How to organize a small closet

Many people struggle with an overstuff closet where they just cannot seems to find their clothes. Or they have a closet filled with clothes and yet have nothing to wear.

I used to fill my closet with clothes that does not look good on me (hoping that I would get into them when I am able to lose some weight) or buy clothes on impulse. Or I buy based on what others say would look good on me but I am not comfortable wearing as those clothes were not my style.

One day, I finally became very fed up when often I have to spend time rummaging through my messy closet to find the clothes to wear to work or to go out.

Enough is enough- I decided to declutter my closet once and for all. I went through the videos in YouTube… it is actually quite addictive as some of the vloggers have very interesting display and stories. Most of them promote the Konmari method.

Finally I settle into my own method of organizing…which I believe you need to as well to find your ‘own system’ which you can comfortably stick to for a long time.

My closet have been organized for more than 2 years in a way I am comfortable with and I have managed to keep my closet tidy for these past years.

Here was what I did:

Find a day when you have free time and the motivation to dedicate to this exercise.

  1.  I prepared the following:
  • huge plastic bags to fill up clothes meant for donation
  • a plastic storage container for clothes that I no longer wear
  • another plastic to throw away clothes that cannot be worn

2. All the clothes of my small closet and drawers were taken out and placed on my bed. This is more effective as it gives you an overall view of how much of clothes you actually have.

3. Clothings are divided into:

  • to keep back in closet- clothes that I often wear, sometimes wear and like to wear
  • to discard/recycle- clothes that does not make me feel good wearing it
  • to keep in storage bin- clothes that I seldom wear but do not have the heart to throw away.

I also have a drawer where I purge off underwear that I seldom used. I use inexpensive plastic baskets to divide between bras, underwear, socks, feminine products. Only for my underwear I fold them according to the Kon Mari method which enable them to stack neatly within the plastic container.

Putting back the clothes:

My small closet have a hanging rack, followed by a space below which is enough to contain a rectangle basket. The left door of the closet is a little faulty so I try not open it and therefore hang clothes in the following order from left: clothes that I do not use often, office attire and casual clothes. I mentally divide them as follows (from left to right):

clothes I do not use often | divide with a skarf hanger where I hang my skarfs and shawls | working clothes | divide with a few hangers where I hang my pants | casual clothes

Below on the surface towards the right side of the closet door, I place a plastic rectangular basket of foldable clothings and divide them into 4 segments: pants for home use/pants for casual use, Tshirts for home use/ Tshirts for casual use.

On the left side there is a small space remaining which I place my jacket and sleeping bag (I use my sleeping bag sometimes as a makeshift blanket or I always take along when travelling to use as blanket or a pillow).


Fortunately for me I have stopped going for shopping sprees for clothings for a number of years. This is because I became alarmed after seeing how much of unused clothing that I had to donate off because I do not wear them often.

Basically I have settled in a clothing style that I am comfortable with and tend to buy from the same brand or shops.  However if I do buy new clothes, I would do an audit on the clothes that I am not really wearing and either donate them or keep them in the storage containers. Each time I have washed my clothes, I would place them in the correct space where they below.

I have a system of folding my clothes (not the Kon Mari method) but it works for me each piece of my clothing belonged to a certain space. I always ensure I fold my clothes properly before placing them back and the plastic storage helps to compartmentalize the clothings to prevent them from falling all over the place.

Clothes that needed to be ironed would be placed outside and ironed before being placed back in the closet… because I do not wish to go through my closet only to find that the clothing I need had not been ironed. I also tend to buy clothes that requires minimal or no ironing but at the same time helps to absorb sweat (our weather is real hot and humid here).

In the past, I have always been a messy person, yet this system works for me. If I can do it, I am sure you would be able to do too.

In organizing your closet, the most important is to find what works for you. Don’t create anything complicated or fancy if it requires too much effort to stick to else it may cause your closet to go messy in no time. You also need not spend a lot- I only bought the inexpensive plastic trays that cost a few bucks from the market.


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