Closet Organization Tips From The Pros

I’m so excited to have professional organizer Emily Maiocco of Next Level Organizing back with another super helpful post, full of great tips to get your closet space in order!

organized clothes closet
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino

As the seasons change there is always a desire to get control of the ever evolving clothing closet. 

Styles change, bodies change and if this past year and a half has taught us anything…storage space needs certainly change too!

 Whether you swap out your seasonal clothing or just need a bedroom closet refresh this blog post is for you.

An organized closet not only improves the function of the space but also improves the look and feel of the space too and we are allll about it feeling good no matter the size, contents or style of the space.

The Best Closet Organization Tips

Here are some of our favorite tips and easy ways to help you achieve an organized closet!

white closet drawers with brass hardware
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino


Think about how you get dressed for the day.

What are you wearing daily?

Assess your everyday items.

One other approach is to think about the items you want to be wearing daily. 

Those are the items that need to be easiest to access.

Even in a small space, it’s best to keep categories together. 

If you always wear workout tops with workout bottoms, consider having them in the same drawer.

Marie Kondo magazine style folded clothes in a drawer
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino

File Fold sweaters and other items within your set of drawers and baskets

This allows you to always see your items at a quick glance.

If evening bags aren’t used often, up high is the perfect location for them to allow for easy access to more frequently used items.

We often use these clutch dividers to separate and display small formal wear bags.

Choose organizing products that make sense for how you live and the space that you have.  

tips for an organized closet drawer
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino

Closet Organization Tips

When organizing items in a drawer we like using drawer dividers like these clear ones or these white ones to help define spaces into different categories.

Think long sleeve shirts versus short sleeve shirts or full length leggings versus cropped leggings.

Dividing up the categories to store items which are similar makes for easy clothing selections on busy mornings.

If you have many small items to corral and a decent budget to work with, drawer organizers like these work well and really elevate the look of the space.

If you are an Ikea fan like me you might want to try these skubb organizers.

They’re a great solution for kids drawers and adult drawers alike on a budget. 

Pro Tip: One of my favorite hacks in a kids sock drawer is to use one of the small sizes for the lonely socks that inevitably turn up waiting for their mate.

closet shelves with color coded designer bags
Photo credit: Next Level Organizing

When corralling items together to put on a shelf these Kiva baskets with these labels are our favorites. 

They slide easily on shelves and don’t snag your clothes.

Display your favorite items & create a color story

Pro tip: if you have handbags that are floppy and need some shape try this: fill the handbag dust bag with packing paper or tissue and insert inside the handbag. If you don’t have a dustbag we also love using old or extra towels from around the home to fill up the space.

It may seem a bit Next Level or over the top but seriously, give it a try and report back.

A color story in a closet (even a super casual one like mine) makes opening your closet door a bit more satisfying to the eye.

It also makes it easier to select clothing in the morning whether it’s a 4” stiletto or a plain white shirt.

This will really give your space a custom closet look.

Also, using the same hangers throughout your closet makes your space much more visually satisfying. 

In closets where we need to fit a lot of items we like using slim, skinny hangers like these flocked ones.

We also love these wooden hangers for skirts, shorts and pants. 

Are you ready to take the first step? 

Follow these tried and true closet organization tips the pros use:

luxury handbags on closet shelf
Photo credit: Next Level Organizing

STEP #1: Take it All Out, Sort it & Decide

Much like our Pantry Organizing Tips, our process for organizing any space starts by taking it all out. 

This is the perfect opportunity to assess what you have without overlooking anything possibly hidden in the back of your closet.

If possible, try to have all laundry and clothing back from the dry cleaner on hand too, so you have a clear picture of what you have.  

It’s always best to start with a clean slate.

Sort by Use

As you pull items out, be sure to sort them by how you use them or think to look for them.

Are your bulky sweatshirts or old tee shirts used for weekend outdoor wear or daily with your pajamas?

Sorting by category will be extremely helpful later in the process when you plan for placement and products.

Bonus Tip: I highly suggest that you do not shop for supplies before organizing. The process of organizing will highlight where you might benefit from using new or repurposed items for organizing.  

Decide what needs to go

Now that your items are sorted, you can start making decisions on what items no longer serve you and should leave your space.

Items you never wear, do not fit, have stains or holes or frankly don’t make you feel good when you wear them are all good contenders to go. 

Make piles of clothes to give to friends, local charities and textile recyclers. 

Now on to the next step …

organized bedroom clothes closet
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino

STEP #2: Give It a Good Scrub

With your closet empty, it’s now a good idea to wipe down the shelves and sweep or vacuum the floor.

It’s also the perfect time to plan for repairs like replacing warped or broken shelves, or adding missing shelf pegs.

STEP #3: Plan Out Your Zones

This step can often feel the most daunting, but here are some helpful things to consider when you are making your plans.

A good rule of thumb is to consider how often you are accessing your items

If you workout daily you will want to have easy access to your workout clothes.

If you only occasionally play tennis or go swimming, making space for those pieces of clothing further out of reach makes sense. 

Place items by what you use most and continue from there. 

Consider what categories may work better in another space

If off season items are taking up too much room, consider moving it to a storage closet that might have extra space.  

Create Zones in drawers and on shelves.

Keeping similar categories together makes it easier to find what you need when you need it.

For example, keep your workout socks, sports bra, pants and tank tops all together or near each other if you always use them together. 

Same goes with dressy items. 

If you have long hanging formal dresses, try to keep your evening bags and shawls nearby.


organized linen closet with baskets
Photo credit: Next Level Organizing

STEP #4: Contain a/k/a storage ideas

While it’s very tempting to purchase the product first, keep this as the last step.

Since you’ve taken the time to sort out unwanted items and planned out zones, you can now see the reality of the category sizes and decide on the best way to contain them, if necessary.

Open baskets are an easy way to contain your categories.

This also makes it easy to hide items that might otherwise look messy like bathing suits & cover ups, scarves and dust bags.

Baskets without a lid are super user friendly, and allow for quick retrieval and returning items. 

Drawer organizers and dividers are also the best option when dividing up categories so items don’t get “lost” in the mix.

bath robes organized in closet
Photo credit: Julia D’Agostino

STEP #5: Label

Labeling baskets or bins is a great way to ensure you know what is up on those high shelves.

Step 6: Take a Step Back & Adjust All Of These Closet Organization Tips

Take time to step back and assess the big picture.

For example: Are there off-season/lesser used items that would make more sense in a container up high, instead of taking up valuable real estate at eye level?

Do you want to play with your storage containers a bit for a more visually pleasing look?

Now is the time to do it!

Most important of all, keep in mind that your closet (and all closet systems) should evolve with you as your life changes.

You will not always be the same size or want to wear the same style of clothes. 

Evaluating your wardrobe twice a year is a great way to maintain your space and set you up to feel good when you get dressed each day.

If a system is not working for you, don’t feel defeated!

Even in my own home, I have to remain flexible about moving things around until it works best for our family’s storage needs. 

Thanks for having me here today on the zhush!!!

Emily Maiocco, CPO® Next Level Organizing

Additional Organizing Tips and Inspiration:

Hope you loved all of these great closet organization tips!

If you’re looking for even more inspiration and ideas to get your home organized, be sure to check out these other posts by clicking on each title below-

How to Organize Important Paperwork

Eight Amazon Finds Professional Organizers Swear By

How To Keep Your Kitchen Counters Organized

Even More Closet Organizing Ideas


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