Professional Tips to Organize Your Closet featuring Interior Designer Michael Craig!

Since a few of you were asking about how I keep my closet organized (ha! #hoardersanonymous), I thought I’d get some tips for you from New York based interior designer and founder of, Michael Craig! He shares his expert advice on how to organize and thus optimize closet space.

Photos: Levi Brown for New York Magazine

A full closet cleanse is a powerful undertaking.A clear and organized closet is the first step towards a clear and organized life. It’s the first place you go in the morning, and the last place you go at night.

Before you start, make sure to leave time to do so (a full day!) and invite a friend over for objective feedback on what to keep and what to chuck. Also make sure you can keep your head clear too, by making sure you have plenty of light, and plenty of space in the room, so you can move things as you see necessary.

Think about a charity or a friend that will put any discarded items to good use. Knowing someone else may get more use out of something is a wonderful incentive to edit and cut out items that you really don’t use or want. Create three piles: KEEP, MAYBE and CHUCK/DONATE.

One very helpful rule to optimize your closet, “ONE IN, ONE OUT.” If you want another pair of sneakers, instead of overcrowding your space, wait until you are ready to eliminate one from your current lineup. Want a new winter jacket? Which winter coat will you donate to take its place? This insures you won’t fill your closet with under-utilized items.

My majorly helpful tip? Having the right hangers! Slimline Hangers are my favorite -they take up little space, can loop into each other, and create friction so items don’t fall off the hanger all the time. Invest! I’ve seen them at Marshalls, Ross, and Home Goods discounted for 50% off what they sell for at Bed Bath & Beyond. I also find it super helpful to color code my closet!  Michael agrees! Especially with T-shirts, which tend to carry a lot of memory and emotion, T-shirts have a lot of emotion: separate them by color -to will help you eliminate some your overstocked colors.

Finally, everything should have its own home. Belts, scarves, sweaters- hanging or folded, in a drawer or in a bin, know where everything goes, and if possible, used clear bins so you know what’s in there! Even if I know there are a whole bunch of scarves in my canvas bin, I forget that bright yellow one is in there and it goes unworn. For this very visual person, clear is key. The exact bin is a personal choice; I bought and returned a few different solutions at The Container Store before settling on my bins!

If you live in the LA area, I can help you organize your closet and reorganize your outfits so they are like new again.  Just hit me up on my contact page.