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How To Organize a Closet In One Afternoon + Best Closet Organizers

Let’s make your closet neat, clean and tidy FAST.

Researched, written by Amber & The Team
Updated on August 31, 2023

Woman Learning How To Organize A Closet

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Clothes Neatly Hanging In The Closet On Hangers

You have probably struggled with the state of your closet many times in your life.

You have also probably often wondered how to organize a closet, once and for all.

Well, can I tell you a quick story?

I promise it’s relevant.

A few years ago, I met a very inspiring woman (let’s name her Lisa).

We met at a baby shower, talked a lot, agreed on various topics, and eventually became friends.

Now, Lisa was a real superwoman – always good-looking, always smiling, always ready to work (she was a real estate consultant) and her home was always MEGA organized.

Like, if you visited her home, it always looked like she had a maid who made sure that not a single nano-dust was in sight.

Being a lover of a tidy home, I admired that a lot and even envied her a little (“where does she find enough time to do that?”).

One day, we were spending time in her living room, chatting about our daily struggles when suddenly we heard a loud *POP!* in the bathroom.

We ran to see what happened and saw that her tap water pipe has burst and there was water – leaking everywhere like crazy!


We need to stick something in that hole or else it will damage the downstairs neighbor’s apartment!” – shouted Lisa.

She tried stopping the flow with a small face towel but it was definitely not enough.

“Go to my bedroom and get the biggest towel you can find, quickly!” – she yelled in a panicky voice and I literally flew there in a second.

In her bedroom, I saw a big closet with sliding doors and quickly ran to look for a towel.

I opened the door and… I was stunned.

That closet was A TOTAL NIGHTMARE!

And by that I mean a literal mess everywhere – clothes piled up to the ceiling, socks, underwear, towels shoved into overflowing drawers, dirty shoes rolling around at the bottom…

For a second I couldn’t believe it – Lisa’s home was squeaky clean and organized to the roof, but she didn’t know how to organize a closet (or maybe just didn’t care to?)

I remembered about the water, quickly grabbed the first towel I could find, and ran to help Lisa.

I held the towel against that bursting pipe hole while Lisa called emergency plumbers who came in 10 minutes (I’m still impressed) and fixed the issue.

After that, I left to change my soaking-wet clothes.

So… What’s the moral of the story?

No matter how neat you think a person is, trust me, everyone winds up with a messy closet sometimes!

Even Lisa, a queen of a mega-organized home, had a secret mess hiding in her bedroom.

I still can’t explain why (and at this point, I am too afraid to ask), but honestly – it’s not shameful, nor is it bad – I guess it’s just how life is.

So, if you’re sitting in your room and looking at your closet mess, now knowing how to organize a closet, please know that it’s okay.

Don’t think that all of your friends have perfectly tidy closets at all times.

In fact, I bet Jenna from your work is desperately trying to find a sock in hers now.

The good thing is – it’s fixable!

It might look like a huge amount of work – and it probably is, but fear not.

I bundled up a few tips on how to organize a closet in one afternoon with a small amount of effort.

By using the following tips you can organize your closet in a matter of just a couple of hours!

So, put your brave face on and get ready to find a secret of a streamlined wardrobe.


How To Organize A Closet 101


1. What Do You Need To Organize Your Closet?


Before actually learning how to organize your closet and sorting through clothes, you will have to clean and remove all the dust inside.

It means that you will need some cleaning supplies!

Get ready things like trash bags, soap, warm water, a cloth, rags, boxes, hangers, organizers, and even some pen and paper to label stuff and prevent future cluttering.


2. Get Everything Out Of Your Wardrobe


Think of it as a spring cleaning.

Everything needs to get out prior to you getting organized.

It is true that at first, it looks like a drastic approach, but it is actually rather productive!

This way you will learn how to organize a closet a lot quicker than you expect.


3. Clean Everything, Vacuum, And Make Sure There Is No Dust Left


Dust particles can lead to allergies, especially in sensitive people.

So, you will want to remove it before placing your clothes back in.

Also, just in general, it’s much nicer to place your clean clothes on a clean surface.

Wipe down the entire closet with cleaning products and vacuum the dirtiest areas too, for example where you store shoes or boxes.

It’s a very important step in learning how to organize a closet, don’t skip it!


4. Sort Everything Through


The ultimate step when learning how to organize a closet is sorting through every single closet item you own.

Take four large baskets and use them as follows:

  1. One for stuff you want to give away
  2. One for items that need to be washed
  3. One for things that are clean and that you want to keep
  4. One for items that need to be thrown away (ripped, stained, unusable items).

Get rid of everything that is damaged or you don’t wear anymore.

Stick to the items you like and have worn more often in the past year.

Also, while figuring out how to organize a closet, organize stuff depending on their purpose – make a designated space for bags or backpacks, space for shoes, a separate one for belts, and one for scarves and gloves.

Jeans and pants should be in one place, while T-shirts or blouses in another.

I personally prefer hanging instead of folding but this one is up to you.

Dresses and flowy blouses, however, should hang freely on the hanger.

Organized Clothes In A Closet

Straight on the floor at the bottom of your closet, you can stack your shoes, preferably in shoe boxes (you can mark them with a marker so you always know which box contains which shoes).


5. Only Hang And Fold What You Will Continue To Wear


As I’ve mentioned above, one of the most important notions when learning how to organize a closet is keeping only the items you need!

So, to avoid wasting time, hang and fold only those items that you intend on keeping!

And just in case you have a really long afternoon, a great tip for keeping things even more organized is ironing clothes before placing them on a hanger.

This will help you dress up quickly and not make a mess in the search for something less wrinkled.


6. Do Some Laundry


In order to figure out how to organize a closet in one afternoon, you will have to get proactive.

Before rearranging your closet stuff, or while you’re hanging clothes that are already clean, consider doing some laundry.

It will help get those clean clothes ready at the same time you finish organizing your closet.


7. Plan To Give Away What You Don’t Wear


A common-sense rule for preventing clutter in the wardrobe is to give away everything that you don’t use, but that can still be used by someone else.

Don’t think twice about giving stuff that you don’t need or use away.

Just consider the fact that there is someone out there who would feel happy to have those items to wear!

Cleaning your closet is all about clearing out the chaos and mess, so unnecessary clothes need to go, and if it can also serve a good purpose, it’s just another reason to do that.


Best Closet Organizers To Get


There are also a lot of closet organizers that you can get online to both increase your closet storage space and keep things extra tidy!

Here are my best closet-organizing finds on Amazon.


1. Closet organizers for extra shelves


Closet Organizer With Extra Shelves

MustQ Hanging Closet Organizer


2. Closet organizers for bags and purses


Closet Organizer To Neatly Store Bags And Purses

Zober Hanging Purse Organizer For Closet


3. Closet organizers for clothes that can be folded


Closet Organizers For Foldable Clothes

Simple Houseware Foldable Cloth Storage Boxes (Set of 6)


4. Closet organizers for seasonal clothes, blankets, and heavy stuff


Closet Organizes For Blankets And Bigger, Seasonal Clothes.

Housecraft 3PCS Clothes Storage Bags


5. Closet organizers for bras, tank tops, and cami blouses


Closet Organizers For Tank Tops, Bras.

Magicool Cami Hanger 2 Pack


6. Closet organizers for pants


Pants Hanger In A Closet

DOIOWN S-Type Stainless Steel Clothes Pants Hanger


7. Closet organizers that save space


Compact Closet Organizers For Shirts

HOUSE DAY Black Magic Hangers


And there are a lot more, but I can’t physically fit all those genius tools here.

You can check them all out right here.


Keep a Close Eye on Your Closet


Usually, it is not enough to just tidy things in a one-afternoon sitting.

If you want to keep that tidiness in order, you may have to set up a routine and keep things in place.

Constant maintenance promotes a habit of keeping things in order and will get you easy access to clothes whenever you need them.

Also, it is a great idea to thoroughly clean your closet at least three times a year, to avoid a situation like Lisa’s nightmare closet.


Helpful things to ask yourself when cleaning or maintaining your closet:


  • Have I worn it recently?
  • Do I need it?
  • Does it actually fit me?
  • Is it in good condition?

These four questions will get you a deeper understanding of what to keep in your wardrobe and what you can give away.

It is true that it’s hard to say goodbye to things you own…

But for the sake of an organized closet, it’s best to make room for new items that will actually be used and loved.

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