If you’ve got a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear, then odds are buying more won’t solve your problems. You probably already have plenty of outfits—you just can’t find them under all the clutter!
Before you hit the shops, why not try these minimalist closet organization tips first. You might be surprised by what you find in your existing wardrobe and as a bonus, you’ll also be taking the first step towards a minimalist lifestyle.
What Is A Minimalist Closet?
If you’re new to minimalism, then don’t be afraid. A minimalist closet doesn’t mean dressing in all black and there are no rules about how many items of clothing you’re allowed to keep.
Instead, what makes a closet “minimalist” is streamlined functionality. It’s clean, organised and full of clothes that you genuinely love wearing.
Getting dressed becomes a pleasure because you get to wear your favourite pieces every day. With the clutter gone, it’s easy to put together outfits and find exactly what you’re looking for.
Say goodbye to closet stress and hello to the simple pleasure of a minimalist wardrobe.
How to Organize Your Closet Like a Minimalist
Before you do any organizing, the first step is to declutter your closet.
Trust me—there’s no point in buying fancy baskets and new hangers if you’re just moving around clothes you don’t wear. Instead, clear the clutter first and then organize what’s left.
If you need help, I wrote a step-by-step guide to create a simple wardrobe. This is the exact method that helped me downsize my closet—which was no small feat! As a former shopaholic, I once owned over 100 pairs of shoes and needed my entire guest room to store my clothes.
Fortunately, I’ve since decluttered not only my closet but also my home and life (you can read about my journey here) but I haven’t forgotten how hard it is to get started.
It’s worth it though so put in the effort. Then when you’re ready, the following tips will help you organize your closet so that it’s functional and beautiful.
STEP 1: BEGIN WITH A FRESH SLATE
Get started by emptying your closet, your drawers, and anywhere else you store clothing or accessories. Put everything in one central place so you can see what you’re working with.
STEP 2: GROUP SIMILAR ITEMS
Generally, I sort clothing by type first (pants, skirts, sleeveless tops, etc.) but consider your lifestyle. It might make more sense to sort clothing by use—such as work clothing vs. casual clothing.
I also recommend separating out anything that’s seasonal. I live in a subtropical climate and wear most of my clothes year-round but I do own a few sweaters and jackets. I store these items away during the warmer months since they’re not being worn.
STEP 3: IDENTIFY + PUT AWAY YOUR CORE PIECES
What are the basics that you wear every day? These are your core pieces and the foundation of your personal uniform. I have a casual lifestyle, so my core pieces are things like jeans, t-shirts and casual dresses but everyone is different.
Identify yours and then put them away somewhere central, like the middle of your closet. These are the things you wear most often so you need to see what’s available quickly and easily.
STEP 4: PUT AWAY ACCESSORIES + LAYERING PIECES
Next, turn your attention to accessories and layering pieces—things like cardigans, vests or scarves. These are things that you add to your core pieces to create a cohesive outfit.
You want to be able to find these items easily but they don’t need to be on centre stage. You could hang them to the sides of your closet, store them in clear boxes or try KonMari folding (your clothes “stand up” so it’s easy to see everything when it’s put away).
STEP 5: STORE SEASONAL OR SPECIAL OCCASION PIECES
Finally, put away your seasonal and special occasion pieces. These are the items you wear least often so they can be placed out of sight, either in storage boxes or at the back of your closet.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
Here are a few more things to consider:
- Use matching hangers, it’s more cohesive than random leftovers!
- Organize by colour—it’s visually appealing and it makes it easier to find what you’re looking for.
- Use small boxes to organize bigger spaces (like drawers). You can buy custom boxes or reuse boxes you already have.
- Whenever possible, leave space! Your closet will seem more organized when your clothes aren’t jam-packed tight.
Closet Organization Ideas + Inspiration
First up, a tour of my own closet. It’s not the most stylish but it’s simple and practical. I’m often told it’s a great “real-life” example of a minimalist wardrobe and I hope you’ll think so too!
Here are a few more examples from around the web that I found inspiring:
Closet Refresh: How to Organize a Small Closet – This is a complete redo of a small walk-in closet and it looks like something straight out of a magazine! Check this out if you’re looking for design inspiration or clever ideas for organizing accessories.
How to Organize a Small Closet – An example of a reach-in closet makeover that really makes the most of a small space. Great for anyone who’s open to installing a custom organizing system.
Before & After: Small Reach-in Closet Renovation – This closet isn’t super minimalist but I love the creative use of a small space. Check this out if you want to try something different.
Organize a Small Closet in 5 Simple Steps – A budget-friendly closet makeover suitable for renters (like me!) with a reach-in closet. Very practical and achievable.
Small Walk In Closet Organization – Again, this one isn’t super minimalist but it is an excellent example of what can be done with a small, oddly shaped space.
Organizing a Small Bedroom Closet – I like this simple makeover. It’s a basic setup that anyone could replicate and customise.
Remember—if you’re feeling frustrated with your closet, don’t rush out and buy more clothes you never wear! Instead of shopping, declutter and organize what you already have. You might be surprised by what you find.
Do you have a minimalist closet? What are your tips for keeping it organized? Let us know in the comments!