First, here's the space we're working with, a medium-sized master closet (though according to most people who go on House Hunters, apparently this closet is pretty small by their standards).
1) Organize by color. I know that when friends look at my closet they mostly make fun of me for this reason. Who has two thumbs and has a perfectly color-coded closet? This guy! And you know why it works? Because it makes getting ready in the morning so easy. It also makes shopping easier. When you see your rainbow of clothes, it's easier to see what you're missing rather than going out and purchasing your 10th blue sweater.
2) Take your clothes out of dry-cleaning bags right when you bring them home. We don't dry clean that often, but when we do I hate the way our closet has the potential to become disorganized. Also, if I didn't take all those little tags and plastic thingys off Matt's button-down shirts, I would be picking them off a dresser or the closet floor for weeks. Spending 10 minutes to put everything in its place saves aggravation later.
3) Put dresses in plastic garment bags. This way you can see what you've got, but you won't have your dresses collecting dust like mine used to be. This garment bag is from the Container Store.
4) Put dress pants and skirts on tiered hangers. I have two hangers for dress pants, that can hold up to eight pairs collectively, and I have significantly more for skirts. I have my skirts divided into wool skirts, non-school skirts (too short!), spring/summer skirts, and year-round skirts (most black skirts and jean skirts). I have these hangers from Bed Bath and Beyond.
5) Put sweaters in plastic storage bins. I moved to this system when I discovered last year that my favorite black sweater had apparently gone to the moths. So I bought these plastic vinyl zippered cases from the Container Store, which come in packages of two for $10. I used three for my sweaters, which are, of course, organized by color.
I bought some for Matt, too, and he used them (mostly) until one zipper broke, and then I think it became too much effort, because he kept putting his sweaters on top of the bags but not in them. So I decided Matt needed something easier to use on a day-to-day basis. I opted for these green canvas totes from Bed Bath and Beyond for Matt's sweaters, which I divided into Patterned Sweaters and Solid Sweaters. There's no top to deal with on the containers, so it's one less step.
6) Get your shoes off the ground. We have these shelves in the middle of the closet which mostly house Matt's shoes. My shoes, which tend to be much smaller in size, fit nicely in these two hanging shoe racks. I've had these since I was a kid, and I don't remember where they're from, but you can get them just about anywhere, including Target. My shoes are mostly divided up into heeled versus flat and open-toed versus close-toed.
- Two hampers: one for Matt, and one for me (Matt's hamper is visible in the picture above)
- A tie hanger for Matt. He only needs one as he has a fairly limited tie collection (unlike yours, Brandon! Hello to Australia!)
- A hook for my belts. Again, I don't have many.
- A hook for my purses, which are also lacking.
- A low shelf that existed when we moved in (along with all the other closet shelving that was already in place upon our arrival) which houses my four pairs of boots.
Remember, before you can organize your closet you must purge anything you haven't worn in a year. Then you can sort, figure out some storage solutions and get to work. Don't forget to arrange by color!