How to Organize Your Closet, According to Interior Designers

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Last Updated
May 19, 2022

We’ve all been there—digging through piles of clothes in search of a specific top or skirt. This far-too-familiar scenario is typically the result of an unorganized closet, which can be the culprit for a chaotic morning. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Whether you’re building out a new closet entirely or want to spruce up your current space, we’ve tapped interior designs and home organization experts for their secrets on turning your closet into a gorgeous storefront. 

How to Organize Your Closet


Start with a theme.

Before you bring in your garments and accessories, Shaolin Low, owner of Studio Shaolin, recommends deciding on a theme or aesthetic for the space. “Even if it’s just neutral, themes help to create an organized look,” she says. Once you’ve decided on a theme, it’ll be easier for you to make decisions about every aspect of the space—whether it's the color of the walls, the accent furniture, or the style of the hangers.


Edit your belongings.

Getting rid of items can be the hardest part of organizing your closet. Zoe Katz, co-founder of Twice as Organized, recommends asking yourself the following: When was the last time I wore or used this item? Does it have sentimental value? If the answer to these questions is no, you probably no longer need it.

To efficiently and sustainably let go of clothing, she recommends online consignment stores, such as thredUP or The RealReal. “They provide you with a label and you can attach it to any box and send them your items,” she says. "They list and sell them for you and if they cannot be sold, they donate them."


Consider the lighting.

For Maria Castillero, lead designer at Spacejoy, the lighting in your closet is critical for how you start your day. “You need to have good lighting to get ready,” she says. “Using a clean white light is ideal for these types of rooms.” If you happen to have a window in your closet, Maria suggests placing a full-length mirror on the opposite wall. That way, you can “double up on the natural lighting," she says. 


Create a space you want to spend time in.

To make your closet feel extra special, Rachael Grochowski, principal architect and designer at RHG Architecture + Design, recommends adding a coffee area or mini-fridge for a hospitality bar feel. If you’re looking to add a personal touch to the space, Brittany Farinas, CEO and creative director at House of One, adds that accessorizing the space with things like silk florals, decorative objects, and magazines will allow you to showcase items that you love and add an elevated feel to the room.


Disguise the clutter.

We all have items in our closets that aren't the most aesthetically pleasing, whether that's socks, old sneakers, or a collection of mismatched scarves. To discretely store those items, Kevin Francis O’Gara, founder of Kevin Francis Design, recommends investing in storage benches. If you have your sweaters, sweatshirts, or workout clothes displayed on your shelves, Abigail Price, interior designer and owner of Abbode, advises using decorative bins and baskets to make the shelves feel less messy.


Display your beautiful accessories.

“Shoes and handbags should always be displayed on floating shelves,” says Karine Bouganim, owner of Karine OCD. This will make room on your floor, add a pop of color to your closet, and make it easier to find the shoe you’re looking for in a hurry. But, floating shelves aren’t only about utility. According to Price, they’re also “a great opportunity to mix storage and decor.” She recommends styling a pair of show-stopping heels on coffee table books or placing your bags between artful bookends.


Opt for sleek drawers to create uniformity.

When you’re picking the drawers and cabinets for your closet, Megan Molten, lead designer at Megan Molten Studio, recommends taking the less-is-more route. “I love clean front, no mess, no fuss drawers with a simple edge pull,” she says. In a space with such a wide variety of items, it’s best to keep drawers clean and simple to create a foundation that feels polished and clean, she says. 


Use your closet to cut time in your morning routine.

Whether you rush through your morning routine or take your time, it’s critical to have items in your closet that make your day more efficient. “If you have space for an island, you should absolutely go for it,” says Farinas. “That way, you can lay out your clothes and there are drawers to hold each category of accessories, such as sunglasses, belts, and beyond.” 

Low also recommends dedicating a space to steam or iron your clothes. This could be on top of the island, in the corner of your closet, or on a mounted ironing board. Just make sure you have an outlet nearby so you can avoid having cords throughout your space.


Add a finishing touch with wallpaper or art.

To make the space feel personal and add a touch of decor, Grochowski recommends installing bold wallpaper or large art pieces to give your closet ambiance. Ashley Grech, co-founder of Thirteen Oak Interior Design Studio, shares the same sentiment. “We love adding texture, dimension, and a pop of color to bare walls," she says. "Wallpaper speaks to the design and the client so it gives a more custom feel.”

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