We all have outfits that we love — but if your closet is a disorganized mess, many of your favorite items of clothing could easily get lost in the clutter. A poorly organized closet could see you cycling through the same set of clothing over and over again, while other clothes get permanent wrinkles and creases from the way they were stuffed inside a shelf.
Fortunately, as Mike Wolf, vice president of brand management for Inspired Closets explains, this doesn’t have to be the case. With some key organization hacks, you can make the most of your wardrobe and better enjoy what you have.
1. Take a Complete Inventory
For many people, the problem doesn’t lie so much with their closet as it does with the amount of clothing that they have inside.
“Any closet organization effort needs to start by taking a complete inventory of what you own,” Wolf explains. “This means physically removing everything from the closet and sorting through each item to determine if you still want or need it. If you haven’t worn an article of clothing for a few months, perhaps even forgetting you had it all together, chances are you won’t miss it if you sold or donated it. And clothing that is damaged or no longer fits shouldn’t continue taking up space inside your closet.”
When going through this inventory process, it can be helpful to group similar items together in your room — for example, grouping all your shoes together in one corner and your shirts in another. This makes it easier to compare the style and condition of these items so you can decide what you would actually want to wear.
One strategy to keep things from getting too crowded in the future: for every new outfit you add to your wardrobe, remove an older outfit that you no longer wear as frequently. This will keep your closet manageable, so you don’t have to do another full-scale inventory.
2. Organize by Category and Color
“After you’ve taken inventory of your wardrobe, you should take a mindful approach for how you start refilling this space,” Wolf advises. “Grouping items in your wardrobe by category will make it much easier to select what to wear each day. Place the most-used categories of clothing in the shelves or hanging areas that are around eye level — where you’ll see them the moment you look into the closet. For example, if your daily work attire includes business attire, place these outfits front and center. Then consider storing your casual clothing in a different location within your closet.”
Wolf also advises organizing categories by color whenever possible. This additional level of categorization will make it easier to quickly coordinate outfits when getting dressed in the morning. Perhaps even more importantly, it will make it easier to remember where everything goes when you are putting away a load of laundry.
3. Store Seasonal Items
“Seasonal items like sweaters or swimsuits can take up a surprising amount of space in your closet,” Wolf notes. “To ensure that these seasonal items aren’t crowding out the rest of your wardrobe, store them out of the way during the times of the year when they aren’t needed. For example, you could put your swimming suits in a bin that goes on the top shelf of your closet during the winter. Clearly labeling these bins will make it easy to find them when it’s time to pull them out again.”
Wolf recommends using what he refers to as “found space” for storing seasonal items. These are the areas that typically are underutilized because they are harder to see or access, such as the floor or the top shelf of a closet.
By storing seasonal items in these areas, you can free up additional space for the clothing you use throughout the year, while keeping seasonal clothing relatively close at hand for when it’s time to trade out your summer and winter wardrobe.
4. Enhance Your Closet Lighting
Often, a bedroom closet is a dark, confined space. Reach-in closets typically don’t have any lighting whatsoever, and even walk-in closets typically have insufficient lighting —at most just a single, small light fixture.
“Poor lighting can cause even the best-organized closet to fall short of its potential,” Wolf says.
“Incorporating lighting into each section of a custom closet design — especially those hard-to-reach areas — will give you a clear view of what your clothing will look like once you take it out and put it on. Without good lighting, you might think a shirt is a completely different shade than it is. This can lead to frustration if you need to keep changing your outfit when clothes look different once they’re in the light.”
Quality closet lighting will ensure you don’t have to keep changing your clothes to get your desired look. Placing a mirror at eye level can further enhance lighting additions by reflecting light sources to make the space even brighter, while also allowing you to check your reflection.
With Better Organization, Your Wardrobe Shines
No matter what your personal style might look like, improving your closet organization will undoubtedly enhance your wardrobe. By making it easier to cycle through different outfits or simply opening up space for new clothes, these organization hacks will help you beat the mess and dress your best.