Have you been wishing your main bedroom closet resembled a boutique you’d love to shop at instead of a hot mess express? After a home organization Netflix binge, you’ve likely evaluated your own walk-in closet organization methods, and they may not measure up.
If your closet seems cluttered and disorganized, a trip to the Container Store isn’t going to fully fix the problem (but keep reading for how it can help). We connected with professional organizers to find the best way to organize clothes in a closet, with plenty of storage ideas to make luxury a reality in your small space.
How to Start Organizing Your Walk-In Closet
1. Clean Out the Closet
The first step towards walk-in closet organization is to completely empty the space, removing every last item. Work from the bottom up to tackle shoes and other clutter that has accumulated over the years first, and finish with the hanging clothes.
Once everything is out of the closet, wipe down all your shelving and vacuum the floors to start with a clean, blank slate.
“It’s very important to separate your feelings when you are purging your wardrobe. Focus solely on the facts: Does it still fit well? Does it match your current style? Is it still in good condition?”
Sarah Boughan | Organized Living
2. Declutter and Decide What to Purge
As you pull pieces out of your closet, ask yourself three questions:
- Have I worn it in the past year?
- Does it fit?
- Is it damaged?
While you’re sorting through your clothing, you should place each item into one of three piles: keep, donate and throw away. Keep the main staples in your day-to-day wardrobe, donate items in good condition that either don’t fit or that you haven’t worn in a few months, and toss pieces that have seen better days.
Having trouble deciding what to part ways with? We have some expert advice on how to get rid of stuff around the house that can help you get motivated to declutter.
“When decluttering a closet, homeowners should ask, ‘does this fit my current lifestyle?’ People often hold onto items that are not representative of the life they lead. For example, if a homeowner is holding onto suits yet has worked in a casual work environment for years, they should pare down. Also, clothing should be in the size that currently fits.”
Barbara Reich | Life Organized
3. Maximize Closet Space
Once you’ve decluttered, consider reworking the layout and storage systems in your closet to make the most of the space you have. More hanging space is always more efficient than shelves and bins, so evaluate what is important to you regarding your closet’s design.
“Start by defining your vision for your wardrobe – this will guide your decisions and help you keep focused on the big picture. Do you want to get ready faster in the morning, avoid the laundry pile up, or just have a beautiful closet to admire?”
Kristen Ziegler | Minima
Use Your Closet’s Height
Dedicate at least one wall of the closet entirely to clothing rods. By taking advantage of your closet’s height, you’ll make the most of your walk-in closet storage space. Sarah Boughan of Organized Living suggests adding double hang rods to store shirts, jackets and pants. She also recommends considering a space to keep long hang items, such as dresses, coats or robes.
Take Advantage of Prime Real Estate
A top organization idea for small walk-in closets is to hang your most frequently worn clothes in the most prominent spots. To organize clothes in your closet (and make sure it stays that way), Life Organized’s Barbara Reich advises homeowners to “put all like items together. Within each category, organize by color. For example, put all long-sleeve blouses together, then all black long sleeve blouses together.”
Keep Your Storage Accessible
Whether you opt for built-in shelving, decorative baskets or clear storage containers, make sure your accessories are easy to find. Showcase your shoes with a shoe rack or tension rods on the floor of your closet. Keeping your shoe rack underneath hanging clothes is a great way to maximize walk-in closet storage space. If space allows, you can also display your favorite hats, purses and jewelry on open shelves.
7 Walk-In Closet Organization
Tips & Storage Ideas
1. Use hooks to create extra storage for hanging items.
Hooks are a great addition to add storage to the back of a door or empty walls. You can also tie scarves and belts around a hanger so you have easy access to these accessories, while making the most of your hanger space.
2. Use old shoeboxes to build compartments inside drawers.
DIY your drawer organization for a creative and inexpensive storage system. You can use items building up clutter, such as old shoe boxes, to compartmentalize your drawers. Ziegler advises, “Fold clothing in drawers using the ‘file fold’ method where clothing is folded upright like papers in a file cabinet. It’s easier to see everything, and it maximizes space.”
3. Store out of season clothes in plastic containers or comforter bags.
Keep out of season clothes packed away in plastic containers or comforter bags. Store them on a shelf, under hanging clothes, or even under your bed to save valuable closet space.
4. Use ice cube trays to organize jewelry.
For a cost-effective closet storage hack, use sectionalized household items, such as ice cube trays, to organize your rings and earrings.
5. Repurpose pool noodles as boot inserts.
Another budget-friendly walk-in closet storage idea is to cut pool noodles and insert the halves into boots to help keep their shape. Standing boots help maximize closet space and make your shoe collection look neater.
6. Hang a mirror to make your closet appear bigger.
Hanging a mirror is an easy DIY décor upgrade for a small walk-in closet. With endless styles to match your personal taste, the reflection of a mirror makes a small space appear larger and more open. It’s also a practical addition so you can see how you look while you’re getting ready.
7. Store miscellaneous accessories in bins.
Your spontaneous trip to the Container Store was not for nothing. Keep gloves, hats and other accessories in bins to add personal style to your closet, while making efficient use of shelf storage space. There are a variety of container types you can choose from, such as cloth, clear plastic, crates and baskets. Adding labels to the bins will help you find exactly what you’re looking for when you need it.
Apply These Closet Organizing Tips to the Rest of Your Home
Once you start utilizing a few of these primary bedroom closet organizing tips, getting ready in the morning is sure to “spark joy” once again. And when you’ve tackled all of our walk-in closet organization ideas, you should feel confident about taking on the rest of the house.
Check out our thorough decluttering guide for more professional organizing tips and our other posts to help you get clean and coordinated around the home:
One should NOT hang sweaters. The weave can stretch and sag.
Hi Susan, thanks for commenting! We’ll make sure to note this in a future update.
I actually disagree! Unless the sweater is extremely bulky/heavy, the non-slip velvet or felted hangers will keep the sweaters right in place so they don’t lose their shape at all. We have used this techniques successfully for 100s of clients.
If you fold your sweater in half, sleeve to sleeve, then position the hook of the hanger in the arm pit. Fold the sleeve and body down over and then through the bottom of the hanger, you can hang sweaters without damaging their shape
I like how you stated that the first step to organizing your walk-in closet is to completely empty it. I have so many clothes, and my closet is an absolute mess. I will definitely keep your great tips in mind when trying to organize my walk-in closet.
I keep small earrings in pill boxes…they have tops build on them…and you can see thru them..and open one compartment at a time..
You can’t buy peace of mind. You get to create it according to your life style and needs. I’m trying to find a way to grab everything thing I truly need if there was a fire. It’s really hard to trash nice items that I payed a lot for. Thing to remember you can’t put a price on keeping it simple. I love going on vacation with only the items I need and how nice it feels to not be aro
und clutter. Wish me luck I want to be called when in doubt throw it out queen.