Remove all of the hanging clothes from your closet. As you take the clothes out, lay them in categorized piles. The categories can be of your own making and should reflect your personal organizational needs, but common categories may include formal wear, work clothes, exercise clothes, outerwear, pajamas and favorite garments.
Think about which clothes you want to put back in your closet. If your closet was overstuffed when you took everything out, you should know from the beginning that some things won't be going back in. Make your decisions carefully and put items in the closet one garment at a time. Stop adding garments when the closet rod cannot accommodate any more clothes without two garments touching.
Put all of the clothes that are outside of the closet into a single stack. Remove all of the clothes that were put back into the closet and lay them in a separate stack.
Remove the wooden closet rod from the closet. Use the measuring tape and pencil to mark the rod at regular intervals where you would like the hangers to be. Most items will only need to be spaced 1/2 inch apart, but thicker items like heavy coats and jackets may need as much as 1-1/2 inches. Customize your spacing, and keep in mind that you will need to leave about 1 inch on each end of the rod to accommodate the rod holders and closet walls.
When all of the marks have been made, use the rasp file to make shallow grooves along each of the markings. Wipe away any sawdust when you are finished.
Place the rod back into the closet, with the grooved side facing up.
Put the clothes designated for the closet back onto the rod. Set the curved part of each hanger into the grooves so that the hangers stay put and the clothes don't touch. Store the other clothes in another closet, a dresser or in clothes storage boxes.
If you have your clothes exactly where you want them after completing the second step, you can mark the locations of the hangers with a pencil without removing the clothes.
Filing the wooden closet rod will create some sawdust, so you may want to perform this step outside or in a garage.