How to Organize Your Closet
• It's key that there's ample contrast between your clothing and the walls. White paint is acceptable, but consider a bright color or a vibrant wallpaper instead.
• First sort by type of garment, then by color. If necessary, break sections down further into sleeve and hem lengths.
• For items that make tidy stacks—tees, sweaters, jeans—open-air shelves are more accessible than a dresser.
Question: I always end up with messy, teetering piles of sweaters. How do I keep them under control?
• Make sure stacks are 8 to 10 inches max.
• Put the bulkiest pieces at the bottom of the pile to avoid an unstable, top-heavy formation.
• Separate cardigans, turtlenecks, etc., so you can tell what's what without resorting to unfolding them all.
To keep fancy intimates from becoming one big tangle (bra hooks are dangerous around delicates), invest in a drawer divider with six-inch-wide sections.
DRAWER DIVIDER, $5, CONTAINERSTORE.COM
Fashion news director Jen Ford lined her entire closet in corkboard: It houses necklaces, fabric swatches and all forms of outfit inspiration, including celeb and street-style crushes.
MIDWEST PROJECT CORKBOARD, $10, UTRECHTART.COM
STANDOUT CLOSET EXTRAS
(clockwise from top): Line shelves with cute paper to protect clothes from harmful splinters.
BLUE ASHLEY ADHESIVE LINING PAPER, $6 FOR ROLL, GRACIOUSHOME.COM
This fabric bin is a sleek way to store socks or gym clothes.
CLOSETMAID FABRIC DRAWER, $7, TARGET.COM
Ample, chic and armed with useful handles.
MESH HAMPER, $50, CB2.COM
THE JEANS DILEMMA
It can be impossible to distinguish between jeans when you can only see a sliver of denim—particularly when there are dozens of pairs to contend with. Mark your shelves with tape according to style, and then create a color-graduated stack.
STANDOUT CLOSET EXTRAS
BAMBOO CHARCOAL DEODORIZER, $9 FOR SET OF EIGHT, STORABLES.COM
RUBBERMAID STORAGE BOX, $13, AMAZON.COM
• Use uniform hangers for tidiness and to keep clothes at the same eye level.
• Remove dry-cleaning bags immediately—not only do they trap a lot of air, but they're keeping your loved clothing imprisoned with harmful chemicals.
• To prevent slippage, fasten the top four buttons on all shirts (and zip up pants).
• Break up suits so you remember to wear them as separates.
HOW TO HANG PANTS
If you like a crisp pleat, fold along the creases and fasten at the top. If you prefer a flat front, hang them as you would wear them. Keep a bit of slack at the waist to avoid stressing the seams.
SKIRT HANGER, $4, CONTAINERSTORE.COM
Wood ones may look beautiful, but they consume valuable inches. We love Huggable hangers because they're thin and prevent garment slippage.
MANHATTAN WARDROBE SUPPLY SATIN HANGER, $3, WARDROBESUPPLIES.COM
HUGGABLE SHIRT HANGER, $10 FOR SET OF 10, CONTAINERSTORE.COM