How to Organise Your Closet

Wardrobe overhaul tips

Updated on December 17, 2017 14:12 pm

Does the thought of cleaning out your closet send a shiver down your spine? Decluttering your wardrobe is a task that often gets pushed onto Future You, but not anymore. Today we are going to tackle this chore head-on, and who knows, maybe you will find an old shirt that’s back in style or some great pieces you can sell at a local consignment shop.

Strategies for Cleaning Out Your Closet

Once you’ve committed to organising your closets and dressers, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Start by taking a deep breath, pouring yourself a glass of wine, and following these steps to a clutter-free wardrobe:

Keep It, Toss It, Donate It, Sell It

Designate an area to put everything from your closet and dressers; we recommend using your bed to avoid having to bend or crouch on the floor. Once everything is removed from your closet and dresser drawers, it’s time to begin sorting.

Clothes in your laundry basket is an automatic keep; they have obviously been worn recently and are part of your weekly rotation. A good rule of thumb is, if you haven’t worn an item in over a year, it’s time to part with it. Before you toss something, inspect it for holes, fraying seams, missing buttons, etcetera. If the pieces are still in good condition, consider putting them in the donation pile and bringing them to a local charity. Brand-name pieces that you no longer wear or use can often be resold online or at a consignment shop. Still not sure what you should do with a piece? Use our handy flowchart to help you decide!

Hung Up on Hangers

There are four common types of hangers: wood, wire, felt, and plastic. I recommend avoiding wire hangers at all costs. While they are economical to purchase, they can warp your clothing, cause deep wrinkles, and even transfer rust to your favourite garment. Not to mention, wire hangers often get tangled together and are very flimsy. They can sag under the weight of heavy items, and clothing can slip off them altogether.

Wood and felt hangers are aesthetically pleasing; however, they can be pricey. If you aren’t ready to splurge on hangers, I recommend picking up plastic hangers. They are low-cost and come in a variety of colours.

Clothes to hang:

Blouses and dress shirts
Dress pants

Clothes to fold:

Items with heavy embellishments

Folding Hacks

Socks. Lay matching socks on top of each other. Fold the open ends halfway down. Fold the toes up to so the ends meet and tuck them into the leg holes.

Button-downs. Dress shirts are usually hung; however, if you are travelling or short on space, knowing how to properly fold can help prevent wrinkles. Start by placing the shirt button side-down on a flat surface. Fold one sleeve a third of the way across the back. Flip the sleeve over and down so it is aligned with your fold. Repeat this technique with the other sleeve so it is lying flat and slightly overlapping your first fold. Fold the hem of the shirt up to the back collar to complete the process.

Shirts. Lay your shirt on a flat surface. Use your right hand to grasp it between the shoulder seam and collar while your left hand pinches the fabric halfway down the shirt; both hands should be aligned. Fold your right hand over your left hand in a straight line and grab the bottom hem of the shirt. Still pinching, lift the shirt and uncross your arms. Fold the shirt in half one more time, and you are done!

Bras. A messy underwear drawer could be ruining your favourite bras. Stack them in your drawer to help them maintain their form and last longer.

The Basics

After all your hard work tossing and folding, it’s time to take inventory of what you own. Use our checklist as a guide to building a timeless wardrobe. These pieces make up the basis of any great wardrobe and will never go out of style, so go ahead and splurge a little on them!


  • White button-down
  • Coloured button-down
  • Crewneck sweater
  • Solid polo shirt
  • Slim-fit chinos
  • Well tailored suit
  • Dark jeans
  • Quality T-shirts
  • Leather belt to match shoes
  • Colourful socks
  • Dress shoe
  • Casual leather shoe
  • Dress watch
  • Solid tie
  • V-neck sweater


  • Short-sleeve white T-shirt
  • Long-sleeve black shirt
  • Neutral color cardigan
  • Dark skinny jean
  • Pencil skirt
  • Blazer
  • White dress shirt
  • Black turtleneck
  • Wrap dress
  • Crewneck sweater
  • Black pants
  • Casual sneakers
  • Ballet flats
  • Black pumps

One Final Tip: To avoid having to go through this process every few months, apply the rule of one-in-one-out to all your purchases. If you buy a new piece of clothing or pair of shoes, you must eliminate something from your closet to make room for them. This will help you stay organised and could help you save money!

Article originally published in Edited and reposted with permission.

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