10 Steps to Organize Your Closet

Do you rotate your closet each season?

I am always baffled by the people who don’t. I can’t STAND having out of season clothes cluttering up my closet and dresser drawers. It’s hard enough to weed through the IN-season stuff to find something I want to wear without having to deal with the out of season clothes. Plus, it helps keep my closet fresh because I take the opportunity to purge the things that I haven’t worn in a while.

This is what I’ll be doing this Labor Day Weekend. Wanna join me?

Every season, I go through everyone’s closets and drawers (except for my husband’s — he is on his own) and pull out everything that a) they haven’t worn, b) doesn’t fit, and c) isn’t in season. Then I go up to the attic and pull down the bins of seasonal clothing and shoes that I will want to add to our closets. After that, I can make a list of things we need to buy to round out our wardrobes.

Do you do this? If not, why ever not!??

Here is how to purge and organize your closet for fall in 10 easy steps.

how to organize your closet

How to Organize Your Closet for the Next Season

1. Prep.

Tackle this project on a day when you have time to finish it. Don’t pull everything out of your closet and then realize you have to go somewhere. You’ll end up feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. So set aside a few hours, and be sure to have some bins or trash bags ready to store things in. Also, make sure that the rest of your bedroom is clean and neat. You don’t need other messes distracting you from the task at hand. If you’re up for it, shop for new hangers and storage bins. I love having matching hangers, but it took me a while (I’m talking YEARS!) to accumulate enough wooden hangers to support my entire wardrobe.

2. Remove.

Take everything out of your closet. I MEAN EVERYTHING. Even that photo album from high school, ahem. Put everything into three piles — KEEP, DONATE, TRASH. If you’re going through your kids’ closets, you may need another pile for passing down outgrown clothes to other siblings. And of course there will be miscellaneous items that do not belong in your closet at all. Put those in yet another pile, to be distributed in due time.

Label your piles so you don’t get confused and throw away something good . . . not that I’d know anything about that!

3. Store.

Wash and fold your summer clothes that you plan to keep. Set aside a pile for the dry cleaner’s and mending. Wipe down your summer sandals and store them in cloth bags if you have them. Take the time to try on things that you haven’t worn in a while and decide whether you should keep it or donate it. If you haven’t worn it in one entire season, unless it’s a special occasion type of outfit, then you can probably donate it. Store the things you plan to keep in a clean bin. Ideally, use tissue paper to keep things from getting wrinkled.

4. Toss.

Trash anything that is stained or torn. Goodwill doesn’t want it, trust me.

5. Donate.

Put everything that you plan to donate in a big trash bag and take it IMMEDIATELY to your local Goodwill or second hand store. Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Grab a coffee on your way home. You’ll need it. You’re only half done!

Now it’s time to restock your closet with clothes for the next season!

6. Unpack.

Get out your fall clothes. If you did a good job of sorting last season, you shouldn’t have to go through the same purging process again. Sort everything into categories (shirts, pants, dresses, accessories) and hang and/or fold them and put them in their proper places. I like to organize my closet by color — lightest to darkest. It doesn’t always stay that way, but at least it makes me feel all organized and put together at the beginning of the season.

Consider hanging double rods to maximize your closet space.

double hanging rods

7. Sort and organize.

Line up your shoes on shelves. Consider buying a portable shoe rack if you don’t have enough shelving. Do the same for your handbags. I’m still looking for a good solution for storing my handbags. I plan to invest in some shelf dividers and hope that helps.

shoes

If you aren’t happy with your current storage solutions, consider some new ideas for storing and displaying your accessories. Invest in a belt rack or a scarf rack if need be. I’m planning to buy this InterDesign Axis Scarf Holder for my scarves. This Closet Accessories 12 Belt Hardwood Hanger would be great for belts.

Also go through your jewelry and discard any earrings that don’t have a mate. Hang your necklaces, and line up bracelets. Clean your silver and make sure everything is stored neatly for easy access. There are tons of great storage solutions for jewelry. I have a Jewelry Armoire, but there are wall mounted pieces and racks for hanging over doors. Some are really pretty and can almost be used as decor in addition to a handy storage solution.

8. Make a shopping list.

Write down the items you need to fill in the gaps of your wardrobe. Peruse fashion blogs and Pinterest for the latest trends, and make a shopping list. Divide it into needs and wants. If you tend to overspend, set a budget for each piece. Don’t forget to replace your bras (they really only last about six months) and underwear.

9. GO SHOPPING!

You knew I’d get there eventually, right? Get dressed and put on makeup and do your hair. You can’t truly tell how things look on you if you’re looking haggard. Take an honest friend along, and work through your list. Do your best to stick to your budget, and buy the necessities first, but be open to unexpected possibilities. If you’re not sure about something, ask yourself if you can do better. I learned that little trick from Tim Gunn. If you don’t love it, chances are you won’t wear it.

10. Revel in your accomplishment!

Enjoy your newly organized closet, and have fun getting dressed each day knowing that you have everything you need at your fingertips and nothing you don’t!

Do you purge and organize your closet each season? If not, try it using these 10 steps, and let me know how it goes!