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How to Organize Your Clothes Closet by Type and Color-Step by Step Instructions


It can be frustrating looking into your closet and not being able to find what you want to wear. You begin to dig through your clothes, peering into the depth of the racks to see if the desired shirt is stuck between two larger ones. All the while, clothes are falling off of hangers creating a mess on the floor of your closet. Sound familiar? That is how I used to be. I struggled every morning to find an outfit, often making myself late for school -or as I got older- work. Nobody wants to start off their day with a frantic search. So, let’s talk about closet organization. The closet pictured above is my current closet – and no I did not rush to clean it before I snapped that photo. It really looks like that all the time! I am a messy person by nature so if I can do it, you can too. I will give you step by step instructions as to how you can make your closet look like mine.

Step One

First, we need to get everything out of the closet. Let’s make this action efficient, by sorting as we go. Begin pulling items out one or two at a time, and sort them into these categories:

1. Short sleeved shirts

2. Long Sleeved Shirts

3. Tank Tops

4. Sweatshirts

5. Jackets

6. Pants

7. And if needed, work clothes: Pants and shirts

Now, gather all of the empty hangers. You need to pick up all of the items that have fallen onto the floor and hang and sort them as well. There is no sense in having to do this twice when you eventually get around to cleaning the floor later. If you have matching (or at least similar) hangers this works the best. You don’t have to run out and replace all of your hangers right now, but consider picking up a pack or two each time you are in the store. Mixing plastic and those thin, wire hangers seem to cause tangles and mess in closets. If you have a small space, those wire hangers are nice however, because you can fit a lot more on the rack.


Step Two

Now that you have your categories, you need to decide the order that these will be placed in your closet. Make sure that the kind of shirt you wear the most is placed in the part of your closet that is the easiest to get to. If your closet is all easy to get to, then let me suggest this order: Tank tops, short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, sweatshirts (notice the sleeves keep growing? That will look nice in your closet) and then pants. If you have work clothes, add them on one end or the other. I will continue as if you are following this order, but remember to do what works best for your closet.

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Step Three

Grab the stack of tank tops and move them to an open area. Now we will start sorting the colors. Having them sorted by color makes choosing outfits so easy. Matching is a cinch when you have all the available options in one neat section. Here is the order of colors you want to follow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, cream, brown, black, grey and white. If you have colors that are not listed, just match them with the closest color. So grab your tank tops, and start sorting! Once they are sorted, place them in your closet at one end, starting with red and ending with white.


Step Four

Now, we will move on to the second category, your short sleeved shirts. Sort your colors out and then turn to your closet. Here you will have a decision to make. In an effort to make my closet pleasing to the eye I have chosen to start my second category backwards, thus placing the white of my short sleeved shirts (the end first category in my closet) with the white of my tank tops – making white my first color and ending in red. Do what works for you though, if that is too confusing then start over with red. You can play around with it until you find a way that you like.

Step Five

Whichever way you have chosen whether you put white with white and red with red or starting with red each time, continue this with your long sleeved shirts, your sweatshirts, and then your pants. If you look at your closet and see something you don’t like, change it! It is much easier now to fix something that bothers you now, than it will be weeks later after your closet is completely full again.

Step Six

Now that your clothes are in, Congratulations! Be sure to leave a space somewhere for empty hangers, even if it is a laundry basket on the floor. This will keep your closet uncluttered and easier to use. A useful perk to having a closet organized by color is that you can see what color you have too much of, and which colors may need a boost in your wardrobe. If you are lucky, you are even left with space to go shopping!

Step Seven

Now that your closet looks awesome, don’t let it go back to the way things used to be. When I first did this, I was surprised to find that it did not take much more time to put clothes away now than it used to. I just grab like items and stash them with the right color. Once the organization became familiar to me it was quick and easy. Don’t ever just throw the clothes into the closet thinking you will sort them later because you know you never will. Do it right the first time and life will be easier.

Doesn’t your closet look so nice now? Your mornings can have one less stress, knowing that you will be able to find your clothes and pair them easily without digging, pulling, or tugging your way through jumbled clothes. Don’t feel ashamed to share your accomplishment either. Go ahead, snap a photo and post it to Facebook – maybe your friends will want to do the same!


lucille12 on April 13, 2015:

However, similar to how our minds logically organize information that makes sense to us, if we separate closet items into different compartments or sections.

Paula from The Midwest, USA on February 06, 2013:

Hello Colleen, I found your hub to be a great one with neat ideas to try. Thanks so much for sharing. I imagine it has to be so nice to have things so orderly, and how great to get ready in the mornings without the stress! Happy you found a solution, I am likely to try this out!

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