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Clothes Closet Organizing Ideas

What’s behind your clothes closet door?  Are there neat piles of folded sweaters and orderly rows of shoes?  Or do you have a single, straining closet rod filled with squished clothing and one shelf filled with toppling stacks of sweaters and t-shirts?


Most of us like the sound of the first scenario, but live with the second. :-)

With so many affordable closet organizing options nowadays it is easier than you think to upgrade your closet to scenario number one no matter what the size.

Fashion quote

Every season change, I like to to clean my clothes closet. It is not really a full purge, but more like a Swap-a-Roo.  Since clothing needs air and space to keep it looking its best, I use one side of my guest room closet to hold my off-season clothes.  I always get excited to make the change and see some of my seasonal favorites become part of my life again.

How I Organized My Closet in My Previous House

When cleaning and organizing my closet, I empty everything out and toss or donate the items I no longer want. The rest gets divided by season. Out-of-season items go to one side of my guest room closet.

Easy-Track-Closet-organizing-system

In-season clothes go to the walk-in closet in my bedroom. This photo shows my side. The other side is Ed’s.  The closet doesn’t have pretty wallpaper or a chandelier, but it is highly organized.

I refitted my side many years ago with a DIY closet system called Easy Track. (affiliate link)

Ed’s side has a long dresser that fits perfectly on his side so all of his clothing is in the closet. My dresser for lingerie, socks, bathing suits, shorts, Pj’s and jewelry is in my bedroom.

I have a double rod system in the closet, but you don’t need a closet organizing system to do this or any DIY skills. Home stores sell affordable hanging rods that fit over existing rods to create a double rod… literally in an instant. They are ingenious.

  • There is a reason wire hangers are free…they are basically worthless. If you want to prolong the life of your clothes, don’t keep them on wire hangers.
    • Use more substantial hangers that will maintain the shape of your garments.
      • I use the clear style hanger that retail stores use to hang most everything.
      • I use clip-on skirt hangers for jeans and skirts.
      • I use padded hangers for my sweaters and a few plastic hangers to which I add pipe cleaners to stop silky tops from slipping off.
Affordable closet organizing system

Before I place the current season’s clothes back in the closet, I wipe down all surfaces with a fresh smelling cleaner and vacuum the floor.

Storage-ideas-for-clothes-closets

Then the fun part begins.

I recently added the large pink boxes for hats, scarves, handbags, and other items I don’t use much but can’t part with. They are from IKEA. Labeling each box helps me know what I have at a glance. It also keeps me organized for the long run since I know exactly where to find or place everything after I wear it.

How to make the labels, click here Decorative Free Printable Labels

For more free and easy label ideas, check out all the Free Printable Labels in my Project Gallery

How-to-organize-clothes-in-a-closet

I added wire baskets from IKEA to two of the shelves to hold my exercise clothes which consist of leggings and t-shirts. Labels help me keep them organized.  If I have to hunt for it, I will probably never wear it.

The-best-stroage-organizers-for-closets

I wear scarves all year round since they give even the simplest wardrobe a shot of chic. I use large ones as pareos in the summer. I roll them up and place them in this basket.

Closet makeover on a budget

The white plastic stacking shoe racks were a find years ago at a discount store. They work great for the amount of shoes I have and fit nicely under the clothes hanging from the rod above.

I like using see-through storage containers for my shoes so that I can see what I have at a glance. I use dollar store bins to hold my shoes. I label each with a description of the shoes that are inside. This keeps them organized so I will be a “shoe-placer” not a “shoe-tosser-to-the-floor” kind of girl :-)

I have a lot of flip-flops and sandals. To save on space, I store sandals toe to heel in the boxes so I can fit three pairs in one box. I keep them categorized and labeled by color.

I reserve the center floor under the wire baskets for the shoes I wear often.

Closet Organizing Tip: Add a Valet Hook

Closet organizing ideas create a valet hook

To help me coordinate my favorite pieces when creating new outfit combinations, I have a “Valet Hook” on the outside of my closet door.

  • I use a large white “no-damage” style hook since the door is a hollow-core door.
closet organizing ideas for clothes

The hook comes in handy to simply hang clothes I plan to wear.

Try this simple clothes closet organizing tip to make coordinating your clothes easy every morning

I also have what I call my “fashion coordinating hanger.”

How to become your own fashion coordinator right in your closet. Budget Organizing ideas for clothes closets.

When I worked in retail display I oftentimes had to coordinate separate items of clothing into stylish outfits to display on the end caps of the racks to help shoppers see the coordinating potential of the clothes on the rack.

  • I tied one end of a 12″- long piece of ribbon to the hook part of the hanger with a loop to fall at the end of the ribbon. This loop was to hang a second hanger for a skirt of pair of pants. This way a skirt/pants could be seen just they would when worn.
Clothes closet organizing ideas using hangers

Doing this helps me plan outfits for parties, vacations or my workday.

Clothes Closet AFTER

Clothes closet organizing tips and tricks for better storage and organization.
  • I wish my closet had natural light, but then it would just fade my clothes. I have a 100-watt bulb in a simple overhead fixture to light the space now.
Clothes closet organizing idea

Do you find yourself rummaging through your closet every morning trying to find what to wear?  If so, try this:

  • Make an Inspiration Board for the inside of your closet door. Pin outfits you clip from magazines or catalogs that you like and are coordinated in a way you want to try.
    • Go a step further and when you pair two items, write it down on paper and pin to your board so you can repeat it without forgetting.

I have had the scarf tying book since college. It has many ideas that I always seem to forget. Having it handy makes it easy to come up with a new way to tie a scarf as I am getting dressed.

How to Make a Style Inspiration Board for Your Closet

How-to-make-a-memo-board-for-a-closet

supplies needed:

  • fabric
  • frame
  • (2) dollar store foam boards
  • scissors
  • straight edge ruler
  • spray adhesive
  • clear duct tape
How-to-cut-foam-board-to-make-a-framed-memo-board

1. Measure opening on the back of the frame and cut two pieces of foam board to this size. Leave a 1/8″ short all around so when you add fabric, the foam will still fit snugly into the frame.  You need two pieces of foam for thickness and stability.

How-to-use-spray-adhesive

2. Use spray glue to attach the two foam boards together to create one thick board.

How-to-make-a-pin-board-using-foam-core

3. Lay fabric face down on work surface. If there is a pattern on your fabric, make sure it is centered before cutting. Center foam board on top. Cut fabric so you have enough to wrap around to the back of the board on all sides.

how-to-make-an-inspiration-board

4. Wrap fabric around board and secure with duct tape to the back of the board. Repeat on all sides making sure to pull the fabric taut as you tape it to the back.

Fashion Inspiration board for clothes closet

5. I used no damage picture hanging strips to hang the inspiration board to the inside of my closet door.

How to Store Jewelry

how-to-organize-jewelry-in-a-drawer

I store my jewelry in a simple jewelry box in one of the top drawers of my dresser. It is a silver keeper box I bought on QVC many years ago.

I organize it by type of jewelry – earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, etc.  

More Clothes Closet Organizing Ideas:

  • Make more room in your closet by storing out-of-season clothes in boxes, under the bed or in another room.
  • Treat your closet like your favorite clothes shop. Keep items categorized on rods – shirts, pants, skirts, jackets, etc.
  • Keep items visible. If you don’t see it, you won’t wear it.
  • Organize in a way that works for you and your budget. The dollar store has many budget-friendly closet organizers.
  • If you have the room, consider adding a chest of drawers to the closet. Everything in one place.
  • Hang a mirror on a nearby door or wall.
  • Use matching hangers so the rod looks visually appealing – just like your favorite clothing boutique.
  • Tie a satin bow on all your hangers to create harmony in your closet.

Ultimately when your closet is well organized and your clothes are in sync with your personal style, you should be able to walk into your closet blindfolded and pull out any shirt, pant, jacket, and shoes and walk out looking and feeling great!

And remember….

Quote from Annie
DIY clothes closet on a REAL budget along with ways to help you coordinate your clothes into many fashionable outfits! Come see the rest of the pics and get ideas to steal for your own closet!

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39 Comments

  1. The more of your posts I read, the more I admire your sense of organization. I really liked this post. Even though our closets look much the same, mine is not as organized as yours. I think I have too many clothes. This comes from years of being on prednisone and having clothes in many different sizes. As I am losing weight, I so look forward to getting rid of the larger sizes.

  2. Diane, this is a fabulous post! I’ve been trying to get motivated for a closet makeover and just haven’t wanted to tackle finding shelves and things. I love your closet shelves! I don’t care about a fancy light fixture or carpet. The idea board sounds so fun. Thanks for sharing!

  3. You have managed your everything very nicely and seasonally type clothes at one place, I saw in your pictures. After reading this post , it really helps us from many ways.

  4. Hi there, this is Matija here, from Slovenia.
    I am working on a wardrobe market here, locally in Slovenia and I was just wondering if you could share with me where can be ordered such bottom of a drawers that I found on your picture (third from bootom up). Thanks in advance, Matija

  5. Your closet is beautiful.
    I happen to also have a small company that organizes homes and packs and unpacks people who are moving.
    Organizing a beautiful walk in closet is hard work but what happens when you are dealing with a small wardrobe in a small city apartment?
    Maybe your next pin could address that issue?
    I certainly have my own tricks, for example space bags are an absolute must, but I’d love to see some additional ideas.

    P. S. I prefer to not be added to any mailing lists.
    Thank you

  6. I love your closet and enjoy the great ideas I get from your blog. Did you paint that dresser that you keep your jewelry in? And if so what color paint?

    1. Thanks Linda – I am trying to get my wardrobe down to a few easy pieces….or a capsule type wardrobe since I always wear the same things over and over.

  7. Love what you have to share! Especially the tip about the Valet Hook/Ribbon for staggering the top/bottoms of a look while putting it together. I’d love to try the inspiration board as well- too cute!!

  8. Dianne,
    This is my very first time visiting and I love what I see.
    You are so talented.

    My real reason for commenting is to tell you how much I love your hair cut. How cute?
    Thank you for providing all of this wonderful “imagination” of yours.

    I appreciate it.

  9. Hi Diane …
    ………….. & I thought you were going to say that the last thing to put on was …………… perfume (Chanel No 5 for moi). But Yes, I agree wholeheartedly, a smile makes ALL the difference to ones appearance!! Thanks for this post. I particularly like the hanger with a ribbon attached for the other part of the outfit. It’s sooo much easier to make a decision when an outfit is put together … but I don’t usually know for certain if something is the look I’m going for until I’m fully dressed …. then have to change. Well, I am changing that to past tense now … & sharing it with all my g’friends! In fact, there are quite a few men who could also do with this suggestion!! :)
    BTW Just out of interest …. Do you hang or fold your T-shirts?
    Thanks again for yet another very handy post … Wendy from Oz …

    1. Perfume should be the first thing you out on; before clothes. Hutchins fabric and is too strong for other noses. Also, it doesn’t mix with your skin and indebted true fragrance of you.

      I put my perfume/cologne on after I prepare my face for make up.

  10. How do you attach the labels to the wire bins? That is just a brilliant idea, I need label our bins too. Also how did you create the labels.

    Thanks for any help for this girl wanting to get organized.

  11. Your closet is wonderful! you’ve done a great job. I wish I had your sense of style and for organizing. My closet is not as neat as it is in mi mind. I could try organizing my t-shirts and shoes your way, that will work perfectly in my closet. And about your “fashion coordinating hanger” – that’s genius! I never know what I’m going to wear the next day. Even in the morning I’m still not sure about some details in my clothing. Thank you for the inspiration!

  12. Diane, could you come to my house and toss half of my closet contents and help my closet look as neatly organized as yours. Ed is welcome to come too.Living near the outlet mall is not a good thing as clothes seem to multiply way too fast. We have a guest house I know you’d both enjoy . Loving the tip about the ribbon on the hanger and hook on the back of the door. I might get to Sunday School on time using your suggestion. That could make for a happy husband.

  13. Diane, I love reading your blog and getting your simple ideas for my house!! Your closet looks great! I am wondering where you got your black and white hat – I luv it!

  14. I organized my closet right after Thanksgiving but I used the tubular plastic hangers because that is what I had. Where do you find the hangers you used. They really look nice and don’t seem to take up as much space. I need to add the tags to all the containers so I don’t have to guess each time. I guess I have something on my to do list! Love your ideas!!!

    1. Hi Nancy – When I buy clothes I always ask for the hanger if it is the type that I use. You can also buy a pack of them inexpensively at Walmart.

  15. I wish we lived closer as I’d like to be your neighbor and have you over for afternoon tea…. Thanks for sharing all your wonderful hints.
    I usually wear an outfit/pants/top twice. To remember what has already been worn once, I hang all freshly cleaned clothes on hangers facing the closet wall. Once a garment is worn once, after airing it overnight, I rehang it with the hanger facing away from the wall.
    Happy summer!

    1. Hi Erin – I wish I could be your neighbor, too. Tea sounds wonderful. :-) Great idea about turning the clothes on the hangers after you worn them away from the wall. Love tips like this.

  16. How did you know that I have been thinking that my closet needs A LOT of work!!! How can you encourage me to get rid of so many of the clothes that I actually do wear and LOVE??? I just don’t have much room to keep them all. I love how you also put together outfits, I do this the night before so that there is NO confusion in the morning.

    Thanks, for the inspiration!!!

    Mary

    1. Hi Mary – To help you lessen what is in your closet, maybe start by taking the items you least wear. Place them in a bag or box and put them under your bed or in another closet in another room. If you haven’t reached for the anything after a given time, then you can donate it. Keep doing this until you have only the things that you feel good in and love in your closet.

  17. Oh Diane, you are just the cutest, sweetest, cutie pie and I love all your ideas. And shock of all shocks, I have cleaned out my bedroom closet……… although it must be about a thousand times tinier than your lovely one. And I am so very proud of myself to have done it too. And no, not as cute as your perfect touches…… you do the best top it off stuff. I am definitely inspired from your post again.

    1. Thanks Sheryll Lyn – Isn’t it a nice feeling having a organized closet? I am sure you added your own unique touches to your closet. They are what make a closet truly yours.

    1. Hi Barbara – Thanks…It was a fun post to do. I enjoy DIY, but I also love clothes. Getting to write about them along with DIY really fuels my passion of all things style related.

  18. I’d love to just walk around your house. That closet is so beautifully done. It made me know I need to re-do some of the basic system in mine. Thanks for being the inspiration.

  19. Love your ideas. Keep ’em coming.

    You might try replacing the 100 watt bulb in your closet with an equivalent “daylight” cfl bulb. This helps you to see colors better and the overall contents while saving electricity.

    1. Thanks Anne – I agree about the bulb. I do have a post coming showing how different the light is in the closet with a Cree daylight 100 watt bulb. :-)

      1. On another note, would you happen to have a discount or promotional code for HomeDecorators.com website?
        Thanks!