When most people say organized, I’d say that most people think, practical, orderly, and clean. These are valid descriptions (sans to those who have mastered organized chaos, to which I tip my hat), but a limited way of understanding the act of organizing.
As a preface, I studied library and information science and regularly reorganize my living spaces. I suppose this makes me a bit of an organizational nerd, but a title I am proud to wear and even happier to practice.
Organizing, at its core, is all about the arrangement of elements, items, and spaces to cultivate a certain response. Minimalism is often organized to keep everything in sight and prevent excessive accumulation of stuff. Organized chaos is optimized to keep enough together to get stuff done without having to do the larger act of keeping things clean.
Closet (and/or dresser, wardrobe, etc.) organization is a construct ripe with potential. From practicality to creativity to order, there are countless ways our clothes-holding spaces influence the way we dress and style ourselves
While you might already be organizing your closet by color, or season, lengths, or item type (mine is currently a type-sleeve-style-color hybrid), there are many other ways to organize your closet. Today I’m sharing ten fresh ways to organize your closet and what each method can do for you. They fall into two categories, practical creativity
Organizing for Practical Creativity
1. Occasion // Mood
You can sort clothes into casual, work, and formal, but how about we get a little more specific than that? How about, “Days I need to go out but I want to wear my pajamas,” or “When I want to feel like a million bucks”? If you dress mostly by your mood day to day, this would be a great way to gather pieces and outfits and have them ready for you when the mood arrives.
2. Style // Aesthetic
If your personal style is a conglomerate of well-defined styles (boho, edgy, preppy, casual, romantic, classic, etc) organize pieces by the aesthetic they create. This way, if you are decked out in boho and want a bit of structure to balance the look, you can go to your classic section. If you want to feel like a princess, all your tulle and lace will be in one place so you can create the most feminine look you desire.
3. Fit // Cut
Do you have common fittings/cuts in your closet? (Think elements like oversizing, tailoring, waistlines, dress shape, necklines, etc) Organizing items by those tailoring elements can make it easier for you to find pieces to balance out your look. For example, I love chunky sweaters, but I also love wide leg pants. The two don’t always work together well (i.e. drowning in fabric) but if my items are organized by fit, I can easily see my more fitted/slimmer tops for wide legs, and slimmer pants for oversized tops.
4. Temperature // Weight
5. Pattern // Texture
These are great for those who organize by color or item type and need another layer of organization. Consider pulling patterns from plain colors, or sorting by color and have a plain and patterned section within that color. Organizing by textures like suede, leather, tweed, crepe, or tulle would create another level of distinction.
Organizing for Insight
6. Timeline // Age
For those of you curious about how long your clothes last (whether by body changes, quality, or fashion cycles). Organizing your clothes by their age is a great way to see your spending and wearing habits. It also will help you figure out what types of clothes last longest for your lifestyle.
7. Alphabetical by Brand // Store
This is another method to help you track your spending habits, but will also give you ideas on where to look for inspiration. While a rather odd way to organize, this is a fantastic way for those considering changes to or further developing their style. It’s visual statistics without the numbers.
For those working towards sustainable or ethical wardrobes, organizing by fabric might give you a better snapshot of what you’re wearing. Fabric can also impact the drape and flow of a piece, so this method goes hand in hand with organizing by fit and cut.
Another visual statistic. You’ll see how often you wear an item, how it holds up, and how you wear various price points together or separated.
Despite all you do, do your favorite pieces always end up in the front of your closet? Rather than fight it, embrace it. Organize pieces by your favorites to least. Live with this arrangement a few months and evaluate your closet again. Consider giving away what you haven’t worn, or replacing what you wear but don’t like. This is an optimal set up for those looking to reduce their closets (like I did!).
Have you used any of these methods before? How are you organizing your closet right now? Do you have any other methods to add? Let me know in the comments!