How to Color-Code a Closet

Closet organized with color-coded clothes on hangers

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

Project Overview
  • Working Time: 2 - 5 hrs
  • Total Time: 2 - 5 hrs
  • Estimated Cost: $0

Give your closet a stunning makeover and transform it into a magazine cover–worthy space with a color-coding method that will not only make it look beautiful, but that's also functional and practical. You may have seen experts color-coding closets on home makeover shows and wondered whether you should give it a go in your own home. Our answer is a definite yes!

There are countless benefits to creating a color-coded closet; besides being visually appealing, it makes it easier to find what you are looking for and put outfits together, you can see what items of clothing you actually have, and it's much easier to stay organized and maintain a neat closet. Keep reading to see how to create your own dreamy color-coded closet that will be a joy to step inside every morning!

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Cleaning tools and supplies


  • Clothing
  • Hangers (preferably the same color and style)
  • Storage bins
  • Storage baskets


Materials and tools to organize a color-coded closet

The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  1. Remove Everything

    First, remove everything from your closet so that you can start with a clean slate. Take out all the clothes, hangers, boxes, accessories, and the clutter that may have accumulated over the past weeks and months (or even years).

    Then, deep-clean the closet by vacuuming the floor, wiping down shelves, rods and hangers, and cleaning any dirty mirrors. Even though the space may not get as much foot traffic as your living room, it still collects dust and dirt and will benefit from a good deep clean.

    Clothes removed from closet and wiped down with cloth

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  2. Start the Purge

    Now that everything is out of the closet, you can see exactly what you have (and what may have been hiding on that hard-to-reach top shelf). This is the perfect opportunity to finally go through everything and purge what you don't need.

    Create three different piles for the following categories: keep, donate, and alter/dry clean. Go through every item you own (you can do this for shoes and bags as well) and decide whether you still wear it, if it fits, whether it needs to be altered, and if you still like it. Keep what you need and donate, sell, or throw out whatever you no longer do.

    Removed clothes separated into donation and repairs boxes

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  3. Sort Clothes Into Groups

    Once you have finished purging, you know what you're working with and you're ready to start organizing. The first step is to sort your clothes into groups—and not by color, yet. Divide them into groups such as skirts, pants, tops, coats, and so on. Keep hanging clothes together and folded items such as sweaters or t-shirts together.

    Clothes folded and divided into groups

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  4. Color-Code the Closet Accessories

    To truly stick to a uniform and color-coded organizational method, you will want to think about the color of the hangers, storage bins, baskets, and dividers you will be using for your clothing, too, as this affects the overall appearance of your closet. Stick with neutral colors such as all-wood or all-white hangers, clear plastic bins and dividers, and baskets that are the same color and style. This uniformity will help you achieve the neat, tidy, and seamlessly color-coded look you're looking for.

    Clothes accessories organized into gray storage bins

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  5. Create the Rainbow

    This is where the fun begins! Now that the closet has been cleaned and the clothes have been purged and sorted, you're ready to start color coding. Designate a section of the closet for each clothing group (ie. sweaters, skirts, pants) then begin putting the clothing into each section by color. If you want to create the rainbow effect, the colors should go in the following order: white, tan, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, gray and black. Chances are, you'll have a couple of items that are not predominantly one color or feature a multi-colored pattern, so set up a designated spot for those pieces within each section, as if they were a color of their own.

    If you don't want to use the rainbow color-coding method, a good alternative is arranging your clothes from light to dark. This way you get a beautiful ombre effect that's just as visually appealing as the rainbow. This method is particularly good if you own a lot of neutral clothing that will fall into large sections of white, gray, or black.

    Clothes put on hangers and organized by colors

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald

  6. Maintain It

    The final part of creating a color coded closet is simply maintaining it, which is actually one of the main benefits of this organizing method; it's easier to keep your closet tidy because every item has its color-designated spot. Go through the closet every season and switch out any seasonal clothing items, purge what may have become obsolete or damaged in the last months, and adjust the color-coding as you see fit. The key component of a good organizational system is that everything has its place and therefore maintaining it is easy, and this lovely rainbow system does exactly that.

    Color-coded closet kept organized on hangers

    The Spruce / Meg MacDonald