Decorating & Design

April 20, 2012

Closet Organizing 101

Sort it Out

Remove all clothing from your closet and create piles for each type of clothing item: blouses, sweaters, pants, skirts, t-shirts, lounge wear, work-out wear, etc. Also create piles for accessories you keep in your closet like belts, scarves and shoes. Be sure to also separate out items to be donated. Once the sorting is complete, you should be able to form a good idea of how much clothing your closet can comfortably accommodate and what types of storage you need: mid-wall hanging rods for shirts and full-length hanging space for longer items like dresses and pants; drawers for lingerie and accessories, shelving for shoes and bags; hooks for belts and scarves. Once you’ve assessed your needs, consider the many closet systems and components available on the market today that can make use of all the available storage space in your closet and greatly improve its functionality.

Accessory tips:

  • Hang scarves and long necklaces from the hooks on pant hangers.
  • Inexpensive wooden cutlery trays make great in-drawer jewelry organizers.

For Your Clothes Only

Don’t allow your clothes closet to be home to the vacuum cleaner, winter coats or ski boots. Find space in the attic, basement or mudroom for extraneous items that can be removed to make room for clothing and shoes.


Decide the extent to which you want to change your closet. Your budget may allow you to have a custom designed closet-system made for you or you may prefer to go the more economical route of purchasing a closet-system kit and installing it yourself.

Find more closet design inspiration in our photo gallery.