Organizing a Clothes Closet

Whether you hire an expert, build your own inserts, purchase pre-made inserts, or use the existing system, organizing a clothes closet allows you to review your clothing choices and create a system that suits the way you dress.

If you are going to make the clothes closet over to fit your needs, one way to begin is to assemble everything you want to keep in the closet and sort it into categories by the method most appropriate to storing it. You may end up with divisions such as these:

  • hung on hangers
  • folded in drawers
  • stacked on shelves
  • tucked in cubicles
  • hung on pegs or a rack
  • slid into pouches

Also consider whether the clothes closet needs cedar or mothballs to maintain clothes well, and take this element into account in further thinking.

As a second step, you can turn to analyzing how much of each type of storage you need:

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  • How many feet of closet rod (and how much vertical height)?
  • How many shelves (and how much space between them)?
  • How many shoe slots?
  • How many drawers (and how wide and deep?) etc.

Then, consider how to achieve each goal.

  • Closet rods are typically about shoulder height, but you could put in a second rod lower down that allows you to hang two rows of skirts, blouses, shirts, and/or pants where only one fit before.

  • Shelves can be wood or plastic covered wire installed on the wall above the rod —a common solution. Or, a different type of shelving solution can be built with milk crates or concrete blocks and board lengths with their edges sanded. Other options include cubbies and hanging bags, each of which has separate spots into which folded garments may be placed

  • An overall closet organizer is another possibility. If your clothes closet is a standard size, all-in-one inserts – made to arrange the entire closet with one (large) organizer, may suit your needs. If those don’t work—for example, if your clothes closet is an unusual size, you can put together smaller elements on your own or design and build your own closet insert.

In addition, keep in mind the following helpful items that can help you use closet space more efficiently:

  • devices that sit on the floor, such as totes, baskets, and shoe shelves
  • specialized racks, such as slack, skirt, and tie racks
  • shelf dividers and stackers
  • undershelf baskets
  • over the door bags and racks
  • peg boards
  • hanging daily organizers

Written by Mary Elizabeth

Related Home Institute Articles

  • Closet Organizer Buying Guide