7 ways to organize your wardrobe, according to experts

Inside a wardrobe
Inside a wardrobe (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you have more clothes than closet space, you’ll need to know these clever ways to organize your wardrobe. 

Wardrobes are notoriously hard to keep neat and tidy, and can often become the dumping ground for our clothes, shoes or accessories. This is especially the case if you keep adding to it without culling anything! What’s more, if you don’t have an organized wardrobe, it will make it almost impossible to see or find anything in a hurry. Not to mention, create a stressful environment on a daily basis.  

Luckily, there are easy ways to organize your wardrobe, without having to invest in a bigger one! According to our experts, all you need is strategic planning and savvy storage to keep a neat and attractive closet space. 

So, if you want to keep your clothes in check, here are clever ways to organize your wardrobe, according to experts. 

Plus, check out these 5 tips to store suits and these are the 5 things that professional organizers wouldn't buy.

1. Give your wardrobe a good clear out  

Pile of clothes

Pile of clothes (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Although it can seem overwhelming when faced with a pile of clothing, it’s a good time to start the culling process! And just like learning how to declutter your home, clearing out your wardrobe is an opportunity to discard things that you don’t wear, need, or even like anymore, that are taking up precious space. 

“Organizing your wardrobe starts with decluttering. Set aside some time and sort your wardrobe into these categories: keep, chuck, and sell/giveaway,” says Jenny Shu, Interiors Expert at Property Rescue. “These days, there are some great sites, including eBay and local social media selling groups which allow you to not only declutter but to make a few quid in the process.”

What’s more, learning how to declutter your wardrobe will create a clean, minimalist space. While it's easier said than done, try and be ruthless when deciding what to get rid of. And be sure not to fill back the extra room with new things!

2. Seasonal sorting 

Lavender next to pile of sweaters

Lavender next to pile of sweaters (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another way of organizing your wardrobe is to neatly store away your winter wardrobe once the weather gets warmer. Not only will knitwear be unwearable in summer, but can take up a huge chunk of space. 

“If you have limited wardrobe space, this will be made worse by keeping bulky jumpers around in the middle of summer or racks of sundresses in winter,” agrees Shu, “As each new season approaches, remove items that won’t be used for a while and invest in a few vacuum-sealed under-bed bags to store them neatly and without taking up a huge amount of space.” 

In addition, if you have winter coats, dresses, suits or other delicate items like furs, these should be hung on a hanger and placed inside cotton garment bags. Unlike plastic garment bags, 100% cotton is more breathable to allow proper ventilation, and will protect from dust and condensation. 

What’s more, most garment bags are moth-proof such as these Clear Garment Bags for Hanging Clothes ($17, Amazon) to protect your sweaters, coats or any other clothing from pests. If you have spotted holes in your sweaters though, check out how to get rid of moths in your home. 

3. Divide your wardrobe space 

Organized closet

Organized closet (Image credit: Shutterstock)

To prevent a pile-up of clothes in one area, another great way of organizing a wardrobe is to divide the space. This will ensure that certain items are kept in one area, and will make things easier to locate and store. In addition, if you have a compact wardrobe, this will save you storage space, and look less cluttered.

"The layout of your wardrobe determines how you eventually organize your wardrobe,” says William Durrant, Owner of Herringbone Kitchens, “We love a combination of drawers and hanging space as well as open shelving and wall space - this goes for both a walk-in wardrobe and a fitted one.”

You can easily install acrylic shelf dividers for clear partitions, such as these  Hmdivor Clear Acrylic Shelf Dividers — 8 pack ($26, Amazon), to organize your items. Utilize open shelving for items that you can display, or invest in storage bags/boxes like these 90L Large Storage Bags — 6 pack ($29, Amazon), to place on shelves or on the floor. 

“The right storage is key in organizing your wardrobe space and if you have a combination of pull out drawers and hanging space you get the opportunity to easily see what you have in your space without having to rummage around too much,” Durrant adds. 

4. Categorize your clothing

Colored shirts hanging up

Colored shirts hanging up (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you often rummage through your wardrobe looking for that favorite top or pair of jeans, categorize your items instead. 

By grouping your clothing into obvious categories, this will make things easier to find. In addition, this will help you store items away neatly.

You can separate your clothes into categories like jeans, dresses, tops, sportswear, or accessories. Or even sort them into color schemes — whatever will make your life easier! 

“Even if you only have a teeny tiny wardrobe, you can help to give it some clarity and save time in the mornings by organizing it by category - ie, all your pants together and all your dresses together,” suggests Shu, “You can even go one step further and then sort by color. If you can, leave a little space at the end of the hanging rack and, each evening, select and hang up your outfit for the following morning”. 

5. Don’t hang up knitwear 

Pile of sweaters

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

While it might be tempting to hang up everything, avoid doing this with bulky knitwear. Not only will this take up precious space, but can also ruin delicate fabrics if snagged on other hangers. In addition, if you already have a crammed wardrobe, this can crush the knitwear, making them lose their shape.

“Sweaters and cardigans tend to take up a lot of space when hanging in your wardrobe — and this can also cause them to be pulled out of shape,” agrees Shu, “Installing a few shelves in your wardrobe can really help here, allowing you to neatly store knitwear and keep it folded flat to help it to retain its shape.” 

6. Hang up accessories 

Hanging scarves

Hanging scarves (Image credit: Shutterstock)

On the other hand, if you tend to fold scarves or throw other accessories into a drawer, you can hang these instead. You can even hang on the back of doors if you’re limited on storage space. 

“If you’re in the habit of keeping scarves, beads and other accessories in a jumble in a drawer, it's time to get hanging!” says Shu. “Invest in some coat hangers with clips —or even just use clothes pegs — and hang your accessories up in your wardrobe or behind a door for easy access. You can even try ice cube trays for earrings; these are great for separating pairs and are usually stackable to save space.” 

What’s more, if you have a compact closet, try a double-hang rod with two levels of hanging rods, which will utilize horizontal storage space effectively.  

7. Invest in shoe organizers 

Shoe storage

Shoe storage (Image credit: Amazon)

Storing footwear can also take up closet space, and create clutter when not organized. And if you’re tight on space, there are various shoe racks or storage solutions to suit your needs. 

“If you’re a shoe fanatic, you’ll know that these can take up a lot of room,” agrees Shu. “If you have the space, install shelves or shoe organizers and alternate the way that your shoes are facing - ie. some facing forward, some facing backwards, as this will help to maximize your space. You can also use your shoes to add style by putting some of your favorites on display.”

For small apartment dwellers, over-the-door racks are a functional way to organize shoes. Designed to mount easily over doors of any thickness, these have protective, felt pads to avoid any damage. This can transform your door into the perfect shoe storage or accessories place. We can recommend this Gorilla Grip Shoe Holder Rack for Over the Door ($11, Amazon), designed to be odor-free and dust-resistant.  

If you have piles of footwear by the front door however, try these 9 space-saving ideas to organize shoes in your entryway.  

More from Tom's Guide

If you want more tips, these are 5 clever hacks professional organizers swear by. Plus, do you have any of these 9 things you’re hoarding, which you should throw away right now?

Also, if you have a tiny kitchen, here are 7 ways to double your space in a small kitchen.  Or if you have a compact bedroom, try these 7 hacks to make a small bedroom look bigger

Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!