14 Closet Organization Ideas to Clear the Clutter

Kaitlyn Pacheco
Written by Kaitlyn Pacheco
Updated November 19, 2021
A woman putting away laundry neatly in her closet
Kostikovanata – stock.adobe.com

Make “I can’t find anything to wear” a thing of the past

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Is the chaos in your closet becoming too much to bear? Whether you have a reach-in closet, a walk-in closet, or something in-between, we have the closet organization ideas you need to structure your space with purpose. 

Clear the Closet Clutter

Before you start organizing your closet, it’s a good idea to go through everything and get rid of what you don’t wear, want, or need. The less you have, the easier it will be to get (and stay) organized. 

If the idea of clearing out your things is just as stressful to you as organizing a chaotic closet, keep these helpful tips in mind:

  • Take out everything and analyze each item piece by piece.

  • Create piles that represent specific categories (e.g. summer clothes, winter clothes, momentos, jewelry, etc.).

  • Start by getting rid of the clothing items that are old and useless (think rips, stains, wrong size, etc.).

  • Try on clothes before deciding to keep them to make sure they fit and look how you want.

  • Take a page from professional organizer Marie Kondo and ask if an item “sparks joy.” If the answer is no, donate it or recycle it into rags. 

Closet Organization Ideas

Now that you’ve narrowed down your closet items, it’s time to store them in a way that’s organized, functional, and pretty to look at. Below are organizer ideas that can be used in any closet—big or small. 

1. Shelf Dividers and Baskets

A wooden shelf with storage baskets
Kostikovanata – stock.adobe.com

Closet shelves are notorious for collecting clutter. Just when you think you’ve put your folded laundry away nicely, you come back to find the pile of jeans on your shelf has tipped over. Keep your clothes organized, neat, and separated with shelf dividers and baskets. 

2. Organization Labels

Older woman looking at a shirt in an organized closet with labeled storage boxes
AlesiaKan – stock.adobe.com

Get out your label maker and take organization to the next level. Labeling your shelves and storage boxes will take the guessing out of finding things and putting them away. 

3. Bins and Containers

A woman organizing her folded clothes in an organization basket
Sappheiros – stock.adobe.com

Use bins and containers to store seasonal items you aren’t using right now. Don’t forget to label your bins so you can quickly and easily swap out your clothes next season. 

To prevent your clothes from smelling mildewy while in storage for months, put a small dehumidifier pack in the bin. 

4. Built-In Drawers

A large walk-in closet with built-in drawers
Jodie Johnson – stock.adobe.com

Adding drawers to your closet is a great way to stay organized, especially if your bedroom isn’t large enough for a separate dresser. Custom build closet drawers to fit your space and organization needs. Take it a step further by placing trays and dividers inside each drawer to organize items like socks and undergarments. 

Small Closet Organizer Ideas

Do you have a reach-in closet or a walk-in that’s on the smaller side? No problem! Use these organizers to keep even the smallest spaces neat.   

5. Small Dresser

A small dresser in a walk-in closet
Coralimages – stock.adobe.com

Don’t have the time or budget for custom drawers? Find a small dresser that will fit neatly in your closet without getting in the way of the doors. If your closet is too small for a dresser, opt for a large filing cabinet or tiered plastic drawers. These can always be repurposed down the road if you decide you don’t want them in your closet anymore. 

6. Vacuum Bags

A woman storing clothes in a vacuum sealed bag
Евгений Вершинин – stock.adobe.com

If your closet is too small to store seasonal items in large bins or boxes, use vacuum bags to stowe them away. Place these space-savers on shelves, or slide them underneath your bed until it's time to swap out your clothes for next season. 

7. Under-Bed Storage

Three gray cloth storage containers under a white crib
Kristin – stock.adobe.com

Running out of room in your closet, but need more storage? If you have a raised bed frame, you may be able to fit an under-bed storage container underneath. These containers are great for storing multiple shoes if you don’t have closet space for a shoe rack. And they work especially under cribs in nurseries, concealing everything from extra blankets to loose toys 

Walk-In Closet Organizer Ideas

Yes—walk-in closets have the luxury of extra space, but with extra space comes more stuff to store. Use these organizers to keep your walk-in closet tidy, organized, and spacious. 

8. Designated Laundry Baskets

Two laundry baskets in a walk-in closet
Mariakray – stock.adobe.com

Piling up your dirty clothes on your closet floor can make the space look cluttered and chaotic. Not to mention that it’s a breeding ground for mold and mildew. 

Instead, invest in designated laundry baskets (bonus organization points if it can separate your laundry by darks and lights). Make sure the laundry baskets you choose are large enough to hold the amount of clothes that typically build up between washes.  

9. Shoe Rack

A bright, clean wardrobe with a floor to ceiling shoe rack
Photographee.eu – stock.adobe.com

Having an organized system in your closet for shoes is a game changer. It not only saves you time when you’re getting ready, but also keeps your floor space clean and clear. 

There are a few different storage options here, including a shoe rack, an over-the-door shoe bag, boxes, containers, or built-in shelving. 

10. Over-the-Door Storage

A robe hanging on an over-the-door hook
Africa Studio – stock.adobe.com

Over-the-door storage is a type of organizer that hangs over the back of your closet door. These organizers can come in the form of hooks, storage bags, and even shelving/baskets. 

The only set-back is that you must have a hinge door on your closet to use this type of organizer. Unfortunately, it will not work on folding or sliding doors. 

DIY Closet Organizer Ideas

Take closet organization into your own hands with these customizable DIY ideas. 

11. Shelving

A large closet with built in shelving
Sucharn – stock.adobe.com

Adding shelving to your closet is a great way to create more space for organization. Choose simple floating shelves or an additional rack shelving unit that you can also use to hang clothes. 

Make the most out of your closet shelves by using baskets and boxes to keep items separated and organized. 

12. Jewelry Organizer

A DIY wall jewelry organizer with grid wire backing
Pixel-shot – stock.adobe.com

Do you have jewelry lying around in different places? Make your own jewelry organizer out of a pegboard or wire mesh frame. 

If you’re using a pegboard, simply hang earrings from the peg holes and install hooks to hold necklaces, bracelets, and rings. With wire mesh, clasp jewelry in place around the grid. Install “s” hooks or a small shelf for other jewelry items that don’t clasp.  

13. Shower Curtain Rings

A close up of a woman hanging fabric on curtain rings
Yaroslav1986 – stock.adobe.com

Though scarves and hats make great accessories, they can be a pain to organize in a closet. The solution? Hang multiple accessories on one hanger using shower curtain rings. This DIY is easy—all you need to do is hang shower curtain rings on the bottom of a hanger. You can then hang multiple scarves, hats, ties, or other accessories from the shower curtain rings. 

14. Hooks

A DIY wooden bracket with hanging hooks in a closet
Michael Kachalov – stock.adobe.com

Adding hooks to your closet is both easy and affordable. Even the most inexperienced DIYers can take on this project. Install closet hooks one of two ways: twist a hook screw into the wall itself, or purchase a hook rack and use drills to secure it to the wall. 

For renters, opt for hooks with temporary adhesive backing so you can enjoy the organization benefits of wall hooks without losing your security deposit. 

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