31 Days To a Less Messy Nest Day 12:: Hanging Clothes

not my closet

I have no right, whatsoever to talk about closets.  Mine is perpetually not tidy.  But the problem isn’t my hanging clothes. I’ll tell you my biggest issue with my closet in another post.  My hanging clothes actually look pretty good and I owe it to two tricks.

1. All of my clothes are hung on identical hangers {my husband has his own identical hangers}  we use wooden hangers that I found on ebay, his are light wood mine are dark.  If your hangers aren’t the same, your closet will still work just fine but, I couldn’t believe the difference it made visually when all of my clothes were hung on identical hangers.  Everything hangs evenly and automatically looks neat.

2. Don’t hate me but….I rainbowize my clothes. Color coordinated clothes make your closet look organized and help you find what you need.  I did this a few years back and it only takes 5 minutes.  From there on out you just have to take an extra 2.5 seconds each time you hang up something to hang it with the right color.  I promise, color coordinating my clothes was the simplest, smallest change that had a huge impact on my closets life.  Trust me on this, go color code your clothes.

By the way, I had 3 times this amount of clothes until the yard sale.  I realized I wasn’t wearing all that I had and decided to sell the stuff I didn’t love.  Getting dressed is so much quicker and I can’t even remember anything I got rid of!  I still have another side of the closet with little jackets and a few dresses and such but these are my hanging shirts.

Have you missed any of my 31 Days post?  Click here to read them all.

Be sure to visit the other 31 dayers:: Reluctant Entertainer, The Inspired Room, Remodeling This Life, Chatting at the Sky, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam, My First Kitchen, Life With My 3 Boybarians, over the next 31 days.

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  1. I have arranged my closet by color and type as long as I can remember. No, I do not live in an insane asylum. I remember doing it as a child. My bedroom was a perpetual hot mess, but my closet rod always looked good. I have camis separate from short sleeves, which are separate from long sleeves. I even have t-shirt-ish long sleeves separate from (never wear) dressy long sleeves. I like the way it looks with all the likes – color and type – with their own kind.

    • I’m with you, Karen. I had the messiest room growing up (much to my sister’s dismay), but she was always so organized and had her clothes sorted by color. Since we shared a closet, I did the same. Nowadays, my closet is separated by type of clothing, but I am getting inspired by you, Nester, to get rid of about 2/3 of it. I think I still have stuff in there that I haven’t worn since 1998!! So, we know how stylish those things are! I figure, if it has dust on the shoulders, IT GOES!!!

  2. Oh, and be glad that isn’t your closet up there. The clothes are too squished. You have much better spacing. Did I mention I also space the hangers? Cra-zy. (We got our wooden ones at Home Depot. Why didn’t I think of Ebay??)

  3. I switched to matching plastic hangers a few years ago. LOVE it. Hubby balked and whined at extra cost so I gave him all the wire ones. I hate hanging up his clothes. It really does make a difference. I’ll have to play with the rainbow idea.

  4. such a great idea.

    and yea, i like your closet better than the first image closet. that one gives me anxiety!


  5. Oh, Nester. I’m giddy if my pants/skirts and my tops/jackets are each in their own sections! ;o)

    I do, however, think that without realizing it, I hang my tops near similar colors. It does help.

  6. I love the idea of different colored hangers for sharing closet space!

  7. i need to do this BADLY. thank you for your tips. my closet is a MESS and my husband talks to me about it every weekend.

  8. Hahaha! You made me laugh out loud at “not my closet!”

    Love the hangers, and I have mine sorted by short sleeved/long.

  9. LOL, I rainbowize my closet and the Cuties’ closets as well! It’s so much easier to find what you need when you’re in a hurry – it’s especially helpful when I’m asking my husband to help and grab a sweater for a child – there’s a much better chance he’ll actually FIND the light blue cardigan since he knows exactly where to look!

  10. My clothes are all color coded too. In addition, they are organized by sleve length. This summer I put all my short sleve stuff front and center and put the long sleve stuff in the back. It made it so much easier to find a summer shirt! I need help organizing my shoes.

  11. It does really help to have all the same hangers…both in helping all the clothes to fit together well and to make your closet look half way organized! I’m really enjoying all these posts. Thanks Nester!

  12. Mine are sorted by shirts/skirts/pants. (Well, I only have one pair on pants that hang up, the rest of jeans) :) I once bought us all different colored hangers, and I LOVED the look of having things the SAME. Also helped with my two girls who also share a closet. As the kid got older, I needed more hangers, and just “made do”, and now it’s all a mess. But I am now inspired to do the matching hangers again! You’re right, it helps my eyes when I open the door! :)

  13. Nester, I need help with my shoes! I line them up and they still end up as a big pile in my closet. What do you do to keep them organized? Do those racks or over-the-door things work? I’m also needing the same help for my 3-year-old twins’ shoes in their closet. ;)

    • I love shoes and as a result I have many many shoes. I used to keep them all in their boxes stacked on top of each other. Of course all the boxes were different sizes and that caused some frustration. Also I always forgot about the shoes stuck at the bottom. Time for a new plan. Most of my hanging clothes are short but the hanging space is long. So I installed some elfa drawers in the bottom of my closet. Pull out drawer-shelves like the ones in the nester’s kitchen is probably an even better idea. I also put one shelf on top of the drawers for all those awkwardly sized shoes such as my hiking shoes and fashion boots.

  14. once upon a time…i color coded, then i got lazy. i’m off to color code…again. thanks.

  15. Great post! I sort by sleeve length for the most part, that seems to work well for me. First I have a few thin jersey shirts that need to go on the fuzzy hangers (they end up with shoulder bumps if I don’t), then shirt sleeve, 3/4 sleeve, long sleeve, fleece/sweatshirt type stuff, dress shirts, and blazers. On the other side I have skirts, pants, and then dresses, and I also have some shelves that hold folded tank tops, sweaters, jeans, etc.

    I switched out my summer clothes for fall the other day and I was able to store away some winter items that are a little *ahem* tight at the moment (I’ve gained a few pounds but am trying to lose them again, so I’m holding on to the clothes for now). It feel much nicer to not have those too-tight clothes sitting around! Now I just wish I could force myself to let go of more, I still have some clothes that are too tight/short/annoying.

  16. I made the same changes a few years ago–wooden hangers and color coordinating. It has really helped inspire me to keep it tidy. So easy to find what I’m looking for! I do need to work on my shelves in the closet again. They are getting way to sloppy and crowded. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. I’m a rainbow girl too! I also go sleeveless to short to long sleeved. And I put most of my off-season clothes in a plastic box in the top of my closet. I also use the same color hangers…just plastic and green…but it does make a difference! I’m glad I’m not the only one that does this. :)

  18. Just yesterday I waged a war on our overstuffed closets and drawers. I have realized since being pregnant that the fewer choices I have the faster it is to pack for trips or get dressed for the day. We have too much and we are getting rid of it once AmVets bag at a time.

    I was about to hate you when I saw the photo of the first closet.

  19. If you don’t hang by colors, then you never know when you have that “white” top and then you’ll go out and buy it, because it’s been lost between the blue and the brown one! I did this a couple of years ago and it works great. Makes putting clean clothes back easier too. Miss Smarty Pants also recommends this. I love the wooden hangers but they take up more space so I have to use plastic ones.

  20. My closet has been in “rainbow order” for about 7 years!!! It just makes me happy! I also hang almost everything. And for my teen son, hanging his clothes was key. My almost-teen girl needs to hang hers but she fears it. But I swear it makes them stay neater, and is so much easier to put away hung clothes than folded clothes!!! I heart your rainbowized closets! Oh, I also have matching hangers!!! Blessings!!!

  21. Wait for it.

    Wait for it.

    Waaaait for it.

    I do the same thing.


  22. my biggest issue is that we don’t have a real closet because we moved our master downstairs to the finished basement and currently we use the pipes (sturdy and not overloaded) that are in the laundry area (also downstairs in the basement) as a place to hang all of our stuff. Well, hubs doesn’t, he insists on hanging his in our door way and that is slowly driving me batty. I do use all of the same hangars and I was amazed at how much neater things got.

  23. These are both things I already do. I thought I was probably the only one who organized their closet by color. I hang all my t-shirts too though, so I have three sections for myself and 2 for my husband. Praise God for finding a house with a big walk-in closet!

  24. I’m another one who organizes the closet by color. At least, I do that with MY clothes. Even if I did that to my husband’s clothes, he wouldn’t keep it that way, so I don’t bother.

  25. I do the exact same thing at our house color coordinate (mine only)…but my hangers are all white plastic ones even for the kiddos…so more shirts fit in the closet. I think the wooden ones take up too much space. I do have all dark wooden hangers in the coat closet and also the small hallway closet that hubby uses for his work clothes. I noticed a light wooden hanger…is hubby hanging his shirt in your closet? hehehe

  26. I do this with my son’s closet and think it is the best thing! But now I am left wondering why in the world have I not done it with my own closet. Silly me. Now I am off to color coordinate ALL my clothes closets!!

  27. I hang my clothes in rainbow order too…only I go one step further and rainbowtize my tanks, then rainbowtize my short sleeve, then long sleave and sweaters. AmI crazy? I think not. It makes it easy to find what I want. Thats for sure.

  28. flyinjuju says:

    I do what Taylor-Ann does. It is great!! Solids, stripes, short sleeves, longsleeve, all rainbownized. Although now that I have four little kids, I have been known to not do this as consistently. I love it though.
    Love your series.

  29. Love it! I do both in our home. My hangers are green and his are white. I am slowly switching over to all wooden. I found a great deal at Ikea on them and did our coat closet first. And now I don’t feel so insane for rainbowizing my closet and his and my kids. It looks so much cleaner when I open the door and oh so tidy! I agree that it only takes a few minutes and can make such a difference.
    This series is awesome! Keep it coming Nester!

  30. Yep, yep, yep…I use matching identical white hangars for everything and have been a rainbowtizer since high school. My friends laughed at me (and now are just envious), but I know exactly what is in my closet and I don’t suffer from scads of unworn clothing just hanging around taking up closet real estate. And I feel serenity anytime I enter my closet. :-)

  31. Ikea has great affordable hangers, in case anyone is looking!

    I actually rainbow my closet too AND got rid of a HUGE amount before my yardsale last month… but alas, our master bedroom closet has turned into a catch-all for the house and looks absolutely embarassing. We barely want to even go in there… it’s on our to-do list for upcoming projects!

  32. I have hanger envy.

  33. Cortney Lovelace says:

    I have color coordinated my closet for a few years and can’t ever go back! It makes it so much prettier and easier to find what I want to wear each day.
    I registered for wooden hangers for my wedding, and I’m hoping somebody buys them for me!

  34. I bought hangers that are really thin, and they made a HUGE difference in my closet space! I sort my clothes by type – work shirts, non-work shirts, etc. That way, depending on when I’m getting dressed, I only have to go to one place and not dig through anything. The rainbow idea looks so nice, though!

  35. I don’t know if this was already mentioned in your comments but, IKEA has wood hangers for pretty reasonable. They come in a dark finish and a light. I love this series?m. So many great tips!

  36. Um, you lost me at matching hangers.

    You hang stuff? Remind me to never show you my closets.

    Love you anyway. xo

  37. I not only colorize my clothes, but I also match the hangar color to the piece of clothing. I use the plastic hangars you can find everywhere. The Container Store has lots of colors so I can pretty much match the hangar to the piece of clothing.

    By the way, I love your posts this month. I cleaned off the kitchen counter and changed the seasonal display and it just looks so much better. It energized me to work on more and more and do an ‘autumn cleaning’. Thanks!

  38. Love my rainbow closet…it makes gressing so much faster and I can tell at the end of the season what I am actually wearing and what just sits there. I can then get rid of things and shop end of season sales to replace anthing that needs to be replaced.

    Definitely have hanger envy! I will be checking ebay and IKEA today!

  39. People make fun of me all the time for having color coded clothes but I just think about what color I want to wear that day and look at my choices. Everything’s so much easier! …Except I took it a step further and I’ve got tanks, short sleeves and long sleeves separated and then colorized. Maybe that’s why they make fun of me.

  40. I do the same thing and try to hang my clothes in color order. It makes it easier to figure out what to wear and to know the options.

  41. Jennifer S. says:

    I worked at Dillard’s for years while in college and we were told to size then colorize once things went on sale in those round racks. We always used the same matching hangers too… clear ones. We even had to take things off of the hangers they came on and switch out to the ones the store provided to stay the same. You know if the big department stores do it, there is a reason for it and it works. =)
    P.S. For the last 11 years my closet has had matching hangers (I also prefer wooden!) and is colorized!

  42. Do you rainbowize your shoes?

    confession: I totally do. Black shoes with heels, without heels, open toe, closed toe. Same with brown and so on…. and then I have 2 rows (i know, ridic) at the bottom that is full of tennis shoes, TOMS and comfyness.

    My flip-flops hang in a organized pocket thing on my door and yes, they are color-coordinated as well.

    Makes it much easier when i’m trying to pick out shoes!

    I’ve enjoyed your 31 Days so far! :)

  43. i’m madly-in-like with you nester!

    i seriously have strong feelings of like for anyone that speaks my love language- organization!

    i too rainbow my clothes. makes it so much easier to find what i want.
    but he hanger idea,love it.

  44. Right now we are renovating and creating a large walk-in closet between our bedroom and our soon-to-be-nursery. So, I really don’t have much of a closet to speak of (which makes finding something to wear to the office each day a bit of work). Also, most of my regular clothes don’t fit (being almost 7 months pregnant), so that’s another whole issue in itself.
    Nonetheless, my husband should be done drywalling, patching, sanding and building shelves soon, and I can’t wait to get in there and get the clothing organized. Thanks for the inspiration!

  45. Well I’m heading upstairs right now and…. well I’m gonna go to bed … then in the morning, after some coffee I’m going to re-organize our wardrobe. We live in an older home with very little storage in our closets so a few years ago we splurged and bought Ikea wardrobes and I’ve been in heaven ever since. Lately I’ve been so busy that I’ve been just tossing clothes here and there – Having everything hanging really does help!

  46. Whooo Hoooo! ROY G. BIV all the way!! I feel so great that someone else in the world does the same thing I do……but…… alas my OCD takes over and each type of shirt is also in order…..

  47. I’m a rainbow guy, By that I mean I color coordinated the hangers to the clothes. Then I arrange in a rainbow or light spectrum manner. My wife and kids think it’s hysterical…But that’s ok, I’m neater than they are. :-)

  48. Hi. I am the odd one out! I read once about how we wear only 20% of our wardrobes. So I set about changing that. I cycle my clothes. Clothes I have worn recently or just out of the wash get hung on the left. I choose my clothes from the right. I am also certain that I haven’t worn the same thing in a week or two (or longer depending on your clothing quantity). It also is telling if something stays to the right for several weeks – it gets tossed in the give bin.

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