Posted: Oct 03, 2012 8:00 AM
I think of myself as a generally organized person, but I am certainly not Type A. My closet can become a heap of "nothing to wear." Even when it's clean, if my closet is not organized properly I will end up wearing the same outfits over and over. You don't have to be a clean freak to avoid the exact same clothes rotation.

Edit, edit, edit

The more options we have, the less we want to wear any of it. You really don't need tons of clothes, you just need several good quality items. I have a variety of tops, but I only keep a few pairs of jeans. A dressier pair, a casual pair, a skinny pair to wear with boots, and a pair of something trendy (colored, patterned, etc.). I don't have to wade through a stack of denim looking for just the right fit or flare. A lack of options makes the decision easy for me.

Take a good look at your closet and make a stack of all the items that have holes or are stretched out beyond repair. Move them to the side. Then make a second pass and remove all of the items that you haven't worn in over a year or that you don't feel absolutely great wearing. Be brutal! Re-purpose the first stack, donate the second stack. If there's anything left in the closet just taking up space (specific items like snow gear or sentimental pieces), remove and store accordingly.

Take a breath. What's now left in your closet should be your core wardrobe.


Now that you've eliminated all of the clutter, you can see what you're working with. You're much more likely to wear what is in front of your face, so keep your best items in the most reachable area. If you insist upon keeping frumpy, shapeless, or holey clothes as loungewear, at least put them out of sight and preferably on a high shelf to keep you from wearing them daily.

It saves me time and brain space if I organize my closet by categories, then by color. In one section I have dresses, in another I have tops. I keep my jeans, shorts, and non-wrinkled pants on a shelf. Within the sections, I group them by color. The far left is my white and light, the far right are all black. I go through the rainbow spectrum in between. I've been organizing my closet like this for years, and it helps with coordinating outfits or when looking for something specific.


A messy closet overwhelms me and costs time and money in the form of dry cleaning bills. I'm not perfect about it, but I try to hang up my clothes after I wear them, and I really try to remember not to re-hang items that have collected a stain or major crease during the day. It's frustrating to plan your outfit in your head, only to pull out that shirt and realize it's unwearable!

When I got my first walk-in closet, I bought all wooden hangers because I thought they looked nicer. They do look distinguished, but I've recently converted to thin velvet hangers. My clothes don't slip as much on them, and they take up significantly less space, so now my dresses hang nicely instead of being crammed together.

For my very special items (evening wear, dressy coats), I keep garment bags and store them in my guest room closet. I don't need to see them daily and I don't want them hogging up the room.

It's an ongoing process, but I know that when I keep my best clothes in my eyesight, I'm more likely to dress up for the day. Staying on top of closet clutter makes for a more polished appearance.

More on your home

Cut garage clutter
Color therapy: Colors to wear to feel better
How to create the perfect picture wall