How to Organize (& Clean) Your Closet – Your Ultimate Guide

How to Organize Your Closet - Your Ultimate Guide

No matter the size of your closet there is always room for improvement especially for us women. There are many routes you can take to clean out your closet but in the end we all want the same thing, a clean and organized closet.

I clean and organize my closet every Spring or Fall every year. It’s important to get rid of items you no longer like and don’t want to wear because that’s valuable real-estate it’s taking up.

Everyone’s closet is different and depending on your types of clothes and size of closet, you need to adjust as needed.

The following is going to mainly deal with clothes. We’ll cover jewelry and shoes in a separate post if not this post would go on forever.

Also I created a little cheat sheet for you to download and print for when you’re cleaning out your closet. Scroll to the end and you’ll see the signup box to download!


Enter your name and email below and you’ll receive the 5 step checklist to cleaning out printable.

How to Organize Your Closet In 5 Easy Steps

The first step in organizing is cleaning out the items that are simply taking up space.  So many of us have trouble getting rid of belongings even if we aren’t considered hoarders. When is it time to get rid of that dress you wore on New Years’, six years ago?

1. Find an Empty Area & Take Everything Out of Your Closet

You’re going to be taking everything out of your closet and that clothes needs to go somewhere so find a clear area where you’ll put the clothes.

This could be your bed or if you have one a clothing rack! I know it seems scary taking EVERYTHING out but it’s necessary. You’re going trough a deep cleaning, no half efforts.

2. Separate all Clothes into Seasons

Separate all of your clothes into different piles based on season. This includes coats, sweaters, dresses, shorts, skirts, etc. All of your clothes needs to be sorted so it’s easier to get through.

3. Create three separate areas for Keep, Toss and Maybe

Once separated into Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter find boxes or trash bags and make an area for each of the following:

  • Keep
  • Toss
  • Maybe

You want to have these areas ready because once you start deciding what stays and what goes you want to have an area to place everything. So make sure you have a designated area for each of the three categories.

4. Ask Yourself These 7 Questions About Each Piece

how to organize your closet - 7 questions to ask yourself about every peice

So this is when the real fun starts! Sorting through every piece and deciding what makes it back in your closet and what gets the boot. In order for a piece to make it back into your closet it has to pass the 7 questions test. These are the qualities the item must have to pass the test for the keep pile.

  1. Does it fit?
  2. Does it flatter my figure?
  3. Is it in good condition?
  4. Is it a classic piece or just trendy and dated?
  5. Have I worn it recently?
  6. Do I feel confident when I wear it?
  7. Does it represent me, where I am or want to be in life?

You don’t want to spend more than a couple of minutes on each item, if needed try on a piece to verify your feelings about it. Though I am often tempted, I do try not to make whole outfits out of individual pieces. I focus, rather, on just one item at a time. Once I have filled my Keep pile I will be able to mix and match my pieces into outfits. I know you might be tempted too but you must resist the urge and stay focused.

After finishing with the first season move on to the next and repeat. Once all the clothing is sorted, I start again on the maybe pile and go through them once more. I try to whittle the Maybe pile to a decent size.

5. Put Everything Back in Your Closet in an Organized Way

How to Organize Your Closet - 5 Steps to a Clean Closet

Once you got rid of the items you no longer want there are many ways you can organize your clothes.

Knowing how to organize your closet really depends on your situation and preferences.  I tend to need more room for blazers, shirts and dresses. I arrange my closet by category, for example; blazers, blouses, shirts, dresses, denim, trousers, and so on.

After arranging based on category, I organize by color progression starting with light to dark.  

Here are 4 different ways to organize your closet. Select the one that suits you best.

  • By Season: If you put away your Winter clothes in the Spring and your Summer clothes in the Fall than you’re a seasonal gal. This is a good choice for those of you with smaller closets. If all of your clothes doesn’t fit then put your clothes away as the season passes. This method of organizing takes a lot of reorganizing and cleaning but if you don’t wear your summer pieces in the winter there is no need to have them in your closet.
  • By Clothing Type (This is what I do): I like to have similar items together. I like seeing all the options I have at a glance not having to go back in forth incase I want to wear a summery dress in the Fall with boots and a jacket. This, in my opinion, is the easiest and best ways to organize your closet. So organize all of your shirts together, all your pants together, all blazers together and so on from darkest to lightest.
  • Separate Work and Casual: If you own more work clothes than you do casual or vis versa it might behoove you to separate your work/office attire from your casual attire. This is optimal for some because it separates the style of clothes say jeans from trousers.
  • By how often you wear them: If you wear some items more than other than you could place those front and center. It’s no use having clothes you never wear easily available, give priority to the clothes that you wear every week or month.

Simply arrange your closet based on your lifestyle and make sure the space you have can accommodate it all. If your closet doesn’t fit everything look for storage alternatives for items such as scarves, leggings, belts, etc. Most of the time it’s the little things that are hard to organize and that make your closet look messy.

I use lots of storage containers for those miscellaneous items.

I also feel that I should mention that if it’s not clothes, shoes or accessories it doesn’t belong in your closet. Remove anything that is taking up space, and makes you closet look cluttered. This includes chairs, sporting equipment, frames, etc. etc.

Points to Keep in Mind

Invest in good quality matching hangers

It’s always a good idea to invest in quality hangers. Not only do the hangers themselves last longer, but the clothes you hang on them will too.  There’s no need to run out and buy them all at once.  I simply buy a pack or two of the wooden ones every month or so when I am out on errands for other home supplies.  I sometimes buy the tough plastic ones as well.

You also want all of your hangers to match. It makes for a more appealing closet. Just like in stores.

Organizing Your Closet - For a more appealing closet  have matching hangers

Get personal advice from a friend of loved one

Sometimes when needing help on how to organize your closet, looking to a friend or family member can really help. Organizing can be quite a daunting task, so asking for assistance can ease the stress of doing it alone. Obviously you want to make it someone you can trust to tell you the truth about a certain piece or the way it looks on you, etc.

Don’t freak out

The last point I will make is to not freak out! When I am in the last step of organizing my closet, I try to keep in mind that the clothes I am not keeping are not being kept for a reason. Either the piece didn’t quite fit, it didn’t flatter my figure or my personality, or simply didn’t make me feel confident.

Removing the Unwanted Items

The very last step in clearing away the left over, unwanted items is deciding where to send them.  I usually donate my undesired pieces. Other pieces, that may still have some dollar value left in them, I end up selling. Another thing to consider is giving them to friends or family.

If you had your best friend helping you organize and they thought some of the items were exceptionally cute, why not give it to them? It’s a great personal way to say thank you.

Cleaning Out Your Closet Printable Checklist

I know this can be a bit overwhelming so to make this a job easier I created a printable checklist for you to have available. Print this out and have it within arms reach when going through this process.

Stylishlyme Clean Closet Checklist


Enter your name and email below and you’ll receive the 5 step checklist to cleaning out printable.

Cleaning and organizing your closet it not an easy thing to do and at times you get lost on what to do next.

I hope this guide has been helpful and you now have a resource to come back to on how to organize your closet. Now you can relax with piece of mind and perhaps even have some space left for that new dress you wanted!

Happy Stylish Organizing!


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3 thoughts on “How to Organize (& Clean) Your Closet – Your Ultimate Guide

  • default avatar

    I have tried several times to get the Clean Your Closet Checklist download. Nothing happens!! I would really like to have it.
    I’m a new subscriber.

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  • default avatar

    Very informative and wonderful anatomical structure of content, now that’s user genial