10 Ideas to Organize That Messy Closet—Once & for All

The game-changing hacks I wish I’d known earlier.

April 14, 2020
Photo by James Ransom

Now more than ever, home is where many of us are seeking refuge and solace in light of the novel coronavirus. This is a tough time, but we’re here for you—whether it’s a new pantry recipe or a useful tip for your kitchen, here are some ideas to make things run a little more smoothly for you and your loved ones.

One of my most important annual spring cleaning tasks is a thorough closet purge and tidy-up. I go through all the clothes in my closet and dresser, pulling out pieces that have seen better days, no longer fit, or haven’t been worn all year, and they get sorted into trash and donation piles.

However, even after I carry away two or three bags of clothing, I still usually feel like my closet is messy—maybe less messy than before, but still not well-organized. My stacks of pants are always lopsided, and my shoes never stay put on the shoe rack, no matter what I do. It got me thinking: There have got to be some closet organization hacks to help solve these issues. I can’t be the only one, right?

As I suspected, there are a lot of crafty closet organization ideas floating around on Pinterest. Whether you’re struggling with a surplus of tank tops or an unorganized jumble of handbags, here are some of the ideas I’m planning to use to sort out my wardrobe.

Handbag Holders

Handbags are definitely tricky to store. Do you hang them? Put them on a shelf? Both of these methods take up valuable real estate in your closet, which is why I love the idea of mounting a few bins to the wall to help keep bags out of the way. An inexpensive mesh wall bin is a great option for organizing clutches and wallets, and there are big wall-mounted wire baskets for large purses, as well.

Pristine Hanging Jeans

I need to learn how to hang jeans like this ASAP! Most people (myself included) avoid hanging up pants because they take up a lot of space, but this innovative folding technique from blogger Cathedrals and Cafes keeps them tidy, compact, and organized. Plus, this way, they’re easy to access, saving you the hassle of digging through your dresser drawer to get a pair at the bottom of the stack.

Split Shelving

I used to use a cube organizer to store my clothing, but I frequently stacked jeans, leggings, and sweaters too high and ended up with toppling towers of clothes. However, you can break up those too-tall stacks with half-shelf inserts, which you can make following this guide from All Things G&D. Alternatively, you can buy shelf inserts from the store—just make sure they’re compatible with your cube organizer.

Tank Top Hanger

Tank tops are another item that can be tricky to store. It seems wasteful to give each one its own clothes hanger, but they don’t stack well, either. Instead, you can maximize space with this cool idea. All you need is a clothes hanger and a package of shower curtain rings—hang each tank top on a ring, and attach them all to the hanger. Efficient and affordable!

DIY Drawer Separators

It’s so much easier to store socks, underwear, and ties in a drawer organizer, but if you can’t find one that fits your dresser (or simply don’t want to pay for it), you can always make one from scratch! All you have to do is cut out pieces of cardboard in the length and width of your drawer, then create slots where they interlock. It really couldn’t be easier, and you can customize the size and shape of the compartments to suit your needs.

Laundry Basket Dresser

Whether you’re looking for a way to keep your dirty laundry separated or a place to store all your workout clothing, this laundry basket “dresser” is a totally genius solution. The DIY project from Ana White lets you fit three big laundry baskets into a compact space, and we can think of a dozen different ways to use it.

Wall-Mounted Shoe Racks

I’ve never gotten along with regular shoe racks—my shoes always end up falling through the slots—but I think even I could make this one work. The wall-mounted bar holds shoes perfectly in place, all while freeing up precious floor space in your closet. Pinterest also has a variety of other shoe-storage solutions, including hacks for high heels, sandals, and more.

DIY Closet Built-Ins

Don’t break the bank paying for custom closet built-ins! You can create an organization set-up that perfectly suits your needs using a shelf unit and a few sturdy tension rods. This method costs less than $100 to put together, and it gives you room to hang your clothing, as well as space for baskets and folded items.

Closet Dividers

Any time I reorganize my closet, I try to keep similar items together—sweaters in one area, dresses in another—but that all goes out the window after a few weeks. However, with these closet labels, I’d definitely be more motivated to keep things organized, as everything would have a clear and defined space. You can get a pack of very affordable dividers online, or you could also make them yourself if you’re feeling crafty.

DIY Sweater Boxes

Make tumbling towers of sweaters a thing of the past with these DIY storage boxes from iHeart Organizing. The tutorial uses Home Depot boxes, but you could really use any cardboard box you have laying around the house. Plus, you can customize the outer pattern to match your style—soon, you’ll be using these handy boxes to organize jeans, leggings, blankets, sheets…the list goes on!

What are the clever organization hacks your closet leans on? Tell us in the comments below!

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1 Comment

Jodi D. January 10, 2022
How to store hats-I have many Fedoras, cowboy hats.