Let’s wrap up our Summer Closet Clean Out Series with my best tips to get and stay organized.
There are a lot of tips and information in these articles that will help streamline the process, and today’s feature has a TON of photos.
For me, this is the fun part, where you get to put everything back and reclaim your space.
Social media makes it seem like everyone has a mini department store for a closet.
But I’m here to tell you, as someone who has spent hours upon hours in clients’ closets, that is the exception, not the rule.
Most of us deal with whatever was there when we moved in and make it work.
I have to make my space work, and it’s getting more difficult with a growing family and business, but I love a challenge.
I have two small closet spaces : a walk-in (that sounds fancier than it is) and an Ikea system on the wall outside my closet.
This doubles as my office space, AND it’s all in my bedroom. Luckily, by bedroom is rather large, but still, it’s not ideal.
If you’ve been following for some time, you’ll remember that we remodeled our home a few years ago, and part of that was building out a gorgeous space for me to work.
Then my kids decided to become serious athletes, so now it’s being used as a gym and training room for them.
My point is, my space is unconventional.
I’m using what I have to the best of my ability, and it has to stay neat and tidy or our bedroom quickly becomes a disaster.
The tips and products featured below can work whether you have all the space in the world, or a small closet with a shelve and some hanging.
For this next part you need to be done editing your wardrobe. You’ve ruthlessly purged anything you don’t love or absolutely need.
Start with an empty closet.
Taking everything out of your closet and drawers is crucial, because you need to see your space bare.
This allows you to access what you are working with, and see how you can put it back together.
Once everything is removed, clean it.
I do this every few months and I’m always shocked at how dusty and grimy it gets.
So wipe down shelves, the walls, clean the floor, give yourself a fresh start.
I don’t believe there is one way to organize a closet. You have to find a system that works for you and how you live.
But, universally, putting things in categories is the best place to start.
For example, pull all of your handbags together, belts, shirts, pants, etc., and see how much you have with your closet empty.
It’s like a game of Tetris.
Your categories are blocks and you’re fitting everything in perfectly.
And don’t be frustrated if you try something, move it around a dozen times, and come back to it. It’s all part of the process.
Remember: Don’t buy new shiny organizing items until you have your wardrobe edited, your space is empty and you’ve looked around your house to see if you can repurpose something.
A Look in My Closet
For some inspiration, let’s look in my closet.
Please use these tips and make them your own.
First and best tip: use matching hangers.
The key to creating a clean, streamlined closet with a boutique-like feel on a budget is to create uniformity.
I swear by these slim-flocked hangers from Amazon.
You get 60 for $30; they transform your closet, allowing you to keep everything at eye level. They also double your space compared to traditional hangers.
On this rack, I keep random categories, from left to right: out-of-season coats and dresses, occasion tops and dresses I rarely wear but want to keep, oversized scarves, bathing suit coverups, half-zips with the kid’s team logos, and workout clothes.
Hanging up my workout clothes for me is better than keeping them in a drawer. Go-to tops are on hangers, and bras and leggings are in this hanging organizer.
On the shelf above, I keep small bags.
Starting on the left, you’ll see two acrylic clutch organizers from The Container Store. They are excellent quality and ideal for storing tiny bags.
And I’ve collected several small to medium-sized handbags, so I put them in color order and used some shelf dividers to keep them upright.
My knits were getting out of control, so I did an extensive edit and narrowed it down to only my favorites.
To keep them tidy, I use some more shelf dividers.
I used to think these were unnecessary, but after using them for several years, they are one of my closet organizing must-haves. They help manage anything you have stacked on a shelf and give you a little more room.
Shoes are probably the biggest closet-organizing challenge.
I have a lot of shelving in this closet, with extensive height between shelves.
So I stack these shoe drawers from The Container Store to take advantage of the space.
I love that you can see inside, they stack neatly, and they keep dust away but aren’t airtight – I highly recommend them.
I wear a size ten and can easily fit a pair of flats or small heels.
Higher heels go in these clear boxes with a hinged front, 6 for $50 on Amazon.
Either of these can stack on a shelf or on on the floor.
You can’t see in the photo, but above the clear boxes are a few more shelves of summer sandals that I wear often.
Boots are lined up on the bottom shelves.
Or you can use these shoe stackers – they are genius.
On my door is this hanging pocket organizer.
I used it for diapers and baby things until recently – use what you have first!
I keep flip-flops here, roll up my workout clothes for the next day, and keep them in a pocket to grab them without thinking.
You can use it to keep small bags, belts – any small accessory.
Odds and Ends
On the back wall, I have an extra shelf with these canvas boxes.
I have these all over my house.
Here, I use them for a few purposes; one keeps small travel items, like a portable steamer, travel-size containers, chargers, etc.
Another keeps cold weather gear, since my kids play sports in the freezing cold, I have a stash of hand warmers gloves and team related cold gear.
And the last one I use to drop important things I need more time to store properly.
For example, my Mother’s Day cards are in here, some random photos, and we collect Christmas Ornaments from anything we do over the year, so I put them here instead of climbing into the attic. This has been SO helpful.
Off to the side you’ll an larger size, that holds our iron, steamer and clothing care tools.
Now, let’s talk about these wire baskets because they are so useful!
Another Amazon find, they are pull out drawers that slide onto a shelf – no instal needed!
I took a photo too fast, but I’m using them to store small leather items like card cases, travel wallets and pouches.
Finally, I bought an Ikea wardrobe a few years ago to store my in season wardrobe.
It was an awesome buy and reasonably priced. I think, all together, for three units and all the accessories this was about $1000.
I need to add doors but I want the glass front ones and they are always out of stock.
So for now, it’s open.
I paired down a lot and it’s just so nice.
No matter how often I do this, I’m always amazed at how much lighter you feel.
As you can see, long hanging and tops are together, and I hang all my bottoms, jeans and shorts.
I included a pull out shoe drawer for extra storage for sneakers and other go-to shoes. I’ll swap out the flats and loafers for summer shoes this week.
And you’ll see some clear drawers in the center – in here I keep delicate knits folded with some tissue paper in between.
I have the Stackers White Jewelry Box Collection from The Container Store for jewelry and accessories. I used five different compartments to create my box – worth every penny.
Here I keep good pieces and things I don’t wear but want to keep.
But I’m a big advocate for keeping your current jewelry, the things you love and want to wear, at your fingertips.
So I use these drawer inserts from Ikea to corral everything.
Before I had the Ikea system, I used to keep trays of my go-to jewelry stacked on a shelf.
Not pictured but still important to know.
I use these stackable sweater drawers from The Container Store to keep scarves and bathing suits. The live on the floor under the hanging in the walk in.
And I have a dresser in my bedroom that stores undergarments, pajamas, socks, sweats and lounge wear.