Admit it-if you’re like me, you probably use your closet to hide some of the mess in your bedroom, so at least your house will look clean. If you’ve ever been guilty of the throw-everything-in-drawers-and-closets move before guests arrive, ask yourself, What would come tumbling out if someone opened that door? Now that we are all spending our days at home, it’s time to turn your closet into a more organized sanctuary. (Plenty of studies show that an organized life equals a happier life.) To this end, we asked closet expert Melanie Charlton Fowler, founder of the bespoke high-end organizing firm Clos-ette, to share her tips on what to do.

1 Edit Your Clothes


“Be ruthless,” Fowler says. “If there’s a stain on something and you’ve sent it to the dry cleaner three times and it’s not coming out-get rid of it! And don’t hang on to sizes you don’t fit into anymore. I’m a big believer in giving things away-gift these items to your daughter, niece, or family friend. Think about what looks good on you, and be realistic about what you wear. If you’re stuck at home right now, try things on and ask your partner or your kids-tell them to be truthful but loving!”

2 Organize by Category


“Shoes go with shoes, bags go with bags, tops with tops, dresses with dresses, coats with coats-and so on.”

3 Color-Code Clothes


“I like to organize by light to dark, from left to right-it’s a merchandising trick that helps the eye follow the clothes.”

4 Don’t Forget the Hangers


“Use the same hangers throughout,” Fowler says. “I like lighter-colored hangers because they show off the clothes better, but at least make them monotone-white, ivory, or black.”

5 Showcase Your Investment Pieces


“How many of us splurge on those extra-special handbags or shoes? Why not showcase them by putting them on a visible shelf? You can even paint it to coordinate with your accessories, depending on how much of a focal point you want it to be.”

6 Accessorize (Yes, Your Closet Needs Accessories!)


“Get the drawer inserts, the jewelry organizer, the tie and belt racks, the purse stuffers. (We love purse pillows by Fabrinique!) Buy the boot trees, so your boots will stand up straight. These are easy DIY projects.”

7 Make the Most of Every Space


“If you are tight on space, there are two ways to organize your shoes. If you have more shelf space-that is, it’s longer instead of deeper-place one pair with the toe forward, the other with the heel forward. If your space is deeper but not as wide, then put one shoe in the front and the matching pair in the back behind it.”

8 Stack Your Sweaters


“If you don’t have space for a full shelving system, consider buying a hanging cubby to stack them in-check out CB2 or Room and Board for chic wood options,” Fowler says. “Go the extra mile with a folding board from the Container Store to keep your knits neat and wrinkle-free.”

9 Float Your Hats

“Use a floating ledge or the top of a bookshelf to display your favorites. Hats that need to keep their form should go on hatstands, while baseball caps or sun hats can stack one onto another. Other hats, like a Stetson, need to be stored upside down! Categorize them by color and size to bring cohesion to your chapeaus.”