This is the secret to maintaining a color organized closet, according to professional organizers

Closet designers and professional organizers spill on how their clients keep a color organized closet looking its best

a color organized closet of men's clothes
(Image credit: Stefan Radtke for California Closets)

We've all seen color organized closets on social media, and while it's possibly the most attractive way to organize your clothes, the upkeep might seem like a daunting prospect. 

Yet, organizing your closet by color might just be worth it. It's a top way to create a curated, pretty and stylish wardrobe that's also easy to navigate. Color coordination is a fail-safe way to ensure that dressing for any event, whether it's work or an evening date, is a calm, stress-free process.

In reality, you don't have to be Marie Kondo to embrace this closet organization idea.  It is achievable for most closets, if you know the rules to follow. Thankfully, we've got expert advice from top closet designers and organizers to help you learn the ropes of organizing your closet by color. 


How to maintain a color organized closet 

Being able to color organize your closet is one thing, but maintaining it and ensuring it's functional is a complete other ball game. Truly creating a color organized closet means designing a space that's practical and pretty, where you'll know how to find the clothes and accessories you're looking for. 

1. Color coordinate your clothes within type

When thinking about color coordinating your closet, it's important to know about ROYGBV; this is the rule of creating a 'rainbow' wardrobe and sorting your clothes into red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet color categories, adding in neutrals like grey, black, white and brown. It's an acronym that retailers use to display their clothes in stores for the most alluring aesthetic.

For a really accessible, curated closet, it's a good idea to color organize within each different type of clothing section.

'I group clothing by type (tops, skirts, dresses, pants) then by color,' explains Janelle Burns, lead interior designer of Maestri Studio. 'I typically start with white, followed by ROYGBV, tans, brown, then black.'

'I also hang these in order of least coverage to most coverage,' she adds. 'For instance, for tops I hang them from camisole, tank, short sleeve, 3/4th, to long sleeve.'

2. Choose the dominant color when hanging patterned clothes

Is where to place multi-colored clothes leaving you confused? When color organizing your closet, simply look for the hue that is most prevalent in your patterned pieces and file accordingly.

'For a patterned shirt or piece, I place it in the most dominant color category present in the pattern,' Janelle explains.

color organized closet ideas white walk in wardrobe by Hux London

(Image credit: Hux London/

3. Try color-blocking categories

A less popular, but still viable, option is to simply group your clothes in color blocks. So, rather than organizing them into type sections first, simply put everything blue, for example, in one section (eg. all shirts, blouses, pants, tops etc) and so on.

This will make for a neat-looking closet, but may not be quite as easy to organize your outfit for the day as color coordinating within type.

4. Go dark to light, or vice versa

If you're not into the rainbow theme, another popular color organizing scheme is to hang your clothes by tonal shades.

You can choose whether to from left to right in your shading coordination. 'Within each section I organise from right to left, and dark to white,' says Romaine Lowery, personal organizer and virtual organizing consultant at The Clutter Clinic

This option is particularly successful if you own a larger volume of neutral clothes.

go dark to light in wood wardrobe by Neatsmith

(Image credit: Neatsmith)

5. Keep your hangers and storage baskets neutral

For a clean-lined and less 'confused' closet, try neutralizing your hangers and storage bins so they don't compete with your clothes.

'Clothes look great on white hangers,' says Romaine. 'I use silicone-covered skinny non slip hangers for all tops, lightweight jackets etc. 

'I then use white wood hangers with no bar for heavier coats and jackets, and white wood clip hangers for skirts and trousers.'

Apply the same rule to your storage baskets and stick to wicker or creams for a curated look that won't interfere with your clothes.

6. Group your shoes in color categories

Every woman - and, indeed, men - have a soft spot for their shoe collection. Keeping your shoes on racks is a great way to keep them in good condition and to easily pick out a pair for the day.

Organizing your shoe collection into colors will further enhance the usability of your wardrobe. So, keep all your black sandals together, then tans, and colors like pink and green.

To take it even further, you could also color coordinate your shoes within type, as with your clothes (try flats, heels, boots etc).

closet with shoe racks by Jessica Lagrange

(Image credit: Jessica Lagrange)

7. Use shoe boxes to organize smaller items by color

'Use shoe boxes to line your drawers, so you can fold your items in small envelope shapes and line them upward rather than stacked,' suggests Kellie Burke, principal designer and founder of Kellie Burke Interiors. 'This allows you to 'ROYGBV' your T-shirts, your pants and even socks.'

8. Pick out your 'power' colors and outfits

We all have certain outfits and colors that we feel our most confident in. It can be a good idea to place these items or colors at the front of your wardrobe or in the most accessible area to make getting dressed super-easy.

If you don't have an obvious favorite color, you can always follow the organizing within type rule, and put your favorite outfits together and then color coordinate those.

a color organized closet by Neatsmith

(Image credit: Neatsmith)

Where should white and black go in a color organized closet?

If you're organizing a closet in rainbow order, colors secondary colors should be located between primary ones. Given the ROYGBIV order, you may want to start with pink, rather than red. 

When it comes to neutrals such as white, black, grey and beige, put white and beige at the start of your rainbow, and grey and black at the end. 

Ruth Doherty is a lifestyle journalist based in London. An experienced freelance digital writer and editor, she is known for covering everything from travel and interiors to fashion and beauty. She regularly contributes to Livingetc, Ideal Home and Homes & Gardens, as well as titles like Prima and Red. Outside of work, her biggest loves are endless cups of tea, almond croissants, shopping for clothes she doesn’t need, and booking holidays she does.