Everyday you feed it more and more - a jacket, some scarves, a pair of clogs, some books, a Pictionary set missing half the cards - until its monstrous mass finally overwhelms you. Everyone has at least one closet that could be declared a natural disaster. So you only have two options: Write to the President asking to receive funds from FEMA, or get yourself organized. And because we'd feel guilty recommending that you take federal money away from earthquake victims, this SYW will guide you through the process of making sense out of that chaotic hole you call a closet.

By the way, you're going to learn how to organize a clothes closet, but the same principles apply to linen or utility closets. Good thing too - you're a real slob!


Think of this step as your journey into the great unknown… you never know what little goodies you'll find lurking in the dark recesses of a closet. So the first step is to remove every single item inside it. EVERYTHING. This serves two purposes:

  1. You'll be able to see exactly what kind of space you have to work with.

  2. You'll be so embarrassed by your pile of junk sitting on your floor/bed/sofa/dog, that you'll have no other option but to organize it neatly.

Once your closet can again see the light of day, scrub it down. Martha Stewart recommends a tangy lemon-flavored recipe you can make yourself, but soap and water will work too.