If you’re dreading cleaning your closet like I was, help is here! I’ve got some easy DIY closet organizing ideas for you that will make a big impact on any closet:
- Tip 1: Use hanging shelves to maximize space
- Tip 2: Roll clothes that get stored on shelves
- Tip 3: Sort and purge any items that haven’t been worn in a year or more
- Tip 4: Double-fold pants to free up shelf space
- Tip 5: Store flip-flops upright in a storage bin
- Tip 6: Try tiered pantry organizers for shoes
- Tip 7: Use curtain rings to store multiple tank tops on a hanger
- Tip 8: Use a scarf hanger to organize all of your scarves
- Tip 9: Use hooks on empty wall space to hang hats and bags
- Tip 10: Use curtain rings to hang necklaces
- Tip 11: File fold t-shirts and store by color in bins
I’ll show exactly how I used all eleven steps in my own closet — read on!
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Yesterday, I tackled my long-neglected wardrobe and closet. This was a project about eight years in the making, and I put it off as long as I could. You can see why:
Intimidating, right?! Sigh. Such a mess. But, I knew that if I utilized the steps I outline in my Beginner’s Guide to organizing, I’d get through it.
I started with my wardrobe, which houses my workout clothes, camisole tanks, shorts, t-shirts and pajamas.
Easy DIY Closet Organizing Idea #1: Maximize Space With Hanging Shelves
I’ve had these hanging organizers for years, and I knew they were great for maximizing space, but I could never figure out the best way to utilize them.
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It seemed like no matter how carefully I folded my clothes, they slipped out or got mashed up and wrinkled as I removed and replaced items. I also had too many sets of pajamas, forcing me to jam them into the space on the bottom shelf.
First, I removed everything from the wardrobe and sorted like items into piles. This was the easy part.
Next, I had to decide which items to donate. Pieces that didn’t fit or hadn’t been worn in more than two years had to go.
Idea #2: Roll and Stack Clothes
Once I had things pared down, I needed to figure out how to organize the hanging shelves better. I played around with different folding methods and figured out that rolling and stacking everything was the solution! (Such an easy closet organizing tip…why didn’t I think about it before?)
Now, I can see all of my clothing and easily retrieve the items I want to wear without disrupting everything else. Nothing slips out of the shelves. I’m hoping that by smoothing things out before I roll them, they’ll stay less wrinkled. Amazon has a similar set of hanging shelves:
As for the pajamas, I folded and stacked sets into short piles. Anything that didn’t belong in a set was rolled and stored in a plastic container. Since it’s getting warm in Arizona, my heavier fleece and flannel pajamas are stored in the back of the wardrobe.
The Walk-In: Easy Closet Organizing
My husband and I have a relatively big walk-in closet, but my section of it has some weird corners and hidden areas that make it easy for clothes and random stuff to get lost.
I also had too many shoes for the shelves I was utilizing, and my sweaters were hard to access on the top shelves. On top of all of this, I simply had too many clothes I hadn’t worn and a TON of empty hangers that cluttered the rods.
Idea #3: Sort and Purge
So, following the steps in my Beginner’s Guide, I took EVERYTHING out of the closet. I mean everything. I piled clothes on my bed and grouped shoes and boots in the bathroom.
Next, I pulled each item that hadn’t been worn in more than two years and added them to my donate pile.
I utilized our abundant plastic grocery bags to easily store my donations in the car trunk. Blue, our recent cat rescue, loves to help me organize, as you can see:
Idea #4: Maximize Vertical Space by Double-Folding Pants
Once the closet was empty and the donation pile complete, it was time to assess where and how I would replace everything.
I decided that pants and jeans could be double-folded on the top hanger rod, and would give me space to utilize the shelf below for flip-flops.
Idea #5: Store Flip-Flops Upright in a Bin
Storing flip-flops in a bin saved me a TON of space!
I really pared down my sweaters and was able to hang them on the lower closet rod. Since it’s getting warm in Arizona, I’m keeping them in the “hidden” section of the rod and will swap them with my tank tops and short-sleeved shirts when winter rolls around.
Moving my sweaters opened up all of the shelves for my sandals and pumps!
Idea #6: Use Tiered Pantry Organizers for Shoes
I had two sets of tiered pantry organizers left over after my pantry makeover. I used on the top two shelves so I could see and retrieve those rows of shoes more easily. You can see them in the closeup picture:
My sneakers went on a two-tiered shoe organizer beneath my dresses. After the shoes were in place, I did a little happy dance and then moved on to my tops.
I hung my short-sleeved tops and tanks in front of my heavy sweaters (to make it easy to swap them come winter time), and all long-sleeved tops and light jackets to the right.
Idea #7: Use Curtain Rings to Store Multiple Tank Tops on One Hanger
I saved hanger space with my tank tops (I have a LOT) by using zip ties to affix old curtain rings to a hanger. This enables me to hang several tanks at a time!
If you have a lot of tank tops and leggings, here’s an affordable organizing solution on Amazon:
Idea #8: Scarf Organization
With all of my clothes in place, it was time to figure out how to organize scarves, belts, jewelry, bags and visors.
For now, belts are just hung on a single hanger, but I plan to find a hanging belt organizer soon. I used a scarf hanger to store my plethora of scarves:
Idea #9: Use Hooks on Empty Wall Space for Hats and Bags
I used hooks for large and small bags and my collection of visors:
Idea #10: Curtain Rings to Organize Necklaces
The jewelry was a bit more complicated. I didn’t have a jewelry organizer, and hanging all of my necklaces on a single hook caused them to tangle.
My no-cost solution? I took an unused cookbook holder, flipped it upside down and affixed it to the wall with Command hooks. Then I used the rest of my old curtain hooks to hang individual necklaces.
This solution works great for now!
Idea #11: File Fold T-Shirts
My husband got excited when he saw all of the progress I was making in the closet, so he asked me for help with his t-shirts.
As you can see, he’s a huge t-shirt hoarder. He has been as long as I’ve known him.
He even belonged to a “Dive Bar T-Shirt of the Month” club for a while, which sent him cool vintage-styled t-shirts from dive bars all over the country.
They were great, but we had NO more room for them, so I had to put my foot down. He stopped the club subscription, but we still needed to figure out a way to store them neatly.
Thanks to a little Marie Kondo research, I learned how to file fold the t-shirts and store them vertically in clear bins, according to color.
Huge impact, right? And my husband loves being able to easily retrieve the exact t-shirt he wants to wear. Win, win.
I’m so pleased with my new closet! Everything is up off the floor, which is HUGE for me. I can easily find and retrieve all of my clothes and shoes, and it looks so TIDY.
Easy Closet Organizing: More Tips
If you need to organize your closet, and want to get it done FAST, Real Simple offers tips to get it done in 30 minutes. Pretty darn quick!
And, this video from Spankie Valentine TV offers some amazing hacks:
Got some additional closet tips, tricks or hacks I didn’t include? Leave them in the comments. Happy organizing!