Wardrobe 101

5 Hacks to Simplify Your Closet

Stolen from Your Favorite Boutique!

Happy day, reader dear!

Now I’m not one to encourage theft… But let’s get real. Some ideas are just too good to be kept to yourself. And that goes for ideas from others, too! Otherwise how can you explain the prevalence of hack posts and hack videos to be found absolutely everywhere you look? Today I want to share with you 5 Hacks to Simplify Your Closet.

I get hack love! Why make things harder than they need to be? I certainly want to make my life easier. Caveat: As long as the hacks don’t compromise my values and are for things I want to make easier. Some hacks I just don’t get… Like bed making hacks… I mean, I don’t mind making my bed, and I keep it pretty simple. I don’t need it any easier!

So why am I stealing inspo from boutiques? Simple, it’s the job of a boutique (or any store) to showcase and move merchandise. That works for our closets, too! When we can see our clothes, we move them onto our bodies and out the door. Which would you rather open in the morning? A closet that looks like a custom curated boutique? Or one that looks like a rummage sale? There’s so much goodness to be learned from our boutique friends… Let’s get going! Your boutique should contain:

Only This Season!

Your local boutique keeps the in season merchandise right up front to tempt you. You should do the same. I call these in season pieces that fit your Working Wardrobe. At the boutique, the out of season items are gone or relegated to a clearance rack in the back. You don’t have a clearance rack, so take those out of season pieces and pop them into a storage box, or suitcase. (Clean them first, please.) Out of sight is out of mind and opens up visual and mental space.

Only What FITS!

Now a typical boutique will have clothes in a variety of sizes, but often they will specialize in a particular size range. Think Petites, Talls, Misses. They might specialize in a particular shape, maybe Athletic or Curvy. Your closet is YOUR custom curated boutique; it should contain only clothes that fit YOU. Right now. Not 10 pounds from now. That means: Take all the clothes that don’t fit and get them out of your way. Put them with your out of season items if you are making progress toward that goal weight. Otherwise, bless someone else with them! You’ll lose pounds of unwearable clothes and pounds of guilt!

ONLY Clothes! (Yes, Shoes & Accessories Allowed, Too!)

A boutique knows its clientele and stocks for them. Your closet should be stocked for your wardrobe needs. Maybe a decor item or two to spice it up, but you don’t need: Lost tooth collections. Broken children’s toys. Golf clubs. Tennis racquets. Hidden bags of Cheetos. You’d be surprised. Maybe you wouldn’t be! I don’t know what’s lurking in your closet, but I find LOTS of things in clients’ closets that don’t belong there. Yes, the odd gift for an upcoming birthday is allowed. I’d suggest finding somewhere else to stash the Christmas haul.

Matching Hangers

It seems like hangers wouldn’t be a big deal, but matching hangers are one of the simplest changes with the biggest bang for your buck! If the only hack you take from this list is to homogenize your hangers, I promise that hangers and the Rainbows will make a HUGE difference in the way your closet looks and functions. Ditch the wire. I love the flocked velvety hangers or wooden hangers. You can purchase clips for flocked hangers to hang skirts, and wooden hangers come in clip versions. Now you have no excuse.

Organize by Color

Many boutiques organize their stock by color. Why? Because it looks appealing! AND it makes it easier for you, the shopper! You want a blue shirt? You head toward the places you see blue.

I always organize a client’s closet by color. That way, if you want the yellow blouse, you look with the yellow tops. If it’s not there, you know it’s in the laundry. You don’t have to look down 6 or 12 feet of rail, pawing throught each item wondering if it’s there. There are two ways to organize by color. I think of them as the Rainbow and the Repeating Rainbow!


When you Rainbow your closet, you group all similarly colored items together, grading from light to dark. For example: White shirts, then white sweaters/toppers and white bottoms, then white dresses. Then you move a shade darker, to tan or yellow, again starting with shirts, sweaters/toppers, bottoms, and dresses. Hanging your clothes this way is THE BEST way to pinpoint what colors you have in your wardrobe, and how much of each. Obvious? Yes. But you’d be amazed at how many people have no idea what colors of clothing they own because they are all jumbled together! (Maybe you wouldn’t be. But I always am!) Boutiques frequently use the Rainbow technique to organize their stores. It’s visually appealing and great for shopping! There’s been a trend running for a few years to organize book shelves this same way… Not yet sold, but willing to try.

Repeating Rainbow

In this case, you group types of clothing and THEN hang each group by color from light to dark! For example: White shirts, then tan or yellow, onto orange, pink, red, green, blue, grey, brown, black. Purple? Well, sometimes I place it after red, and other times with blue… It depends on the client and her coloring! Next you hang bottoms in the same color series. Then toppers, again by color from light to dark. The benefit to this method is that you can see not only the colors, but Repeating Rainbows illustrate the wardrobe balance in terms of numbers and color.

What About Prints/Patterns?

No worries! (And yes, I get this question regularly!) Hang it with the color it most resembles. Hang a blue and white shirt with the blues, or your red and black checked pants with the reds. Patterns of multiple colors? I usually squint and look at the print or pattern as a whole. What is the dominant color? Hang it with its friends and relations!

Hook(s) to Showcase

How does a boutique tempt you? They showcase items and outfits either on mannequins, or on hooks strategically located about the store. They want to give you an idea of how to wear the pieces and make it easier for you to imagine yourself in an outfit… When you see it, you can see yourself in it, and are more likely to buy the whole thing!

Use this strategy to make your daily dressing easier! Hang a hook or two inside your closet door (or designate a spot right at the front) to hang your outfit for the next day. I have a client who takes time on Sunday afternoon to create and hang five different outfits. Then she can simply walk into her closet, decide which she’s in the mood for, and be out the door in ten minutes flat.

As I throw out every few weeks: If you see anything here on Closet Play Image that inspires you or gets your gears ticking, please save it to your Pinterest boards, or share with your friends on social media. Your introduction is the best way for me to make new friends! It’s good for me and the blog. You are the bestest readers! Thank you! XO

How About YOU?

Does your closet or wardrobe feel more like a custom curated boutique? Or more like a rummage sale? Have you ever implemented any of the hacks above? How has it/have they worked for you? What colors predominate in your closet? Are your out of season pieces still hanging front and center making it harder for you to dress each day? Which hack here feels the most do-able for you? I do so love to hear from you! Let me know; there’s plenty of space in the comments…

Stylishly yours,

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  • Carol Karl

    Great information in this post. I went through my wardrobe recently and removed everything I wasn’t wearing. It made a huge difference – I could actually see what I had and therefore started wearing it.

    • Liz K

      YESSSS! It’s so true! When we see it, we wear it! If it’s hiding, it may as well not exist. Thank you, Carol for popping by and commenting!


    Liz, What I read said that my yellow toned skin is a color and my warm medium brown hair is a color but I didn’t realize my blue eyes are a color as well. I difinately am medium in color although my skin is very light in the colder seasons. Now I’m unsure of what to think! I’m Spring pure colors for sure. These look the best on me!! Thnak you for any suggestion you could have!

    • Liz K

      Generally hair and skin are neutral. Skin is only colored if it is very ruddy or so yellowish as to be jaundiced. I know with your dialysis, that might be the case, but I expect not… It sounds like your blue eyes are your only color, which makes you a 2N+1C. Hope this helps!


    Liz, Good Morning! I pray you are well today! My closet is organized by items types (blouses, skirts) and by lengths (short-sleeve,3/4 sleeve and long-sleeve blouses etc). Then each section is by colors. I’ll admit I don’t have much color!! I recently realized from some reading I am 2C and 1N. Does this mean I’m to always to try and wear 2 colors and 1 neutal per oufit? I would be very grateful if you would help me understand this! Thank You!

    • Liz K

      Hello, Natalie! I would assume if you are a 2C that you have colored eyes, say blue, green, or violet, but what is your second C? Your skin or hair? When our outfit color contrast is in harmony with our personal color contrast, it prevents the colors from wearing us! I would never say “always” as you did in your question, but playing with two color and a neutral would be a great place to start! Remember that a pattern will combine colors, so patterned pieces are an easy way to create color contrast, or adding colored accessories to a 1C+1N outfit.

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