How to start organizing your closet – fast and easy ways to get started


Are you stuck on how and where to start the often-overwhelming task of organizing your closet?


For this blog post in video form, please head to my YouTube channel or check the bottom of this post.

Are you stuck on how and where to start the often-overwhelming task of organizing your closet? In this post I am sharing my fast and easy ways to help you get started!

Whether you're just starting to get organized, or already have the most comprehensive organizing systems, these strategies and methods will work for you.

So, if your dreaming of an organized closet or losing time everyday searching for clothes, by the end of this post you will have easy and quick ideas to implement into your closet organizing project. Often getting started is the biggest challenge and I have helped friends and clients with this struggle. Disclaimer – the end result might not be a perfect magazine perfect closet but it will fit your life. My book includes an entire chapter on closet organization and I’m giving away this chapter for free!

Let’s jump right in!

1. Current Space

I am a big believer in starting with what you have and then adapting for your lifestyle. As this post is about getting started you need to evaluate the space you have. Is it overflowing and stuffed? Then you probably need to declutter.  With your current space determine how many of the clothes you wear most based on your lifestyle. For example, if you work in a formal office 5 days a week chances are you don’t need the majority of your clothes to be casual and vice versa.  Determine your lifestyle clothing needs and make some (often difficult) decisions based on your current space. In my signature organizing e-course we spend significant amounts of time determining your closet space and the next steps to time saving.

2. Tools

Even small tools can make a big difference and hangers usually make the first big difference. Another disclaimer here, I do not like wire hangers, they do not make your clothes happy. If you’re still using wire hangers, I would strongly advise you to round them up, and bring them to the dry cleaners. If they don’t take them back, donate or recycle them. The most important thing is to get rid of them—as quickly and decisively as possible. 

Quality hangers will last a lifetime, and are essential for preserving your clothing. If you’re buying quality hangers for the first time, it can be expensive, so you might to want go in stages. Tackle your best or favourite items first; for instance, you could start with enough wooden hangers for your blazers, and then expand from there. As usual: after you determine your budget, you have to assess how much space you have.

I have enough shoes
— Said no girl ever!

3. Shoes and Handbags

As much as I love shoes, handbags are an even dearer passion. Every day you need a handbag, and having a good variety of staples will allow you to complete any look while still being organized and able to carry whatever you need for the day or night. How you store your shoes and handbags truly depends on your space and lifestyle.  If your closet is large enough you might want to store all your accessories in the closet. Other ideas could be to keep shoes at the entranceway, I love the Ikea Bissa shoe cabinet for this. For my designer shoes I keep them in boxes with their dust bags and a picture on the outside so I know what is in the box. 

Going back to lifestyle, what types of shoes do you wear most. My lucky friends at Lululemon wear running shoes to work most of the time (so jealous) so that will require a different organizing technique than heels for a corporate job. 

Regardless of the type of shoes, when you store your shoes in matching shoe boxes it makes virtually any closet look organized. It also forces you to keep your shoes clean and polished, since you don’t want to risk ruining the boxes by putting in dirty shoes. 

Now onto handbags, organizing handbags has challenged me for years, and sometimes continues to challenge me to this day. If you’re going to build a true walk-in closet system, I’d make sure that the space has shelves or cubby holes to store handbags. If you don’t have a walk-in closet, you can store your handbags in your entrance hallway on a shelf, or in your wardrobe. I prefer to store all of my handbags in their original dust bags to keep them free from dust and damage; the dust bags let them hibernate until I need to use them again. I try to keep the dust bag label visible so I can easily reach for a bag if I need it. Hooks, open storage boxes, and magazine stands can also make handbag storage unique and organized. I also use pillows to help ensure my handbags keep their shape, I make these myself as I can’t seem to find anything that fits perfectly, I will do a post about these soon!

In my next post I will be sharing some of my key travel packing tips! If you like this post or it was valuable please share with your friends! 

Ready to get organized?

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jane stoller