How to Create the Most Organized (and Pretty) Closet Ever!


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My Closet Before and After

Dori's Closet Before and After

Dori's closet before (left) and after. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet before (left) and after. Photo by Jamie Hord

I have always dreamed of having a closet like Cher on “Clueless”—perfectly organized by color and style. In reality, creating and keeping a closet like that is no easy feat, even when you do consider yourself pretty organized. I was lucky enough to enlist the services of Jamie Hord, from Horderly NYC, who completely reorganized my coat, linen and (best of all!) bedroom closets, essentially giving me the dream closets I have always wanted. Hord shared all of her tips and tricks for how to clean, organize and maintain order in your closet, no matter what type of space you are working with.


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Remove Everything

Dori's Master Closet BEFORE Removing shoes

Dori's closet before while removing shoes. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet before while removing shoes. Photo by Jamie Hord

Her first step is a little scary but necessary: take everything out. “I always warn clients that it gets worse before it gets better.” You need to see everything before you can truly dive in to choose what to hold onto and what to get rid of.


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Edit, Edit, Edit!

Dori's Master Closet BEFORE shelves

Dori's closet before, with clothes stacked on shelves. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet before, with clothes stacked on shelves. Photo by Jamie Hord

Now it’s time to edit your belongings (deciding "keep, toss, donate, sell"). Be sure to touch on every item in your closet and be ruthless, says Hord. Try not to keep anything that you haven't worn in over a year or that is damaged— and always stay true to your style. When you are taking everything out, you want to create sorted piles, like jackets together, hats together, gloves together, etc. This helps to see how many of each item you have because “you might have 5 of the same black gloves and not realize it!” says Hord.

Before you start stocking the shelves, you need to strategize and see what kind of space you need for each category. Take measurements of areas that need products to help in your organization (like bins and dividers) and decide what is going to be best where, making sure it is functional for you. Remember, you want to be able to "shop your own closet", making getting ready or heading out the door a breeze!


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Swap Hangers

Dori's Master Closet AFTER hangers

Dori's closet after with new hangers and organized skirts. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet after with new hangers and organized skirts. Photo by Jamie Hord

Streamline and implement any organizing products to help in your organization—Hord is a big fan of The Container Store and many of its various organizing tools. She recommends using all matching felt hangers (to save space) or wooden hangers for heavy items (like in a coat closet), and matching bins and products wherever needed. Label any areas that need a label. This can be on the drawers, on shelves, on rod dividers, etc. This is especially helpful when sharing a closet.

In my closet, Hord switched out all of the mismatched hangers to slim, felt hangers and also used the huggable ultra slim finger clips on felt hangers to hang skirts and strapless dresses.

She created the following categories: long sleeve dresses, short sleeve dresses, and strapless dresses, cardigans, blazers, jackets, long sleeve tops, short sleeve tops, sleeveless tops, skirts, jeans. I admit, as a fashion and beauty editor, I have a lot of clothing! Within each of these categories the clothing is organized by color (from dark to light). Hord changed the position of the clothing to face the opening of the closet, so I can easily see each item when getting dressed.


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Create Stacks

Dori's Master Closet AFTER shelves

Dori's closet after with neat stacks and organized purses and hats.  Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet after with neat stacks and organized purses and hats.  Photo by Jamie Hord

She sorted sweaters by color and sweatshirts by "zip, workout, and pull over". Hord suggests creating short stacks so that piles stay neat, and using shelf dividers to keep piles clear and separated


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Organize Shoes

Dori's Master Closet AFTER shoes

Dori's closet after with organized shoes. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet after with organized shoes. Photo by Jamie Hord

Storage For shoes, Hord used a mixture of cubbies (that I already had) and clear shoe boxes to organize them. We used the cubbies for sneakers, flats and sandals and the clear shoe boxes for heals and boots. Tall boots stayed out and are standing  up with boot shapers.


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Display Bags

Bags organized in Dori's closet

Dori's closet after, with bags organized. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet after, with bags organized. Photo by Jamie Hord

Hord suggested I display my collection of clutches and handbags, so she took any that were in dust bags out (but saved the dust bags just in case) and lined them up using acrylic dividers. These keep them standing up nice to avoid any damage. She added four baskets, separated into pajamas, shorts, baseball caps (yes I have a collection!), and dusters and labeled them with the bin clip label. Hord took advantage of open wall space above shelves to hang and display hats on command hooks.


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Divide Drawers and Fold Clothes Properly

Dori's Master Closet AFTER drawers

Dori's closet after with organized drawers. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's closet after with organized drawers. Photo by Jamie Hord

Last but not least, Hord helped me organize my messy drawers. She used the "file fold method" so I can see every item in the drawer and used drawer dividers to keep categories separated. I have never seen such a pretty underwear drawer—now I just have to think like Jamie when putting away clean clothing to maintain it.


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You Have Your Dream Closet. Now What?

Dori's Master Closet AFTER MAIN

Dori's completely organized (and pretty!) closet. Photo by Jamie Hord

Dori's completely organized (and pretty!) closet. Photo by Jamie Hord

Hord swears by the "one in, one out" method, meaning whenever you bring something new in, consider letting something old go. This will never let your closet fill up, and you'll always be able to shop your closet. Easier said than done, but I’m going to try!


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About Our Expert

Jamie Hord, owner of Horderly NYC

 Photo courtesy of Jamie Hord of Horderly NYC

 Photo courtesy of Jamie Hord of Horderly NYC

Jamie Hord is a professional organizer based in New York City. Jamie can help you declutter, maximize your space, and design systems that work best for you and that you will be able to function in and maintain. She hopes to help enhance clients lives and show the benefits a more organized way of living can bring.