How to Organize Your Closet

Knowing how to organize your closet will allow you to store more stuff with less hassle, no matter the size of your closet. 

Closets are among the most coveted features for home buyers.  It seems we’re all looking for more space to store stuff.  By utilizing the space available in your closet (be it large or small), you can maximize its storage potential.  

Utilize Every Inch

To get the most out of your closet, find ways to make use of wasted space.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Consider removing sliding closet doors and replacing them with drapes or bi-fold doors in order to gain better access to the center of the closet.
  • Install a second rod midway between the upper rod and the floor to increase hanging space.  Make sure hanging rods are at least 36 inches apart.
  • If you have a swinging door on your closet, utilize the back of the door for storage.  Hang a shoe bag on the back of the door for storing not only shoes but also socks or tights, underwear, belts, scarves and other accessories.  Another option is to install hooks on the back of the door for hanging bags, hats, a bathrobe, or the next day’s wardrobe.
  • Use the space at the bottom of the closet for storage.  Slide in a shoe rack, small dresser or storage shelves to fill the empty space or stack clear plastic bins for storing out-of-season clothing. 
  • Stack clear containers or labeled bins on upper shelves for easily identifiable storage.

Guidelines for Hanging Clothes

As you organize your closet, keep these tips in mind:

  • Avoid over-stuffing the hanging rod.  Spacing clothes comfortably along the rod allows them to breath and prevents wrinkling.  It also makes it much easier to see what you have.
  • Separate formal clothes from informal clothes.
  • Within each category organize clothing by type (shirts, pants, skirts, etc.).
  • Organize each type of clothing by color.  This makes it easier to find specific items.  It also makes it easier to mix and match outfits. 
  • Hang all items so that they are facing the same direction. 
  • Only hang items that are ready to be worn.  Items that require washing, mending or ironing should be stored elsewhere until ready to be worn.  This prevents frustration when getting dressed.

Organizational Equipment

The right tool can help a lot when striving to organize your closet. 

  • It doesn't matter what kind of hanger you prefer, so long as all your hangers match.  In addition to providing a nice unified look to the closet, matching hangers prevent hanger tangle ups in the closet. 
  • Whenever possible select the right kind of hanger for your needs.  Special hangers are available for storing ties, scarves, dress pants, and skirts.  If hanging space is limited, look for hangers designed to hold multiple skirts or pairs of pants.
  • Shelf dividers keep folded clothing from toppling over on closet shelves and provide clear divisions between different types of items.
  • Clear plastic storage containers allow you to see the contents of your box without having to pull it down from the shelf.
  • Open bins or baskets are great for storing frequently accessed items such as socks or t-shirts. 
  • Over-the-door shoe bags are one of my favorite tools to organize your closet.  They are versatile and space saving.  They can be used to store rolled-up t-shirts, bathing suits, exercise gear, and so much more (see the previous section for additional suggestions). 
  • Hanging storage compartments can be used to store shoes, hats, handbags, or folded clothes.  The one downside is they take up a lot of hanging space.

Wire Hangers

Wire hangers are the most likely to get bent out of shape or tangled up together in the closet.  They also have a tendency to leave crease marks or indentations in your clothes.

Shoe Storage Solutions

Shoe storage is an important factor to consider when deciding how to organize your closet.  Unless you are fortunate enough to have a closet with built-in shoe storage, you will need to purchase some sort of organizer for your shoes. 

Shoe organizers make it easier for you to find the shoes you are looking for.  They also protect shoes from damage and in some cases dust. 

In addition to over-the-door shoe bags, there are a number of shoe organizers on the market.  These include: 

Hanging Shoe Bags

Designed to hang from the closet rod, these typically hold up to 10 pairs of shoes and occupy about 8-12 inches of hanging space.

Shoe Boxes

These are meant to be stacked on a shelf or the floor of the closet.  They can be clear plastic or solid with a clear window or with a slot for a photo/label.  My favorites are the drop front boxes because you don’t have to pull the box off the shelf to access the shoes. 

Shoe Racks

Some racks have flat shelves and some are angled.  They vary in size, material, and quality, but are generally an affordable way to keep shoes organized.

Shoe Cubbies

Cubbies can be placed side by side or stacked to increase the number of shoes accommodated. 

Shoe Trees

A shoe tree is a wire contraption with lots of 'arms' for shoes to slip on to.  It holds quite a few pairs of shoes but also takes up quite a bit of space both in terms of height and width.  

Even if you can’t afford to spend a dime on fancy gadgets, you can still organize your closet.  The key is to group items by type.  While it’s useful to have containers for different types of items, shoe boxes and other items you may already have on hand will do the trick if need be.  Just be sure to label things so that you can easily find what you’re looking for. 

If you'd like help tackling your closet organization project,

click the link below.

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