How to Organize Your Closet (It’s Easier Than You Think!)

Laurel Pinson
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How to Organize Your Closet (It’s Easier Than You Think!)
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Having to organize your closet can be a daunting task—especially if you, like us, have a penchant for collection lots of amazingly stylish items that you later have a hard time tossing. (Hey, trends come back around, right? Maybe you should be hanging on to those harem pants!)

As we find ourselves on the cusp of truly transitioning into fall (hello jackets and sweaters!), it’s the perfect time to take stock of your closet and find ways to organize your clothing and accessories with aplomb.

We recruited Rachel Wirkus, celebrity stylist extraordinaire and closet organization maven, to give us her top tips on how to organize a closet. (Wirkus also happens to be styling wiz behind all the amazing outfits in our 31 Days of Style feature—so you know she understands what it’s like to have a passion for fashion!)  Her advice on how to make the most out of your closet—whether you have limited space or more shelving than you know what to with—is both comprehensive and easy to execute.

MORE: 10 Jaw-Dropping Celebrity Closets 

Step one? Take stock. “When deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, you have to ask yourself a few questions,” says Wirkus. “How long have you owned the item? When was the last time you wore the item? Can you find new ways to wear the item other than the way you have been?”

When it comes to culling, Wirkus is ruthless but fair: “If you have had the item for more than six months and haven’t worn it, I would say get rid of it! If the item is old, you haven’t worn it in a while and you can only pair it with one other thing, then you should get rid of it! I’m not saying if the item is old it should be edited. A great worn pair of boots, jeans or sweatshirt are great to keep in your closet if you wear them and they can be work multiple ways.”

Wirkus has a few other tips that can be absolutely transformative when it comes to organizing your closet. For one, Wirkus recommends organizing everything by color.  “I love to organize my closet and my clients’ closets by color,” she insists. “Not just because it’s pleasing to the eye—it makes it easier when getting dressed. Everything should be organized by style and then within the style organized by color.”

Oh, and clearly, we’ll be investing in a slew of Joy Mangano’s Huggable Hangers—Wirkus not only swears by their space-saving properties, she also insists that it makes the overall look and feel of the closet much cleaner and more organized.

Read all of Wirkus’ tips above in our step-by-step to organizing your closet. We promise, it’s easier than you think!

MORE: How to Care for Every Item in Your Closet 

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Read on for celebrity stylist Rachel Wirkus' amazing tips on how to organize your closet!

Photo: Jenny Norris

Out With the Old

"The first step depends upon if you are doing a full closet clean out or just a tidy up," says Wirkus. "For a full closet clean out, I would take everything out of the closet. Empty the whole thing out so that your starting new. If you are just tidying up, I would pick a section go though all the shirts and then move to the next section."

Photo: Jenny Norris

"When deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, ask yourself a few questions," Wirkus explains. "How long have you owned the item? When was the last time you wore the item? Can you find new ways to wear the item other than the way you have been? If you have had the item for more than six months and haven't worn it, I would say get rid of it! If the item is old, you haven't worn it in awhile and you can only pair it with one other thing, then you should get rid of it!"

Photo: Jenny Norris

Create More Space

"I think the biggest thing that's often missing is space or lack of space," insists Wirkus. (We couldn't agree more!) "To create more hanging room, fold down your jeans, sweaters and tees. If you can't add in more shelves into your closet then adding in wood or metal dividers will create sections within the shelf so things stay in place."

Photo: Jenny Norris

Organize Your Shoes

"A great closet has shelving for shoes," insists Wirkus. "Sometimes, when shoes are placed on the ground or on a shoe rack, they get lost and easily disorganized."

Photo: Jenny Norris

Come on: Don't you wish your shoe closet looked like this?

Photo: Jenny Norris

"If you have a nice size closet, then having the shoes on shelves organized by color is key!" insists Wirkus. "If they can't fit side by side, put one shoe in back and the other in front. Or stacked on top of each other. There are metal rods that you can buy that snuggle in between the shoes so they sit on top of each other and don't fall over. You can also store shoes in clear boxes or cubbies that stack on top of each other but are open in the front for easy access."

Photo: Jenny Norris

Invest in Good Hangers

"Hangers are very important! If you want a quick closet makeover, switch all the hangers out to the same hanger," Wirkus advises. "Try Huggable Hangers by Joy Mangano—I suggest the flat felt hangers which come in black and tan. These create more space and a great uniform look that will instantly give your closet a face lift."

Photo: Jenny Norris

Organize by Color

"I love to organize my closet and my clients closet by color," says Wirkus. "Not just because it's pleasing to the eye—it makes it easier when getting dressed."

 

Photo: Jenny Norris

Color is just the beginning, says Wirkus. "Everything should be organized by style and then within the style organized by color. This will make getting dresses in the morning a breeze!"

Photo: Jenny Norris

Store Things by Category

"Storing things by category will allow for more space," says Wirkus. "For example, for shirts it would go white tanks, short sleeve shirts, blouses or long-sleeve shirts, and so on for the next color. Each category would repeat in the same way."

Photo: Jenny Norris

How to Store Handbags

"Try and store handbags on shelves by size and color," says Wirkus. "Stuff your big, slouchy shoulder bags with bubble wrap or tissue paper so they don't lose their shape!"

Photo: Jenny Norris

What to Do With The Extras

No more room? No problem. "If you don't have a dresser or have run out of drawers and shelving space, then get cute baskets or stacking trays for your underwear, socks, stockings, and sunglasses," suggests Wirkus.

Photo: Jenny Norris

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