The one thing I know for sure is that most of us have tons of clothes. We have clothes in the closet, in the dresser or dressers, possibly a trunk or extra bins, they are everywhere. No matter how big your closet there are usually clothes bulging out. Most people have the challenge of managing all this stuff. So, what is the best DIY closet organizer ideas? Well, I will tell you. But beware it is a process.
Before you can DIY your closet, you have to decide what you really need to keep versus what you want to keep. A lot of people get very attached to their clothing but this doesn’t have to be hard. There are a few reasons that should make this part of the process very easy. First off, you can immediately let go of the items that are too small. We would all like to think that someday we will fit back into our favorite jeans from 10 years ago. The reality is that it ain’t gonna happen. Not to mention that if it miraculously did happen and you lost the weight, the jeans would probably be out of style. Afterall a lot changes in 10 years. Secondly, the items that have been sitting in the closet waiting to be fixed can go. Perhaps things like pieces that need to be hemmed or buttons sewed on or zippers fixed. If you haven’t dealt with them in months or maybe even years then it’s time to forget about them and move on. Somehow you were able to find other things to wear. And of course, there are those items that were gifts that you never liked but feel bad about getting rid of them. I have 3 words for you. Get over it! When someone gives you a gift it is now yours to do as you please. By having that particular piece just sitting in your closet or drawer you are not honoring that gift so why not let it go and let someone else enjoy that will love it.
Contrary to what Marie Kondo says I don’t believe you have to empty your entire closet or dresser in order to declutter. A better DIY closet organizer idea that won’t overwhelm you will be to sort through the clothes while they are still hanging in the closet. Just go hanger by hanger and decide if that piece is something you need or want to keep. During this process, it is totally feasible to remove them from the closet and separate like items with like. Dresses together, pants, together, shirts together, etc. This will make the actual organizing process much easier. But we will get back to that later.
The most challenging part is to be very harsh with yourself when making decisions. Some things will be easier than others to deal with but forge ahead and you shall overcome. Let’s face it. You don’t need to keep every bridesmaid dress you’ve ever worn or every college sweatshirt you lived in while at school. I don’t care if it sparks joy or not but what I do care about is if you will wear it. Generally speaking, we all have those 10-20 go to pieces that we wear over and over. It is true of work clothes and weekend wear. So, for all the other pieces think about when was the last time you wore it, when you would possibly wear it if it has been a while, if you still like it (our tastes do change over time), and if it is still practical for your current lifestyle. You may no longer work in an office so the suits you wore frequently don’t serve you now. It would be fine if you only kept 1 or 2 instead of the 10 you had.
Once you have decluttered and purged and now have the pieces that you really want, it is time to organize your closet. Earlier I mentioned that during the decluttering process you should sort your clothes by like items. Now that you have done that it will be easier to see what you have and return things to the closet. I always say put the type of things you wear most in an accessible place in the closet which is usually the middle. If you don’t wear dresses often then those can be off to the side, etc. When returning them to the closet, and this is true of all the different types of clothes, sort by color, sleeve length and item. For example, within the dresses put all of the same colors together and then sort by sleeveless, short sleeve and long sleeve. When this process is complete it allows you to see exactly what you own. It will also help you from buying the same item over and over again because either you didn’t know you already had it or because you couldn’t find it.
You will basically do the same thing for the drawers. The exception is that since the drawers are much smaller than the closet it is perfectly fine to empty one drawer completely before you start the purging part.
So now that you’ve gone through the purging process for all of the clothes you own, I know you’re glad that’s done, it’s now time to figure out your DIY closet organizer ideas. Otherwise known as what do I use to store all this stuff and where should it go? The average closet has one hanging bar and one shelf above that. You’re a lucky person if your closet is bigger or already has a closet system installed. That’s an extra point for you.
So what’s next? The key is to maximize the space and try to use all of the closet. Since you already have the hanging clothes in the closet you are one step ahead. You will now see that there is a lot of space that you can use under the clothes for shoes, bins, boxes, containers, etc. One of the best closet organizer ideas is to put shoes in clear plastic shoe boxes (with lids) and put pictures on them on the outside. The reason I like this as opposed to the shoe boxes they come in is mainly because they stack evenly and then you can also see inside them. Since these stack nicely you can stack about 4 boxes high under the clothes which gives you ample space for your vast shoe collection. I prefer bins or containers with lids because you can stack one on top of another. If they happen not to have a lid no problem. You’ll just use those at the top of the others. Some of the items you can put in these bins, boxes or containers are out of season clothes, extra purses, hats…anything is possible. If the items in these bins are not things you use daily then they could easily be stored on the shelf above the hanging bar. You always want to have access to the things you use most often. The same is true for the dresser drawers.
We all wish we had a huge walk-in closet that would house everything we ever purchased. Unfortunately, that is not the case for most of us. Therefore, we must find ways to work with the space we have. The best shoe organizers for small spaces is to think outside the box. You can always use an over the door shoe organizer or hanging shoe organizers or even sweater organizers. It may seem different but by using these you can put bins inside that will hold several pairs of shoes. Both of these are excellent options. The good thing about these is that that can hold more than one pair of sandals or flip flops which in essence creates more space. The clear shoe boxes that I mentioned above could also be an option if you don’t have tons of shoes. Afterall you will need a place to put all the boxes so this only works in a small space when you have a few.
Now that you’ve purged and decluttered, what are the best products or DIY closet organization ideas on a budget? As I mentioned previously, I love clear plastic shoe boxes for shoes. They are also a great size for others things as well. They can store scarves, swimsuits, and hats and gloves. Of course, this depends on the number that you own. My other go to are velvet covered hangers. The great thing about these is that they keep hard to hang items on the hanger. Things like camisoles, spaghetti strap tops and silky fabrics are great to use with these hangers. Again, because organization has become a billion dollar industry you can find these items in lots of different stores and at all different price points. However, it is easy enough to make your own. Yes, I said you can make your own. Just take a regular plastic hanger and wrap a pipe cleaner on the top towards the ends. And there you have it.
Shower hooks are great for hanging purses and belts and shower rings, of all sizes, are great for hanging knit camisoles and tanks.
The original shoe boxes can be used in your drawers to help organize those clothes. They are really good for bras, panties, socks, stockings, and the like. If they are too tall you can always cut them down. They are very easy to decorate too.
If you think outside the box there is no telling what you can come up with.