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A Clean and Well Lighted Space: Your Closet?

How to Organize Your Closets | Corporette2016 Update: Check out our latest discussion on closet organization hacks

How do you organize your closets? Last week in our conversation of clothes storage for the closet-impaired, some folks started talking about how they kept their work clothes separate from their weekend clothes. Yes! I thought. I do that toooooooooo! But that’s a whole other post! So, ladies, open thread: how do you like to organize your closets? (In fact — we haven’t done this before, but if you love your closet, send us pics and we’ll chose the top 5 to discuss.  Either email a .jpg to [email protected], or upload to Flickr and tag it “corporette.”) My own closets, after the jump…

Organizing My Hall Closetfront closet organization

This is our front coat closet, which I am weirdly proud of. It always seemed like the front closet has way too much lost space on the bottom and not enough well-utilized space at the top, so we decided to move the hangbar way down. (We measured my longest coat to determine where we should move the hangbar — that coat has about 3″ clearance.) With the rest of the space on top, I decided to experiment with something I’d read about for years: the shoebox storage system of shoes. (I’d always used the hanging-shoe-tree method before.) I diligently took pictures of all my shoes, and we bought a big box of clear shoebox containers from the Container Store, and we went to town. And? I. love. it. I don’t “forget” which shoes I have like I did when they were in the hanging shoe tree, and I put them away much more quickly than I ever did with the shoe tree. (These are mostly my commuting/going out shoes — my day-to-day pumps generally live at the office.)  Oh,and see how the hangbar rack has those little vertical stops, preventing you from sliding things from one side to the other?  Hate those — we swapped them out for simple silver bars in all the other closets. (And by “we” I mean my darling, amazing husband did it.)

closet organized by color

Organizing My Walk-In Bedroom Closet

We have a small walk-in closet in our bedroom; it’s split into two levels.  (We have really tall ceilings in our apartment in general — somewhere in the 9.5′, 10′ range.)  This pic is of the bottom level.  I’m a New Yorker, so I wear a lot of black.  So for this level (in addition to my husband’s shirts), we have my long-sleeved black tops, then my white/cream tops, then my short-sleeved black tops, and then the random collection of “Things I Insist on Wearing Twice Before Washing That Have Not Yet Had Wear #2.”  I realize these pictures would be far, far prettier if I used a single hanger system but — well — I just haven’t quite found the system for me.  (I like the velvet hangers from BB&B just fine for dresses but prefer to use wire hangers if I’m airdrying something.)

closet full of suits

This is the top level — way far back is out-of-season stuff, and then pants and skirts in season, and then colorful blouses and blazers.  I would organize them by color, but I can distinguish them just fine from a quick glance, so I’ve never spent the time.  Farther towards the front I have  hanging rack (or two) for tights, as well as one for jewelrynecklaces wrapped around business cards, brooches, and the occasional hair doo-dad.  On top of the top rack, I have my purses, mostly in dust covers — I need a better system here!  I wish there existed a system like the clear-shoe-boxes for purses, where you could take pictures of all of them and put them on front — that would be nice.  On the opposite wall, I have another necklace rack, as well as a few other hooks for hanging things like robes, lounge-around-the-house sweatshirts, etc.

Oh, and I don’t have a picture of this, but I have two drawers devoted to sweaters in our dresser — the very bottom one is colored sweaters (on the theory that I can use color to identify which sweater I want without having to dig through it) and then a few levels up (a better level for rummaging) is a drawer for black sweaters.  I used to try to use sweater trays, or at least just different piles, to differentiate the sweater vests from the short-sleeved sweaters from the cardigans from the long-sleeved sweaters from the turtlenecks… but that drawer is always a hot mess.  If anyone has any suggestions… :)

dress closet organization

Organizing My Guest Bedroom Closet

And, finally, we have the “guest bedroom/office” closet which, at the moment, my husband has let me have almost entirely. (Thank you, hubs!) This is where my suits live, as well as my going-out/occasional tops, my dresses, my winter coats (for now) and at the far right, more hanging shoes.

All right, readers — how do you organize your closets?  What systems do you love, which areas need improvement?  And, send us pics of your amazing closets!

Comments

  1. I put the work stuff together in the middle (easiest to get to) since that’s my biggest need every morning. Org’d by blazers, full suits, pants, skirts, blouses, work sweaters (vnecks mostly), short sleeve work shirts, sleeveless work shirts. This works well for me. The other stuff for casual/dressy is on either side in similar categories. Shoes I have in various racks/hanging things. Purses/bags: I put in a big blue plastic tub at the bottom. I like it because they are easy to get to and rummage through. All else is in dressers. I blissfully have plentiful closet space since moving from NYC to Seattle, it is nice.

  2. Christina :

    I have 2 closets- one is for weekend wear (or whenever I do not have to be at the office) and the other is for office wear (suits and dresses that I wear in an attempt to look like a kick-butt attorney). Everything else gets stacked in dressers or in piles in either closet. It works for me!

  3. I just spent last evening re-reorganizing my closet, this time working on shoes. I live an old house with small closets – in fact, my closet is in the guest room, because my husband has the smaller “master” closet.

    I have to store out-of-season clothes either in the very small hall closet or folded in rubbermaid boxes in the attic.

    I keep most shoes I wear regularly in two 5×5 cubby boxes on the shelf above my hanging rack. Boots with boot trees are also standing on this shelf.

    On the hanging rack, I have switched to those thin hangers covered in flocking (can’t remember what they are called) and I hang things, left to right, in this order: jackets, blouses, cardigans/sweaters, skirts, pants, dresses, special occasion. Within these categories I sometimes organize by color, but that’s ususally only when I’ve just done a seasonal swap or a cull for Goodwill.

    On the floor of the closet, I have some of those long shoe racks for shoes I wear less often. I also have handbags on the floor, in their dust bags. I wish they weren’t on the floor, but I have no other place for them. I also have a basket for flip flops and slippers.

    On hooks on the wall, I have belts, scarves and some long necklaces.

    You have to be really organized if you have small closets! I’m sure people with gigantic walk-in closets can’t relate to this.

    • I think you and I have the same closets! This is pretty much how mine are organized. Love those thin hangers (flocking is that faux velvet, no?) . . .

      Only thing I have different is I have a somewhat deep small closet that I have shelves in the back off and up top (if that makes sense). I keep purses on those shelves.

    • I would be careful with hanging sweaters because they might stretch (i am thinking knitwear).
      If you have a drawer or shelf it’s usually better to fold them.

  4. Purse boxes exist.
    Have not tried these yet, but considering.
    Just FYI —
    http://www.clear-shoe-boxes.com/cat–Clear-Purse-Boxes–Purse_boxes.html

  5. This is probably going to get repetive soon so I will just add 1 thing that I find really helpful — those hanging, canvas shoe cubby containers.

    I use them in the coat closet for scarves, hats, gloves & in other closets to catch random things that are also sometimes hard to store. They take up almost no room & add a ton of storage space all the way floor to rod.

    • This is a great idea! I’ve been keeping them on a shelf at the top of the closet (with out of favor brief / computer cases). But–I’m too short to reach the shelf, so I had to either hop to reach them or get my fiance to do it for me. Now, I am going to get one of these hanger things.

    • I too love these. I originally bought one for shoes and then realized I like it far better for scarves, gloves, and hats. Now, that’s its official function.

    • I use those for my clutches and small purses!

      • i just threw some out because I thought that they were useless for shoes! what a fantastic idea to use them for scarves!!

  6. Before I moved to New York, I kept all of my shoes in individual clear rubbermaid containers. They stacked so nicely and since they were clear I was able to see what shoes were in there. I always thought about putting pictures on the front as well, but never got around to it.

    I got rid of most of my belongings before moving to New York, but eventually I will get those containers again. All of my shoes except for 1 pair of boots fit nicely in the boxes.

    I also think I’m going to do something similar for my purses. AIMS, let us know how those work for you if you decide to get them!

  7. I actually have a dresser in my closet, with my jewelry on top. I have my stuff arranged by item and then by color– long sleeved shirts, short sleeve, dresses, skirts, pants, jackets. Its also kind of in order that I put it on. Sweaters and t-shirts are in dresser drawers.
    I don’t have many purses, but the few I have are in milk crates on the shelf above the hanging stuff, along with my folded jeans. I have a rack on the backside of one of the doors where I hang all my belts, and currently need another on the other door for scarves.
    I also use all the same hanger.
    I have a hanging shoe organizer that I keep strappy heels/sandals in, and a rack on the floor for the more bulky/heavy shoes. I sometimes rotate the shoes by season. Given that I can see everything, I rarely forget about a particular item.

  8. I keep tops in one closet–blouses and shirts hanging, sweaters on shelves at the top, shoes on the bottom (on a rack or in their boxes with photos of the shoes pasted to the front end).

    Dresses, shawls, sweater coats are in another closet, with jeans & shorts on shelves at the top, plus small plastic baskets holding: hose, socks, out of season pajamas, out of season running clothes. Purses are in a two-tier metal basket on the floor.

    Skirts and jackets are in another closet, skirts on the left, jackets on the right. More sweaters on shelves at the top.

    Each closet has the current season on the right, the out of season on the left. Within each season, everything is hung according to the color wheel.

    Writing all this makes me realize I hyper-organize my closets, but I really like the look of all the colors together!

  9. Kat! Where did you get those mid-heel lace-up oxfords?! I have been looking everywhere for some in brown, can only find 3.5″ heels and cannot bear the thought of having heels that high tied to my feet all day.

    I love this post, will try to remember to send some photos. I have a long fun clothes closet and a small walk-in work-wear closet, both divided by type of clothing item and then subdivided by color. Shelving for shoes in the fun closet (affectionately referred to as “shoe heaven”, since you have to duck into the closet a little bit to get in and then, voila, you’re in the middle of a shoe display), and for nicer bags and wraps in the workwear closet. Downstairs closet – evening gowns (not ideal, but it is the only closet tall enough) and coats, shelving for hats, scarves, gloves. Downstairs wardrobe full of lighter jackets, long-sleeved sweaters and bags. Everything else is in armoire/dresser in the bedroom. OH, and I just bought two belt hangers off of ebay that I really like – they are round wood contraptions that hang from the bar and can be spun in a circle with hooks on 4 sides.

    System works for me, but in the winter it does involve running all over the house in the morning collecting various items. Really don’t think that the boxing system would work, I am a very out-of-sight, out-of-mind person. Even in my office, drawers go unused, everything must be in stacks or well-organized redwelds.

    Just switched partially to wood hangers in one closet to try them out. So far I’m a fan, though they do take up more room (am not in NYC though :)

  10. One suggestion for the sweaters – I found drawer dividers at Target that are spring-loaded, so they fit multiple sizes of drawers and stay in place with tension. I use them to divide my unmentionables from my socks, but you could use them to separate sweater piles (or even fold then roll up your sweaters, so you don’t have to rummage through piles at all).

    Nothing exciting in the closet. I have a mid-size walk-in closet that I share with the hubby – I get the lowest rack (I’m short!) and one of the tall hanging racks. The lowest rack has clothes in this order: suits, dress shirts (sleeveless, then short sleeve, then long sleeve), cardigans and random jackets/shawls, then play clothes, and going out clothes pushed all the way to the end. My tall rack has my dresses – work dresses are most accessible (except in summer, when beach cover ups drift forward), and special occasion dresses are kept in plastic bags at the far end.

    • Love your sweater idea! I stack mine and forget about the stuff on the bottom, rolling them with drawer dividers is great!

  11. I have a pretty similar set up to Kat’s above, minus the awesome shoe set up. Love the pictures! It’s really fun to see. For Kat (and other small closet folks), do you ever worry about the “fullness” level of your closet? I’ve read that you aren’t supposed to have your clothes too tightly packed, but just can’t seem to avoid it.

    Side note: I got one of those belt hangers mentioned above (they sell them at BBB, too) and am using it for my lined bras. Because those bras retain their form and don’t collapse, they were always creating havoc in my lingerie drawer. Now they are hanging with my work clothes, which has been handy since they are mostly what I wear to work (no headlights here!).

  12. My husband and I had two large closets in our bedroom. More than enough room for stuff, but not too easy to organize. His closet has shelving across the very top (about 8 feet from the floor to the shelving) and one rod/shelf combo on which to hang clothing. My closet is the size dimensions, but has two shelf/rod combos. So, I have twice as much hanging space, but can’t hang any long dresses in my closet.

    Because my closet is an easy split, I’ve got tops on the top rack, and bottoms on the bottom rack. Long sleeves are organized by color on the right, short sleeves by color in the middle, and tanks by color on the left. On the bottom rack I have suiting on the left, skirts in the middle, pants on the right. Dresses are on the far right top rack, anything that’s long is draped over the bottom rack. I would put them in hubby’s closet, but I try very hard not to encroach on his space. I have sweaters on the racks, shoes over the back of one door, and purses hanging from the other door.

    • Oh, I forgot… I would love ideas on what to do with longer dresses when there’s not enough space for them to hang completely down.

      • i'm nobody :

        i keep most long dresses folded in tissue paper and then stacked in a wooden chest. even though i have the space to hang them in a closet, hanging can change the shape over time–especially if they’re heavy (especially w/ beading).

        • this is a really good idea. I’ve read in a couple of style/closet books that this is the best way to store long dresses, to keep the delicate fabrics from stretching out. I do remember one of the books saying to make sure that the tissue paper is acid-free, though – guess the regular stuff can damage the fabric? I hadn’t done it myself bc I haven’t bothered to buy boxes for it (the books’ solution), but the cedar chest idea is fantastic. Will probably make the change this weekend! Hello, closet space!

  13. I have a small (3 shelves) book shelf in my closet. On top of it I have my jewelry and the it is the depository for when I empty my pockets, etc. Each of the shelves hold a pair of baskets that I purchased at Target. They were cheap but they fit the space perfectly. I keep my hosiery, undergarments, t-shirts, exercise clothes, etc sorted in these baskets. It is sort of like a dresser but the baskets pull out completely so that I can tell the difference between black, charcoal and navy camis in the morning.

    I added towel rings (the wooden kind that are supposed to be in the bathroom to hold a hand towel) to the side of the closet. I use them to hold all my scarves and it works perfectly. They don’t slide around, don’t get lost, don’t take up any space at all and I can see them all in one glance.

  14. I have two closets. One has out of season clothes, big clothes (eg early pregnancy and postpartum) and maternity work wear. The other has current work wear. My casual stuff goes in my dresser, and my workout clothes in my night stand (which has drawers). Shoes go in an over-the-door doohickey, except for formal shoes (eg navy shoes for the blue bridesmaid dress I once had), which are in boxes under the clothes in the closet.

    Work clothes go (L-R) dresses, blouses, skirts, pants, jackets (suit and blazers), and then a hanging sweater rack on the far R that also holds my work t-shirts.

    I keep my work shoes at work – I have a limited selection bc of my developing bunions – and I wear commuting shoes (sandals/sneakers) into the office.

    Purses – no good place for them. Mostly downstairs stacked on a chair with my wallet still in them (I only have about 3 total, including my work ‘briefcase’ bag).

    • Oh, forgot – I also have clear plastic storage containers for out of season clothes and too-small clothes, wrong size bras (from pregnancy), etc. Those go in the attic.

      • Drat. Forgot again. My jewelry (necklaces only, I don’t wear any other) lives in a jewelry box on top of my dresser. I also cover all my hangers in yarn. You take 2 strands per side, make them into a ball, and then basically tie knots along the hanger so that it gets covered in yarn. Like covered hangers (eg no hang lines) but take up less space, plus they’re super cute! (Learned this from my grandma)

  15. I have closet OCD. I have a fairly large closet with an L-shaped hanging rack. In the beginning I have 3 shelves, top shelf–random junk, middle shelf–hair products and toiletries, bottom shelf– hair styling appliances. Then on the long side of the L-shaped rack I have my skirt suits organized by color and darkest to lightest. Underneath the skirt suits I have a small shelving unit where I keep my “dirty” hiking shoes in original shoeboxes. After the skirt suits I have pant suits organized by color and darkest to lightest. Then I have my dresses organized by color and season, current season in front, off season in the back where the other side of the L overlaps. Under the long side of the L on the floor I have a gym bag and some shoe boxes and off season shoes. On the small part of the L I have my long sleeve button fronts organized by color, then my short sleeve button fronts also organized by color, next I have my shells and then my camis…and yes all organized by color. Above my shirts I have my purses–no organization there just in a row. On top of the long side of the L I have more purses and off season clothes that I switch out of my dressers. I have a long shoe rack with all my shoes organized by color and occassion. Everyday shoes on top front, lesser worn shoes lower shelf and back. I go through my closet after every season and if I haven’t warn an item (or shouldn’t wear an item again) I good will it. It’s a crazy weird obsession, I can’t handle a disorganized closet!!

    • And of couse all my hangers match! Describing it makes me realize how ridiculous I am!!

      • I’m right there with you. Organizing from darkest to lightest especially, matching hangers, the whole bit.

      • Ballerina girl :

        I love it! I’m the same way. I have two tiny, dark NYC closets and it’s made me consider moving to New Jersey! I spent so much time “organizing” my closets.

      • my sister mocks me endlessly for this!

      • I’m the same way, but with a much smaller closet :)

    • govvie girl :

      Sigh. If only. Well, I’m better than I used to be. Love the flocked hangers and my work clothes are grouped by color for an adult Garanimals speed-dressing approach. Just recently cleaned a whole bunch out for transfer to Goodwill. Someday I will determine my apparel (and maybe iron needed things) the night before.

    • I have very little closet space so try to keep it organized. Sleeveless shirts, short sleeve, long sleeve, button downs, jackets and then dresses and all organized from the lightest to darkest. It makes it much easier to find things even if it is a little OCD. I like the idea of shoe boxes but have found that it takes up much more space than the hanging cubby bags. I also got a roll out drawer for underneath the bed where I keep most of my non work shoes.

  16. Woman of Color :

    My husband and I used to live in a not so great neighborhood (Just the two of us – 3 bed/2 baths, all bedrooms had walk in closets – my.very.own bathroom = Heaven). At that time, I could see everything in my closet becaue of all the space (shoes, purses, necklaces, etc.). We’ve since moved to a much nicer neighborhood (much smaller, much more quaint, apartment with only one bathroom – teardrop), and my closet space sadly went away. Now I have this tiny closet that my shoes are spilling out of. My husband purchased me an additional wardrobe, but that of course takes up so much space in our bedroom, and does not really hold that much stuff. I wish I was at home now, so that I could take a picture to gain some sympathy. Sigh.

  17. OrgManiac :

    I have a back of door stretchy thing with 6 hooks spaced evenly to hang bags from, and also have a plastic hanger similar to shoe hanger for purses. I also keep purses under the bed in plastic containers. Strangely, since i have so many bags, I usually only change my bag once a quarter or so.

    I’m very organized when it comes to my clothes, but I have such limited space that I am effectively prevented from getting anything new because I have no place to put it. My teenage girls are complaining that I take up too much space in their closets, and I have my eye on my husband’s closet, but he is out in the hallway already and annoyed about that, so I may have to leave well enough alone.

  18. Chicago K :

    I have a really weird question about storing sweaters. I have had 3 merino wool sweaters shrink up over the summer months as they sat folded on a shelf in a closet.

    No, I am not crazy and I didn’t gain weight or anything. The weave has noticebly shrunked up and gotten matted, and while they still tightly fit, the sleeves are inches too short as well as the bottom hem. It’s bizarre. 2 of the sweaters are Calvin Klein brand and 1 is from Ann Taylor.

    I am thinking maybe the summer heat caused the closet to be too hot and shrunk them? I also had a radiator in the walk-in closet where I used to live, so it got really warm in there and perhaps contributed to creating a dryer-like environment for the CK sweaters. The Ann Taylor I bought since moving, but had a similar thing happen.

    Has anyone seen this or known why it may have happened? Can I get them restretched somehow? I swear I have the worst luck keeping clothes nice. Ugh.

    • You might try hand-washing them, then stretch them over a shirt form (or be really careful stretching them yourself over a sweater drying rack). Mine always stretch when I wash them.

  19. I recently exchanged all my white plastic hangers for raspberry-pink plastic hangers from the Wal-mart college section. They went on sale for $1 for like 20 hangers, so I bought like 15 packs (somewhat embarrassing in the check-out line :). And to be green, I gave my white hangers to my parents. The pink just perked up my closet.

    My main closet has my work clothes, coats, and casual clothes (which are not many since I’ve started working).

    I have two empty bedrooms, and I plan to turn one of the closets into storage for my purses, shoes and accessories. Hope to make it cute and fun to look through with colored bins and cute hooks on the wall.

  20. Ballerina girl :

    I have two very small, very dark closets–half the hanger rails are behind the walls (half on one side, half on the other). I’ve tried those push light thingies with no luck (maybe just the brand?). Any other suggestions?

    I liked wonder hangers for a while b/c I could organize “type” of item by the hanger–skirts on one, button downs on another (several each but still) but found that it made it even weirder looking in there.

    More tips!

  21. I live in a 1920s house w/ a tiny walk-in closet made into the hallway. I can step inside and turn around, and that’s about it. But it has double racks and high shelves. I also have a bedroom closet where I keep out of season clothes (in space bags – work marginally well), coats on single hanging rods, tees, work-out clothes, and purses on shelves. I do very many of the same things y’all do — hang clothes by color, type, and on those velvety thin hangers. I could never do the clear box thing for shoes b/c I have too many. In my walk-in, I have out of season shoes up on a high shelf in the clear boxes along w/ “dressy” fancy shoes I rarely wear. Then on the floor, I have 3 of these metal revolving shoe trees – http://www.amazon.com/Household-Essentials-2134-Chrome-Revolving/dp/B000P6CEQW/ref=sr_1_12?s=gateway&ie=UTF8&qid=1285885902&sr=8-12. They work pretty well. Plus some shoes on a standing rack. And boots lined up under the bottom level of hanging clothes. Oh, and a hanging shoe thing like some are using for hats/gloves, except I use mine for flip-flops b/c you can shove a couple of pairs in each “shelf” (I do live in the South). Perhaps I need a shoe intervention. (My husband would most assuredly participate.)

    • I counted my shoes the other day. I have 108 pairs. About 30 in the work closet, the rest in the fun closet. Reminded me of the SATC moment when Carrie realizes that she has no down payment to buy her apartment because she’s spent all of her money over the years on Manolos.

  22. govvie girl :

    FYI, I received the portable light from Ace Hardware (called Sylvania Golden Dragon) and “mounted it” in my closet. It comes in two parts: one is a magnet w/adhesive and the other is the LED light. It’s a bit “spotlighty” but still helps with the illumination. It’s got a sensor which you wave your hand in front of to turn on, dim the light or turn off. Says it automatically turns off in an hour. Soooo…until I find a more regular light/bulb combo, this will do. Meanwhile, the name of the light is making me crave Chinese food for dinner. :)

  23. I have a dresser in my closet with a tv on it and some sweatshirts hanging in the corner. I have a large bedroom with a small closet so I put a closet organizer across one wall of my bedroom and I keep most of my clothes there. It has a 2 foot shelf down the middle that I store shoes on and my clothes hang on either side. My hangers are all similar in that they’re the wire and velvet ones but they are either hot pink, black, or taupe depending on what was on sale at the time I bought them. Kmart just had them on sale for $5 for 10. I also have this for purses.
    http://www.amazon.com/Jokari-06413-Purse-Rack/dp/B001F6GG3I/ref=pd_sbs_k_2
    I’m single so I can take up a wall for all my clothes and there is no one to complain about it. It works well for me. It’s kind of like living in a clothes store – my dream come true. :)

  24. Here’s how I organize my very over-full closet:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/jennyferenc/sets/72157624943852923/detail/

    Everything goes by season/type, then by color. Must have matching hangers! The hanging shoe organizers take a lot of space, but are soooo easy to see and use. (I really need to move my out-of season clothes out of here for more room, but I have no other closets in my apartment…)

    I really like that you have a special place for clothes that get worn more than once. I do that too, but either throw it over a chair (big piles) or put it back in the usual place then forget that it does need to be washed eventually.

  25. I don’t get how you Americans manage to keep stuff in dressers and stay sane. When I tried that system I could never find anything.
    I bought a small wardrobe at Ikea; it’s about 2 feet wide, 7 feet tall and internally contains 6 shelves. Each shelf fits two stacks of folded tops/skirts/workout clothes. When I open the wardrobe, I see all of my stuff at the same time and can easily pick out my outfit. The wardrobe has a mirror door which is a nice plus.
    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S59864675

    For shoes, I have an Ikea Billy bookshelf with doors added (also available at Ikea). Each shelf holds 3-4 pairs of shoes; it looks awesome and again, I see all my shoes at the same time. Since it’s originally a bookshelf, this closet isn’t too deep so it fits in my narrow NYC hallway.

    All my other clothes are hanging on wooden Ikea coat hangers (8 for $3 – best deal I’ve seen on wooden coat hangers). It looks awesome, and is highly functional, but not recommended if you need to pack your clothes densely in your closet – they take up a lot of space.

    Dang, I sound like a total Ikea ad – I swear I’m not being paid! It’s just that everything in my home is from there…

    • I hate dressers, too, and have never owned one in my entire adult life. I’m also completely an IKEA wardrobe girl–it’s all I have for clothes storage right now, since my house is older and short on closets. I adore the full-length mirror doors on those things!

      • I use a dresser for lingerie, gym clothes, and cotton shirts. I roll all the items and arrange them by color. Spring loaded dividers keep things from getting messy.

        • Ok, I can see that working – if the items are rolled and not stacked, you can actually seem them and take them out easily.

          I also use a small nightstand with drawers for lingerie – that’s my only exception to the no dresser rule.

  26. Parisienne :

    I like the hangers (for skirts) that have a little hook so that you can hang a whole series “vertically”. I find this makes the closet a lot more spacious. I did not think it would work, but it does.

  27. I don’t have much of an organizational system for my closet. I put the shoes mostly up on the shelf above everything else, unless they’re sandals or sneakers without a box, in which case I toss them on the floor of the closet. Other than that, all my clothes are pretty much just mashed together: dresses, tops, sweaters, pants and all!

  28. I’ve just moved to my first apartment. Which means I got close to no furniture.
    I have a square dressing room (walk-in wardrobe) but for now cannot afford to build a custom made dressing so my system is as follows:
    – I have a two-level clothes rack. Upper rack for tops, suits and coats. Bottom rack, well for bottoms.
    – I use wooden hangers for all my clothes and special wooden hangers (the ones that clasp) for pants and skirts
    – Most shoes stay in their original boxes stacked in one corner of the dressing
    – EVERYTHING else is in suitcases on the floor (yes I do feel miserable digging through a suitcase every morning). I have a suitcase for sweaters, cardigans and tops. Another for undergarments . One for Hoodies and large t-shirts. One for sleepwear and 2 gym bags.
    I usually put most of the items (which are now in suitcases) in a nice cabinet at my guest room. But since i am having guests for a couple weeks, I got the suitcase system which works fine as long as you don’t have many clothes.

  29. I recently got the Closet Maid 9 cube “cubical” organizer and matching fabric boxes for my walk-in closet. I used different colors (beige = top row = sports bras, regular bras, underpants; medium brown = middle row = spanx, slips, and “special items”; dark brown = bottom row = fun socks, tights and hose, and trouser socks / knee highs. The top of the organizer is used for boxes of jewelry and scarves. It’s working great so far and MUCH better than drawers in dresser. The part of the hanging rack above the organizer is used for “empty hangers” of things I’m wearing or haven’t yet laundered/drycleaned and returned.

  30. Kat, I officially love you for this thread. This is EXACTLY the crisis of this hour for me.

  31. Here’s a picture of my closet – http://www.flickr.com/photos/dasha_k/5042232684/in/photostream/

    There are three more detailed photos in there as well.

    In summary – all my “hanging” clothes are on wood hangers. My clothes are on the right, husband’s are on the left. My clothes are arranged, from left to right, as follows – skirts, blazer/hoodie, blouses, dresses, button front shirts, suits. On the floor I have two white shoe “shelves” (from target) that hold all my in season shoes, in their original boxes. On top of that I have two bins for socks and stockings. On the right side of the closet I have hanging my currently used handbags. On the left side stands our ironing board. On the shelf at the top are out of season and too-small clothes, out of season shoes, and Christmas decor. All my other purses live in canvas boxes in the linen closet. I also have a dresser in my bedroom that holds “unmentionables,” tshirts, tank tops, cardigans, sweaters, and jeans. The “unmentionables” are organized in clear plastic bins inside their drawer, everything else is just stacked. My nightstand holds my jewelry, sleepwear, and workout/lounge clothes. Husband has a dresser and nightstand of his own. His shoes and two suits (in garment bags) live in our coat closet, which also holds coats. The linen closet holds linen, household misc stuff, and the toolbox on the floor.

    Hmmm, that’s about it. I’d love to upgrade to those clear shoes boxes from the container store, but it’s pretty low on the spending priority list right now.

    • Oh, I forgot to say that my rain boots live on a little “landing” we have just outside our front door. I also leave any other wet shoes out there until they dry out.

  32. I have shared a very small closet with DH for a very long time. I’ve recently become a big fan of the slim-line hangers. Becaues the hangers take up less rod space, my clothes seem less jammed together. The hangers do an amazing job of anchoring the clothes in places – nothing, including silky camis, slide off!

  33. I used to stack my folded sweaters on a closet shelf, but they ended up jammed and wrinkled. Recently I have used a large packing cube (from the Magellens catalog) and buttoned and folded each sweater with the folding card. (I have about 15+ cardigans and pullover knits in the one cube). The cube with all the sweaters takes up less space on the shelf than the former unruly pile. It is very easy to open up the cube and instantly pick the sweater I need, and everything has stayed flat and smooth.

  34. A few months ago I removed all of my jewelry from the jewelry box and switched to the Container Store’s Canvas 80-Pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer. I love it! I wear more of my jewelry instead the same earrings and necklace over and over! You can easily see exactly where everything is. I use one side for earrings and the other for necklaces and bracelets. You could also use it to store hair accessories.

  35. I have a great reach-in closet in my bedroom that I am currently customizing with the Elfa system from the Container Store. It is going to be fabulous in the end, with the exception of one problem: there is no light fixture in the closet! Does anyone have any ideas of how to get light in there? I’ve tried using those; adhesive “touch-lights” you can get from drugstores, but they aren’t really good enough.

    Also, I started using this last year to organize my shoes and SWEAR by it: http://www.amazon.com/Pair-Over-Door-Shoe-White/dp/B000GPM5KM

    They make a 36-shoe version as well, which is what I have.

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