Have you been thinking about organizing your clothes closet? In my last video “The Secret of Getting and Staying Organized,” I talked about the most important place to start. It’s always best to start by getting clear on you priorities before taking on any organizing project. Organizing your clothes is no exception. Here are some clothing storage priorities to consider and how to make the best organizing choices.

Priority 1: keeping a collection of clothes too big for your closet

If you are determined to keep more clothes than will fit inside your closet, then guess what? You have to look outside your closet. For starters, clothes that are off season will need to go to a more remote storage space. This requires an annual rotation from a spot like your basement. Maybe seasonal storage can just an upper shelf, if you have the height. Another option for seasonal storage is under your bed.

You may need to be open to the idea of a clothing rack outside of your closet. Maybe you need to be open to folding some clothes that you would otherwise hang. Shoes that you use less often can be put in clear plastic boxes and stacked on an upper shelf.

Priority 2: being able to hide everything away

Is your priority is to hide a large collection collection of clothes in a small closet? Then I’m sorry. Without a large closet, you will have to purge down your wardrobe. This might be easier than you think. Typically we wear 20% of our clothes 80% of the time.

Pull everything out and consider every category, one at a time. Remember your priority is fitting everything in, hiding it away. So if you don’t love it, let it go.

Priority 3: hanging more than folding

If your priority is to do less folding and more hanging, then you might need to restructure. It might be time for  a new closet installation.The Elfa system from The Container Store is the easiest way to do it yourself.

Priority 4: a beautiful closet you can show off

If your priority is a  beautiful closet like you see on Pinterest and Instagram, then be prepared to spend a lot of money. Even if it’s not a completely custom installation, the the organizing product cost alone can really add up.  If this is your priority, again do yourself a favor and edit out the clothes you don’t wear first. It’s hard to appreciate the beauty of consistent hangers if all your clothes are packed in tight.

Priority 5: limited time in the morning

If your priority is getting ready fast in the morning, then visibility, find-ability, and accessibility are what’s most important. Again excess is your enemy. You could go far as to say excess defeats access.

Keep the floor open and the shelf contents in clear boxes or openly displayed Wherever possible, keep the most commonly accessed items at eye level or just below. Hanging categories dark to light is not only easier on the eye, but makes garments easier to find. For example, let’s say you are looking for a grey short sleeved shirt. In a value spectrum your eyes will target a segment between the black shirt and the white shirt.

So always get clear on your vision first and then remove the items that don’t support it. THEN purchase the right products to maintain it. You must prioritize to organize AND once you have prioritized you can STAY organized.