How to Organize Your Closet Like a Professional Stylist

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Updated June 11, 2019
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We all want that giant, walk-in, dream closet. You know the ones that have a 3-way mirror, and a chaise lounge in the center for when trying on clothes is just so exhausting. Likely, that’s not your closet situation, so we gotta work with what we have! We are talking today about how to get that professional stylist organization into your apartment-sized closet.

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Where to Begin

First things first, set aside a day you know you are going to spend strictly on your closet. Also, do whatever you need to do to stay motivated that day. Crank the music, order a pizza, stock up on beer or snacks – whatever it is that will make this mundane task seem kind of fun!

You are going to want to start by taking EVERYTHING out of the closet – empty all the racks, drawers, storage compartments. By starting with a blank, empty closet will make it that much easier to sort and put away clothes as you go.

How to Sort

Before you even start looking through the clothes, put them into sorted piles as you empty out the closet. Make a pile for pants, one for jeans, shirts, dresses, ties, hats, bags, etc. This can help keep you from getting overwhelmed and will make sorting by category much easier, right out the gate.

When you start sorting, there are a few methods to use to make quick, sensible decisions when choosing what to keep or what goes. It helps to pick up the item, touch it, reminisce about it, and see how it makes you feel. If you pick it up and smile and it’s a piece that is sentimental, or you just love having it, keep it. If you pick it up and you are more or less “whatever” about it, and you could live without it, or if it’s too similar to another piece, toss it.

Another quick way to decide is if you ask yourself two questions: Have I worn this in the last year? Will I wear this in the coming year? If the answer to one or both of these questions is no, you might be wasting closet space hanging on to something you will likely never wear. Toss it!

Quick sorting checklist:

Love it: make sure what you keep is something that you love and makes you feel confident

Wear it often:  will continue to wear it in the coming years

It fits: let go of those “one day they’ll fit again” pants

No multiples: keep it simple, there’s no need to have multiple black cardigans

Sentimental value: there are some things that you just can’t part with, but think it through, take a moment, and make sure you are keeping it for the right reasons

Seasonal items: holiday sweaters, suits, cocktail dresses can and should be saved, but can be properly stored so they can be accessible when you need them.

Re-configuring Your Space

If you are unable to re-model a closet to fit your needs, like people who rent, then there are other ways you can configure the closet to completely utilize all that you have. Bins, roll-out shelving and drawers, hooks, and hanging shelves can be your very best friend. Places like Target and IKEA are undoubtedly some of the most affordable and accessible places to get all your storage needs. IKEA specifically is designed for small spaces in mind and can offer all kinds of customizable shelving for closets without having to renovate your apartment. If your closet doesn’t have a top shelf, install one! If you can hang things, and have floor space below, utilize it with bins storing seasonal items and shoes, or small roll-out carts and shelving units for t-shirts, jeans, sweaters.

Organizing

When it comes to organizing the closet, it’s best first to determine what you should hang versus fold. Items made of delicate fabrics (silk, velvet, satin) should be hung to avoid creases, wrinkles, and misshaping the item. Clothes that are larger or have structure like jackets, overcoats, blazers should always be hung. This will be the most efficient way to store them and will keep them in good shape. Hang Dresses, blouses, jumpsuits, trousers, and dress pants as well.

Everything from t-shirts to jeans can be folded and stored. If you are short on space, sweaters, pants, and even fancy evening gowns can be folded and stored. This creates space for everyday wear items in your closet and keeps these items set aside for when you need to wear them (seasonally, or special events).

There is a method of folding t-shirts and jeans that allows for maximum space utilization and minimal wrinkles and creases. The wonderful organizational master herself, Marie Kondo, displays how to fold and store clothing in the video below most efficiently.

Happy Organizing!

It’s always a good idea to de-clutter your closet and living space seasonally. Even if you are living with limited space, you can move summer clothes to the front and winter to the back during warmer months, and vice versa in the cold months. Make use of every inch of space you have, and make sure to donate things you no longer need! Hopefully, these tips are useful for your closet re-fresh!

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