Closet Curation

Even though we’ll do more weeding out in future lessons, this is the ideal time to define a system for keeping your clothes organized and accessible.  Here’s the process I use when I work with a private client:

Step 1 – Get everything that isn’t clothing out of your closet.  No more luggage, gift wrap, tennis rackets … nothing but clothes and accessories.

Step 2 – Hang everything you possibly can – one item per hanger in most cases.  The only exception is when 2 items will always be worn together.  A 2-piece dress might be an example, but even that could probably be worn as a skirt with other top and a top with other bottoms — more likely to happen if you hang them separately.

Most sweaters can safely be hung, and are much easier to access that way than folded in a drawer or on a shelf.  Keep them from stretching at the shoulder by using the flat, flocked hangers that grip the fabric.  (I’m not a big fan of those hangers for most garments because they grip TOO much and make it harder to get the clothes off.  But for stretchy shoulders you can’t beat ’em.)

For sweaters that are too heavy for that – long sleeved ones especially – try this great trick: fold the garment in half along the center front/center back so one sleeve lays on top of the other.  Place a hanger across the upper body area, with the hook extending from the underarm area. Fold the sleeves down over the top edge of the hanger, then fold the body down in the same way.  The fabric layers cling, keeping the garment solidly in place.


For my duster-length sweaters I use this cheater hanging technique – slipping the tag at the back neckline over the hook so the garment’s weight is not pulling on the shoulder line.  I wouldn’t do that with an extremely delicate garment but for my evveryday long sweaters it works just great:

Step 3 – Organize your garments by category (jackets together, pants together, skirts together…)  Plan categories that fit your lifestyle.  You might group all pants together, or segregate career trousers from casual jeans and cords.  You might group all your tops together or make separate groupings for short sleeves and long, or for woven tops and knit ones – it’s your call.  Just pick a system and stick with it.

Step 4 – Within each category, arrange garments in color order: neutrals first, light to dark. Group colored pieces go in rainbow order – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet – and light to dark within each color family.  This arrangement makes your closet feel utterly Zen, and makes it a lot easier to find the item you want on a busy morning.


Find tips on making your closet interior more efficient HERE.

About Nancy Nix Rice

I help other women feel confident about how they look every day - regardless of their age, budget, lifestyle or the size tag in their pants - so they put wardrobe concerns on the back burner and go share their gifts with the world.


  1. Katrina on February 5, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    I have always enjoyed organizing my closet! These days I have only a small fraction of the wardrobe I had in my working days, but it is still very refreshing to see it neatly organized by color.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 5, 2017 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks for seconding that recommendation!

  2. Dorrine Bergjans on February 7, 2017 at 7:04 am

    Glad to know I was doing something right with my closet–tops together, pants together. Also I’ve been organizing the like colors together as well, even as a teenager. Didn’t do the light to dark thing. Thanks for that. Also like the heavy sweater hanger suggestion.

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 7, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      Glad a “pro” like you still found a few helpful new ideas.

  3. Pamela Ann on February 11, 2017 at 6:46 am

    I organize my closet by color and type of clothing and it does make it easier to dress in the morning. I am going to try the sweater hanging idea. I used to work for a big clothing companies and actually own about 20 year-round cotton twin sets. I don’t want to steam out any strange bumps on the shoulders. I did sort them from oldest to most recent. I’m getting rid of the deeper colors; they no longer flatter me as I age. I have tried your tips from the book and a Craftsy class and guess what? I have had more compliments than ever before!! Friends have asked me if I did something to my skin or am using something different on my face bc it looks different! No no no … its all about clothing color and wise choices!! My grey turtleneck worn w/dk slacks looks more polished by adding a belt and a simple bracelet and earrings. Your advice in the book and class has made SUCH a difference in how I look and feel. I truly needed a shot in the arm like this! Now onto sewing clothing capsules …

    • Nancy Nix Rice on February 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm

      Gret to hear about your positive results Pamela. Stay tuned for even more.

  4. Suzanne Godwin on February 20, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Great ideas. Can’t wait to redo my closet

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