Your Guide to Closet Organization
August 22, 2021

Nowadays, home improvement and organization is all the rage — especially after spending so much time at home this past year. If you’re like us, you spent hours decluttering, purging, and rearranging your home during quarantine. Our favorite part? The closets, of course. 

We channeled our inner Marie Kondo and asked ourselves if our items sparked joy. We dove into the colorful world of The Home Edit — organizing our closets according to the hues of the rainbow. But which method was the most successful…and rewarding?

We’ve seen (and tried!) a variety of universal organization techniques, but just like in fashion, organization isn’t one-size-fits-all. With this in mind, we think the best way to approach arranging a closet should be customized by person.

Here are four ways to re-organize your closet and who it’s best suited (pun intended!) for —  based on personality traits, commitment to upkeep, and everyday lifestyle. 

By Color

Difficulty level: This is the simplest way to organize your closet. Intuitive for all ages and levels of commitment to organization, it’s a no-brainer way to group your clothes. With only one piece of criteria to keep in mind, it’s easy to keep up with and requires little thought. Other than color, there is no other categorization involved, making your closet — and your peace of mind — easy to maintain.

Who it’s best suited for: If you’re a visual person who likes to build outfits by color, this is the method for you! And, because it only has one rule — color! — it’s a perfect system if you don’t have much time to keep your items organized, or you find organization overwhelming. Kids are also able to understand and keep up with this method, too. 

Tip: This method works best in closets that house a wide variety of colors. If your clothing’s color palette is more neutral, it can become more difficult to clearly see what you have at a glance — your clothes may blend together, and it may take longer to find what you need. 

By Category

Difficulty level: This is another easy organization method, because it’s the most open-ended “prompt” of the four types in this post. You should always start with basic groupings (tops vs. dresses vs. bottoms, etc). From there, you can call it a day, or continue to arrange your pieces by any other type of category you want. It’s the most versatile organization option, because there is no limit to the number of subcategories you can create. 

Who it’s best suited for: If you’re a very methodical, practical person, this is the method for you. You can start on one end of your closet by picking out a top, and then work your way down your closet (and in turn, your body!) to build the rest of your outfit. This said, if you have a lot of different types of garments, this method could also be best suited for you. It’s the most subjective/flexible way to organize, because it truly depends on your lifestyle and fits any type of clothing you have. 

Tip: You can sort clothes within a larger clothing category into more selective subcategories. Take bottoms, for example. You can start by grouping your shorts, skirts, and pants together. From there, you have options! You can choose to arrange all bottoms from shortest to longest in length. Take it one step further by organizing by fabric – for example, placing all jeans next to each other. 

By Occasion

Difficulty level: This one isn’t too bad, either! Sorting your clothes by occasion or activity type is just like sorting by category…it’s all about function vs. style!

Who it’s for: This method is perfect for people on the go, moving from one activity to the next…all while requiring an outfit change along the way. This is not for the classic “day to night look” kind of people. This system works best for people who have a range of uses for their clothes — or many different types. 

Work clothes? Gym clothes? Party clothes? You got it.

Casual? Formal? Fancy? Check. 

Clothes for lounging around? Those too.

Tip: If you’re a busy person, this method makes it easy for you to pick whole outfits quickly based on your day’s schedule of activities. Chances are…if you’re that busy, you don’t have time to curate the perfect outfit(s). Let your closet do the work for you so you don’t have to!

By Season

Difficulty level: This method requires the most effort of the four, because you have to spend time dividing your clothes and thinking about what you would be most likely to wear, when.

Who it’s best suited for: This organizational method makes most sense for people who live in environments that have strong seasonal weather changes (true Fall/Winter vs. Spring/Summer climates), or frequent changes in weather (sunny vs. rainy). Chances are, if you live in an area that has a homogenous climate, this organization method won’t be of much help. You’ll end up with very little separation between the items you own, and not much definition within your closet.

Tip: Organizing this way is the most adaptable for those of us with little closet/storage space in our bedrooms. Of all the methods we’ve covered in this post, the seasonal one lends itself best to splitting up your closet and only keeping what you’re wearing at the moment close by. All out-of-season garments can be kept in storage, in the basement/attic, or under your bed in storage bins while not in use.

We hope we’ve shown you that organization can be for everyone — not just the professionals. And, if you pick the right method, it doesn’t have to feel difficult…it can even be fun!


The Green Team

Written by Jess Owens

Founder & CEO at Greenlist