Master Closet Organization

Master Closet Organization

Tips & Tricks

The closet that Ricky and I shared in our first apartment was tiny, one of those bi-fold door closets (of which I took up more than my fair share). So when we moved into this new apartment, the master closet felt like such a luxury! It's still not too huge or glamorous but it definitely gets the job done. I will say that if you have the space, you tend to fill it, so good storage solutions and ways to optimize our space are still important to us. Our budget is low for organizing this space, so I don't have anything pricey put into this closet. Still, it functions very well with the little systems I have been able to put into place. 
Here are some of the methods I use to get the most use out of our space without breaking the bank or causing permanent changes (aka damage) to our rented apartment.

Organize by Type

(Instead of Color) Look, I get it. There is nothing more visually glorious than opening your closet door and seeing a beautiful rainbow of colors hanging from the racks. But function is more important to me in this respect, so I organize by clothing type. My racks go in the following order: sweaters, cardigans, blazers, button downs, short sleeves, sleeveless tops, hanging organizer (for pants), long dresses, short dresses, skirts, casual tee shirts. Within those categories I do the color order thing, so that if I need a long sleeved heavy cardigan in black, I know exactly where to look. I keep Ricky's hanging things by: short sleeved polos, long sleeved polos, short sleeved button downs, long sleeved button downs, sweaters, jackets. He has far fewer clothing items and categories (also fewer cares about this type of thing) so I don't really worry about the color thing for him. His pants, pajamas and underthings go in a dresser opposite our bed, and my t-shirts, tanks, sweats and underthings go in another chest of drawers.
You can see my wardrobe go from cardigans, to blazers, to button ups in this shot

Unified Hangers

Using identical hangers with a slim profile allows for a cleaner, more stream lined look along with taking up less space per item. I chose to use plain black hangers for my items. It makes the whole hanging space less busy and the hangers seem to fade away, allowing for an easier focus on the clothes themselves. Ricky isn't a fan of the felt texture of these hangers so he has plastic hangers, but I did keep them all to one color for the same reasons. The more mismatched but still functional hangers moved on over to the guest closet and laundry room.

My hangers, these felt ones from Amazon
Ricky's white plastic hangers. 

Using Vertical Space

I take advantage of our higher ceilings and also the space under the hanging rods. If we owned instead of rented, I would definitely do Elfa shelves or Ikea pieces, but since we are renting our apartment for the next year or two, I've found less expensive and less permanent ways to get the best use out of our space. I use affordable shoe racks underneath the left side (under my hanging heavier clothes), a hanging shoe organizer in the middle, and clear plastic drawers on the right side (under Ricky's hanging clothes) to hold workout clothes, bathing suits & pajamas.
Accessories, purses, travel bags, donations, and extra bed sheets are all stored in these containers. 
My overnight bag sits on top of a bin containing other travel essentials--our larger suitcases are just to the left of this photo.

All my pants are stored in this hanging organizer. 
Eventually I'd like to put a tall bookshelf here (Ikea's Billy?) instead to keep them more flat.

Smaller Containers for Smaller Items

I keep smaller items, such as winter accessories, purses, and even flip flops in baskets & bins. The flip flops stay under my longer hanging clothes in a medium sized basket on the floor. Purses, travel bags, hats & mittens stay in two different types of bins on the shelves around the top of the closet. I also use my luggage to store my smaller travel items inside--kill two birds with one stone!
Small red containers--approx 8-10 years ago (had them since high school!)--similar here
White containers--this summer from Target

Donation Basket

I put a rectangular laundry basket up on the shelf of my closet. Whenever I try something on and don't like the fit, or realize that there's a flaw, I can throw the item up into that basket. If I go three months or so without missing it and fishing it back out, I take the whole basket down to the city mission and donate it. It's a great way to be constantly in the process of editing my wardrobe.

The black square hamper is what I use for my donations--from Target

Keep the Shoes Corralled

My shoe organization is easy & inexpensive, but it keeps my shoes under control (and not just in a pile on the floor). The two shoe racks I have had since college, and they probably cost around $10 each at Walmart or Target. I keep boots that are too fall for the racks in the space between them, and use rolled up magazines (kept in place by a hair tie around each magazine) in each boot to keep them upright and protect their shape. 

This angled shoe rack holds mostly heels, with sneakers underneath-similar here
This rack holds wedges and flats since it's shelves are flat across rather than angled-similar here

Cute Factor

Just because your closet is very functional doesn't mean it can't have a cute factor! I have my outfit pinboard & two cute framed prints inside of our closet that dress up our closet entrance a bit. Any area of my home that is cute & organized is more likely to stay that way than if it's purely functional.

Know That There Will ALWAYS Be Room for Improvement

There are definitely areas in my closet that could still use improvement. I'd love to get shelf dividers to keep our sweatshirts in a little better order, and I'd like an actual bookshelf instead of a hanging shelf for folded pants. Both issues can be seen in the photo below, and there are plenty of other improvements that could be made too.  But it's good to accept that perfection is not attainable, and isn't really even the goal. The goal is to have a functional space that works for your lifestyle and is easy to maintain--and in that regard, our closet is a winner. :) 

My closet may not be the closet of my dreams...but I do have a Pin-board dedicated to just that! Check it out here. 

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  1. I love your outfit pin board, and all your organizing tips are right on point! Vertical space is the best!

    1. Thank you so much Melissa!! *happy dance*


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