how to clean and organize your closet

How to Clean and Organize Your Closet Like a Pro

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Are you looking to maximize the space in your bedroom closet and easily see what you have, all the while keeping it organized? Sounds like a tall order. And though cleaning and organizing your entire closet seems like a daunting task (there’s just no way around it), with the right approach and a little bit of know-how, it doesn’t have to be too overwhelming. Soon you’ll know how to clean and organize your closet like a pro!

How to Clean and Declutter Your Closet

Alright, it’s time to face the music. Your bedroom closet is a mess. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back. First step? It’s an easy one. Simply take a deep breath. You can do this! Once you’re done, you’re going to feel like Marie Kondo herself. 

The best way to begin is by taking everything out of your closet. Yes, everything. Lay it all out on your bed or floor and start sorting. Put similar items together, like shirts with shirts and pants with pants. Once you’ve sorted everything, it’s time to decide what stays and what goes.

For the items that are still in good condition but you haven’t worn in a while, consider donating them to a local charity or making a few extra bucks by selling them.

For those old clothes that have seen better days and aren’t in good shape, it’s time to let them go. If they’re not worth donating or selling, then they’re certainly not worth keeping. Toss them – you’ll be glad you did it in the long run!

Here are some things you should consider removing from your closet:

  • Clothes that no longer fit: If you have clothes that don’t fit you anymore, it’s time to let them go. You may be holding on to them because you think you’ll fit into them again one day, but if it’s been years and they’re still sitting in your closet, it’s time to say goodbye.
  • Clothes you haven’t worn in over 6 months: If you haven’t worn a particular piece of clothing in 6 months – 1 year, chances are you won’t wear it again. Take it out of your closet and donate it to someone who will appreciate it.
  • Damaged or stained clothes: Clothes that are ripped, stained, or otherwise damaged should be removed from your closet. There’s no point in keeping them if you can’t wear them.
  • Outdated styles: If you have clothes that are out of style or don’t reflect you, it’s time to let them go. Fashion trends come and go, but you want your wardrobe to reflect the current you.
  • Shoes that hurt your feet: Shoes that are uncomfortable or cause pain when you wear them should be removed from your closet. Life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes – or anything uncomfortable for that matter!

By cleaning out these items, you’ll free up space in your closet for things you actually use and enjoy. Plus, you’ll feel better knowing that your closet is full of things you love and will actually wear.

For a checklist and step-by-step guide on what to declutter from your wardrobe, I created this incredibly useful resource for you: How to Build a Wardrobe From Scratch eBook!

Once you’ve gotten rid of all the clothes that aren’t a good fit anymore (physically and metaphorically), take inventory of what you have. This will come in handy for our next step when it’s time to organize.

But get a head start by asking yourself these questions: What floats around your closet without a good home? What lack of storage drives you crazy the most? What accessories are always getting tangled up together? What clothing items can you never find?

Now that you’ve sorted and purged, and have an idea of the hot spots in your closet, it’s time to organize!

how to organize your closet

Tips for Organizing Your Closet

After decluttering your closet, it’s time to start organizing it in a way that maximizes your space. If you have a walk-in closet, lucky you! Your work isn’t done but it just got easier. You’ll find that closet systems with dresser drawers and shelf dividers are a great way to maximize closet space.

For those of us with a small closet or even tiny bedroom closet, it’s all about utilizing every inch, such as hanging an extra closet rod for clothes and installing shelves for shoe storage to keep shoes within reach.

Here Are Some Organizing Tips That Can Help You Get Started:

1. Sort your clothes by category: Start by grouping all your clothes by type. For example, put all your shirts together, then group your pants, dresses, and so on. This will make it easier for you to see what you have and find what you’re looking for.

2. Use hangers wisely: Generally, sweaters keep best when they’re folded. And when you’re hanging clothes, consider the weight of the items. Heavy coats should go on sturdier hangers, so it’s best to swap out all your thin plastic ones for luxe velvet hangers. Also, try using slim hangers (instead of bulky wooden ones) to save space.

Related: How to Make Clothes Last Longer

3. Organize your clothes by color: An alternative (or in addition) to sorting your clothes by category is to group them by color. This can make your closet look more cohesive and make it easier to find items quickly.

4. Store items by frequency of use: Keep the clothes you wear most often in the most accessible spots, while clothes that you wear less frequently should be stored in the back or on higher shelves.

5. Hang clothes strategically: When it comes to hanging your clothes, consider arranging them by length. Hang shorter items on one side and longer items on the other. This not only looks visually pleasing but it also helps to prevent creases in your clothes.

6. Rotate off-season clothes: Take some time to rotate your clothes seasonally. This means storing out-of-season items in under-bed storage and swapping them out with current-season clothes. This not only saves space but also ensures that you’re only keeping items in your closet that are currently relevant to your lifestyle.

7. Fold strategically: If you have limited hanging space, fold items like sweaters, t-shirts, and jeans to create more room. You can also use folding techniques to keep items visible and organized.

8. Invest in some organizing tools: Consider purchasing storage solutions like hanging organizers, shelf dividers, or shoe racks. These can help you make the most of your closet space.

Speaking of organizing tools, we’ve rounded up some of the best ones for you!

closet organization

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How to Organize Jewelry:

1. Gather all your jewelry: Start by collecting all your jewelry items from different corners of your closet (don’t forget that one random earring in your purse.) Spread them out on a flat surface like a table or bed.

2. Sort your jewelry: After purging the pieces you don’t want anymore, sort your jewelry by type, such as necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings.

3. Invest in jewelry organizers: There are various types of jewelry organizers available, from simple trays with compartments to multi-layered jewelry trees. Choose the one that best suits your jewelry collection.

4. Hang necklaces: Long necklaces can get tangled up easily, so it’s best to hang them on a jewelry tree or hooks to prevent them from getting knotted.

5. Use drawer inserts: If you prefer to keep your jewelry hidden away in a drawer, use drawer inserts with compartments for each type of jewelry. This will help prevent tangling and make it easier to find what you need.

6. Keep earrings together: It’s a good idea to use earring organizers to keep your earrings together in pairs. No one likes losing one earring!

7. Store delicate items carefully: Delicate pieces like freshwater pearls and sentimental pieces like your grandmother’s vintage designer brooch could be stored separately in a soft pouch or clear jewelry pouch to avoid scratching.

How to Organize Shoes

1. Start by taking inventory: Begin by taking all your shoes out of your closet and going through them. Discard any shoes that are damaged and donate or sell shoes that don’t fit your feet or your personal style. This will help you take stock of what you have and make it easier to organize your shoes.

2. Use shoe racks or shelves: Investing in shoe racks or shelves is a great way to maximize your space and keep your shoes organized. Shoe racks come in different sizes and shapes, and they can fit under your clothes or at the bottom of your closet. You can also use shoe shelves or shoe stackers to keep your shoes tidy and accessible.

3. Store off-season shoes away: You don’t need your winter boots in the summer, so just as you did with your clothes, store off-season shoes away. You can keep them in these sturdy canvas bags and place them under your bed or in a spare closet. To ensure they’ll stay in good condition, make sure you are only putting clean items away.

4. Sort shoes by style or color: Whatever method you liked best with your wardrobe, continue the method over to your shoes. Group your shoes by style, such as all sandals go together, or by color. This will make it easier to find what you need.

5. Store shoes in clear boxes or shoe bags: Storing shoes in clear boxes or shoe bags is a great way to protect them from dust and moisture. Label the boxes or bags with the type of shoe or the season to make it easy to find what you’re looking for.

6. Use over-the-door organizers: If you don’t have enough space in your closet, consider using over-the-door shoe organizers. These can be hung over your closet door and provide easy access to your shoes.

If you can’t tell by now, every item needs a place and organizational method! From belts to earrings to underwear, this is key to keeping your closet organized.

How to Keep Your Closet Clean and Organized

Now that you’ve gone through the hard work of cleaning and organizing your closet, it’s important to maintain your newly streamlined space. But first, give yourself a pat on the back!

1. Stick to a regular cleaning schedule: Cleaning your wardrobe is not just a new year resolution! Schedule a day each month to declutter and clean your closet. This will help prevent your closet from getting out of hand again.

2. Put things back where they belong: After you’ve worn an item of clothing, put it back in its designated spot. Make this a part of your daily routine. (Still working on this one myself, honestly.) This will help prevent clothes from piling up and becoming a mess again. Plus, you can then easily find what you’re looking for next time you need it.

3. Donate items regularly: As you buy new clothes or accessories, consider donating items you no longer wear or use. This will help keep your closet clutter-free and make it easier to find the items you love. One in, one out.

4. Store off-season clothes: If you live in a climate with distinct seasons, consider storing your off-season clothes in bins or boxes until you need them. This will help free up space in your closet for seasonal items you’re currently wearing.

Congratulations – you have now successfully organized and cleaned out your closet like a pro! You have learned how to declutter your closet, you picked out the right storage containers, and finally organized your clothes, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. Continue to follow these tips and your tidy closet (and sanity) will thank you.

Do you want to add that extra something to the aesthetic of your closet to transform it? Get all the ideas you need in this next post: How to Make Your Closet Look Like a Boutique

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Founder and editor of My Chic Obsession, Carolyn is your trusted fashion maven. Carolyn's drive to help others achieve a classic and timeless wardrobe fuels her posts, making mychicobsession.com a go-to resource for style seekers worldwide. Beyond the wardrobe, she resides in the heartland of the Midwest, dreaming up new ideas and raising her two lively boys - her biggest fashion critics.