If you’re in the middle of a closet organization project, you might be stuck in the purge and organize phase. I get it! It’s time-consuming, you need a big space in order to get it done, and the best way to organize it all when you’re done is not always obvious.

I have some easy tips that will help you get through this step of your project. If you’ve been following along on the blog, then you know that this month is the second in the series about closet organization. Last month I talked about deciding whether you want to build a custom organization solution or use your existing closet and add different products and storage solutions to help you stay organized.

Now it’s time to purge and organize your clothes. Regardless of whether you decide to keep your current closet layout or build the closet of your dreams, you still need to assess what you have. This is an important step to complete so that you are able to design your closet appropriately. You want to make sure that you end up with the right type and amount of storage space that you need.

Things to think about when you start

Many people don’t have a full day to devote to this step in the project. And that’s okay — you’ll actually avoid getting overwhelmed if you break this step down and tackle your closet in batches. This is actually how I do it when I work on this type of project with a client. Go through a couple of clothing types and then take a break so you don’t run out of steam or lose focus.

Make sure that you have a large, clear area to use. You’re going to be pulling all your clothes and shoes out of your closet in groups, so a clear bed or table for clothes and plenty of floor space for shoes will be helpful.

It works great if you go through your closet and pull out like items. Find everything you have of a certain category and get it out of your closet so that you can see everything. I recommend that you start with shoes. It’s pretty straightforward and the easiest to do.


So, grab all your shoes and shoeboxes and get them out of your closet. Lay them out on the floor and make sure that every shoe has a match. Once everything is out of your closet and matched, sort your shoes into smaller categories. Place all your heels together, all your sandals in one spot, and all your sneakers in another spot. If you have a large collection of shoes, you can subcategorize even further. For example, go to your group of heels and put all the black heels together. This allows you to see all of one category together at a time. When you can see how much you have of one item, it makes the purging process easier.

Now you can decide what you need or what you want to keep. Think through a few things: do you wear these often, are they comfortable, do you still like them? Anything that you decide to purge can go to the side in a box or bag, we’ll deal with that later.

If you realize that you don’t have enough room to properly store what you chose to keep, then review and edit your closet organization plan. You may need additional cubbies or shelves. Also, think about storing seasonal shoes in a different location. Sandals and flip-flops can be stored in a bin under a bed or a hall closet during the winter months. Winter boots can be traded out to another location as well. Make sure that your all-season shoes like sneakers or flats have plenty of storage space up front and center.


First and foremost, if you have a rolling garment rack, that will come in handy when going through clothes. I have one that I use with clients when organizing closets that makes this step easier! Also, if you have a full-length mirror, that’s great to have nearby as you try things on.

Get all your tops out of the closet whether they fold or hang. You’ll go through the same process with your tops. Put like items together — t-shirts, sweaters, blouses, etc. Then go through some of the same questions as you did with your shoes. Do you still love it? Does it look good, is it in good shape? If you have an item that is torn or stained, it should be repaired or cleaned. If it’s beyond repair, it needs to go.

When you are done purging, go through your items that you decided to keep and figure out what will hang and what will be folded. I don’t recommend hanging crew-neck t-shirts, they are better folded. Sweatshirts and sweaters are also items that should be folded. Most other shirts are all good to hang. When putting hanging items back into your closet I highly recommend buying matching hangers if you don’t already have them. Check out these slim non-slip hangers that I often recommend to clients. It’s amazing how much better your closet will look with matching hangers.


Keep that mirror handy as you go through all your bottoms. Pull out jeans, shorts, dress pants, and skirts. Does it still fit? Do you wear it often? Is it in good condition?

Jeans can be folded since they don’t generally crease. If you have dress pants, those are better to hang so they don’t get wrinkled. They can either be clipped if you have that type of hanger or you can fold them on pant hangers.


Grab all your purses and wallets, scarves, and jewelry and lay them out on your bed or a table. (I think I see a pattern here!) For your purses and wallets, I recommend that you empty them out. I’ve had clients who find money or credit cards in wallets they haven’t been using regularly! Sort them by size and function. Do you still use them? Are they in good condition?

Make sure your scarves are clean and don’t have any tears. Look over your jewelry and make sure all your earrings have a match. Do you still wear these items? Do you have enough storage space for everything? Think about adding hooks for things like scarves and necklaces if you need to.


Now that you’ve completed your purge and made sure that you’re holding onto the items you love, create an inventory. Make sure that you have enough shelves or cubbies for your shoes. Think about the height — boots will require more room than sandals or sneakers. Do you have enough hanging space — and enough hangers? Think about the items that you’ll be folding. Make sure your drawers or baskets are deep enough for your clothes.

Purged Items

Most items that you decided to purge could probably be donated, but if you have any high-end items, you could look into consignment. If you decide to donate your purged clothes, be sure to check out My Complete List of the Best Places to Donate Your Unwanted Stuff.

Between deciding on the best layout and purging and organizing your clothes, you’re ready to put together a Pinterest-worthy closet! Purging your closet can take some time, but it’s so helpful in creating just the closet that you want and need. If you’re ready to start your closet organization project, let me know, I would love to help! You can reach me at (267) 970-0769 or dawn@dgorganizing.com.

If you missed the first part of this blog series, go check out Feeling Stuck With Your Closet Organization Plan? Follow These Tips! and let me know what you think. If you enjoyed this blog post and haven’t yet signed up for my free newsletter, click here to subscribe. You’ll get organizing tips and advice, as well as special deals delivered to your inbox each month. If you know someone who might enjoy this blog post please share this with them. Thanks for reading!