Try this when you want a cleaner closet but don't have time to really declutter.
On Tuesday night, I opened up the door to my closet to put some clothes away, and decided that the cluttered mess had gone on long enough. But, I didn't really have time to sort through every piece, try them on, and decide whether they were joy-sparking enough to make the cut. I had already invested in matching hangers (psst...this is the #1 easiest way to make your closet look more cohesive, even if your clothing collection is a mess), but that trick alone just wasn't cutting it. That's when I decided to put into practice a technique I'd admired in my favorite clothing stores and hundreds of Pinterest boards: organizing by color.
Once I decided to do it, the process of rearranging my closet took less than ten minutes. A typical New Yorker, my wardrobe consists of a lot of black, white, and neutrals, so starting on one end of the closet, I lined up everything black, ranging to shades of light gray. Next, I organized everything blue, from deep navy to the palest sky blue, then bright red through blush pink, and finally, cream to white. When I was done, I hadn't gotten rid of a single piece of clothing, but the entire closet suddenly looked much more organized.
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While it didn't fix the fact that I still have some decluttering to do, what a few minutes earlier looked like a jumble was now a rainbow. And for the past couple days, finding the pieces I planned to wear has been significantly easier. For a minimal time investment, this simple trick passed the test.
Besides making my closet look better, there was another unexpected benefit of the rainbow system: I suddenly realized the palette I wore and matching up pieces became easier. When everything was lined up, there were lots of neutrals, blues, and shades of pink—but not a stitch of purple, green, orange, or brown. Once your closet is sorted by color, you'll be able to spot immediately which hues you gravitate towards, which can help guide your future shopping choices, and may inspire you to try new outfit combinations you'd never considered before. If your favorite skirt looks good with that one blue blouse you always pair with it, maybe it will also work with that blue shade to the right or left.
So, whether you'd like to fake a cleaner closet (without putting in the hard work of purging) or just want to get out of a wardrobe rut (without buying anything), this 10-minute trick could be the fix.