Organizing the Master Closet - 6 Simple Organizing Tips

Darla DeMorrow
by Darla DeMorrow
2 Materials
30 Minutes

Organizing the master closet can seem daunting to most of us, but I believe it is something that can be done in 30 minutes or less. If your closet is the size of a Manhattan apartment, you have a layer of clothes 6 inches thick on your floor, or you have never, ever done this before, then you might need to break this up into several smaller projects, like shoes one day, drawers one day, and hanging items over a couple of days. I have a small closet, only five feet wide, so it’s got to work hard for me.

I follow a simple closet map…tops on the top, and bottoms on the bottom. We have 4 distinct seasons where I live, but my basic wardrobe covers all seasons. I do not have time or room for a summer/winter wardrobe switch. 1. Sort and Purge First You might be surprised that even professional organizers like me have stuff to purge from the wardrobe. The rules are always the same: if it needs unreasonable mending, if it’s not flattering, too badly stained, if it doesn’t fit now, or I just don’t like it enough to have worn it in the last year, then it needs to be donated.

2. Laundry Baskets Eliminate Sorting Right under the shoe racks, I store 2 of my 3 laundry baskets. Hubby has the other one on his side of the closet. We use these instead of hampers. With open tops, I can make a 3-pointer from across the room. There's no reason to have clothes on the floor.

3. Hanging Pants For pants, I like the dry-cleaner hangers the best, although hubby and I have both tried to warm up to special pants hangers (shown in the back of this picture). They do hang about three inches higher from the floor, but I’m not stressing over it in my closet. 4.Keep Hangers Handy Speaking of hangers, mine never leave my closet. Why spend time wrangling them? I just stack my empties at the end of the rod, which you can see above, and they are all neatly available when I bring a clean load of laundry back in to hang. A nice little side effect is that my closet always has the same amount of hangers. No more, no less. If something new comes in, I have to use the hangers I already have, and part with something older. My mix of white plastic and velvet flocked hangers work for my wardrobe.

5. Separate and See What You’ve Got! My favorite organize gadget is by far these slide-on acrylic shelves above. I started carrying these for clients last year, and honestly can not keep them in stock. Look at what they do for my sweaters!!! Squeel!! So simple. They work great as purse separators, too. No squishing.

6. If You Don’t Wear It… Are you squeezed for space, even in a good sized closet? Do you feel like you hold onto more than you want to? You may think you are wearing your entire wardrobe, but are you really? Usually, we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. That means that 80% of our clothes are taking up space, not feeling the love. You’ve probably heard of this trick before, and it’s so simple. Just turn your hangers backwards on the rod, like this. If you still have anything hanging backwards by the end of the year, you should feel good about parting with it. These simple tips and tricks can keep your master closet organized. Five more closet organizing tips here:

Suggested materials:
  • Custom closet   (HeartWork Organizing)
  • Hangers   (Bed Bath and Beyond)
Darla DeMorrow
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
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  3 questions
  • Eroque022810 Eroque022810 on Dec 14, 2016
    Is this just your clothes? I have started to give things away but can't seem to figure out how best use my walk in, half should be my husbands, that doesn't happen. Men have less clothes it's all the same from one year to the next but women's does change,I'm trying to just stick to basic colors so I can mix and match but it's so hard to give things up. I need about 3 of your shoe holders. LOL Great advice, thanks.

  • Bonnie Huenink Bonnie Huenink on Mar 22, 2017
    Where can I purchase these slide-on acrylic shelves? They would keep our sweaters and sweatshirts SO much neater!

  • Mary Perry Mary Perry on Jan 29, 2019

    Yes, it sounds so easy to do. Now we're do you get clothes hanger rack and the other parts on top to put it togesther? Mp

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  • Terri Terri on Nov 09, 2017
    When I moved to a condo I downsized my wardrobe , I bought just enough hangers for everything .... now when I buy something new , I have to take something off a hanger and give it away,that way my closet stays neat and the thrift store gets some clothes 🙋

  • Claire Claire on May 07, 2021

    If it's too stained for wear in pubic, I use a permanent marker to write inside the neck (back). "Dirt Shirt" or "Paint Pants" or "Mess Dress." Easy to find in a closet or drawer.