I love it that our current home has a walk in closet when we bought it. It is big enough if I’m the only one using it, but unfortunately, I have to share it with my hubby :(. A few months after we got settled into our home, I called California Closet. We had California Closet installed wood shelves and tossed out those ugly wires in the closet. It was frustrating storing items upright on those wires and I hate grill marks pressed on my clothes :(. They also installed wood shelves and replaced all the wire racks/shelves, in our laundry room, in all built-in dressers in our bedrooms and coat rooms in our home. You can pretty much tell how much we hated wires :).
Just recently, I organized and cleaned our walk in closet as it was starting to drive me insane! It was taking too much of my time in the morning when I’m getting ready for work and couldn’t find a particular blouse or top that I want to wear.
Do you have a cue that tells you that it’s time to organize and clean your closet? To me, is when I could not find what I’m looking for, when I run out of hangers to use and when my closet gets too full that I find it hard to hang and re-hang my clothes.
I would like to share with you some of my simple tricks, tips and ideas on how to maximize your wardrobe space and how to organize small walk in closet, like ours. (my first tip should have been, “don’t share it with your hubby”, but nuh, that’s not going to work 🙂
1. First is to clean it.
(a) Take all your clothes out of your closet
You’ll be amaze what you can discover in there. While I was cleaning my closet, I found a blouse with still a tag on it, a pair of pants that I bought a few months ago and haven’t worn, a top that was a present from my sister last Christmas, one of my husband’s dress shirt with still a tag on it and two similar dress shirts of his that he didn’t even know he bought, and have not worn yet :). While I was cleaning, my daughter asked me how many dress shirts does her dad have? Oh boy, I lost count I said :).
(b) Sort them out
Put them all on your bed and start sorting them out. Pull out all your favorites and ones that you do wear and put them in one pile. For those that don’t fit anymore, not your favorite, haven’t worn for a year, put them in a bag. Consider giving them to your siblings, donating to charity or taking them to a Value Village nearby. They are just taking up space in your closet and collecting dust.
(c) Vacuum and dust
Vacuum and dust after you take all your clothes, the hangers and everything out of your closet.
Make it a habit to dust your closet on a regular basis. The very top of the shelf is the one that collects the most dust and should be cleaned once a week when you do your weekly dusting.
(d) Take your time. There is no due date to complete this work, so don’t get stressed out over it. Have a nice warm bath to relax at the end of the day :).
2. After narrowing them down, we now focus on organizing them in your closet.
(a) Shirts- can be rolled and store in drawers
(b) Clothes to hang – blazers, dresses, skirts, dress pants, dress shirts, sweaters/cardigans
(c) Clothes that can be folded – sweatshirts, hoodies, sweatpants and other athletic clothing and store in drawers
(d) Store similar items together – hang shirts together, short sleeve blouses and so on.
(e) Seasonal clothes – store them in labeled plastic bins with lids.
(f) Jeans – I fold and store them in our dressers in our bedroom
Socks, undergarments and pajamas, go in our bedroom dressers as well.
3. How to organize your shoes
(a) Showcase your shoes by storing them in open shelving.
(b) Store your shoes in categories:
– shoes you wear more often and
– shoes you don’t use frequently
(c) After you group them above, you can further categorize them by:
– shoes you wear to work
– shoes you wear for dinner
– shoes you wear for walking or for a casual day
(d) For those pairs that you don’t wear often, store them on the higher shelves. This gives you the convenience of using the reachable lower shelves for the more frequently use pairs.
(e) Use old shoe boxes or you can buy these clear plastic foldable boxes for storing seasonal pairs like sandals, flip flops and non-bulky shoes. I found these foldable boxes.
(f) For winter boots, use pool noodle when you store them in the summer months. If there is no old noodle kicking around, you can find it at a dollars store. Cut it to the right size and fill your boots to keep them standing up. If you store your boots in boxes, clear plastic foldable boxes for storing your boots can be bought at Amazon or use your old boots boxes.
(g) The old shoe boxes or foldable clear boxes are also good for storing miscellaneous items, such us stockings and swim suits.
(h) If your boxes are not clear, it is a good idea to label them.
(i) If you need extra storage, use an over the door shoe rack or if there is no door in your walk in closet, use the one that you can hang on your closet rod. This one is from our laundry room closet.
4. How to organize your bags.
– Use shower curtain rings
– 3M Hooks – I love to use these hooks as you can move them around without damaging your walls
5. How to Organize your Accessories
Scarves – if no slide in scarf rack installed in your closet,
wrap your scarf around a hanger, use shower rings, wardrobe hanger and 3M hooks.
Ties – if there is no slide-in tie rack in your closet, use shower rings, 3M hooks, wardrobe hangers or roll them in your drawer compartments.
Belts – no belt rack in your closet? Use 3M hooks, shower rings, belt hanger or roll them and store in your drawer compartments.
No compartments in your drawer? You can find them at a dollar store,
Hats – use 3M hooks
Your jewelries and other fashion accessories – I use my jewelry drawer
but for overflows, I used to have several 3M hooks on my wall until I found this jewelry rack. This jewelry rack is really good for hanging my necklaces, bracelets and earrings. It is nice to be able to see them out in the open as it’s more convenient to find the right fit for the outfit I’m wearing 🙂
Some Valuable Tips & Tricks
– Incorporate the rule “one in and one out”. When you buy something new, one outfit goes in the closet and one gets tossed out. This one is a tough one for me as I like to keep them all :).
– What to do with a blouse that you wore once but would like to wear again? I use the hanger trick. I hang all my hangers inward in my closet. For clothes that I wore already but would like to wear again, when I put it back in my closet, I hang it outward. This way, it’s helps to keep track of it in a wardrobe full of clothes.
– Don’t fill your wardrobe to the max. For me, I leave about 20% of empty space so I have room to wiggle around to hang and re-hang my clothes.
– Hang all empty hangers together. When you remove a shirt or a blouse from a hanger, hang the empty hanger in one area. This way it is easy to find one when you need it.
– Consider investing on non-slip hangers like the velvet ones. Velvet hangers are good for blouses and dress shirts but for shirts, use the regular plastic hangers. You will find it hard to remove your shirt with the velvet hangers and it can drive you nuts 🙂
– Slippery plastic hangers. I have plenty of them and they used to drive me insane when my blouses and tops keep slipping off of them. To give it a grip and prevent your blouses from slipping off of it, you can do a little trick. Use a glue gun and some craft pipe cleaners that you can find from a dollar store. Warm up your glue gun while you’re wrapping one pipe cleaner at each end of the hanger where your blouses shoulder rest. When the glue gun is ready, pipe a zigzag glue on the pipe cleaners at each end. Allow the glue to dry completely before using it. I use them for both my shirts and blouses. Very practical and effective.
– Stool – and don’t forget a stool for the hard to reach areas. I have one that folds and hangs on the wall. It saves me time to get the step ladder from my garage every time I need to reach a box from my top shelves. Although, I must say it’s a good work out for me, coming up and down the stairs :).
I opted to get this folding stool rather than purchasing a bulky step ladder or a step stool for our closet. I wanted a dual purpose stool. This is sturdy enough to stand on yet lightweight. Easy to carry and to fold and not bulky to store in our closet. We can use it as an extra seating in our kitchen when needed.
I like to take my time organizing and cleaning my closet. It actually took me a full week to do it, but it feels so good to walk in there and to see how neatly organized and uncluttered it is. I can easily find what I’m looking for and I can easily hang and rehang my clothes, AND I get to keep my sanity :).
What about you? Do you have any tricks, tips and ideas on how to organize small walk in closet? We’d love to hear them!