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How to organize a closet

Wondering what are the best ways to organize a woman’s closet? Search no more! Here’s my DIY closet organizer ideas that no only added more storage space for my clothes, but also was done on a budget!

And I put together this best closet organizer in one weekend!

How to Organize Your Closet

This is a before picture of what my closet used to look like.  Just a basic closet with one single clothes rack and a shelf. That’s it. How is anyone supposed to use that space to store clothes, shoes and accessories?

Closet needs organizing
The standard bar and shelf make it hard to keep a closet organized.

So, in just one weekend, I found the best way to organize a woman’s closet.  That’s right, the best organization ideas for girl’s clothes, shoes and jewelry and purses.

I made my own DIY closet organizer, and I did it all for about $350.

You can repurpose items you already own, such as hooks, bins, boxes, and shelves.  You can even move an existing dresser into your closet for shelving, rather than buying something new.

Here are five ways to organize your closet, so you can finally find what you want to wear, when you want to wear it!

1. Add Shelves

Organized closet shelves
Shelves and drawers are efficient ways to store folded items and shoes.

Room to hang clothes is great, but there are a lot of items that store better folded.  So I added LOTS of shelves to my closet.

Narrow shelving units are inexpensive and a great idea for storing bulky folded items, such as sweaters and jeans.

They also are great to hold closet organizer baskets, to store small things like bathing suits, purses, or scarves.  I installed one at each end of the closet.

I reused the existing shelf across the top of the entire closet. With the taller shelving units, I did need to raise it slightly. This also allowed room for an additional hanging clothes bar on one side.

The top shelf now holds luggage and out-of-season clothing (stored in these affordable protective bags) that isn’t used often.

Pro Tip:  Don’t put the top shelf up too high, or you won’t be able to use it.  The wall in front will get in the way of larger items. Plus it’s harder to reach. I know this the hard way trying to squeeze a suitcase up through the opening at an angle while standing on a step stool!

Shoes are great to store on shelves. A dresser top unit with closely spaced shelves keeps the shoes organized and easy to see. Boots got their own shelf on the bottom right.

Thrifty Tip:  I saved some scraps of cardboard that the new furniture pieces came in.  Rolled up, the cardboard makes perfect boot inserts to hold them upright.

2. Use Drawers in a Closet

Drawers are great for storing under garments, folded t-shirts, shorts, and athletic wear. And they don’t have to cost a lot of money, either. But they add so much extra storage to your closet!

Pro Tip:  Make sure you can open the drawers when the closet doors are in place.  (This is why you should measure the width of your doors before going shopping!)

Wondering how to store t-shirts in a drawer? I like to store my t-shirts rolled up and placed vertically, with a bookend keeping them tight. Held in place by bookends, this makes it easier to see what items I have, without digging through a pile. Smaller items such as camisoles also are smart to store rolled up.

rolled up t-shirts in a drawer
Store t-shirts on end, so you can see what you have. Bookends hold them in place.
camisoles rolled up in drawer

3. Multiple Bars for Hanging Items

Double hanging bars in closet
Use multiple hanging bars to make the best use of space.

Hanging clothes helps to prevent wrinkles, so I try to hang as many of my clothes as possible.  Even if you live in t-shirts, hanging them will keep you from looking rumpled.

In my closet, I installed three bars for hanging items (two on the left side shown here, and one on the right, shown above).

Reusing the existing rod, I cut it into three sections. With brackets purchased at the local home improvement store, it was easy to hang the bars where I wanted them.

THIS IS EASIER! Have you seen a double closet rod like this one? It’s really inexpensive and I could have made one clothes rack into two by just hanging this on my rod. I might use this in another closet.

This eliminates wasted space below shorter items that were previously hung in a single row. Shirts are on the top, with skirts underneath. Longer items like dresses hang in the taller space.

4. Organize Accessories

Accessories are often overlooked in closet design, but they need a home, too.

My closet had the perfect space for a peg rack, where I hang belts, scarves, and hats. This is a coffee mug rack, but I repurposed it for accessories.

How to store scarves and belts
Use pegs or hooks to store belts, scarves, hats, or other accessories.

Get our whole list of clever organizing ideas for hard-to-store accessories.

5. How to Organize Items

How to organize a closet
Group your clothes by type to make them easier to find. Sorting by color is also a pretty option.

With all the new organizers, each type of clothing now has its own place.

Group like-items together to make it easier to find what you want.  Shirts, skirts, dresses, jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, and shoes should each have their own designated part of the closet.

In my closet, I also like to do additional sorting by color. Items that are the same color get grouped together. This isn’t necessary, but it makes it easier for some people to coordinate outfits.

Plus, it looks good.  To be honest, when I finished this makeover, I left the doors off for a few more days, just so I could admire how good it looked!

With a few thrifty pieces (I got mine at Ikea), or reusing items you already own, you can create a beautifully organized space in a weekend.

Clutter control checklist

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3 Comments on Best Ways to Organize a Woman’s Closet

  1. It looks like you have a divider wall between the two sections? Or is it something else? What kind of doors do you have? By the way I love it and I think I would like to tackle it but have to figure a few things first.

    • Hi Judi,
      There is an external post, so I have two sets of sliding doors. The interior of the closet is one continuous space. I hope it’s given you some ideas for your project!

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