Organizing the Master Closet {11 Closet Tips}

Organizing the Master Closet {11 Closet Tips}

how to organize a master closet or any closetYou’ve been feeling the suspense building. After the sock drawer, the junk drawer, and the linen closet, and the pantry, you are surely ready to tackle your master closet now. I gave you some general closet organizing tips yesterday, but you might have wanted to wait for the weekend to get started. Well, I’m going to show you my closet and how it’s organized, to inspire you in yours.

Remember, we’re going for a project of 30 minutes or less. If your closet is the size of a Manhattan apartment, you have a layer of clothes 6 inches thick on your floor, or you have never, ever done this before, then you might need to break this up into several smaller projects, like shoes one day, drawers one day, and purging through hanging items over a couple of days.

Like most of you, I have a small closet, only five feet wide, so it’s got to work hard for me.

how to organize a closet-beforeI follow a simple closet map…tops on the top, and bottoms on the bottom. You can see that the sweaters on both shelves are trying to escape. We’ll get to those.

I do have a sliver of a closet for dresses and suits, but this is my basic wardrobe, and it covers all seasons. I do not have time or room for a summer/winter wardrobe switch.

1. Sort and Purge

You might be surprised that even I have items to purge from the wardrobe. The rules are always the same: if it needs unreasonable mending, if it’s not flattering, too badly stained, if it doesn’t fit now, or I just don’t like it enough to have worn it in the last year, then it needs to be donated. About a dozen things got donated this time, and the stack of sweatshirts are being moved to deep storage in a drawer.

how to sort and purge in a closet

2. Organizing Scarves

I do have a few things that work really well for me. My few scarves are currently on a velvet flocked scarf hanger that I got at 5Below.

Closet organizing (8)

3. Hanging Thin Sweaters

Most sweaters get folded, but the thin ones get hung over a pants hanger, so they don’t end up with creases.

organizing sweaters the the closet

4. Hanging Pants

For pants, I like the dry-cleaner hangers the best, although hubby and I have both tried to warm up to special pants hangers (shown in the back of this picture). They do hang about three inches higher from the floor, but I’m not stressing over it in my closet.

pants hangers when organizing in closet

5. Keep Hangers Handy

Speaking of hangers, mine never leave my closet. Why spend time wrangling them? I just stack mine at the end of the rod, and they are all neatly available when I bring a clean load of laundry back in to hang. A nice little side effect is that my closet always has the same amount of hangers. No more, no less. If I bring something new in, I have to use the hangers I already have, and that usually means parting with something else. My mix of white plastic and velvet flocked hangers work for my wardrobe.

6. Shoe Shelves

My shoes are all neatly stored on shoe racks. I love, love, love shoe cubbies, but I like these even better, because they are adjustable, so I can fit more shoes in than I could with cubbies. They are also ventilated, allowing air to pass in and around the shoes. That’s got to be good.

organizing shoes in the closet

7. Laundry Baskets Eliminate Sorting

Right under the shoe racks, I store 2 of my 3 laundry baskets. Hubby has the other one on his side of the closet. We use these instead of hampers. You can read more about our laundry magic here.

laundry baskets when organizing in a closet

8. Down with Dry Cleaning

I went ahead and threw the shirt that is dry clean only in the laundry. I am not fond of dry cleaning. Not really sure why I own this shirt. I figure, if it comes out of the delicate cycle ok, then it was meant to be mine. If not, out it goes.

9. Wrinkle Release Spray

I am about as fond of ironing as I am of dry cleaning. If you haven’t tried Downy Wrinkle Release, you are missing out. The only thing I iron anymore is curtains. This one looks like it’s been through the war, since we dropped it and broke part of the sprayer off, but I would still fight you for it.

wrinkle release in the closet

10. Separate and See What You’ve Got!

But my favorite organize gadget is by far these slide-on acrylic shelves. I started carrying these for clients this year, and honestly can not keep them in stock. Look at what they do for my sweaters!!! Squee!! So simple. They work great for keeping purses from squishing each other, too.

If you’d like some at your next appointment, just email me.

Organizing sweaters in the closet

11. If You Don’t Wear It…

Are you squeezed for space, even in a good sized closet? Do you feel like you hold onto more than you want to? You may think you are wearing your entire wardrobe, but are you really? Usually, we wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time. That means that 80% of our clothes are taking up space, not feeling the love. You’ve probably heard of this trick before, and it’s so simple. Just turn your hangers backwards on the rod, like this. If you still have anything hanging backwards by the end of the year, you should feel good about parting with it.

how to organize a closetSo this was the “normal” picture, not bad. But a little sprucing is definitely called for.

how to organize a closet-before

Ready for the big reveal?  Ta da!

perfectly organized closet


Yes, I honestly spruced up my closet, purged, and added the shelf dividers in about 30 minutes.

What kind of a difference could you make while organizing your closet in 30 minutes or less?

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