Ever since I wrote about my favourite hacks for organizing my small closet, I’ve been planning to do a follow-up post about organizing the rest of my closet.
While the ideas I highlighted in that post have been working perfectly for me for years, some parts of my closet have ended up cluttered and disorganized time and time again, mainly because I haven’t clearly defined the purpose of the space.
Specifically, the space under my hanging clothes has not generally stayed organized and some of the shelves where I store folded clothes, cosmetics and accessories.
The latter ones – cosmetics and products – definitely need sorting!
I’m about to hopefully tackle that for good.
So in this post, I’ll discuss the problem areas in my closet and how I plan implement some tried and true small closet ideas to create a lasting, effective system that maximizes the space.
But first, the problem areas….
Organizing My Small Closet: The Process and the Plan
My messy closet: What’s not working
I’ve shown variations of these pics before. But this is the current state after transforming my bedroom a few months ago.
In the spaces under the hanging clothes, things tend to get randomly tossed there as well and forgotten.
I want to move my shoes from there completely because that shoe organizer in there no longer works.
My room gets super hot and dusty for some reason and I noticed the shoes disintegrating easily over time.
On the other side, I used to store excess hangers and bags, plus some of my larger photography equipment.
Again, things disappear behind the dresses and I completely forget about them.
These shelves have once again (always, usually?) become a space where I just chuck things to get them out of the way.
They generally store toiletries and hair products, purses and then a whole bunch of random stuff I apparently “need”.
So that’s going to get tackled for good.
On this side, some of my clothes remain organized, like my jeans and camis.
However, since I switched things around a few months ago, I haven’t properly planned how I’m using the other shelves except for my workout clothes which are on the 3rd shelf in the photo above.
Before refreshing my bedroom in May/June, I used the closet doors for storing jewelry, craft supplies and belts, some of which you can see in these photos below.
These are from 2018.
After repainting the closet doors, I decided I didn’t want to use any over the door hanging systems because I’d see the tops/hooks when the doors were closed. And I like staring at my newly repainted doors and spray-painted hinges.
So, I’m planning to screw any hanging systems I use directly into the closet doors, as you’ll see in a sec when I’m discussing my plans.
(Btw, I’m absolutely a FAN of over the door hanging systems and think they’re essential for maximizing storage in a small bedroom, especially if you’re renting and can’t put holes in the walls or doors.)
The first thing I had to do was declutter some of my stuff.
I’m turning 40 this month so I thought now’s a great time to get serious about letting go of some more of my clothes and other belongings.
I’ve given away lots before but there are some items I’ve kept with the intention of “wearing them again one day”.
You know how that goes, right? LOL
If some of the clothes could talk, I’d be cussed out or something.
Anyway, this happened this weekend…
I pulled everything out and sorted it into keep and donate piles.
Earlier this year, I threw out clothing that was no longer wearable so I only had a couple items to throw away.
I still have to declutter my toiletries, cosmetics, more of my jewelry and other accessories. So that will be another post.
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The Closet Organization Plan
My two main goals are to make things more easily accessible (partly so I don’t forget about them) and to maximize the use of the vertical space on the closet doors but in a different way.
Top Tip: In small spaces, using as much vertical space as you can is a must!
I also want to make getting ready on mornings a more efficient process.
So here’s the general plan.
Also, when I’m referring to the storage on the doors, it’s the 6 long doors, counting from left to right.
I plan to DIY some of the storage. I’ve also ordered a few ready-made items (linked below) and I’m waiting for them to arrive.
As seen above, I initially had most of my jewelry hanging on the insides of 2 doors but now I want to create a pull-out system similar to the IKEA Komplement drawers below.
The shelves are 18 inches deep so my plan is to DIY 3 shallow stacked drawers that I can pull all the way out.
Since the mirror will be on the door of that closet, I want the shelves to pull out directly in front of me so I can accessorize right there in front of the mirror.
Alternatively, I’m thinking of DIYing one pull-out tray and buy a jewelry tower like this and clear acrylic drawers like these to sit on top of the tray. It’s less complicated and will still allow me to pull the tray right out in front of me.
(Granted, I no longer wear a lot of jewelry LOL so we’ll see if either of these ideas are even necessary in the end).
For years, I’ve stored my clutch bags on this file/letter holder.
However, because it’s in the closet, I normally have to store it sideways to be able to see all the bags more easily and pull them out because of the height of the shelf.
It’s a great idea if you have space on a dresser that’s eye level though.
I could have replaced it with that acrylic organizer, made for purses, but I wanted a different method altogether. I do luuurve the look of acrylic though.
The letter holder is also beginning to disintegrate so it’s really time to change it.
You can spot some of the tiny cracks in it below…
Now, I plan to store the clutches on the inside of door 2 using some of these cute wall-mounted magazine holders.
I love the minimal design and the fact that I’ll be able to see the bags along the door in one glance.
I can’t wait for them to arrive to see if it’ll work as planned.
Valet Rod and Storage for Clothing Care:
To make preparing for work or going out (ha!) more seamless, I plan to install this valet rod on the inside of the vanity nook.
It’ll run on the left hand side of the first shelf, right above the wooden box in the photo below.
Valet rods are super easy to add to your closet (just screw them in) and they provide a great space for your outfits for the next day, purses, etc.
I usually don’t iron my clothes (don’t like ironing) so I have this small travel-sized clothes steamer that I use for any clothes with wrinkles. I LOVE my little steamer. 🙂
I don’t have a designated place for the steamer so I usually have to go hunting for it when I need it.
I plan to install a small basket on the inside of closet door next to the nook where the steamer and a small bottle of water can remain.
In another small basket on that same door, I want to store my lint rollers, which could never be found when needed.
Case in point, I couldn’t even find them to take a pic.
I grabbed a metal utensil holder to store the rollers, a small scissors and a repair kit.
Right now, my dirty laundry is stored on the bottom shelf.
I’ve tried different baskets over the years, but usually defaulted to the open shelving since it held more clothes.
But this look is just not cute.
Since I’ve removed the shoe stand from the other closet, I plan to add a large laundry hamper with a lid there instead.
On the door directly in front of the hamper, I’ll add some hooks to hang my laundry bags. I’ve been using these exact laundry bags for more than 5 years. I have 2 sets.
They’re great for organizing your laundry – particularly delicates, socks, hosiery, undergarments – so they don’t get destroyed in the wash.
I also use them as travel bags when I’m going on a trip, in addition to my regular travel packing cubes.
I’ve seen some cheaper and more popular ones on the market now, like this set for under $10 that includes specific bags for bras and hosiery.
I’ve never felt the need to get additional ones since these continue to work like a charm.
If you don’t have laundry bags, trust me, they’re a great addition to your closet/laundry system.
Thinking through the rest of the space…
As for the rest of the doors and closet, I’m still working out where and how I want to store my workout gear (mat, weights, bands).
I’m also still thinking through some of the clothes storage on the shelves on the far right.
For e.g., should I store my shoes in the plastic boxes on the 4th and 5th shelf instead or leave them under the work clothes, stacked in the boxes.
What do you think?
Btw, if you have a small closet organization tip that’s been working for you, do share it in the comments!