Cleanse the Closet: Tips For Organizing and Clearing Out

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Closets can be our saviors or a storage secret you don’t want anyone to find out about. A clean closet means less stuff, and it also means really using what you have. Here are some of Stephanie Denton’s (professional organizer and author of The Organized Life) top tips for keeping your closet organized and usable!

How many times have you almost gotten something new only to find that you already had it buried somewhere? Or how often have you been late, panicked, or frustrated because you can’t find what you are looking? One of our favorite organizing buddies, Stephanie Denton, is back with her book The Organized Life to help clue us into some easy closet upgrades that will save you time and space, and help keep you from buying things you already have or don’t need.


Most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. ~Stephanie Denton

Sorting Dance: Let’s clean out those things we say we are going to wear…but never do. She recommends 4 boxes: 1 for the keepers, 1 for the clothes that are kicked out, 2 for ones that need work like alterations and cleaning, sorting them into single boxes for ones that need to be taken to a professional to ones that you can fix yourself. Then take the sentimental or special occasion wear and…store it!

Hangers: Use a standard hanger (preferably wood, or maybe even these fun creations!) with tops that swivel. This way you can point all of your clothes in the same direction, and typically wood hangers help your clothes keep their shape longer than their thin wire counterparts.

Stacking Rods: Denton provides a great outline of how much space to keep between each rod for each type of clothing to make them accessible.

  • Shirts and tops: 28 inches
  • Women’s suits: 29 inches
  • Men’s suits: 38 inches
  • Pants folded over a hanger: 20 inches


We did an entire roundup on creative ways to organize and store your shoes. But here are some quick tips from Stephanie Denton on how to sort through your specific shoe storage issue.

The options: Wooden shoe cubby, hanging multi-pocket organizer, vertical sorter hooking over closet rod, rolling under-bed organizer, and stacking racks.

The uses: (These go in the same order the options are listed.) Empty floor space, available back of closet door, extra hanging space, full closet, flexibility in number of shoes stores. So get that shoe fetish under control, or at least organized with these quick sorting tips.


Now what is a girl or guy to do without their favorite accessories? Now you may or may not be in the market for Angie’s 80-Pocket organizer to help you quickly sort and keep organized your jewelry and accessories. Some quick ideas for easy ways to store your flair include:

  • Jewelry hooks located on the inside door of your closet
  • Clear pocket organizers like the 80 pocket variety, an interior closet slide-out rack
  • A jewelry stand mounted to the back of your door with ample pockets and enclosures to withstand the opening and closing.

Quick Tip: Jewelry and accessories that only match one outfit only need to be with that one outfit, so bag ’em and hang em’ with that outfit.

If you liked these tips, check out Denton’s book The Organized Life. It’s an easy read for getting in gear around the house.

Do you have any life-changing closet organizing tips for all of us?