Organizing your closet

A while back, I came across this 31-day challenge to a better organized home on the cheap. While I love this idea, I just don’t have 31 days in a row to devote to organizing. As, I had noted in one of my very first posts, I truly believe that keeping your home clean and organized is key to being a successful homemaker – in fact, I listed it as number one! In all honesty, though, it is the one I have the hardest time with. I feel like I am always playing catch-up on the housecleaning. Last weekend, inspired by Deb’s post on closet audits, I decided it was time to tackle my closet. Let me share how I did it, and some helpful hints on how to keep your closet organized!

Hanging Clothes: As you can see from the ‘before’ picture, my hanging clothes are really not that bad off. But the shoes are a disaster, and the shelves on either side of the closet are just overloaded. First things first, I emptied my closet of the hanging clothes, one clothing type at a time. Skirts, shirts, pants, etc. I tried on nearly everything, and following Deb’s instructions, divided into piles: Keep, Toss, Fix and “how do I wear this?”  I’m pretty good at tossing items I no longer use. But I had a few surprises. Of the 19 skirts in my closet, I tossed 11! But nearly all the shirts stayed.

HELPFUL HINT #1: When hanging your clothes, the hangers you use are key. A year or so ago, I got rid of all my clunky plastic hangers and replaced them with thin, felted hangers. These are great for three reasons: One is that they take up so much less space in your closet. Second is that the felting on the hangers keeps your clothes from slipping off the hanger. No more need for those annoying ribbon hangers that seem to be attached to every piece of clothing nowadays. Third is that they’re just so much prettier!

HELPFUL HINT #2: As you can see from the pictures below, I have this great second-tier hanger. It provides a lower hanging bar for a second level of hanging clothes. I love this thing. Be sure to hang shorter clothes from it, so as to not block the shoes on the floor!

HELPFUL HINT #3: Many people have different ways of hanging their clothes – by color, by what they go with, etc. As for me, my clothes are hung by type. My shirts are all hung together. And in order of type of shirt. Sleeveless first, then short sleeve – first the t-shirts and knits, followed by button up. Same with the long-sleeve – t-shirts and knits, followed by button up. Then, the sweaters, cardigans and pullovers grouped together. This may seem a bit OCD, but this will help you so much when you’re putting your clothes away. And it will help you to always find what you’re looking for.

The Floor and Shelves: The next step was the shoes (on the floor) and the side shelves. Those shelves contain everything from health/beauty items to belts to extra shoes and candles. I made a few changes to improve the organization here. I cleared out some of the older candle  holders that I didn’t use anymore. All my sunscreens went into a wicker basket. I put in cup hooks into the shelf to hang belts from. My purses were stacked neatly instead of thrown in there.  I even found a space for my hats. In cleaning out the shelves, I’m left with two empty shelves – LOVE IT!

My shoes is another issue – I know, I have so many pairs of shoes. In my defense, most of them are shoes I find in second-hand stores, and most cost less than $10! But yeah, I have a lot of shoes.

HELPFUL HINT #4: Baskets are your friend. Sort things like tea lights and lotions in a basket – it will keep them from overflowing your shelves. Also, hooks are great. The belts are so much easier to access on a hook than in the shoe box I had them in. The same goes for scarves and even purses (although I didn’t do it with my purses).

HELPFUL HINT #5: If you have a lot of shoes like I do, get yourself a shoe shelf. This was only $10 at Target and gave me 2 more levels of shoe storage. I may actually go back and get another one.

HELPFUL HINT #6: Be picky with what shoes you keep. There were some shoes that I thought may be a little too uncomfortable to keep – regardless of how cute they were. I continued to try on questionable shoes while I worked through the hanging clothes and shelves. This gave me a good feel for if the shoes were really worth it. If they hurt my feet doing this closet cleaning, they’re not worth keeping.


The Dressers: Honestly, I didn’t do much here. Mostly, just cleared out what I don’t wear.

HELPFUL HINT #7: Organize your drawers by item. Socks in one drawer, undies in another. Even t-shirts divided by short sleeve in one drawer, long sleeve in another. As much as you can do this, it will be so much easier to put your clothes away and keep your drawers organized.

TA DA!! Your closet is organized and you now have some simple hints you’ve implemented to keep your closet organized! Final HELPFUL HINT: Look at how awesome your closet looks. Make a challenge with yourself. Challenge yourself to keep it this way for two weeks. Put everything away exactly where it belongs. Hang your clothes instead of throwing them on the floor. Put your shoes in their place nicely instead of tossing them into the closet. Keep this up for two weeks, and you’ll make it a habit for life!

Now, for my readers – do you have any hints you’d like to share?

5 thoughts on “Organizing your closet

  1. So glad that you were inspired! I thought MY shoe collection was impressive, but now it’s clear that I’m a total beginner. I swear by clear plastic shoe boxes for managing my shoes – I can see them all, and they are protected quite well. I believe that the clear shoe boxes extend the life of my shoes by anywhere from 18-24 months. Money saved! I also LOVE the suggestion that you wear questionable shoes while you clean the closet – genius!

    • Thanks for the response! I love the clear shoe box idea, but I’d need a whole new closet, I think 🙂

      And for wearing ‘questionable’ shoes around the house, it really is true – if you can’t wear them comfortably in your home, on carpet, you really shouldn’t wear them anywhere else!

  2. Hey Lisa!! LOVE this post! I might explore installing shelves on the inner sides of my closet, because I need more space. Also might try the addition of a second bar for the lower half .(currently none).
    One thing about me is that I love love love my jeans and I spend the most on jeans than I do any other clothing item, so I like to hang them on those multi “pants” hangers that are flat and felt covered. I just get them at Target so far, but one thing that bugs me is that they break b/c I have so many jeans hanging on each one so I might need to seperate them into their own. I always hang my jeans so that 1/4 of the lower leg area is folded over the hanger, leaving the heavier 3/4 of the jeans on the other side b/c this keeps them nice and wrinkle free. I swear they last longer this way… 🙂

  3. Looks good! We put in a closet organizer years ago which does wonders. Unfortunately our walk in closet was not crafted in the best way. It’s too small! You can’t put the door on it and open it all the way to actually access the closet that well! Some day we will afford to remodel but for now I will make due. I too organize by catorgories – shirst, tank tops, sweaters, cardigans etc. But sometimes I just throw things in there cuz it’s so small and cramped 🙁

  4. Pingback: Organizing your entryway | Modern Homemaker: Single Edition

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