How to Organize Your Closet, According to Women Who Really Have Their Lives Together
An exclusive look inside the real closets of women who are organized, successful, and have all their hangers lined up just so.
Working from home over the past year has given many of us a newly intimate look into our coworkers’ home lives. We’ve seen kids make adorable appearances in the background of Zoom calls, learned who does and doesn’t arrange their books by spine color, and discovered that cats seem to really like walking across keyboards.
But there’s one tantalizing space we don’t usually get access to, and that’s the closet. How people keep their clothes can be very telling, and often educational, which is why I asked six aspirational women to give us a glimpse into their organization systems—including our Chief Creative Officer, Miyako, whose closet I’ve always been very curious about…
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Annette Harris, Owner & Founder of Harris Financial Coaching
“Clothes that I hang in my closet are my work clothes, evening wear, and weekend wear, all organized by category and sorted by color from light to dark. My pants are organized from formal, to capris, to jeans. Sweaters are rolled and sorted by color on a middle shelf. On the top shelf of my closet are all my purses, organized by color, and the floor is where I store my shoes, organized from weekend wear to work wear.
This method of organization allows me to get my day going faster—I don’t spend time standing in my closet trying to figure out what to wear. It’s also a money-saving technique I use to reduce clothing purchases. Knowing how many of an item I have and what color it is reduces my urge to purchase another black dress.”
“I’m a copywriter, and the best part of my job is that I get the work from anywhere. That’s why, in the last 3 years, I have joined the digital nomad club and have been traveling the world while working remotely. Now things get interesting when it comes to organizing my closet. Since I move around a lot, being organized has become more and more important. I used to be a messy closet kind of girl, but all that changed in recent years.
I am now a minimalist, which, in my case, means that I have fewer clothes and only buy a new piece if it sparks joy.
I have a capsule closet—a few dresses, 4 bottoms, 6 tops, and other types of clothing (cardigans, a scarf, an Indian outfit, a Cambodian outfit, and other things I picked up in my travels). The first thing I do whenever I am in a new place is hang my dresses and tops. Hanging helps decrease wrinkles and makes it easier for me to see what I want and quickly grab it. I also love to coordinate my outfit by season (summer/winter) and function (sporty outdoor/occasion/loungewear/casual outdoor).
I often find myself grabbing the same pieces when going out for a casual walk in town or grocery shopping, which has led to prioritizing these pieces toward the front or at the top of the pile.”
Shaina Kerrigan, Founder of Molly J.
“To start, my closet is split on two sides—one for when I want to look put together (think dresses, jumpsuits, business attire, etc.), the other for casual wear. This includes two shelves of jeans (I have way too many!) and a hanging rack of tops. Everything is organized by color, because I’ve learned that, while I care about how fabrics and shapes pair up, I’m particularly critical of how shades mix. I started organizing by color about 6 years ago, and I swear it’s cut my dressing routine time in half!
That said, there’s one secret about my closet. For pretty much all my life, I’ve always had some version of ‘the chair’—a place to throw clothes I tried on but didn’t wear and don’t have time to hang back up. I’ve always averted my eyes in shame about ‘the chair,’ telling myself I need to stop being so messy and take better care of my clothes.
Maybe it was the pandemic or the self-love I’ve been prioritizing lately, but about a year ago, I decided to take a different approach. There’s a tabletop space in my closet above a few random drawers that I never really knew what to do with. About a year ago, I moved the content of ‘the chair’ to ‘the tabletop’ and told myself I could use this space freely and without judgement, just as long as I tried at least to fold the discarded clothing. Fast forward to today when I use ‘the tabletop’ as a space for all my sweaters, folded nice and neatly but with zero color coordination or excuse for being there.”