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2 Simple Steps on How to Organize Clothes by Color

A step by step guide on how to organize clothes by color. After years of organizing clothes in closets for clients here are my tips and tricks to make your closet more functional, pretty, and easier to find what you need.

how to organize clothes by color

Learning how to organize clothes by color is probably the number one thing you can do to make your closet more functional and look amazing. There are other tricks that will make it look beautiful and I cannot wait to share them with you after we talk about color organizing.

This post contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you purchase using the links below at no extra cost to you. All opinions are all my own.

How to Organize Clothes by Color

There is no one way to organize clothes in a closet. That is apparent if you look at other organizing sights like Marie Kondo and The Home Edit. They all have amazing ideas! But color coding clothes is the one thing I have found that makes finding dresses, pants and so on much easier.

Let's begin organizing your closet by colors.

1. Divide Clothes

When you begin to organize your clothes in the closet divide them into piles of dresses, short sleeve shirts, long sleeve shirts, pants, shorts, jackets and sweaters, skirts, and so on.

This is a great time to purge clothes. If you haven't worn it in years then it may be time to say goodbye. Start a pile for Goodwill or wherever you donate clothes.

Also if you have seasonal clothes that go in another closet or are folded and stored in boxes go ahead and pull them out. You can follow these same tips for season clothes if you are planning to store them in another closet.

2. Arrange Clothes in Closet in Rainbow Order

This is where it starts getting fun. Begin with one pile and place it back on the closet rod then start organizing in this order. White, tan, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet, purple, brown, gray, and black.

organize cloth by rainbow colors

A simple way to remember this is to start with white and tans then rainbow colors and ending with greys and black. Also when you are organizing within a color sort from light to dark. For example, these blue shirts flow from light to dark blue.

Or you can download the color chart in my how to organize sewing supplies on a budget post. The rainbow chart will help you stay on track.

organizing clothes by colors

Next, grab the next pile of clothes and continue to sort the pieces into a rainbow arrangement.

How to Organize Patterns by Color

This part can be tricky but I have two solutions that will help. First, stand back and ask yourself what is the main color of the garment. In other words what one color does it read when you stand back from it.

How to organize patterns

This Lilly Pulitzer dress has lots of colors but the background is a hot pink color so it will be piled with pinks.

Another option is to separate your patterns from your solids. Organize all your solids by color and then place all the patterns at the end.

how to organize clothes by color

I like to keep patterns in with the solids but I organized the short sleeve dresses with the patterns at the end to give you an example. Also, I like to organize sleeveless first, then short sleeves, long sleeves, and last all long dresses.

Before you know it your closet will be finished and you will have color organized closet. But let's say you want to make the rest of your closet pretty. Here are more ideas on making your closet look tidy and organized.

How to Make your Closet Look Pretty and Organized

Now that you have a grip on how to organize by color let's talk about how to make your closet look pretty.

Probably the number one thing you can do to give it that professional organized closet look is to get hangers that are in the same color and type. I particularly love wood hangers because they are thicker and keep the clothes separated nicely.

Wood hangers make great cloth organizing

Doesn't a wood hanger look amazing in a closet?

My daughter has a very small closet so a wood hanger is not the best choice for her so a felt hanger in the same color works better. You see the felt hanger is thinner which means she can fit more clothes in her small closet.

Another tidbit that helps is to hang a large tote on a hanger and put smaller purses inside the large tote. This is a trick for smaller walk-in closets that don't have shelf storage.

Store purses in a large tote and hang it in your closet

Hanger, baskets, and hanging bags can make your closet look so much prettier but if you can splurge on a closet system then I would recommend it.

What is a Closet System

A closet system is a combination of shelves, cabinets, dresser drawers, rods, and more to make organizing your closet much easier and better looking. I have installed closet systems in small and large closet spaces so size doesn't always matter.

If you can afford an organizational system, and the Home Depot has many do-it-yourself systems, then I would go for it. It will make a load of difference in keeping your closet space organized and helps keep a clean closet look.

Many closet organizers have shoe racks but if you are wondering where are my shoes in this closet then you are asking a good question.

Shoe Storage for Bedroom Closets

Some people store their shoes on shelves where they are displayed and easy to find. Personally, I like to hide my shoes so they are behind the cabinet doors sitting inside baskets on the shelves. Storage bins or baskets make great shelf dividers too.

I have stored shoes openly on shelves, inside cabinets but probably the most interesting design for a shoe rack was between the studs in a wall. I used dowels between the studs and then my client propped the heel of her shoes on the dowel.

This was a genius solution for storage in a very narrow walk-in bedroom closet. Using vertical space is the best way to maximize storage.

Best Paint Colors for Closet

The best paint colors for closets are white and light neutral colors. I particularly love Alabaster White by Sherwin Williams paint. It is a nice soft white that allows all the colors of your clothes to show exactly what they are supposed to be.

Alabaster paint color in closet

Other colors you consider are pure white, extra white, kilim beige, and accessible beige which are all Sherwin Williams colors. The last two colors are light tan and gray but they are good neutrals that don't read any particular color.

If you need more ideas try popular Sherwin Williams paint colors.

Best Lighting for Closets

Lighting can make a big difference in the colors of your clothes. For example, an incandescent warm light bulb will cast a yellow hue onto your clothes whereas a LED cool bulb has a cool hue.

Closet Ceiling Light

I recommend when picking a bulb for ceiling light go with an LED or fluorescent because they do not produce heat which is great if your closet is a walk-in and you plan to change in there.

Also, turn the bulb box over and look at the lighting facts chart. Then go down to the light appearance section. This is a sliding scale from warm to cool. I have a cool LED light at 5000 k in my closet.

5000k a pure light kind of like sunlight on a bright day that will help the colors of your clothes to read exactly what they are supposed to read.

Last, let's talk about how bright your light should be. That will all depend on how big our closet is. My closet is a smaller walk-in galley-style closet. I have one light in the center so I went with the 75-watt equivalent LED daylight bulb.

Ceiling light in closet with lamp shade

Now saying all of that if you are used to warmer bulbs then go with what you are used to.

Closet Cabinet and Shelf Lighting

After you have organized all your hanging clothes, on shelves, in cabinets and drawers let's look at easy ways to add lighting to darker areas.

I use battery operated puck lights that are battery operated to illuminate my cabinet shelves. I find I do not need them all the time but sometimes they really come in handy.

Simply determine where those dark places are and stick the puck lights to the top of the shelf above. Once you have all of them installed then simply attach your remove next to your light switch and like magic you have a shelf and cabinet lighting.

Best Closet Decorations

Now that everything is illuminated and organized in your closets let's add decorations. Look for functional decor like a bench which is very handy for getting dressed. Here is a simple DIY bench you can make for your closet.

Decorations for organized small walk in closet

If you want to add character to your closet create a DIY faux beadboard or shiplap on one wall. This is a very simple project and I will have a DIY post coming soon to show you.

Faux beadboard on wall in organized closet

Another great idea is free wall art for decorating the walls if there is space to do so. I recently created an Etsy shop with these botanicals plus many more that you can print and install into your decor.

Digital wall art in small walk in closet

Baskets are also very practical for closets and they look pretty too. I use this french market basket all the time on outings and it's a great place to store belts, scarves, or anything smaller that needs a spot.

Organize using baskets in a closet

And they are very functional on shelves too. They keep things look neat and tidy and are easy access to your accessories.

Basket storage on shelf in organized closet

Last, add a rug to your small or large walk-in closet to dress it up. It is very important if you have wood floors. But if you have carpet still consider a rug to give your small space character.

White rug in closet

It will make your entire closet look cozy and warm.



Well, that pretty much sums up how to organize closets by color and other professional tips and tricks on organizing and making pretty closets. I hope this closet organization post has inspired you to tackle your closet and give it a few extra details that make it a lovely place to get dressed in every day.

Organize clothes by color in small walk in closet

If you have clothing and accessories you're ready to give to a new home, check out my post Garage Sale Organization: Your Checklist for Success. Again I hope you have enjoyed this post and if you need help organizing other areas of your home, try kitchen zone organizing and how to organize your linen closet using Pinterest to organize. Now it is your turn. What closet do you plan to color organize clothes?

Happy Decorating!

Linda Moore

Saturday 30th of July 2022

I am now inspired to makeover my closets. Thank you. Thank you.

Linda McDonald

Tuesday 2nd of August 2022

That is awesome! This made my day! Good luck!


Saturday 8th of May 2021

[…] you need more storage ideas try my organize clothes by color post or this organizing 101 post which gives you the basics of […]


Saturday 20th of February 2021

[…] when I dove into my closet to organize clothes by colors I decided I wanted to do some decorating and that is when the fake beadboard idea came into my […]


Thursday 18th of February 2021

[…] check it out. And if you are thinking of organizing where you hang your clothes then you will love organizing clothes by color. It makes all the […]


Saturday 13th of February 2021

Your closest looks lovely with all the clothes arranged by color. You mention hanging short sleeves before long sleeves. Do you put all clothes together regardless of the season? Or is your closet seasonal? I need to purge because all my clothes won't fit lol! Thanks for the great information!

Linda McDonald

Monday 15th of February 2021

Thank you, Shirley! That is a very good question. I have a large enough closet to house all season clothes. But if you do not have enough room I would store out of season elsewhere then arrange all shirts long or short by color. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any other questions.