simple closet organization tips

Ideas for fun when you have been snowed in for eight days with four children and the sun is scheduled to come out next Saturday…..

1.  Build an igloo in the woods and come to the realization there’s enough snow left over to build an igloo metropolis.

2.  Cheer enthusiastically when you can actually see the see the sidewalk to get to the mailbox.

3.  Make your 347th cup of hot chocolate.

4.  Play games and tell stories and make brownies and think up new braided hairstyles and paint a dresser….

….and decide make-up is totally over-rated.

5.  And when all else fails….organize your closet. 🙂

Closet Makeover Project

Let’s remember where we started.

Here’s the closet before.

Love the painted stool accessory.

Closet Makeover

And here’s another before picture.

This is from the entrance when you first walk into the space.

The walls were white, the trim was dark wood and it was a blank canvas that now looks like…..

closet organization ideas


I know….right.

Did you sigh like I do every time I walk into this space?

If it’s wrong to be so all about a closet….I don’t want to be right.

I’ve always wanted a closet that was a rock star.  One with tiny cubbies and drawers and cabinets and a place for scarves and belts and t-shirts and socks and purses.

And this is it.

Here’s a few organization tips I learned along the way.

decorating a closet

1.  Decorate your closet

I know it sounds silly.  Who decorates a closet?  Isn’t a closet just a place where we are all supposed to simply just hang our stuff or shove everything but the kitchen sink into when we have company?

When I was planning the closet organization, it was a little hard to get excited about the organization part….so I focused on the pretty.

Like this rug.

closet tips for organization

And this vintage architectural piece that came off the top of the house when we added the porch.

For me, it was so much easier to wrap my mind around decorating a closet than organizing it.  I know it sounds random….but you know what happened?  When I focused on making it pretty….all the organization fell into place.

I respected the space and I wanted to keep it beautiful and it gave me the motivation to find a place for everything.

Truth….all that pretty keeps me organized.


2.  Maximize your space

Here’s the overview of the closet.

It’s long and narrow and I knew I couldn’t add closet rods to both sides or I would end up like Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.

I maximized by the existing floor plan by putting the majority of the closet organization on one side.  It freed up a lot of space and made the closet feel much more spacious and cleared out room in case I wanted to find that lamp-post in Narnia.

tips for storage and closet organization

3.  It’s all about the space

I hung the shoe racks on the left when you walk in the door.  These simple, inexpensive racks can be found at any home improvement store.  They were made for over the door, but we adapted them to the wall.

They are only 4″ deep so they create the illusion of space in the closet.

They can hold up to 36 pairs of shoes.

And they’re full.

closet organization

Next we hung one rack for longer clothes like suits and dresses in the back.

Here’s another view of the skinny shoe racks.

And I added a stool with some tin boxes for storage.

Just keepin’ it pretty.

how to organize a closet

4.  A place for everything and everything in its place

On the right wall of the closet….I used six organizers all from Home Decorator’s Collection.

There are two stand alone cubby units.

Two drawer units.

And two cabinets.

storage organization

We stacked two of each of the units on top of each other and used shelving to create hanging space between the units.

We used four modular shelves and four extendable closet rods for each of the four hanging spaces on each wall.

The cubbies are the perfect place to store hard-to-find-a-place for items like boots.

(total aside:  don’t you love the boots on the bottom right….Old Navy for under $20).

closet storage ideas

5.  Beautiful storage

And if this closet is a rock star….these are the chart toppers.

I cannot tell you how much I love these organizers.

They look like Grace Kelly on Oscar night.

I ordered 12 of them and use them to store everything from socks to tights.

Every little cubby has a purpose.

closet storage and organization ideas

Here’s the inside view of one of the cabinets.

I had so much space I had enough to store make-up bags that were previously stuck inside of my beach tote at the back of the closet.

And there’s room for books.

tips for closet organization

Here’s a hook for belts and a basket with a beautiful white stool.

A stool.

Just sitting there.

I know….right?

I never dreamed that I’d have a closet so organized I’d have room for a stool….

…..maybe now there’s space for all that unused make-up. 🙂

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  1. Image for Linda V. Linda V.

    Kari Ann, I had to laugh because I just finished making over our master bedroom closet! It was organized before but now it is uber organized. Used soda can tabs to double up on my husband's dress shirts. Also, used the three-fold method to deal with the T-shirts. It really works. And, yes, to decorating! I even have a vase of red roses sitting in there right now on a shelf courtesy of Aldi's great clearance sale last week (25 cents for a half dozen)! Made over a Chippendale chair with metallic paint and aged with some brown craft paint, new dark aqua fabric. Still looking for the perfect rug. I just love to spend time in there!

      1. Image for Linda V. Linda V.

        Tons of tutorials on Pinterest but here is one. Ours are stacked upright in the cabinet but you can still see the pattern and know which one is which. Very neat and organized.

  2. Image for Annette Annette

    Forgot to mention that I too decorate my closet. I have several small cubbies where I place special photos and sentimental things that my children made for me when they were little.

  3. Image for Kris Kris

    Who doesn't want to find Narnia? :) Your shoe/boot fetish is worse than mine. I'm gonna start calling you Imelda. Good work! Hope school is back in session for you.

  4. Image for Barbara Mawdsley Barbara Mawdsley

    Love it. Mine is organized thanks to California Closets. It just isn't very pretty. Our closet is 7ft x 2 ft and I share it with my husband. Fortunately neither of us have a lot of clothes. Well, maybe we don't have a lot of clothes because there is no where to put them. Houses built in the 1970's assumed you didn't have much 'stuff'.

  5. Image for Shelley McArdle Shelley McArdle

    Could you please list the source for the belt organizer? I didn't see it on any of the links you provided. Thank you!

  6. Image for Lynn in DG Lynn in DG

    It looks great! But I am I so dazzled by all your closet glory that I can't navigate a web site properly?! The closet shelving that is linked, and on their site, does not look as nice as yours. I am specifically interested in the trim piece on the front and side edge that really dresses yours up vs the blunt edge that I see linked.

  7. Image for Jaimee Jaimee

    Do you find yourself walking into your closet now, just to look around and smile? So happy for you! The little things can make one's day much more joyful. The shoe organization is the most inspirational for me ~ mine are currently in baskets lined up on the floor. Those racks on the wall are the BEST.

  8. Image for Marisa Franca @ All Our Way Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    Uhmmm KariAnne, your closet is as big as our third bedroom/office/craft room/storage. It is pitifully small. I love your closet -- I am pea green with envy -- I get the same way when I see your laundry room. I am inspired to do something about our closets -- what I don't know a little person wouldn't even fit in there :-( . But you are my muse -- I'll figure out something. I'll even try to decorate it.

  9. Image for sammijo sammijo

    Another great "room", you rock girl! I was just looking at my closet the other day and was trying to figure out how to vamp it up a bit, thanks for all the great ideas. :-)

  10. Image for Lori Lori

    Love it!! A closet might as well be pretty!! I took over a little closet in our hallway as my own so I didn't have to share the one in our's all mine!! Complete with mirror, flower crowns and sweet little shelf. Now my husband walks in and looks around and wishes his closet was so pretty. Sidenote - our house was built in 1882, so I'm thankful we even HAVE closets, let alone ones to walk inside of!! Keep up the good work, I love your style!! ~Lori

  11. Image for Libby from Libby's Lifestyle Libby from Libby's Lifestyle

    Wow! What a great wardrobe. We're currently renting, but in about 18 months time we will go home, to our real home. And what do you think I have been planning and planning and planning … how to redo our wardrobe spaces which are just standard builder supplied with very inefficient use of space. Love your shoe storage idea! I want my wardrobe to look lovely and so organised … like yours does.

  12. Image for Blessed Beyond Blessed Beyond

    Ahh! I loved, LOVED reading today about your beautiful closet! I've always decorated my closet since 6 or 7 years old; granted, not with the same sense of style as today... nonetheless.. My closet was the coziest spot for playing with my dolls and sharing tea parties with my sisters. I remember stepping up my digs with a lamp and throw pillow early on.. I love the decadence of a beautiful closet! Makes choosing clothes and pairing accessories all the funner! Bonus: My husband has caught on out of appreciation for the organization of it all. Thanks for sharing!

  13. Image for Kathleen Kathleen

    Your project is one of my long-term goals! I don't have to share my walk-in closet, which should be adequate in size ~ once I purge all the old, or *unworn in forever* items! What a neat and organized "room" you now have! I especially like those brown trimmed boxes you used on the shelves: such awesome storage! I'll be ordering some ... Thanks for sharing ~ & hope your snow days are over soon! We're even having our version here in Dallas ... ice & sleet now, maybe snow on Wed.!?!

  14. Image for Amy W. Amy W.

    Wow! What a lot of planning and work you shared with us. Loved reading every minute of it. Also, on another note.....just viewed your interview over on Jeanne's "Becoming" course! Loved viewing and listening to you. Hope you know, I consider myself one of your most loyal cheerleaders. So many times I've drawn such a wonderful sense of inspiration from you... you've especially made this Michigan Winter 2015 so very tolerable with your posts! Actually.....all year through....but just thought I'd throw that line in there since I know most of the U.S. has experienced quite the winter too! Keep cozy and toasty! Take Care!

  15. Image for Stacy Stacy

    I love your blog and have become a regular reader. I feel that I must tell you that while your photography is lovely, I often feel that I am not getting "the whole picture." It is a little too piecemeal for me. I won't stop reading, but I wanted to share my thoughts.

  16. Image for Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness Amanda @ Dwelling in Happiness

    Not only are these great tips, but your closet is BEAUTIFUL! I love how it turned out! I totally agree, pretty storage boxes really make it look so much nicer; and I never thought to actually decorate my closet, but that's such a good idea!

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