Whether you want a color-coded closet for the perfect Insta shot or you’re looking for a practical solution to your clutter problem, organizing a closet by color is a fantastic option.
There’s something truly beautiful about a collection of items, all in perfect color order. Whether we’re enjoying the bright swaths of paint at Blind Whino in DC or visiting Electronic Superhighway, the Smithsonian’s contemporary crowning jewel, we love primary colors. And we love them in order. From infancy onward, we’ve all been attracted to this particular organizational trick—which is why both toddler xylophones and Saks clothing racks are all arranged by shade. Color organization is pleasing to the eye, calming to the mind, and looks ridiculously good when photographed.
Whether you want a color-organized closet for the perfect Insta shot or you’re looking for a practical solution to your clutter problem, organizing a closet by color is a fantastic option. Going through and rearranging your entire closet can be daunting. Our simple, five-step process will help you get a color organized closet in the span of a sunny Saturday afternoon (after brunching in Chevy Chase, of course). We’ve also revealed some of our closet designers’ expert tips for taking your colorful storage space to the next level. Following these steps will help you put your wardrobe in color order in no time.
Five Steps to Organizing a Closet By Color
Step 1: Remove everything from your closet.
And we do mean everything. Pile it all on your bed, on the (clean) carpet, or in a spare bedroom. Take out every hanging dress, folded sweater, bin of scarves, and pair of sandals. Don’t forget to clean any items currently resting in your hamper and add them to the mix. At this point, you should be looking at a starkly empty closet and a ridiculously cluttered floor. Let’s move on.
Step 2: Let go of what needs a new life.
Hold each item in your hands, one at a time, and ask yourself three questions: Does this item fit your body, as it is, today? Is this item still in brand-new, ready-to-wear condition? Do I still wear this item often? If you answered “No” to any question, set the article of clothing aside in a separate pile or box. You can go through the box one last time (preferably a couple days later) before donating everything inside to Suited for Change or the National Center for Children and Families.
Step 3: Make color piles
Now for the fun part! Like a preschool sorting activity, we’ll pick out all garments in the “red” family and place them in a pile all on their own. No need to worry about the season, fabric weight, or length here. Just look for like colors, and create new piles as needed. You could even combine piles if, say, you only have a couple of “pink-ish” items but an entire slew of “red-ish” blouses.
Pro Tip: If you prefer, keep separate piles for your pants, skirts, dresses, or blouses. Especially if you have double hanging rods, this will save time in putting everything back in the closet. Don’t forget to include the shoes and accessories in their own piles as well!
Step 4: Lay out your closet
First, decide what order you’d like your colors to flow through. There’s a certain charm and satisfaction of a closet arranged in a traditional rainbow, but that might not be ideal for your wardrobe. You do you. Next, place each of your piles, one at a time, on the hanging rods and shelves of your closet. Shift around as needed to leave enough space for the bigger and smaller categories in your wardrobe. Survey the color story and adjust as needed until you’re satisfied with how the shades look next to each other.
Step 5: Put everything in order
A closet organized by color will have a great look all on its own. But if you want to take things to the next level and have a closet worthy of a professional organizer’s Instagram feed, you’ll want to take the final steps. Put your clothing items in a thoughtful order within each color category. Our clients usually prefer the look of items arranged by length, with longer items on the left and shorter items on the right. A gradual, up-and-to-the-right slope is created by the hemlines of this color category. Alternatively, you could arrange the items in each color group by season, weight of fabric, or occasion. Once each item has its particular spot in the color category, your vibrant closet project is complete!
Upgrading Your Color Organized Closet
Following the steps above will give you a closet beautifully organized by shade, with everything in its place, perfectly. However, if you’re working within the confines of a standard walk-in closet with only one hanging rod and shelf, the effect might not live up to the example set by your closet inspo Pinterest board. The best way to get that boutique closet look in your own home is to partner with a great design company and invest in a custom closet organization system. With precisely measured cabinetry, you’ll have the most stunning closet in your neighborhood. Filling your new custom closet with a color-coordinated wardrobe will make your space worthy of any celebrity closet.
Want in? Simply schedule a free design consultation with one of Closet America’s design experts. We’ll meet with you in the comfort of your own DC-area home to discuss layout, finish, and custom features. Together we’ll create a custom closet design that will work perfectly for your space. And because our closet designers are professional organizers in disguise, they’ll have even more tips and tricks to share on getting your dream closet organized entirely by color.