Work your Wardrobe: #3 – Create an Organized Closet

1. Create Efficient Space

Whether your closet is walk-in or reach-in, make use of every inch:  from floor to ceiling and from wall to wall. For an organized closet, ensure you have sufficient hanging rods, shelves, hooks, etc. If your closet was not built-in, you can use hanging canvas shelves, hanging pockets, portable clear organizing drawers, baskets, sturdy wardrobe boxes, and pull-out racks.

You may explore different closet organizing companies for ideas:


2. Set Up Zones

For an organized closet space, have a section for your current season’s clothing, and for your alternate season’s clothing.  If your closet is not able to handle clothing for all seasons, you can use an alternate closet and/or a storage trunk. Move the current season’s clothing to your working closet, and the alternate season’s clothing to your storage space.

Use an eye-level rod for dresses, trousers, and other long garments; high and low rods can be used for short-hanging garments:  jackets, shirts, and skirts.

Higher shelves can be used for less-used items; accessible shelves are reserved for items that are used regularly.

3. Organize the Items



Organize your wardrobe by item, and hang ‘like’ items together.  For example, you can hang your clothes in this order:

  1. Dresses
  2. Jackets
  3. Skirts
  4. Trousers
  5. Tops

Allow space between hangers for clothes to “breathe”.

Use padded, wooden or plastic hangers to maintain the shape of clothes.  Use one type of hangar for consistency.

Sweaters or loose-knits

Fold sweaters neatly in drawers or on shelves; they can lose their shape if hung.

Store heavy items on the bottom, lighter ones on top.

Items to be fixed

Keep clothes that require repair in a separate place, perhaps on a hook on the inside of the “organized closet” door.


Hang ties unknotted on a tie rack; fold knitted ties.

Shoes and Boots

Store shoes neatly off the floor in any of these systems:

  1. on a shoe rack
  2. on a shelf
  3. in a shoe cubby
  4. in shoe drawers
  5. in shoe boxes with a label or photograph on the outside
  6. in a shoe caddy

Use shoe and boot trees to maintain the shape of your good shoes and boots.

Socks and Hosiery

Fold socks together in pairs and store in a drawer.

Fold hosiery into balls and place in any of the following:

  1. drawer organizer
  2. see-through hanging pocket organizer
  3. shallow box with cubby holes



Line bags on a shelf with vertical dividers between; if soft-sided, keeping them filled will help keep the leather from cracking.



Hang belts by the buckle on hooks or a belt hanger.


Hang scarves on any of the following:

  1. scarf holder
  2. hanger with clothes pins attached
  3. skirt hanger

Fold scarves on shelves or in drawers.

Pocket Squares

Hang pocket squares on a pocket square hanger or on a hanger with clothes pins attached.



Store jewellery according to your preference:

  1. in a jewellery box
  2. in an organizer
  3. on a jewellery tree
  4. on hooks



Store using one of these methods:

  1. in hat boxes
  2. stacked one inside the other and the inside of each lined with tissue paper

All of these tips should help you have an organized closet!

For more wardrobe tips, check out our book

Check out other Wardrobe articles
#1 – Take Inventory:

#2 – Develop Wardrobe Modules:

#4 – What to Spend: 

Karen Brunger, BHEc, AICI CIP, is President of International Image Institute Inc. and Past-President of the Association of Image Consultants International.

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1 Comment

  1. Alessandro on June 16, 2015 at 10:14 am

    I live in residence at uirsenvity so I don’t have a lot of room (but lots of shoes) I bought this thing that hangs in my closet from the hanger rack. It has little shelf/cubby hole sort of things. There were designs with narrow cubbies, and one with larger sized cubbies, I opted for the larger one so I can get more than one pair of shoes in a spot. I bought this from IKEA. Its pretty cheap but also good quality, and saves lots of space.Hope this helps!

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