Closet Organizing Tips for Beginners

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Have you taken steps to declutter your wardrobe and are now looking for closet organization ideas and tips? You may ask yourself, “how should I organize my closet?” Well – you, my friend – are in the right place! Whether you want to know how to organize your closet by category or if you've started the organization process and are stuck on where to put certain items, I've got you! Let's get started with my favorite closet-organizing tips for beginners!

Where to Begin

It is essential to note that you must declutter your closet before setting up closet systems. I mean, you CAN do decluttering and organizing simultaneously, but why would you want to? They are two different processes, so I recommend completing them at two separate times.

Once you've decluttered your closet, it can be tempting to immediately look at all the closet organization ideas and tips. I get it. It's so exciting! But let's ensure we know what products and ideas you are looking for.

Make a Plan

Stand in your closet and look around. Where do you have issues with the current setup that you have? Make a note of each area where you are struggling. This could be that your folded items on shelves are mixing or that you don't like the look of your belts sitting on a shelf. Whatever you do not like about your closet – make a note of them.

On the other side, let's note what you like. Do you like having as much hanging as possible? Or would you prefer to have more items folded in your closet ready to go? This will help you pinpoint what kinds of products work for you, giving you a starting point to expand on.

Also, when making a plan, measure your closet! If you are gutting the closet and getting new storage solutions, you will need to know the exact dimensions of what you are working with. Furthermore, if you are hoping to add space-saving solutions, you need to measure the area where you plan to put the new storage solutions. It might help to make a small blueprint of your closet to help when you're brainstorming for your closet organization ideas.

Pick a Style

Do you like items in bins with a touch of color, or do you want wire baskets for storage? Would you like to utilize the back of your closet door to create space in your closet, or would you rather have hooks on the wall? What about shoe storage? Is it necessary or not at all? There are so many product options when looking at clothes closet organization tips. Don't get overwhelmed, but you must also identify what you like.

HGTV offers a fun online quiz to find out your closet type. After completing the quiz, they also provide fun little tips for closet organization. If you are unsure what kind of closet you have/want, I suggest checking it out.

Identify Oddball Items

Lastly, look at any items in your closet that might be a more difficult match to a standard organizational product. Think about smaller items like jewelry or oversized items that will need extra space. Will you need another clothes rack, or will you likely need to use some wall space? Basically, if there is anything that you cannot fit in the traditional hanging space, what is your plan for it?

You might even need to look at decluttering some of those items.

How to Organize the Closet

Let's cover the basic closet organization tips first. There isn't just one best way to organize a closet. Instead, it's a combination of ideas, needs, and products. Read through these suggestions and see what works for you. What stands out? What would you want to implement in your closet?

How to Hang Clothes in Your Closet

You just hang them, right? According to the experts, you should have a system for your hanging space. Ideally, you want to use proper hangers for certain clothes. Here is a breakdown:

  • Pants and Skirts – You can use pants hangers for skirts, but the skirt would need to be folded (causing a crease) before draping the skirt over the pants hanger. However, if you use skirt hangers, they are versatile for both types of pants. I don't hang up my pants (I know, what in the world?!), but if you do, you should have the proper hanger.
  • Ties and Belts – While there are belt organizers available that can work for ties, the experts recommend using a rack or a hook, especially if you have a large collection. They also offer hangers for ties, bags, scarves, etc., that hang directly on the closet rod (if you have the space…).
  • Hangers – It is generally recommended to use wooden hangers in your closet. If you are aiming for a classy look, you can definitely make the investment. However, I would focus on other storage solutions before purchasing all new hangers. I get my plain, white plastic hangers at the Dollar Tree or Walmart.
  • Sweaters – Ideally, you should fold your sweaters and place them in a drawer or on a shelf in your closet. If you do not have the space for that, you can fold them shoulder to shoulder and drape them over the bar of a wooden (or any) hanger. I recommend putting a piece of tissue paper over the rod to avoid wrinkles. If you can avoid hanging the sweaters, please do. Otherwise, you might end up wearing a sweater with shoulder nipples…
Wooden Hangers are Best per the experts
Wooden Hangers are Best!

How to Arrange a Closet

Next up is how you should arrange your closet. The most important thing to keep in mind is that you want to be able to access any items that you frequently wear easily. If you have a walk-in closet, put the clothing that you wear daily towards the front of the closet. If you have a standard-sized closet, ensure that your favorite clothes aren't squished into the back.

How to Categorize Clothes

This one is a given, but it needs to be noted. Make sure that you have your clothes sorted and stored by category. What does this mean? You want to have a section for sweatshirts, another for sundresses, and a spot for your belts. Think about your wardrobe and the different categories they fit into. These items need to stay next to each other, so you don't have to play the “I know I put them somewhere I wouldn't forget” game with yourself.

Organize your shoes

Shoes can take up a lot of space in a closet, especially if you have a lot of pairs. Instead of cramming your shoes into a small space, you should find a way to organize them, so they take up less room. You can use bins or baskets to store your shoes. You can also place shoes on shelves if you have enough space.

Keep in mind that you should also find a way to organize your seasonal clothing and shoes. For example, you may want to store your boots during the summer. If so, you can use bins, shelves, or any other type of storage that you can place on the floor. It's also important to decide how important your shoes are to you. You should absolutely not just have a vast shoe pile, but will a rack work even if they get dusty, or do you need to incorporate fancy shoe bins? The choice is yours – but organize them in some way!

Products to Consider

To finish this guide, we will review common storage recommendations. But keep in mind that you will ultimately need to evaluate your closet, needs, and goals. Once you know what you want, it will be much easier to figure out what types of products to incorporate into your closet.

Bins and baskets

Bins and baskets are great for organizing items that don't fit well in a closet, such as T-shirts, socks, and underwear. You can keep these items in a bin on a shelf or in a drawer. Baskets can be used for storing shoes or even small toys. You can also use them to store off-season items such as blankets and pillows.

Furthermore, bins and baskets can add a touch of color or sophistication to your closet. You can look at simple bins or ones that are colorful, even metal baskets. The possibilities are endless – make sure you actually NEED the bins and baskets before buying them.


Hooks are great for hanging items like belts, scarves, and bags. You can buy a variety of hooks meant for the closet. These come in many different materials and designs to fit your décor. You can also use existing hooks that came with the closet or even nail holes if you have an unfinished wall.

Hang hooks near a door or even in a corner if you have enough room. This will help keep your closet organized and make it easier to put on and remove accessories, such as belts, without bending over.


You may want to add a shelf to your closet if you have many folded items. Shelves come in many different materials. You can also place shelves on a wall. This will make storing folded items like sweaters, shirts, and pants easier. You can store folded items by category or by color. If you like to color-code your closet, you can use shelves to your advantage. This will make it easier to find what you're looking for.

Also, if you have shelves that you love in your closet but don't want your items to fall over, you can look at shelf dividers as well. These nifty things will ensure that your clothes stay where you intend them to be.

Shelf Dividers Can Make Your Closet Shelves Much More Organized
Shelf Dividers Can Make Your Closet Shelves Much More Organized

Final Thoughts

Whether you have a Carrie Bradshaw-Esque closet or need some small closet organization tips and ideas, the Boot Camp Mom is here to help. If you are looking at closet organizing tips and are just getting started, I always recommend searching and evaluating your options before making a purchase. Measure and assess the closet area so you can save time online researching or in-store looking at items. If your current setup isn't cutting it, there are solutions.

Don't worry if this is information overload, or when you start researching, you have no idea what to choose. Always save your receipts if you do make a purchase. If you want some help, join me in the Declutter and Organize with the Boot Camp Mom Facebook group. I monitor that group closely and even host pop-up organizational boot camps; plus, I would be happy to help!

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