy up your clothes, shoes, and accessories after you’ve worn them. But don’t forget to let your clothes and shoes dry and breathe before you take them back to your closet.
- Follow the one-in-one-out rule. Suppose you’re quite happy with your wardrobe and how your closet space is organized. If that’s the case following this rule is a simple way to keep everything like it is. Because every time you add something to your wardrobe, another (similar) piece has to go.
- When you add new items to your wardrobe – and don’t follow the one-in-one-out rule – allocate some time to find a proper place for them. This probably means that you have to rearrange or reorganize a (small) part of your wardrobe.
And there you have it. This is how to organize your closet in 5 steps – and keep it that way forever.
Make the Most of Your Wardrobe
Organizing your closet and maintaining your clothes and shoes ensures your most-loved items are available whenever you want to wear them. This is essential, but there are more ways to optimize your wardrobe:
If you like the ‘less, but luxe’ idea, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more tips and inspirations. And don’t forget to join my email list to receive weekly updates plus content that’s exclusively available to my readers.
What are your best wardrobe organization tips? Let me know!