Geralin Thomas

Article Summary:

Secrets and tips on organizing your closets from an experienced professional.

Tips On Organizing a Closet

Following are a few of the tips I share with clients who aren't in a position to have a "gourmet" closets but hope to organize their clothes and accessories.


  • Get rid of the clutter in your closet. No long-lost art projects, photo albums, or rolls of paper towels bought on a bulk shopping spree. Keep only clothes and accessories in your closet.
  • Get in the habit of cleaning out your closets on a regular basis (like when school starts and ends or daylight savings time begins and ends).
  • Each time you change out seasonal clothes dust your shelves or better yet--vacuum them. Dust mites destroy fabrics (and are horrible for people with allergies).
  • Donate "trophy sized" garments. (Trophy sizes are the single digit sized garment that you USED to wear.
  • Locate MIAs (mending, ironing, alterations) and act fast. Those clothes are taking up valuable real estate space in your closet.

While attics and basements are wonderful for storing some items they are not the ideal place to store clothing. In fact, storing clothes in too hot areas may discolor and deteriorate fabrics. Instead, store garments in a cool, dry place where fresh air circulates--like your closet.

  • Wash and dry-clean out-of-season clothes before you put them in storage because anti-perspirant, cologne, and makeup residue attracts insects.
  • Make sure all items are dry when storing them--dampness will lead to mildew and a musty smell.
  • Never store clothes in plastic bags like those from dry cleaners. Remember, clothes need fresh air. Store them in cotton zip-up bags.
  • No mothballs. No exceptions!

I suggest all women color code their closets.

  • Think ROY G BIV--start at the upper left side of your closet (like you read a page in a book). Group all red, then orange, yellow, green , blue, indigo, and violet garments together. Then group your white, black, browns, and grays together.
  • Pay attention to missing colors; more importantly note the colors you seem to have the most of. Most of us are "serial shoppers"? To see if you are a serial shopper ask yourself these questions:
  • Do you own 10 pale blue tops and a dozen pair of black pants?
  • Are all of your clothes solid colors?
  • If you see a shirt (shoe, skirt, pant) you like, do you buy it in every color?
  • Next separate your now color-sorted clothes into types:
    • Bottoms: skirts, pants, capris
    • Tops: shirts, jackets, blouses.


  • You most likely don't wear a lot of what is hanging in your closet. According to The Pocket Stylist (Gotham Books 2004) all you really need are the following:
    • 2 pairs of dark pants
    • 2 pairs of jeans
    • 3 skirts
    • A white button-front shirt and t-shirts
    • 3 sweaters
    • 2 jackets
    • 3 coats
    • A nice dress & accessories
  • Keep your closet organized by keeping everything you own visible and accessible.
    • If you have to hunt for it you won't wear it.
    • If you can't reach it you won't wear it.


  • Paint the interior of your closet a clean, white color (like Benjamin Moore Ice Mist #OC-67)
  • Great lighting is a must.
  • Full-swing doors are best followed by bi fold; worst are pocket doors or sliding doors.
  • Valet Hooks are helpful.

Give your closet a makeover today. It is an important step in simplifying your wardrobe and feeling better about what you wear.

Geralin Thomas of METROPOLITAN Organizing is experienced in both residential and home office organizing. She always considers the lifestyle, budget, and personality of each client. Geralin works with homeowners, designers, builders, architects, and businesses creating organized environments and enhancing client's lives. Metropolitan Organizing is located in Cary, NC and can be reached at (919) 380-7718 or via website at: Metropolitan

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