How to Sort Your Closet from the Hangers to Your Dresser

How to sort your closet from the hangers to your dresser. Where should your clothes go?

When it comes to getting organized the one place you look that nearly terrifies you from doing any cleaning…is your closet. Your whole wardrobe seems to prefer chaos. You try to organize it by color once and then a week later it’s returned to its mayhem. You’ve attempted to change your ways at least a dozen times and really, it’s just tough to stick with it. Like giving up on caffeine or implementing a few New Year’s resolutions. Let’s approach this differently. Your closet, shelves, dresser…they need some personalizing. We’re going to break it down step by step.

Making closet space: What should I hang? How should I hang my clothes?

The best items to hang is the clothing that you wear on a regular basis: your shirts, polos, dresses, skirts, flannel shirts jackets. The items are durable for hanger use and you usually don’t have wash them after a single wearing. Hanging them is a quick way to refresh your favorites.

Let’s try putting them in order of how they’re used: work, social hours, athleisure or casual wear, etc.  Work clothes are the first thing you see on the rack, then casual or going out outfits, and your less used suit jackets or coats toward the back. If something fits for both work and a night on the town, then it’s in that perfect middle. You’ll find that your favorite outfits tend to fit on a spectrum rather than a specific category. Flannel shirts for instance: they’re great for a relaxed Saturday or paired with dressy pants when you’re off to a work party.

Prioritize the clothes by what you wear the most and what you wear the least. That packable jacket may not be as necessary in the summertime so slide that one to the back.

Helpful tip: When you wear something and put it back on the hanger, flip it around so it’s obvious that you recently wore it. You’ll instinctively start to monitor the frequency in which you wear your clothing and maybe you ought to try out that flannel tunic you haven’t gotten around to in a few weeks.

Speaking of which: what clothes shouldn’t go on hangers?

Not all clothes get to live the hanger life. Here’s a list of what should not go on hangers and the next section can help you find the best place to put them.

  1. Cotton sweaters
  2. Cashmere sweaters
  3. Knit tops, or any kind of knit material
  4. Jeans
  5. Tee shirts, under shirts, and underwear
  6. Turtlenecks (treat these the way you'd treat sweaters) 

What types of hangers should I use?

As far as hangers go, the heavy-duty wooden hangers that curve outward are to be used with suits, jackets, and heavy coats. Plastic hangers are the reliable choice for the majority of your wardrobe. Another option: padded hangers for more delicate clothes like dresses, and blouses. For dress pants you can either fold them in half through the hanger or purchase clip hangers to avoid creases altogether.

What about the closet shelves?

We’re often misusing shelves for things that we just don’t want to deal with. It’s where you find shorts in the wintertime and unused knick-knacks you received from your stocking during the holidays. Go through the items on your shelf and pick out what you have worn and what you haven’t in the past year. Donate what you don’t use. It’s okay to let things go. When that’s all said and done try to see which shelves can be used for what.

Folded sweaters love shelves. Cotton, cashmere, wool, knit: see if you can organize them by type, folded squarely. Any extra space can store your pants or other delicates that cannot be hung. Jeans should be their own pile, while chinos should be another. You know those high up shelves? Those are great for your lesser used but still essential items. When summer or winter hits you should put the seasonal items out of reach until you’re ready to accept them into your loving arms again. If you put your holiday stocking knick-knacks up there when we mentioned them, donate them…now’s the time. Aunt Jan won’t know.

Oh, and your shoe collection? Try a hanging shoe rack. You can have a place for sneakers, your favorite slippers, and dress shoes. No more stuffing shoes into that canvas tote!

How to organize a dresser.

Okay, this is where it gets tricky. The dresser is different for everyone, so if you’re a “socks in the bottom drawer” person, then by all means live your life the way you feel most comfortable. The dresser is the go-to place for the daily necessities. Underwear and socks in the top drawer. tee shirts and light tops in the middle. pants and/or shorts in the bottom. If you have an extra drawer, use that for sweatpants, yoga pants, and other athletic clothing. Pro tip: roll up your tees rather than folding. You’ll use half the amount of space in case you want to store a couple sweaters in that drawer as well.

What if I don’t have a dresser or extra shelving? What if I don’t have a closet?

Some of us don’t have the luxury of boundless space. And that’s completely okay. Honestly, many of us have probably lived in rooms that are the size of somebody else’s walk-in closet. What it comes down to is storage. How to use storage effectively:

In smaller bedrooms you can try to fit storage in places like under your bed. Or if you’re really committed to it, get multi-use furniture. Invest in a bed that has storage beneath it, or a bedside table that functions as a dresser and you can store more of your wardrobe in easily accessible places. Creating closet space it can be a matter of getting

hangers for your pants, shorts, and dresses/skirts. A cubby organizer can sort your sweaters or non-hangable clothes. Even those flannel pajamas will love a new cubby home.


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