Attempting a total closet overhaul sounds like a pretty intimidating project: the confusion as to where to start, how to store items that don’t have their own place, and the dreaded donation game that has you questioning every decision. It’s no wonder we all put it off! Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin from organization company The Home Edit share their top tips for maximizing closet storage, donating used items, and following the 80/20 rule. And with celeb clients like Rachel Zoe, Mandy Moore, and Gwyneth Paltrow — not to mention a drool-worthy Instagram account — these ladies know a thing or two about keeping things neat, tidy, *and* functional. Scroll on for all the closet tips you need in 2019.

1. Never forget the #1 rule of organizing. It’s okay to have no idea of where to start in a big organizational project. According to The Home Edit team, it’s vital to follow the cardinal rule of organization: Keep like with like. “Creating specific groupings of similarly shaped items, even within categories (think: one-piece swimsuits versus two-piece or bulky sweaters versus lightweight) will make the most of the space because those items fit together spatially better than, say, a clutch and a tote,” says Shearer.

2. Consider vertical space in a smaller closet and follow the 80/20 rule. A smaller closet may be limited at first glance, but there’s usually a ton of vertical storage space that goes unnoticed. The Home Edit team recommends bins or shoe boxes that stack. As for the 80/20 rule, our 2019 fashion wishlists can rejoice. “Only fill your space about 80 percent. Leaving 20 percent gives you permission to bring home a new pair of heels or a handbag without risking overcrowding,” says Teplin.

3. Shared closets can stay organized with a little help from your label maker. Get ready to put your handy machine to some more use. Teplin suggests clearly labeling all of the categories to discourage random dumping. “Keeping anything that is not hung or in drawers in a bin or basket rather than just on open shelving will also force your partner to be more intentional about where he or she is placing items,” says Teplin. (BRB, sending this to our SOs.)

4. When it comes to an overhaul, start small. Anxious and don’t know where to start? “Commit to the one small section that makes you happy,” suggests Shearer. “If you have great handbags, just work on your handbag section. If your workout gear is what inspires you, then start with that. Once our clients see what can be done with a small part of their closet, they usually get the momentum to move on to another… then another!”

5. Display your most functional pieces. The Home Edit team recently worked with Mandy Moore, fine-tuning her closet and putting her handbags front and center in the closet. “We decided to make the most of Mandy’s hanging space and crafted a gorgeous bag station in the center of her closet by hanging her bags on tote hangers,” Shearer explains. “This became the style centerpiece of the closet while giving her ‘grab-n-go’ functionality.” And while you’re taking advantage of your closet’s vertical space, there’s one thing you should definitely keep around. “A step stool inside or near the closet makes bins easy to access,” Shearer adds.

6. Give yourself a “keep or donate” deadline. It can be tough to purge a closet and part with older items that don’t receive a lot of love, but Shearer and Teplin recommend a clear timeline. “If you still haven’t used them in 6 months to a year, then it’s time to say goodbye. If you’re someone who has trouble letting things go, try a clothing ‘purgatory’ where you pack away pieces you haven’t worn in a while,” says Teplin. Along with a donation deadline, it’s also equally important to consider the charitable benefit of organizing and de-cluttering. “Just remember that dozens of amazing causes would benefit from your gently used items,” adds Shearer.

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(Photos via The Home Edit)