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How to Organize Your Closet Like a Pro

Organized closet.

Laura Cattano

As the weather gets colder and we continue to spend the majority of our time at home, there is no better time to transition your wardrobe and get organized for the new year. 

We spoke to a few of the nation's top professional organizers for their expert tips on how to efficiently organize your closet. Scroll on to get that crisp, organized look in your own closet, pull out those storage containers, and get to work.

Reassess Your Wardrobe

Fun fact: the average person wears 20% of their clothes 80% of the time—which means you probably have way too many clothes, according to Corrie Jackson, co-founder of New York and Connecticut home organizing team MAISON HAVEN. She suggests setting aside half a day to review and edit down your closet.

“Before placing each item in your closet, take a moment to reassess,” she explains. “We always follow the 3F rule: does each item fit, flatter and function, and can you create at least three looks with it? While this rule doesn’t apply to your closet’s standout items like cocktail dresses, you don’t want a wardrobe full of one-hit wonders.”

Take the Hanger Test

If you’re struggling to part with certain items, Jackson recommends the hanger test. Here’s how to do it: Turn all the metal-hook parts of your hangers to face you. Each time you wear an item, turn the hook to face the other way. After a month, check in to see how many hangers are still facing the original direction. “Those are the clothes you need to think long and hard about,” she explains. 

Organize, Organize, Organize 

Laura Bostrom, founder of professional organizing company Everyday Order, suggests the following method for keeping everything in its place. “Organize your closet by garment type and weight as well as by color,” she says. “When you open your closet, your eyes should automatically be able to locate clothing items that you can wear.”

“Organize your closet by garment type and weight as well as by color,” she says. “When you open your closet, your eyes should automatically be able to locate clothing items that you can wear.”

Next, strategize placement of items based on what you reach for most. And remember, “shelves and hanging areas are two different sections of your closet, so think about using each space practically," Bostrom suggests.

Switch to Huggable Hangers

If you have a small closet—or just lots of clothes, Jackson has an easy hack to maximize space. “Use our favorite huggable hangers to create extra room,” she says. 

Huggable Hangers
HSN Huggable Hangers 60-pack $24.00

Invest in Shelf Dividers and Accessory Hooks 

“When it comes to bags, we love to make a visual statement. Not only does it pretty up a closet, but you’re far more likely to use what you can see,” says Jackson.

She suggests getting shelf dividers to keep smaller bags, like satchels and clutches, neatly lined up. “We also love accessory hooks," she says. "Clip them to your hanging rail for an easy, space-saving way to store bags —plus they’re great for belts, scarves and umbrellas, too.”

And Stacking Jewelry Trays

“While we love necklaces, we loathe untangling them,” Jackson says. “Save yourself the hassle and invest in some good storage.”

She is a huge fan of customizable stacking jewelry trays. Or, if you are short on surface space, go for a hanging option.

Stackers Jewelry Box
The Container Store Stackers Blush Supersize Premium Stackable Jewelry Box 34.99-39.99 27.99-31.99

And Plenty of Baskets

"I love utilizing baskets in my client’s closets,” says Bostrom. “In the winter, they typically hold scarves, hats, and gloves. When I transition their closets to spring, I swap those out for bathing suits, lightweight scarves, and shorts.”

Keep a “Rescue Kit” Handy

“We always stash a rescue kit in a drawer nearby to keep our clothes looking fresh,” Jackson says. “We recommend a portable steamer to iron out any creases in dresses and blouses, and a fabric defuzzer to breathe life into your knitwear.”