It has been almost 10 years since I wrote about organizing closets. Really, I looked it up on my computer. And now that we are all “coming out” of the closet, I mean house, these days and getting out of our sweatpants and off video conference calls, I thought our closets might need some pruning. So I’m here as your professional organizer to remind you that no matter what we organize, the methodology is the same. SSPOE is the name of the game.

Sort – Take everything (or do one wall at a time if the whole closet is too much in one organizing session) out of the closet and SORT your items into categories that make sense to you:

  • Dress Pants
  • Jeans
  • Dresses
  • Skirts
  • Long Sleeve Dressy
  • Long Sleeve Casual
  • Short Sleeve Casual
  • Short Sleeve Dressy
  • Layering Pieces
  • Folded Dresses and Skirts
  • Scarves and Wraps
  • Jackets Casual
  • Jackets Dressy
  • Pocketbooks

Select – Now that your room your organizing in is littered in clothing/categorical piles, SELECT from each category what you love to wear and want to keep. This is the time to make decisions. This is the time to try on clothes and look in the mirror. Do you like what you see and feel? If not, it becomes a non-keeper. Hint, hint.

Purge – Now that you’ve been through each sorted pile and decided what is staying and what is not, what would you like to do with the items that you do not want to return to your closet? Will those items be considered a donate, a sell, a toss, a give to another person you know in that size? The PURGE is all about letting go. Please take those items out of the room right now and put a plan of action in place to get them out of the house. My favorite charity for pick-up services in Bergen County at the moment is the United Breast Cancer Foundation. Pick up the phone and schedule now. Don’t have that charity where you live? Go to the Internet and type, “Charities Near Me”. Do the same thing for selling, “How Do I Sell My Clothes Online”.

Organize / Containerize / & Sometimes Labelize – Here’s where we actually ORGANIZE and put away your clothing items. We look at the whole closet and think, “Where will the short hanging go, the long hanging, the items in between, the categories I like to fold, the dry cleaning? We give all the keepers a home whether it is a hanger on a pole, a shelf cubby, a drawer in a built-in, an over-the-door or over-the-pole organizing product, the tippy top shelf etc. The “where” we give our clothing and accessories “homes” is critical to convenient retrieval and visualization. Sometimes placing certain categories in clear containers or baskets with labels is very helpful.

Looking for product ideas? Try these.

These are two of my favorite closet organizing products that I like to use all of the time. The drawer dividers take one drawer (one space) and then split it into different categories visually. This does wonders for our eyes, ease of putting items away and general organization. The CLEAR over-the-door organizer can be used for lots of categories such as costume jewelry ensembles, summer scarves, camisoles, socks/nylons and of course shoes.


Equalize / Eliminate / Enlist & Enjoy – This is the last step in our SSPOE methodology and a very important one at that. Many folks forget they are not done with their organizing journey after they put their closet back together. BUT, if we do not put a plan in place to keep the closet items in place, guess what? Things will get out of place! So, think about what you will do in order to equalize (maintain) the new clothing system you just work exceptionally hard on following the SSPOE model.

Maybe you’ll follow the “Under Two, Please Do” motto and nightly place all clothing items back into their “homes” or laundry basket. Maybe you’ll eliminate seasonally the clothing you did not wear all winter or summer. (I love to keep a donation bin handy in either the laundry room or closet, placing items as they return from the wash that don’t fit well or I just don’t like on me anymore). Maybe you’ll enlist your spouse who shares this closet with you to do his part in keeping the closet in order. If we do all these E’s correctly; equalize, eliminate and enlist, we get to enjoy our closets!