figure out what you need from it.
The easiest way I can explain it is thusly: I have three main "outfits." One is my "schlub" - just a graphic t-shirt and jeans. One is my "work" - usually jeans or open/comfy skirt and plain/non-graphic shirt. One is my "cute" - an actual outfit that I style up. Depending on what kind of day I'm looking at, I need one of these different types. Thus, I divided my closet so this works. One rack is all of my non-graphic shirts/tanks/whatevers and another is all my dresses/skirts. My graphic shirts - anything that I couldn't wear to work/professional environment, are folded and on shelves. This is the easiest for me, but I know other people work differently. I have a friend who has her "going out" wear (sparkly skirts, crop tops, etc), her "professional" wear (blazers, work-appropriate dresses, etc), and then "everything else." Figure out a few categories, then streamline your closet so you can immediately hop into one.
separate, separate, separate.
Guys, go to Target and just go ham in the organizational section. Buy every bin you can. Shoe nooks galore. Everything. Then use them to keep all your "extras" from becoming a giant mess. On one shelf in my closet I have bins for: bras, sports bras, underwear, and socks. On the floor of my closet I have bins for: workout tops, workout bottoms, and workout warm clothes. In my cubbies I have bins for: belts, tights, hats, and scarves. See what I mean? You shouldn't have to shuffle through everything just to find the accessory or add-on you need.
make everything visible.
The more you see it, the more you'll wear it. I used to keep all my rings in a little box, but since I got this accessory holder from Modcloth, I always think to grab one as I'm running out the door. Same goes with clothes, as well: if you're thinking of throwing something out but are on the fence, stash it in the top/back of your closet for a month. If you think of it and get it down to wear it, it's probably worth keeping. If you're shocked to find it weeks (months...years...) later, toss it!
I usually switch up the "system" every few months. During the summer when I lived in bandeaus and tanks, I had a very different way of organizing versus now when I cuddle up in sweaters. Don't "make yourself" adhere to something - if it's not working, there's probably a reason.