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10 Easy Ways to Create an Organized Closet

This month at Decoist, we’re on a home improvement kick. From the magic of a new rug purchase to simple strategies for freshening up your interior, we’ve enjoyed celebrating the power of rejuvenating your space for the new year. Today we continue that sentiment with a post on closet organization. But this article is not about designing a custom closet that will accommodate every item. It’s about working with what you have.

Let’s face it–there are times when we can’t invest in a new custom shelving system or hire a contractor to enlarge our storage options. Sometimes that little nook of a space is all we’ve got, and we’re stuck with it until our budget tells us otherwise. Are there a few simple changes that can make a big impact? Absolutely! Read on for more details about how to create an organized closet

Closet Organization Basics

We begin with the basics–the little things you can do to transform the look of your closet space:

Tip #1: Purchase matching hangers.

This first tip may seem a bit matchy-matchy, but it’s completely worth it. Buy matching hangers. They don’t have to be expensive hangers. The white plastic variety will do just fine. When you unify your closet with matching hangers, the result is an instant decluttering effect. Your clothes are different colors, patterns and textures. Establish some order by removing the hodge-podge look of mismatched hangers. If you can’t purchase a slew of new hangers at this time, try grouping the hangers you have by color. [from Lonny]

Matching hangers in a chic closet 10 Easy Ways to Create an Organized Closet
Matching hangers in a chic closet

Tip #2: Utilize wall space.

Some closets have blank wall space that can be put to good use. We’re not taking about the space behind your clothes. We’re talking about the space in between, below and above clothing racks. Can you mount an affordable floating shelf on the wall to accommodate items such as purses? Can you attach a few simple hooks to hold belts? A little wall space is all you need… [from The Chic Scribe]

Making the most of wall space in your closet 10 Easy Ways to Create an Organized Closet
Making the most of wall space in your closet

Tip #3: Conceal small items in storage baskets.

We all have those piles of scarves, clusters of bracelets and tangles of necklaces that inevitably end up on the floor. Or at the very least, in cluttered piles on your closet shelving. Try stashing small accessories in storage baskets. You’d be amazed at how getting the little things out of sight creates a clean look, especially when you purchase matching storage receptacles. [from Organized Living]

Baskets conceal small items in the closet
Baskets conceal small items in the closet

Tip #4: Tidy is the word.

Even when each and every item has its place, there will be times when you’re in a hurry and you can’t keep every shirt, skirt and shoe in check. But once a week or so, try and give your closet a tidy makeover. Put your shoes back on the shelves. Fold those shirts that you rummaged through to find the perfect outfit for Friday night, and put stray clothing back on hangers. A little tidiness goes a long way… [from Lonny]

Neatly folded shirts in an organized closet
Neatly folded shirts in an organized closet

Organizing the Clothes

Next we zone in on clothes. Because let’s face it–clothing items take up the majority of your closet space:

Tip #5: Organize your clothes by color.

Organizing clothes by color is a simple way to get a clean look. No, you don’t have to put your red pants with your red shirts. If it’s easier, color code your shirts in their section, then color code your pants on their clothing rod. It’s not about creating a rainbow effect across your whole closet. It’s about having neat piles and groupings that make it easy to find what you need. [from California Closets]

Clothing grouped by color
Clothing grouped by color

Tip #6: The items you wear most should be the easiest to access.

Let’s face it–we often get dressed in a hurry. When it comes to getting ready, there never seems to be enough time. That’s why the items you wear most should be the easiest to access. That might mean putting them on the clothing rods that are the easiest to reach, or stashing out-of-season items in boxes overhead while moving the seasonal clothing front and center. On a side note, check out the use of matching hangers in the next image of color-coded clothing… [from Sobotainfo.com]

Clothes grouped by color
Clothes grouped by color

Organizing Your Shoes

While clothes may very well take up the majority of your closet space, shoes likely come in at a close second. For many, they present the biggest dilemma, as there never seems to be enough storage space:

Tip #7: Strategically arrange shoes to maximize space.

Thoughtfully arranging your shoes can help to stretch shelving and shoe storage options. For example, if you have open shelves, try arranging your shoes as shown below. While a side-by-side approach may have a tidy “paired” effect, this method of alternating front and back helps you squeeze in a few more heels, sandals and flats… [from Lonny]

Shoe storage strategy
Shoe storage strategy

Tip #8: Group “like” shoes together.

Just as color coding can help create a tidy look with your clothing, grouping shoes by type can create the same orderly effect. Try displaying heels together, flats together and sneakers together. In fact, bulkier shoes such as sneakers and winter boots may work better on their own floor-based shelving if you run out of room on your built-in shelves. No closet shelving? No problem! You can still group “like” shoes in hanging shoe bags. [from Lonny]

Colorful sneakers in a tidy closet
Colorful sneakers in a tidy closet

Stashing Small Items

We can’t forget about the little things that end up on the closet floor. Belts. Scarves. Jewelry. Give them their own special place before they end up taking over:

Tip #9: Use hooks to hold items such as belts and necklaces.

An easy way to keep scarves, belts and necklaces in check? Add some hooks to the walls, shelves or wherever there’s spare room. Hanging these items where you can see them makes it easy for you to access them at a moment’s notice. [from Lonny]

Clever use of closet hooks
Clever use of closet hooks

Tip #10: Use drawers to hold jewelry and other small items.

Like storage baskets, drawers are a great option for holding super-small items such as jewelry. Whether you purchase a jewelry box to set on your closet shelf or you buy a petite standing drawer set to place on the floor, consider incorporating affordable shelving into your closet setup if you have the space. [from Organized Living]

Neatly organized closet
Neatly organized closet

These “drawers” can even be open baskets that you pull out in order to find that bracelet, brooch or ring when you need it most. Select baskets with handles for easy access… [from I Heart Organizing]

Closet shelves and baskets
Closet shelves and baskets

Do you have an easy closet organizing strategy that has worked well for you? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below…

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