True organization cannot be achieved until the clothes have been sorted. This may be the most tedious part of the process, complete with agonizing over what clothes to keep, what to donate and what to trash.
Begin by designating space in the room for the organizing process. If you are in your own bedroom, this may mean moving a few pieces of furniture or putting various objects away. If you're working in a child's room, you may need to clear a space free of toys and books. It might even help to move the clothes to another room for sorting in case the process takes longer than a day.
Start with shoes, as they can usually be sorted more quickly, providing you with a boost of organizing confidence and energy. Make four piles of shoes -- one for each season -- on the floor of the room. Sort your shoes into these piles, taking care to keep pairs together. If shoes have laces, consider tying them together to be sure pairs do not get separated. Once you've completed this, sort each pile into categories, such as athletic shoes, special occasion shoes, donation shoes, etc. Place off-season shoes aside for storage later. Return current season shoes to your closet, putting the most frequently used pairs in the most accessible location. Place special occasion shoes in the back of the closet or on shelves.
Continue the sorting process with clothing. Empty your closet and dresser and create seasonal piles as you did with your shoes. Then sort each of your seasonal piles into the following categories: everyday clothing, special occasion clothing, donation clothing and trash. Return current season clothing to your closet and/or dresser. Place off-season clothing aside for storage. Handle each piece of clothing to determine whether it needs extra attention. Set aside any clothes that need alterations, mending or a simple fitting test.
Now that your wardrobe is in piles all over your room, it's time to insert some order into the chaos. Turn the page to make some decisions about what to keep and what to banish from your closet and dresser.