3 Ways to Get Organized Once and for All

Closet expert Lili Pettit is known for transforming and organizing the expansive wardrobes of celebrities including Jessica Alba. Each month, we ask Pettit for her expert opinion on a new closet-related topic. Scroll down for this month’s tips.

Editing your closet can be quite daunting in theory, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful or time-consuming task. And with a new year quickly approaching, there’s no time like the present to tackle this all-important organizational project. By following these three simple, non-intimidating steps, you can lighten the load in your closet in just a few hours (and make choosing outfits infinitely easier). In the words of Amelia Earhart, “The most effective way to do it is to do it.” Can’t argue with that! 

So go—be bold! Get in your closet and learn my tips below! (And shop a few accessories to help you achieve complete organization.)

We can never fully achieve an organized closet (or an organized state of mind, for that matter) without first setting aside the time to do the damn thing! It doesn’t need to take all year or eat up your entire weekend. Simply set aside a Saturday or Sunday afternoon to take a good, hard look at what you have in your closet.

In the words of Marie Kondo, author of The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “Bring every piece of clothing you find to the same place and spread them out on the floor. Then pick up each outfit and see if it sparks joy.”

I 100% agree with Marie! Take it all out! Yes, even your pajamas, bras, socks, and those leg warmers you haven’t worn in five years. Next, I suggest you separate every item into piles—placing like with like. For example, place all your T-shirts in one big pile, and then sort them by style (regular tees, graphic, sleeveless, etc.) and then by color. By seeing all of your clothing in one place, it will be clear which items do not spark joy.

Once you have weeded out the items that simply aren’t working for you, you will have gained a lot more closet real estate. Allow the empty space to just be and allow your clothes to breathe. Empty space is not only pleasing to the eye—it also means you have room for new pieces!

Once you have done your editing, tidying, and beautifying, now you have to nurture your space. No one goes to the gym one time and creates their ideal body. It’s something you must do daily. Set an appointment in your schedule every day or every week to take care of your refreshed space just like you would for a workout or hair appointment.

I recommend doing this either for a few minutes before bed (so you can wake up to a clean, serene space) or for before you walk out of the house in the morning. Waking up to a Zen-like closet makes getting dressed pleasant and sets the tone for the rest of your day!

Get into the habit of putting things back where they belong. Also, editing your closet every two to three months is a must. Using the “one in, one out” rule can help stop anxiety from closet overcrowding well before it becomes an issue. This means that every time a new item comes into your closet, an old one gets the boot.

Keep scrolling to shop the essentials for getting organized!

These sleek bins give clean, minimal vibes. 

Every closet greatly benefits from matching hangers. 

Give your sweater collection a home once and for all.  

The best way to find things in a full closet? These Lucite bins.

Copper makes everything look a little fancier. 

This cool coatrack is a must-have for design (and organization) fanatics. 

Perfect for storage or dirty laundry.

How do you stay organized? Share your secrets in the comments below! 

Opening Image: Sarah Vonh

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated by Michelle Scanga.