Closets are a sensitive subject. A girl's relationship with her closet is a tricky one. She might have had that one great closet in the past and her current one just doesn't live up to it. She might have accused it of losing items at crucial moment, or blamed said closet for why she had nothing cute to wear to a friend's rehearsal dinner. In some cases she will never mention her closet because it houses more than just clothes and works overtime as her towel rack, pantry, or Christmas decoration storage unit, making her feel like a candidate for that reality show about hoarders.
It makes sense that in order to look stylish and feel great in your clothes you must treat where they come from with care like Otis says, and Try a Little Tenderness. While it is easier to "accessorize" a larger walk-in style closet, every closet deserves (and will benefit from) a bit of attention and interest.
A few simple steps can really change the personality of your space, regardless of size or shape. Let your sense of style start from the source! First things first: hangers. White or clear hangers work best, same principle works for dishware. Colors look best presented on white or against something see-through. Buy as many as your closet will hold so your pretty tops/sweaters don't have to share real estate with others on the same hanger. If you are sharing closet space--these hints apply to men too. All men respond well to anything that will make getting dressed easier and faster. I'm sure that's a proven fact, somewhere.
A hanging shelf from Target like the one above can be used for items that you want in easy reach. Think denim, handbags, or sweaters that would lose their shape if hung. I usually organize my closet by item type, so it is merchandised the way a store would be. Hoodies in one spot, silk tops in another. It's fun to "shop" in your own closet. Display current favorites that you are particularly proud of near the front.
If you have any exposed wall space-consider hanging a print or two in a beautiful frame, or a photo that makes you smile every time you see it. If you have space on an empty shelf, add a soft-smelling diffuser. This one by Archipelago is my go-to scent. The closet is a room in your house (however confined it might be) and there is no reason not to accessorize it with a small faux plant, a pretty mirror, or even a small soft rug.
I'm not a fan of being told what I should or should not throw out in terms of clothing. If you haven't worn a particular dress, top or jacket in years consider how you felt in it when you did wear it. If the piece gave you a feeling that you are not ready to part with, I say keep it. I have an ill-fitting cowl neck dress my Dad bought me during a family-vacation to Australia that makes me happy every time I see it hanging. If you cannot get rid of an item but you are hard up for space, consider a zip up bag for storage under your bed. I do however support the purging of outdated shoes, empty boxes, mismatched socks, or anything else that is not helping you get dressed in the morning.
Take some time this weekend to give your closet some one-on-one attention. Let your closet know that you are a team and will hereby promise to accessorize and care for it's contents. If you have an open wall you can try a storage piece like this one from IKEA that measures only 11" in depth and can maximize a narrow space. If a major clean-out is in order you will feel all the better. I see nothing wrong with a few empty hangers just waiting for a new dress or two...
Good luck. Snap some before/after pics. I would love to see them!