Your Ultimate Closet-Organizing Guide for the New Year


(Image credit: Eat.Sleep.Wear.)

A new year always brings with it the desire to start fresh, and in order to do that, it's crucial to get rid of anything that's just wasting space in your closet. Due to the growing interest in minimalism and methods like KonMari, decluttering our closets has become a year-round phenomenon—but that doesn't mean it's gotten any easier. In fact, as we've highlighted before, it can be a pretty emotional process. Luckily we've tried every method under the sun and have racked up some seriously amazing tips over the years.

Most times you'll know exactly what is and isn't working for you. We like to stick to the six-month rule: If you haven't worn an item in the last half year, it's time to part ways with it. But if you're feeling like a more direct approach to what's in and what's out will benefit your closet organization strategy, look no further. To ensure that you really show your closet who's boss, we've rounded up our absolute favorite methods for you. Scroll down for the ultimate closet-clearing tips to freshen up your space in the New Year, and shop wardrobe staples you can buy now and wear forever.


In order to give yourself a little motivational kick in the pants, you'll need to be excited for the end goal. We know you spend a considerable amount of time on Instagram each day, so put that scrolling to use—like and save the interior décor images that are inspiring you. More of a Pinterest person when it comes to living spaces? Let these sleek minimalistic closets inspire you, or check out our favorite closets from Pinterest.


Once you're feeling inspired, you'll need the proper tools to ensure that your organization is top notch. Is your issue with not having enough space to house all your clothes? You might try space-saving essentials like vacuum seal bags. Or maybe your closet needs to be more structure, in which case our organization expert Lili Pettit cites these hangers as the most important item for a streamlined closet—we're also partial to these affordable IKEA finds.


Self-inquiry is a crucial part of cleaning out your closet, and the more honest you are, the higher your success rate. Stylist Brittany Witkin got rid of 100 items simply by asking herself, Does it serve me? Marie Kondo, on the other hand, ponders whether or not something "sparks joy." But the basics work too: Does it fit? Have you worn it in the last year? No? Then out it goes.


You've likely attempted a major closet clean-out many times before, so to ensure that this time is an even bigger success, opt for a different method than you've used before. Frankly, it's more fun that way, but it can also help you make up for any blind spots in your original process. We suggest these five methods you've never heard before.


If all else fails (or you're just in need of a final push), it's always best to rely on the advice of expert closet-cleaners. As mentioned, our resident organizer Lili Pettit is filled with good ideas, and there's always one of Vogue's ruthless methods. Still need tips? This New York–based organizing company is sure to have you covered.

Keep scrolling to shop the wardrobe essentials that will always be in style.

Do you have any killer organization tips to share? Let us know in the comments!

This post has been updated by Anna LaPlaca.

Jessica Schiffer
Contributing Editor
Who's your style icon?  Columbine Smille and Clemence Poesy Who are your 5 favorite people to follow on Twitter/Instagram? @michelgaubert @__nitch @therow @textsfromyourexistentialist @theacademynewyork What's the fashion essential you can't live without?​ A stylish but comfortable pair of black ankle boots. What's your desert island album? I Love You, Honeybear by Father John Misty What's your favorite story? A Complete Roundup of Anna Wintour’s Best Career Advice Ever See More