59 Space-Saving Ideas, Tips, and Products to Organize Your Disastrous Closet - SolidRumor.com

59 Space-Saving Ideas, Tips, and Products to Organize Your Disastrous Closet

 59 Space-Saving Ideas, Tips, and Products to Organize Your Disastrous Closet

There are reams of closet organization ideas, hacks, and tricks bouncing around the internet these days. But most of them are either eye-rollingly twee—turn your folded t-shirt stacks sideways and you can see them all at once!—or require full-scale apartment renovations. (You know: just install some track lighting, build some shelves, open up the wall over there!) For the vast majority of us with neither the funds nor the freedom under a rental lease to hire an architect, there are some gentler and less costly ways to re-organize your closet and bedroom areas, even if you’re constrained by space.

To help you tackle your closet in disarray, we spoke to five interior designers who work on a range of custom projects: Jessica Decker (author of 365 Days of Organizing), Alexandra Kalia (founder of Common Bond Design) Frances Merrill (founder of Reath Design), Becky Shea (founder of Becky Shea Design), and Cara Woodhouse (founder of Cara Woodhouse Interiors). With their help, we’ve collected a list of tips and products to keep in mind before diving into a full closet re-organization. Here are 59 ideas, big and small to help make your mountains of clothing a little more manageable.

Before You Start

Before you buy anything new—shelves, racks, whatever—it’s a good idea to start from a clean slate. When Shea begins a closet redesign, she usually strips away everything that’s already there. “Removing shelves [is] our first choice,” she says. Then, you can step back and really assess the space you have. Pull out a tape measure and check the dimensions of your space. That way, before you’ve started thinking about whether to install an extra clothing rod, peg rails, or over-the-door shoe rack, you know if what’s going to fit.

It’s also important to know exactly what you have, and how it should be stored—Merrill sends all of her new clients a closet questionnaire for exactly this purpose. If you have a lot of dress shirts and suits, your closet storage should include more hanging space. If you mostly wear T-shirts and sweaters, you want shelves. If you collect shoes, you might need to take advantage of racks or under-bed storage boxes. Assuming you’ve already gone full Kondo, or at least as Kondo as you want to go, make sure that you’re buying storage solutions for what you have, not for all the stuff you want to acquire.

How to Store Your Clothes

Even if you don’t have a walk-in closet, you can still find extra space you didn’t think you had. This will require getting creative with vertical space. Here are a few ways to do that.

Closetmaid adjustible closet rod

$20

Build.com

Shea and Merrill both frequently install secondary closet rods underneath the existing ones built into your closet. As long as it won’t interfere with your clothes—make sure you have a different place to keep those long winter coats—a second closet rod basically doubles the amount you can hang in your closet (just make sure you properly mount it to the wall).

Hardware Resources pull-down closet rod

$103

Build.com

When possible, Shea often recommends her clients position closet rods above the one that’s already built-in. “If you’re vertically challenged, there are some awesome options that allow you to either pull the upper rack down towards you manually, or even by pressing a button,” she says. This one, from Hardware Resources, is perfect for getting usable storage into small-but-tall spaces.

Wenko Kerkules 2-tier organization system

$55

Bed, Bath & Beyond

If you don’t have a rod in your closet at all, you might consider just getting a big organizational system like this one. It gets you two decently sized racks that you can stuff with clothes. They’re a bit less permanent-feeling than the above options, but are also easier to install and uninstall. If you’re a renter and plan to move at some point, that’s probably key.

Easy Track wardrobe rod

$20

Build.com

Woodhouse often encourages her clients to add wardrobe rods to their closets, even though they don’t give you more space to actually hang your clothes. “It’s helpful to have a spot for picking out outfits or hanging up your dry cleaning that just arrived back from the cleaners.” It is certainly a huge improvement over just laying your clothes on your bed.

Casafield wood suit hangers (20-pack)

Now that you’ve made space to hang your clothes, it’s time to update your hangers. The ones your dry cleaning comes back on aren’t just eyesores, they’re actually ruining your clothes. A set of these wooden hangers will keep any jacket, shirt, or pair of pants in good condition for a long time.

The Container Store velvet hangers (10-pack)

$6

The Container Store

Several of our experts suggested that, if you’re low on space, you invest in a bunch of velvet hangers. These won’t give you the structure some of your clothes need, but their texture will certainly keep them from sliding off. 

Magicfly hanging closet organizer

For the stuff you can’t or shouldn’t hang (underwear and sweaters, respectively), use hanging shelves. “Hanging shelves make items more accessible in a closet where you just have the dreaded single shelf and rod,” ” says Decker. 

CB2 Gallery 3-drawer chest

If you have the floorspace, consider a chest. You’ll get a lot more room for your things and they’re easier to use than small hanging cubbies. 

Marie Kondo bamboo drawer dividers (2-pack)

$25

The Container Store

Keeping a chest organized is a lot easier with internal drawer dividers. These bamboo ones are easy to adjust—and smell nice, too.

The Container Store deep drawer divider (2-pack)

$30

The Container Store

For deeper drawers, use these. 

Threshold 4-cube organizer shelf

A simple organizer shelf like this is a capable substitute for (or supplement to) a good chest. Stuff it with sweaters and pants.

The Container Store tall shelf divider

$13

The Container Store

If you have built-in shelves you don’t want to remove, getting a set of dividers like these will go further than you expect. Creating sections for your clothes will keep them separated and organized—and help you both when you’re trying to pick out what to wear and when you’re staring at a pile of washed clothes that need to be folded and put away.

Shaker peg rail (3-pegs)

$60

Shaker Shoppe

Though you’ll likely put most of your clothes on hanging rods or folded in shelves, Merrill also installs peg rails and hooks throughout the closets she designs. “They help enormously in keeping closets tidy.” In other words: hooks are for the things, like coats and bags, that you hang on the back of whatever chair you see first when you come home. Merrill often uses these Shaker peg rails, which are handmade by artisans in Pennsylvania.

Kept Home peg rail (4-pegs)

$88

Kept Home

These rails from Kept Home are a little bit less expensive in the larger sizes, and come already stained and finished.

Pruskin studio “Hopscotch” knob

$60

Prushkin Studio

Merrill also loves the metal goods from Pruskin studio: “Each piece is handmade and like a little sculpture.” You can use this either as a replacement door knob or as a hook to mount in your wall.

Scout Regalia wall hooks

$18

Design Milk

These hooks from Scout Regalia are great for coats, scarfs, or bags that you want to hang. They also come in a ton of different colors. 

Command nickel decorative hook

You can always just buy normal Command hooks, but these in nickel won’t immediately scream “college dorm.”

The Container Store “Elfa” door rack

$100

The Container Store

“I recommend using an over the door rack to maximize storage for smaller items, which will help keep them organized,” says Woodhouse. This modular rack does the work of a bunch of hooks and actually looks pretty good doing it.

The Container Store “Umbra Estique” over-the-door rack

$22

The Container Store

If you just need a bunch of hanging pegs, this is a much cheaper solution. 

Yamazaki Home bi-level coat rack

$100

Food52

A coat rack has all the advantages of an over-the-door rack or peg rail, but it likely won’t fit in your closet. If you don’t want for floor space, this one looks sweet.

Homz plastic storage bins (2-pack)

One foolproof way to keep your closet organized is to keep it pared down according to the season, dumping warm stuff in a box like this when it gets cold and vice versa. This gives your closet a bit of breathing room, and means you won’t have to dig through your winter coats to find the exact camp shirt you want to wear to the beach. Shea and her husband use this one. “They stack and have handles that fold around the end of the lid to hold it shut, important when you’re stuffing your holiday sweaters away,” she says.

The Container Store long box with wheels

$27

The Container Store

These long boxes from the Container Store serve the same purpose, but also have wheels to easily slide under your bed.

Brother label maker

If you embrace a bunch of plastic storage containers, consider embracing the label maker. “I love when things are clearly labeled. It cuts out so much confusion when you’re looking for specific items,” says Woodhouse.

Kept Home hamper

$220

Kept Home

The clothes you like most probably spend more time in your hamper than on a hanger or on a shelf, so getting something nice should be a priority. This one features a canvas bag hooked to a sturdy wire frame. When you need to wash your clothes, the bag snaps right off and is easy to lug around.

Marie Kondo “Shoji” 2-section bamboo hamper

$150

The Container Store

A cheaper, still stylish option from the Marie Kondo collaboration at the Container Store.

OrganiHaus rope laundry basket

An even cheaper option, the kind you might see in a stylish college dorm. 

How to Organize Your Shoes

As with shirts, organizing shoes is mostly an exercise in finding and creating vertical space. There are tons of storage solutions available, but the cheap models are wobbly and the expensive models require real installation. And unless your collection of sneakers is in the high double digits, you probably don’t need to look into a custom solution.

West Elm extended shoe rack

$85

West Elm

A shoe rack is the simplest solution to store the shoes you frequently wear. They’re easy to build and small enough to hide in your closet, but look inoffensive enough to keep in your entryway, if you need the space. Shea keeps this one, which can comfortably fit about nine pairs of shoes, at the base of her closet.

Bamfox shoe rack

This shoe rack is a bit shorter and wider, but it’s stackable. If you need more space, you can just buy another unit and toss it on top of the one you have. You can go pretty high before you have to worry.

Open Spaces entryway rack

$140

Open Spaces

A sturdier, more colorful entryway rack from Open Spaces. It doesn’t have as much room for shoes and doesn’t stack, but it looks the best of the bunch. 

IKEA LACK Wall shelf unit

Yes, this is a bookshelf. But Poet Hanif Abdurraqib told us he stacks these on their sides to store his massive sneaker collection. 

Shoe Slotz shoe organizers (10-pack)

These ingenious little organizers allow you to effectively double the amount of shoes you can fit into any given space. According to Decker, more importantly, they prevent your shoes from being squashed.

Uline plastic shoe boxes

Shea likes to keep the shoes she doesn’t actively wear as much in the boxes they came in, which are already designed to stack well. When she doesn’t have the box, she usually puts them in a stackable plastic bin. “It not only ensures they don’t get dusty,” she says, “but reminds me that I don’t have more room to buy more shoes.”

Clear stackable large shoe drawer

$10

The Container Store

Bigger shoes, like hiking boots, need their own boxes.

How to Organize Watches, Ties, and Jewelry

Keeping your accessories organized can be pain: it’s hard to find the perfect space for a ton of little things. But unorganized accessories tend to get lost. And if you know exactly where each of your hats, scarfs, watches, ties, and pieces of jewelry are, you’re much more likely to actually wear them.

Stackers medium expandable jewelery storage tray

$32

The Container Store

Merrill generally orders custom velvet drawer inserts for her clients from the October Company. These from The Container Store are a little less elegant, but just as practical, and a whole lot simpler to score online.

Match Pewter change tray

A series of valet trays is a good accompanying accessory to internal storage trays. You can pretty easily use a bunch of them to organize a wide range of stuff—inside a drawer or on top of a set of drawers.

This copper dish

Open Spaces nesting trays (3-pack)

$42

Open Spaces

BarWR molded leather valet tray

The Container Store acrylic office drawer organizers

$5

The Container Store

Trove square box with lid

$25

Design Within Reach

Shea keeps some of her small accessories in this small cork box from Design Within Reach. It’s also stackable.

Open Spaces large bins with lids (2-pack)

$70

Open Spaces

Muuto Restore basket

For larger accessories that don’t need to be hung—like hats and scarves—Shea and Kalita use these stackable felt bins from Open Spaces. They’re big enough to accommodate a lot of stuff, but not so large that you’ll get lost digging through them. Kalita also likes the basket from Muuto.

Rev-A-Shelf pull-out tie rack

$32

Wayfair

The tie rack: goofy, yet unimprovable.

Delta “Porter” double towel bar

$45

The Home Depot

Alternatively, consider installing a towel bar to the back of your closet door.

How to Light Your Closet

Your closet might have overhead lighting that makes it possible to actually see the clothes you’re grabbing. If it doesn’t, well: it’s time to fix that.

Philips Hue white led starter kit

$100

Amazon

Philips Hue indoor motion sensor

Shea has a pretty sophisticated smart lighting setup in her closet. She’s programmed the lights to turn on whenever she or her husband walk up to the doors. The easiest way to get this setup for yourself is with a Phillips Hue starter kit.

iDevices wall outlet

If you already have a lamp and outlet that you’d want to employ in a smart closet lighting setup, you can replace the outlet with a smart outlet like this one, as Shea did. It’s easier to do then you think—just make sure you know where your fuse box is before you get started.

Wemo smart plug

If you have a lamp, but don’t want to mess with re-wiring, just buy a smart plug, an essential component of our smart home starter kit.

HAY PC portable light

If you don’t have an outlet in your closet, you’ll need something that doesn’t constantly draw power. This rechargeable, portable light from HAY will do the trick.

GE LED puck lights (2-pack)

The easiest way to incorporate lighting into your closet is by sticking a puck light like this one close to the door. The push-button function isn’t the most elegant solution, but you can’t argue with the results.

Other Closet Items to Consider

Once you’ve tackled all the basics, it’s time to think about design—the sort of adjustments that’ll make you feel good about getting dressed every day. “A well-styled closet is important, since it’s one of the first places you will see when you wake up each day,” says Shea. Plus, if you actually like how your closet looks when organized, you’re more likely to keep it that way.

Con-tact adhesive paper

$26

The Home Depot

An extremely easy way to spruce up a wall or the inside of a drawer is with adhesive contact paper. Wallpaper without the fuss.

Conair fabric shaver

Actually taking care of your clothes should be an important step in maintaining your beautifully organized closet. “A sweater shaver is a cut above (pun intended) the rest when it comes to sweater care,” says Decker. “It beats out the pumice stone and other types of de-fuzzers to keep sweaters pill-free. ”

Project 62 narrow wall mirror

You can’t perform a proper fit check (let alone take a fit pic) without a good mirror. It’ll also make your closet look a little bit bigger.

HAY “Ruban” square mirror

This mirror is too small to be something you bank on before leaving the house, but it’s a fun accent that can at least help make sure you don’t have anything in your teeth.

Aroma360 “November Rain” reed diffuser

$36

Aroma360

Shea thinks it’s important that your closet incorporate a “light, but stimulating” scent. She often uses Aroma360 reed diffusers to achieve this.

Le Labo “Santal 26” home diffuser

$600

Le Labo

Shea is also partial to these home diffusers from Le Labo, which include both a scent diffuser and soft Edison light bulb.

A&G scented drawer sachets (3-pack)

$5

World Market

Toss one of these (or some dryer sheets) into your drawers so that your clothes keep that just-washed smell.

HAY “Tree Trunk” vase

This vase is a great element to add to the top of a shelf, even if you don’t have a bouquet of flowers to put in it.

SentrySafe fireproof safe

$200

The Home Depot

If you have anything really expensive that you don’t often wear—watch, jewelry, granddad’s bolo tie—it’s not a bad idea to keep it in a safe.

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