FOCUS ON: Closet Planning & Organization Part I

Getting, being, living and staying organized is yes - a lifestyle. You have to have the desire, meaning you have to want to BE organized.  From the storage of kid's toys in toy boxes and bins, to sorting laundry: whites, colors, dry cleaning, to seasonal clothing: packing away winter items when summer rolls around - being organized affects many facets of our life. From even the stores we shop, we favor one more than another because of how "easy" it is to find what we're looking for. That same feeling you have when you walk into your favorite shop - the sensation of happiness because you can always find & see what your looking for - can be created right in your own clothing closet - by organizing your wardrobe space.


Sure, the movie stars or celebrities have lavish walk-ins or even an entire room dedicated to their wardrobe, but even the smallest of closets can give a warm and fuzzy feeling to you with a little organization. First off, it's been said time and time again: PURGE - donate what you do not wear, have not worn in 6 months to a year, or whatever items   simply do not fit. That fit not only includes your body type, it also includes your lifestyle. Were you a corporate guru and now you're an entrepreneur selling bath soap from home? Or maybe baking delicious cupcakes to sell in your local shops? Maybe you don't need those navy or black suits anymore, but someone who is unemployed and looking for work could use those suits for an interview. Same for shoes: do you really need those monster heel clubbing shoes anymore now that you're in your 40's? Some 20 or 30 something year old could use them to go out with her girlfriends. Speaking of age, there also needs to be a time when we give up what is no longer deemed "age appropriate" from our closet. Even guys need to do a purge: Dated prints on ties, worn out shoes, shrunken shirts, and (some) college tee shirts with holes or company logos from a past life may need to go. Recycle old tees as rags to clean your car, donate good items to Goodwill, or try to resell those better items at a consignment shop.

When choosing the items you may need to organize your closet, it can help to visualize your space by creating a comparison of dark vs. light items to choose from.

Coordinate your bedroom palette with your Closet.
Clear out what doesn't belong to your true wardrobe (ex. boxes of old statements, tax returns, an old video projector, and even those donations "you've been meaning to drop off": just do it! and clear out your wardrobe space. However, IF you do live in a small apartment or condo, you may also need to plan storage space for your adjacent bathroom or bed linens - just define your needs. Sometimes just a little shift or space swap can help organize your space.

Source Pinterest for your man's storage style... 

Once you've purged your closet of what-not and has-been (even some duplicates - you may own six black crew neck tees - why? 2 to 3 is enough) it's time to organize what you have remaining. Have a focus - get a vision of what you would like your closet you look like. A wonderful source of inspiration is undoubtedly at Pinterest, but inspiration can also come from your favorite shelter magazines (like House Beautiful) or your favorite catalogs (like Pottery Barn). Having your inspiration focus, will make it easier to decide: lighting, color, shelving, bins (size + style) and even hangers. Personally, for small closets, I prefer white walls, doors and trim - semi-gloss. Why? Because the semi-gloss is not only easy to wipe clean (esp. with Magic Eraser or a Swiffer) it also helps reflect light in the space. Sure, it will look bright and airy when it's empty, but if you own a lot of dark colors & prints, those colors WILL absorb the light, making the lighting in the space dim & a challenge (especially for men) to see the difference between navy, black and brown. Other wall color options would be to still keep it neutral with pale greys, or off whites like ecru or cream.

In the beginning, choosing which items will be folded on shelves or put away in a dresser can help later when purchasing items like hangers. Good items to keep folded are: Jeans, yoga pants, tees, tunic tube-tops, and sweaters. Sweaters folded into totes can be stacked under dresses or stored under the bed until the winter months. Tanks & tube tops can easily fit into dresser drawers - about 3 across - from folding them in half. A three drawer dresser is great for: lingerie, tanks & tubes, swimwear & coverups - plus it need not be "in" the closet. A unique 3 drawer chest of drawers can easily be picked up at a thrift store or flea market, and be a great way to give personality your adjacent bedroom. From your inspiration images, you can decide your look: canvas totes, baskets, or even sturdy plastic bins are all good options for organizing a closet - especially on a budget. Depending on your closet budget, my five fave sources to shop for these storage aides (besides the obvious Container Store) are:
Home Goods
Big Lots

And as a thrift-tip bonus: Don't over-look heading to your local thrift stores like Goodwill for additional storage needs. People often donate when they move or when their space needs change. Some people over buy when organizing and never use the organizing items; those are the gems that can be found at a fraction of their cost while thrifting.

 (BTW: The CS is having a HOME ORGANIZING SALE!)

Ikea has expanded their merchandise assortment to include closets by square footage - A great way to convert an existing closet space or utilize a spare or underused room in your home. Pottery Barn recently joined the "closet room" trend this past year and offered some ideas and items to glam-up your wardrobe space. But even if you're not going to do a remodel with custom cabinets, or a mini renovation installing elfa shelving systems from The Container Store, you can still utilize , clean-up, and organize the basic white wire closet you already may have.


A project that I did in Florida to update our small kitchen pantry can easily be applied to your closet. By building shelf shrouds, you can give a customized look to your existing wire shelves: With MDF + molding + white gloss paint. Shelf shrouds (think of a retrofit or slip-cover) can be built to fit over existing shelving. Another tip to keep in mind when organizing an existing closet: Just because it came with that extra lower shelf, doesn't mean it needs to stay. Sometimes by simply removing an (awkward) shelf meant to give storage space, can actually create more 'usable' space when it's removed.

Spotted on Olioboard:
by JENG919

After deciding your budget and which direction you'd like to take your closet organization to, you can either plan a DIY closet project on your own or you can hire a professional closet organizer or interior designer to help you organize the details and execute the plan. Besides utilizing Pinterest for your online inspiration and sources, can be a fantastic source for planning the fate of your wardrobe space!

Let the lighter colors from your bedroom 
be your inspiration for your wardrobe space...

can be your Diva Dressing room.


For today's two part post on Organizing, I'm honored to also be participating in the second monthly Moodboard Monday blog-hop along with 11 other diy & design bloggers! This is month two of the new monthly Moodboard Monday collaborations happening at Below is the link-list to to check out of the additional organizing projects and tips from the other bloggers. As I mentioned earlier, being organized is a lifestyle, and it can sometimes be overwhelming. These posts are meant to give tips for Closet Organizing - NOT Closet Agonizing. Visit the other talented DIY and Design bloggers at their blogs and you can learn other points of view and great tips too to get organized - from kids rooms, to kitchens, to office spaces and even more closet organizing projects!


      1. Lesley of @chaoticallycrea --                

      2. Kate of @DabbleInChic --                     

    3. Selma of @DesignerSelma --               

       4. Colette of @frugalfinds1 --                     

         5. Julie of @gosimplysavvy --                    

       6. Joanne of @homestyling101 --             

       7. Jennifer of @iheartorganize --               

        8. Marilyn of @Marilyn_Russell --             

         9. Tamara of @myurbaneclectic --            

        10. Lindsey of @pinkletandc:                     

        11. Antoinette of @PUSHinteriors              

        12. Katrina of @seasideinterior                  

      13. Stacy Naquin of @StacyNaquin          

         14. Ana of @whitelinenintrs                       

15. Betty of @WisteriaHome             

My Part II of Focus on: Closet Planning & Organizing will be coming up next, with examples of real-room storage solutions and space saving tips to help you organize your closet or wardrobe space on a budget. Until than, see the tweets today and PLENTY of added organizing tips & link-love over on my Facebook page and Pinterest


Thanks for stopping by!



  1. This is not only an amazing post, Lynda, but I personally learned so much!

    I had never heard of *shelf shrouds* to give my closet a custom look. I love that phrase - a new Twitter hashtag is born today :) ... Also, I had never thought about the fact that painting a closet high gloss white would make it easier to see the differences between blacks, browns and navy blues -which absorb light. Thanks for not only a great post,but great tips!

    Have a wonderful day and have fun with the #OlioHop!

    Thank you!

    Leslie (@tkpleslie)

    1. ((blushing + honored)) Much OlioLove to you Leslie - for all your support throughout the Olioboard community + all your Twitter time and efforts with engaging & inspiring Social Media!! Thank you for always being genuine & true - YOU ROCK!! xo

  2. This has given me the push to demand a closet makeover on my list of rooms for our home makeover! Fabulous ideas as always, and I'm moving into your photos! Let's grab a glass of wine, debate the Yankees Red Sox rivalry, and stare at some fabulous shoes!

    1. What a patriotic rivalry it is! Yankees BLUE pinstripes and.... Red SOXS! Glad I was able to give you a push - all the way from the west to east coast!! xo OlioLove ya Kate!

  3. What a great post!! You gave such great ideas and I love all the inspiration!

  4. Fantastic post Lynda. I didn't know that either about high gloss white paint. I always just thought it was the lighting alone. Makes so much sense. Once again I leave here educated about something.

    1. You ROCK Marilyn G. RUSSEL!! Thanks for the OlioLove!! xo Back to "OlioHopping" around!

  5. Your posts are always so inspirational, and this one in particular was so educational for me! Thanks, doll!

    1. Happy to see you are inspired!! Thank YOU Cathy!! xo

  6. Excellent post Lynda! Very thorough information on closet organization. I've shared it on Facebook.

    1. Much gratitude to you Pam!! Thank you so much for the share & stopping by!! xo Have Happy 4th!

  7. You are awesome Lynda!! Well done again! Love all the information and how very stylish you kept it all!
    Much blog love darling! xo

  8. This is wonderful. Your post is full of inspiration--and work! Nicely done. Happy to OlioHop with you.

  9. Thanks for OilioHopping on over Julie! Let's Get ORGANIZED - with simple savvy style! xo

  10. To the queen of Style boards...FAB job as always Lynda!

  11. You are so fabulous Lynda! Love all the boards and pictures you used. You are so talented! xox

  12. I have been wanting to shroud my shelves ever since you posted your pantry. I have found my weekend project.

  13. Good day
    Creative ideas turn out to be quite qualified in terms of you're posting. I wish you best of luck with your articles.

  14. I was just getting ready to replace my shelfing in laundry room. Your idea of the shelf shrouds is making me stop and rethink my plan. What a great idea!

  15. I absolutely love your ideas, storage tips and organization tips! Always a huge fan of your boards! I want you to come help me get my closet fixed one of theses days! xo



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