FOCUS ON: Closet Organizing Part III For the Gals

Grab a cup of coffee and get comfy! Continuing from my (click to read) Part I and (click to read) Part II of Focus On: Closet Planning & Organizing, here are more details and examples to help you organize the closet you already have. I'd have to say, plan on it being a weekend project - especially if the closet you're organizing hasn't been sorted in a while. I'm using my own closet + experience as an example - but the "eye candy" closets will be at the end of this post. Hopefully these tips can also help if you're relocating from a larger walk-in to a hall split closet layout (meaning now two). The tips can also help if you have a shared closet situation with your partner. Regardless of the size or budget however, the keys to focus on are the same: vision, plan, sort, purge, execute, categorize & colorize.


Closet shelves are good to be used for the bulk of the folded apparel items, for example:  jeans & tees in one section. Shelf sections are also good to dedicate to handbags and shoes. Seasonal shoes are great stacked in totes (to prevent dust). More frequently used shoes are good to have nearby, usually on shelves towards the bottom of the closet. If shelves aren't available, stacked cubes can be an alternative. Two 22" x 11" cubes stacked can fit 6 pairs of shoes + utilize the top for additional pairs - just turn shoes heel-toe for that extra space. Another alternative for everyday shoes is for something out of the closet: Try using cubes or baskets in the garage, in the mudroom or at a secondary entrance. This is great for those everyday flip-flops or sneakers that are also potential germ traps you don't necessarily want to bring into your home. For all those other seasonal or special occasion shoes, totes are great and can be stacked on top shelves in closets. Labels or even snap shots placed on the outside of the totes can help you recall what treasures are inside. Longer boot boxes can be stacked under dresses (yes - even maxis) or neatly tucked into a corner in your closet.

1. Short + LS tees 
2. Printed Tees 
3. Bin-box w/black + grey clutches
4. Short sleeve Tees
5. LS Tees
6. Frequently used bags
7. Knit pants (yoga, biking, exercise, painting)
8. Jeans
9. Metallic clutches
10. Frequently worn shoes (ex. bottom row are now wedges)
11. Summer straw totes - In winter: boots.
(On the right side wall, I used a keys plaque with 4 hooks to hang a few belts.)

A-MAZING how all that "stuff" fits into a few wardrobe boxes for a move...
Well, at least the hanging stuff did - lol


What doesn't fit onto a closet shelf, is sometimes better utilized in a chest of drawers or dresser... For example: my tanks & tunic tube tops are in half folds in a drawer. Jeff keeps his shorts half folded (length wise) in his dresser drawer.

Keeping hangers all the same  (at least in a section) is key in keeping the organized look of your closet. A space saver hanger style to use are the thin velvet hangers. Personally, for years, I had only jumbo hangers (all in black) in my closet. But after redoing a closet for a client with skinnies in brown (to coordinate with her bedroom) I too have made the switch to skinny - black of course :) - hangers. Yes, they not only do save space on your rods or hanging space, but they will save you time + aggravation + save your back from picking up fallen clothes on the floor. Since you've already purged and sorted folded clothes in storage totes or bins (see Closet Organizing: Part I), it's easy now to take an inventory of how many hangers you need.  Just physically count what you need to convert - and buy 12-24 additional hangers to have handy for closet growth. 

In our FL closet, I kept clutches in a tote - but now I have a few more so I repurposed 2 black photo storage boxes for them to stand in. My heavier winter scarves & gloves were (still are) in a clear tote (under dresses w/sweaters & boots). My black hangers were just jumbo in FL before I switched to skinnies here in AZ. An over the door towel bar from our master bathroom is now repurposed on the back of the closet door for items to grab quickly like a cadri or a robe.  Scored velvet hangers back in January at the grocery store: Under $10 for a case of about 60.

Yes, a good rule of thumb to KEEP your closet organized is for every new item in, donate an item... But let's be honest - that doesn't always happen. What should always happen though is a minimum of once to twice a year, review your wardrobe and continue to donate. Usually - if those "extra" hangers are gone, it's a good indication it's time to purge :). 

Small closets get even smaller once they fill up -
Maximize the space with sorting and organization!

LOVE having laundry sorted in ready to go totes 
to take downstairs to the laundry room on Saturday morning!

Another space saver to utilize in your closet (if you have the space) are laundry bins. One large basket is fine - but an easy way to keep your laundry sorted is using canvas laundry totes. A single unit can come with three totes: One for whites, one for darks, and one for colors - unless you need space for dry cleaning (for example shirts for he hubs).

Arizona closet - Section 1 in hallway
 Utilizing a closet extender rod helped maximize the space.
(I think I've had the extender since I was 18!!) Keeping patterns grouped together within sleeve length also helps avoid a messy looking closet.

Besides sorting sleeve length and color, dress lengths need to be considered. Maxis can take up the bulk of this hanging space, which is why it's ok to fold over a few on your skinny hangers - especially for the strapless or halter ones. Another option to hanging strapless maxis is to use bottom hangers with clips. Although you can buy them, sometimes you can also acquire some from retailers - just keep them all the same color (clear or black). Keeping like hanger styles together also helps with the neatness of the closet, so skirts and/or strapless sundresses are great to keep altogether tucked in one area of your dress section. Then if you want a dress or your feeling like pulling together your own look with a skirt, they're all grouped together for you.

Can you tell? I LOVE BLACK and I LOVE MAXIS!
Arizona closet - Section 2 - Behind the door of walk-in.
Taking the heavy + bulky clothes downstairs to another closet for the season helped with space... to be switched back in the Fall. Although my lifestyle has changed, I still do have some of my "work" dresses also downstairs in the seasonal closet.

The key to organizing your hanging items in your closet is sleeve length, sorted tops from bottoms and COLORIZATION. To maximize hanging space, especially in a single rod closet, I highly recommend using a closet extender: Two vertical hanging brackets supporting an additional horizontal rod. What fits best? Usually jackets on closet rod with (short) skirts and folded over dress pants on the closet extender. Leggings can also be hung - 3 per hanger. After the double hung section, hang blouses and tunics. Underneath them is a good place to tuck those storage totes of seasonal goods (like boots or sweaters). If you're a dress-aholic (like I am) you may need equal space of these items combined for dresses. Another item that is great hung are scarves and wraps.

If you have several pretty pashminas or wraps - stay away from folding them or tucking away in a box. You'll get more use out of them if you keep them hanging by color. Nothing fancy - just utilize your closet hangers. I have seen shower curtain rings on a hanger used for hanging scarves - but I thinks they would slide too much. By hanging the wraps, I see them, so I wear them more. From time to time, I've also been known to use them in my home decor. Four hangers does the trick - sort by: neutrals, B&W, cool colors and warm colors.  For belts, hanging isn't the only option. For example, a thrifty storage solution to help organize chain belts, is to recycle small bread tins. Three can easily fit into a shoe tote or stacking drawers in the closet. Placing the belts again by COLOR: gold, silver, and those with turquoise stones - makes it easy to see and sort. Stackable drawers can also help for additional belt storage by rolling belts into the drawers. The drawers can also hold sunglasses or extra pairs of flip flops and flat sandals.


This would be a GREAT place for some shelf shrouds!!
Picture shot earlier this year - I have wedges & a few more straw totes in here now. More bags are run across the top shelf - but it's too dark for a photo - NO lighting in hallway or this closet.

Either before putting those boots away for summer, or sometime at the end of August is a good time to take boots to the shoe repair for a clean-up. I personally did this past year, and for $35, I had 4 pairs of boots that looked like new. The shoe repair places can also repair and clean-up your belts or bags. A shoulder strap grommet that came undone from your favorite bag is an easy save for a shoe repair place. Plus - maybe that bag skipped a fall season - but after it's repaired, it can become a new addition to your wardrobe this year. For bag storage, lining bags up like books saves space. If you have multiples of a color (ex: blacks, whites, golds) use the most sturdy bag in that color to hold the slouchy ones of the same color. Usually one bag can hold another 3 - 4 bags. Photo boxes  or bins are a great way to hold all those trendy clutches - think of them as files. Again keep by color. Some bags do just need to be hung (like a fun fringe bag), and those can be the pretty"display" bags to help glam-up your wardrobe space. And last bur not least... let's talk jewelry...

Layered wooden beads for summer jewelry also create a personalized display 
of a collection in our home.

That's going to need to be another post for sure! But in the meantime, here is a peek at some of mine + quick thrifty tip (pictured above): I LOVE collecting wooden bowls from the thrift store. Since my jewelry amoire is actually downstairs (next to the form), I keep a portion of my seasonal jewelry in the top drawer of my bedside table. I'd love to have the amoire up here with me, but it would have been another bulky piece added in our smaller bedroom, and it just didn't feel right. Utilizing the wooden bowls and a tray works fine in this space. 

I keep a selection of cuffs on the chest of drawers, displayed on a candle tray (from Ikea) plus in a black lacquer box. I'll post more about jewelry organization later... Now it's time for some closet eye candy... These are (in my opinion) a "little" bit more realistic than the entire dressing room some people have (even a two story dressing room??? That can't be!) The eye candy below were all sourced on Pinterest and you can see more on my boards...

LOVING that rug! And the stacked trunks are a great solution for extra storage.

Love how packed but still neat this is - just don't care for 
the chandy - but love the space!

Another well organized small closet...

LOVE this: Organized by color!

Almost looks like a boutique in here, 
including a glass case (to right) for jewelry!

And for those who of you who do have the space for a dressing area, 
here is a piece of candy for you...

Join me at Pinterest to see more of my CLOSET ORGANIZATION pins...

 For more tips on organizing your home, click below links...

(also includes a link-list to 15 other design bloggers who discussed home organizing!)

And if you're in need of some real-room 
office organizing & planning, head over to see Kate of Dabble in Chic!

 Hope these tips help you get organized! 
It's a great way to beat the heat while staying inside!

Thanks for stopping by!



  1. Thank you for the link up! I love your pictures, tips, and style!! This is one of my favorite blog posts of all time hands down!
    You have given me the push I need to make something of my chaotic closet space! I wear a lot of black too, I'm happy to see someone else pull it off in a trendy, chic, sophisticated way! Totally inspired by your jewelry ideas!

  2. Lisa (Plantation Sunset)July 15, 2012 at 8:19 PM

    Great tips, it always surprises me that we have very similar taste, I have that same Tahari photo frame in my house. I'm so glad to see these kind of posts again.

  3. Here are two more jewelry ideas:
    1) My husband gave me a big box of Ferrero Rocher chocolates for my birthday. I use the box(now empty--delicious sigh!) with its little 'cups' for storing my earrings. It works perfectly. For travel, I lay a folded scarf over the earrings, put the plastic cover on, and set the box in my carry-on suitcase to arrive all organized.
    2) For long necklaces, I bought a standing metal toilet paper holder at Lowes or Home Depot (can't remember which) and removed the little spindle. The curved part holds all of my many long necklaces. A shorter counter-top hand-towel support, from the same bathroom collection, holds the shorter necklaces. Together, they cost less than my daughter's necklace holder from an upscale shop which will hold only the shorter sizes.

  4. Great post full of helpful tips, Lynda! I want to shop in there! haha! Redoing my closet space earlier this year was one of the best things I ever did. Now I'm always organized and always put things away because they have a space.



Related Posts with Thumbnails