Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.
Closet organization hacks
It is well known that a clean and organized space creates a more relaxing environment. I am sharing 6 closet organization hacks to declutter your closet and reduce stress in your life! Whether you crave better functionality or just want it to look pretty, these tips will help you reach your goals.
Maybe you already have an organizational system that needs a refresh, or your closet is a disaster and you feel overwhelmed at the thought of tackling it. I’m here to help!
You may remember the DIY custom-look built-in closet project I did last year. Part of the planning process was figuring out the best layout that would suit my needs.
What height is best to hang dresses vs. pants? How many pairs of shoes do I need to store? Where will I keep my hamper?
Even if you’re working with a pre-existing closet space, you’ll need to determine what your needs are before you start applying any of the helpful tips I mention below. There are many easy ways to make a difference and most don’t require any tools!
How to start organizing a closet
The initial stage of this project can be a little daunting, especially if you are starting from scratch. Plan to start when you have a block of time with minimal interruptions, if possible. The first step is to go through everything you currently have in your closet.
Separate like items into categories: frequently used, seldom or seasonally used, and never used. The next step is to get rid of those never-used items. You do not need them…you don’t! Pass them along to someone else who does. As a result, you’ll create some much-needed space.
Now that you’ve reduced the items you need to organize, I’m going to share my favorite closet organization hacks. You’ll be amazed at the difference!
Best clothes hangers for you
Hanging is the most common way to store clothes. When you sort through your closet to get rid of things you don’t need, wire hangers had better be one of the things to go! These are meant to be used temporarily, don’t support the weight of your clothes, and can cause damage to your garments if they have sharp edges.
Number 1 of my closet organization hacks: choose the right type of hanger for you! The material you choose depends on the clothing you plan to hang on them therefore, take the time to plan out what you’re going to hang.
Wood – If you have plenty of space and want sturdiness, try wooden hangers. Thicker arms reduce the formation of “shoulder bumps” and are great for heavier items like coats and jackets. These are among my personal favorites because they are both functional and give my closet a uniform look!
Bonus tip: If you have the space, fold your sweaters over the arms of the hanger in a way that prevents “shoulder bumps” altogether!
Fabric – Next, we have fabric-covered metal hangers. These are great if you need to save space because they are sturdy, yet thin.
Velvet hangers have a great non-slip quality that keeps your clothes where they belong. You can slide these hangers around while looking for something to wear and your clothes won’t end up on the floor.
If you have clothes made of delicate fabrics, give padded satin hangers a try. Here are examples of how I gained space as a result of switching to velvet hangers for certain garments.
While the velvet hangers didn’t save much space with thicker pieces like jackets, they had a big impact on regular tops and dresses.
Below you can see the difference between wood and velvet hangers made with my dresses. On the left, they are crammed in too tight.
First of all, this makes it almost impossible to move things around when deciding what to wear. Secondly, clothes need space to breathe and hang properly to maintain shape and prevent wrinkles.
Plastic – Next, we have plastic hangers. Not the highest quality of the bunch, but they do have a purpose. Since they are lightweight, they are not meant to hold heavy items. They can warp over time and your clothes will end up falling off.
However, plastic is a waterproof material. Since you may occasionally need to hang a wet bathing suit and towel or have clothes that need to air dry, it’s not a bad idea to keep a few around.
Hanging closet organizers
Smaller, older homes likely have a single closet rod. If you can’t make any structural changes to your closet, you can certainly make this work.
Number 2 of my closet organization hacks: add inexpensive hanging organizers to give you the storage you need.
Easily add hanging shelves to store folded pieces like sweaters and jeans or your collection of handbags.
How to organize clothes in drawers
Whether you have the hanging drawer organizer mentioned above, or custom built-in drawer options, keeping contents organized can be a nightmare.
Number 3 of my closet storage organization hacks: drawer organization tips you can use anywhere in your home. I have used these to keep my kitchen countertops clutter-free and to organize my bathroom vanity storage!
Drawer inserts with small compartments are the perfect way to keep socks and undergarments in order. No more digging around to find matching socks!
Add an insert for jewelry and other accessories like sunglasses and watches too! Be sure to measure your drawers to find the right inserts for you.
Expandable drawer dividers come in handy to keep your folded or rolled clothes lined up and easily accessible. The t-shirts or workout clothes that made it through step one of the closet organization process can become a jumbled mess.
Although we do our best to follow Marie Kondo’s methods, things eventually fall out of place once you’ve pulled a few out of the line-up. Dividers help you keep things nice and neat. They are easy to install and don’t require any tools!
Closet shelf organizing ideas
While you can easily hide the mess inside a drawer, open shelf storage is different because everything is on display. Number 4 of my closet organization hacks are ways to organize your closet shelves and save your sanity!
Baskets or Bins – These are great for storing things that you don’t necessarily need to organize but still need to keep together. Maybe you have a collection of flip-flops you want to store for the winter or some heavy wool socks for cold weather hikes you won’t need in the warmer months.
Pop them in a basket and put them on the top shelf of your closet. This keeps them out of the way, but when the time comes you’ll know just where to find them.
You can also store your favorite travel essentials in a basket. They’ll be ready to go when all this organizing gets to you and need a weekend getaway.
Bonus tip: Use matching baskets or bins to make your closet look pretty!
Shoe boxes – Are shoes your thing? Do you have a Carrie Bradshaw collection of pretties you need to store but also want to have on display? If you have lots of shelf space, line them up in Ms. Bradshaw’s style and take them all in each time you step into your closet.
No enormous closet, no problem! These clear plastic shoe boxes are a great solution! I like these because they are stackable, have easy access doors, and ventilation, and let you see what’s inside.
Shoe boxes are available in various sizes, colors, and materials so you can find the ones you like best. Just a little reminder, shoes get dirty so you should keep them separate from everything else, especially clothes.
Dividers – Another fabulous way to organize your open shelves is with shelf dividers. Keep your garments neatly stacked and prevent them from looking like a picked-over pile at the Gap during the holidays!
You’ve watched enough videos demonstrating the best way to fold your jeans and sweaters (folded edges out!). Now, show off your skills and keep your closet looking great! Use dividers to keep your handbags and boots from tipping over.
Bonus tip: If you don’t use organizers, keep your stacks low so your clothes don’t fall over!
Like the other organizational tools I’ve mentioned, dividers come in different materials and sizes and can be used with wood or wire shelves.
Hiding the ugly stuff
Number 5 of my closet organization hacks: when designing a closet, create a special place for the unsightly stuff that keeps it out of view but has easy access.
Even dirty clothes need to be stored until laundry day. If your hamper is out in the open, make it a pretty one like this. Selecting one with a lid helps contain not only the clothes but any subtle odors that may accompany them.
Another secret hiding behind closed doors is my retractable ironing board. This is an easy DIY project that you can add to any closet with deep enough shelving. Great for a closet or laundry room!
It folds up neatly in the cabinet and doesn’t take up much space. The retractable mechanism is attached to the base of the cabinet with screws.
All you have to do is slide it out, pull out the support post, and flip the board over. Piece of cake!
Closet organization hacks by method
The method you choose to organize your closet is an important decision. We all want our closets to look amazing, but amazing looks different to everyone. The great news is that options are endless and not permanent, so if you try one and it’s not working for you…try a different one!
Number 6 of my closet organization hacks: choose a method to organize your closet that will be easy for you to maintain long-term. Of course, consider your daily habits and routines because any method should be easy to keep up with. After all, this is about changing your life for the better!
- Everything by color – This method is used when you keep everything in your closet year-round and organize pieces by color, no matter the season it is for. For example, your white long-sleeved tops and pants will be in the same section as your white sleeveless tops. A popular color lineup these days is the rainbow. This does sound like a happy way to start your day!
- Similar items by color – Another method used when you don’t change your closet for the seasons. This time, you group similar items together and then organize them by color. So, all your black winter tops will be together but separate from your black pants. If you have a colorful wardrobe, the rainbow can be used here too!
- Rotating method – If you tend to wear the same few things over and over, try this system! Organize all your tops together and only choose from the same side each day. Once you wear and wash it, put it back in on the opposite side. You can work left to right or right to left, it doesn’t matter. This method helps you to utilize more of your clothes and forces you to create a variety in your outfits. If you want to control the number of garments you have, the rotation method can be applied to purchases too. For instance, if you add two new tops, then get rid of two old tops.
- Seasonal method – Closets with limited storage space benefit from seasonal rotation. When warm weather finally rolls around, pack up all your cold weather gear and put them in your linen closet until next year.
- You can keep them in stackable storage bins or use garment storage bags to keep them protected and ready to go. Swap your boots out for sandals and make way for those cute little summer dresses.
More closet organization ideas
If you need a few extra ideas to get your closet in tip-top shape, try these:
- Utilize unused space by placing hooks on the inside wall of a closet
- Hang an organizer on the back of the closet door to store shoes or other small items
- Keep long items like belts, ties, or scarves on space-saving looped organizers
- Collapsable pants hangers are another great option
- Install a retractable rack to hang clothes
- Add a hanging closet rod to double your space
- Use hooks for hanging jeans or handbags
Applying these closet organization hacks will undoubtedly reduce stress and anxiety caused by clutter and simplify your life!