For the past several years, an obsession with organization, minimalism, and tidiness has swept popular media. From Marie Kondo’s enormously popular book The Lifechanging Magic of Tidying Up to the professional organization agency The Home Edit’s delightfully color-coded systems, there seems to be something to this universal fascination with organization, systems, and processes that transcends the aesthetic pleasure of a color-coded shoe rack, a chalkboard-labeled pantry shelf, and a finite collection of crisp neutrals gracing our closets. Our love of all things clean, simple, and organized points to a higher, deeper desire—one for order and clarity.

Research validates this yearning for order: according to a 2018 psychology journal article, maintaining an uncluttered home carries a wealth of mental health benefits, from creating a sense of confidence and self-efficacy to reducing anxiety. So, while organizing our homes will not fix every problem in our lives, it can set us up for success in ways that living amid chaos and clutter simply won’t.

One habitually-neglected space in our homes is—you guessed it—the closet. While we may be excited about organizing a kitchen or a living room, a closet is a different story. We likely don’t invite guests into our closets, and we don’t spend much time in them. They serve a specific, finite purpose, and because of that, it is easy to simply grab our outfits of choice without paying much mind to whether order or chaos marks the space.

Nonetheless, our closets are important: if our clothes say so much about who we are and can even impact how we feel on a day to day basis (even in an age of teleworking), doesn’t it seem that a clean, organized space would serve us well? After all, who really wants to rifle through last week’s laundry heap to find something to wear to a brunch date or a Zoom call?

If your closet is a wreck, you will find no judgment here. You’re not alone. To help you get over the inevitable hump, here are our foolproof tips for organizing your closet—and keeping it that way for the foreseeable future.

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