Hey All! So, let’s talk about a little, ok maybe a big, white elephant in just about everyone’s house. Yep, that’s right, your closet. (The one in your bedroom) Your closet can be a walk in, the typical doors that slide, or a full size of a room. No matter what type or size of closet you have, it is bound to be a catch all at one point or another. And if you are like me, (dare I admit this) you probably, literally throw random items in there just seconds before company comes or as company is ringing your door bell. Only to have it all fall out later when you go to grab a sweater for the chilly weather. As you think, why do I do this over and over again, I should just organize it. Yea right! Because we all have an entire day to climb through that hot mess! Not likely.
Well, I am going to try to convince you that is it not as overwhelming as it may seem. I know, I know, bare with me. I am going to use my own closet to show you how to get every little inch of real estate in that tiny, or big closet of yours to work overtime! All I ask is to not judge mine, I did a weak attempt at pushing the baby’s toys aside while I took these photos as she was taking a nap.
So let’s break it down into manageable sections shall we? First let’s talk about how high your closet is. Yes, how high is your ceiling. I do not necessarily mean go out and measure it. I mean take a good look at the SPACE. Do you have a lot of unused room above your highest hanging rack? If so, why? I am going to show you a few examples in my own home of good and bad uses of space. (Obviously the bad I will blame on my hubby since it is in our panty, and that is his domain.)
First, I will show you the closet in our bedroom. Again, brace yourselves. I had to take these photos in sections. I am 5’9″ and I use a little mini step ladder to reach the top shelf you will see in this first photo.
I know, not that great of quality as far as the photo goes, but you get my point. So my first question again was how high is your ceiling in your closet compared to the highest hanging rack? Here you can see I had quite a bit of space and there was already a shelf up there. So first, if you have this space, ADD A SHELF! On the shelf here, to the left hand side you notice I have two baskets. So another question…you know all those “skinny” tank tops, and T-shirts and just don’t hang right, and/or the shirt is not really worth the hanging space. Normally it ends up at the bottom of a drawer somewhere? Ok, well I took those tank tops and T-shirts and have a basket for each. Now when I need them for layering, (or when I don’t really feel like taking the time to fold them) they go in their designated basket on this top shelf that I use my little step ladder to get to. Next to that are bulky and odd shaped boot boxes. TIP: Keep your shoe boxes. This helps keep your shoes from getting extra wear, and providing extra protection. Then you get to see my sweaters, already becoming slightly undone. Well, what do you expect? I’m not a Banana Republic store front with perfectly folded clothing! Point being, I utilized the space above the hanging rack, and organized shirts that are best kept folded into baskets/bins. In this picture, I choose to hang all my shirts together. Call me OCD, but I organize my shirts into colors. I use the rainbow as a guide, with neutrals being hung at the back. Within each color, I then hang the shirts by sleeve length. So first is tank tops, then short sleeves, then long sleeves, and so on. I am not saying that is the perfect way to hang your shirts, I just happen to think in terms of color and this is the system that works well for me.
Ok, this photo gives you a look at the bottom portion of my hanging items. So on the left you see my shirts again, and below that are all my hanging pants. Yes, I even hang my jeans. Why? I will tell you why. I know my faults, and I am a person that wants to open the closet and see all my clothing. I do not want to have to walk all around my room just to collect an outfit together. That being said, I hang everything I possibly can so it is all in one space. Let’s be honest, if I folded my jeans and put them in a drawer, the ones on the bottom would probably not get worn much. That’s just me.
Then you also see I have my shoes all stacked and in their original boxes. Yes, I have a shoe problem. It is beyond fetish! I have dialed that back somewhat. But hey, I’m only human. I guess I should also admit that these are only my winter shoes. Should I go into therapy for my shoe problem? 🙂 This is my Second point. Just because someone made it obvious that where my shoes are was meant for long dresses, doesn’t mean you have to do it! I have my dresses in another closet (My son doesn’t need that closet does he?) because they are seasonal and not something I wear all the time even in the right weather. So we hung my husband’s shirts in that area, and I stacked my shoes below it. I also used the top of my shoe boxes as a little make shift shelf for some purses. It’s the right height, and just made sense to me.
Ok, final photo of my closet and final point about organizing your closets. Here is something that I am sure almost every woman has owned at one point or another. A shoe rack that hangs on the back of your closet door. Yes, I do have a few shoes in this. However, most of the slots are home to other closet items. Isn’t it every girl’s fantasy to just step into a closet and have every article of clothing and accessory within arms reach? Ok, well I tried my darnedest to get that here. I rolled up my scarves and my belts and have them in the shoe pockets. Then I used those Command strips on the right side of the shoe organizer to hang all my necklaces. I am not lying when I tell you that I will sneak in this closet while my infant is sleeping, get dressed head to toe including accessories and come out. I feel like Clark Kent going into a phone booth and coming out as superman, or super mom in my case.
Those were all, I hope, good examples of using every inch of a closet. Here is the not so good. Sorry husband.
Here is a photo of our pantry. It is actually quite a large space, but extremely under utilized. I know it’s messy, let’s get past that. 🙂 My point here is that there is a TON of room to add extra shelving, or more wire shelf storage on each shelf. These are found at big box home improvement stores. Most are not expensive. I guess I will have to attempt to get the hubby to let me organize this closet and then update you all with a photo. But do you see my point?
In our bedroom closet, yes I went overboard with utilizing space. I did that because of what I wanted it to be. I wanted that closet to contain 90% of my wardrobe and it does. Best of all, all articles neatly fit in there without me needing to lean against the door in order to close it. So let’s recap. First, look at the height of your closet and put a shelf just above the hanging rack. Even if you can not fit a bin like I did, it still gives you a shelf to any other items you may have. Second use the space as YOU need it. Not necessarily how it was INTENDED to be used. My shoes fit well in the space meant for long hanging items. Third, Do not forget about vertical space. It is sometimes more important then horizontal space. And if you aren’t sure if there is extra room use this trick. Most closets are painted a lighter color right? And most of our clothes look dark against that color right? Ok, so now go to your closet and squint your eyes a bit. Don’t strain, just squint enough to get a fuzzy image of what is in front of you. Now, do you see any areas with light color, aka the walls. This is an area that maybe underused. Now, take a look again, with your normal vision, at that space you just identified. Can you use it for anything? Chances are, that pocket book you just bought at Marshall’s will look great in that space! Ooops, I mean that very smart purchase of a neutral accessory.
Do you have a favorite organizing tip? Let me know! Questions? Type it in the comments and I will help you solve them!
Thanks for reading!