Six Steps to Organize Your Closet in One Weekend
How to Organize Your Closet in One Weekend
If you are blessed enough to have a spare closet in your home, you will love the ideas described below for getting your space organized to suit your needs. You might even be able to apply some of them to your own master closet, allowing you to maximize space and give you more function in the space.
Closets are fun to organize, and because they are usually a small space, the project can be completed in a weekend. This makes it clear to see the finish line. It is best to enlist some help before you start. Many times another person will visualize your space totally different than you see it, offering another level of beauty or function. This month, I wanted to share the steps I took to organize the guest room closet of a real client. I will tell you how I planned and organized the space, what I purchased, and what I built in the space to improve the function.
This guest closet was not cluttered or overcrowded, but there was little organization for what was in it. You can see from the before picture that guests did not venture into the closet to hang their clothing on the available hanging space (see shirt and tie hanging on hook bottom right). As organizers, our goal is to think about every possible function in a space and improve it to match the client’s lifestyle. Here are the six steps we used for this closet project.
Determine What to Store
Step 1: The first question to ask yourself when starting an organizing project in a closet is what you would like to store in the space. It is not what is currently in the closet, but what items should be in it and what items should be moved to another space.
Measure Storage Space and Create Basic Plan
Step 2: Using a tape measure and graph paper, take measurements of the areas that need improvement. This is for planning and shopping. Using graph paper, draw out the main walls of your closet with each square on the paper representing one square foot. Then start thinking about ways to maximize your space. In our case we wanted to better utilize the bare wall to the right. At the start, the closet wall just contained hooks, so we had plenty of options. In your closet, create zones for item grouping. Consider all giftwrap in one area, home décor in another, etc. It is best to start with an overall plan and change as you progress.
Shop for Organizing Supplies
Step 3: This step can be a lot of fun. It’s time to take your measurements and your basic organizing plan and go shopping. For our closet example, I knew that I wanted to add a bookshelf to the bare wall with the hooks. I determined the depth of the new case based on the width of the open area and the bins I wanted to use for maximum storage. Even with a deeper than average shelving unit there would be plenty of walking space, so I gained more storage space and great function.
Sort Your Items
Step 4: Once your items are purchased, it is time to find your help, roll up your sleeves, and start organizing. Pull everything out of the closet and sort into “like” piles; party supplies in a box with other party supplies, home décor with home décor, and so on. Do not worry about purging items at this point as you will do this after the sorting is complete. Stay focused on one task at a time. After everything is out of the closet and in a group, go through each group and get rid of things you do not need or want. Put aside for donating, selling, recycling, or trash.
Set Up Your Storage Units
Step 5: Now you should reassess what you purchased and build the pieces that will form the organization of your space. In our closet example, I built the bookshelf and put together the wire mesh drawers. Once they were built, I put them into position in the closet so I could begin putting items in their new home.
Determine Where to Store Items
Step 6: As you put groups of items in their zones, consider how often you use the items or who will have to reach them. If they are seasonal, put them higher or in the back. If kids or small adults need access to them, keep those items on lower shelves or add a stepstool to the closet. In the organizing of our closet, I moved some groups towards the end of the project to make the best use of space. It’s like a puzzle; give everything a home in a way that makes sense for your lifestyle. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
In the after picture (above right) you can see the end result. The client had large pieces of art that were rotated seasonally. I did not want to put them on the floor, so I used the large open wall to the left to hang the artwork. More artwork can be hung as needed with the addition of more hardware.
Straight to the back of the closet is the giftwrap station. The wire drawers below and the plastic drawers above each contain something different. There are places for bags, bows, and ribbon, and drawers for gift cards, pen, tape, and scissors. I added the laminate top to the wire drawer structure to create a gift wrapping station.
The white bookshelf is “L” bracketed to the wall to prevent it from falling forward from the weight of the contents or a child climbing it to get something. The bookshelf holds photos in boxes at the bottom and some of the fabric bins contain empty photo frames. Remember earlier when I mentioned the deeper shelves on the bookcase? By purchasing deep shelving, the fabric bins can go front to back instead of sideways, allowing room for more bins.
I added more wire drawers elsewhere in the closet, stacked to maximize the space for home décor items. These wire drawers were also secured to the wall to prevent them from tipping forward when opened.
You will notice we removed the original clothing bar to create more space for the drawers. Because this closet will still be used for guests’ clothing, we had to provide a hanging space. I added a product called InstaHANGAR® which can mount over a door or on a wall. It can collapse down to be out of the way, or pull out to hold up to 50 lbs. of clothing. This prevents guests from having to go into the closet to reach their clothing.
ALGOT systems at IKEA® for the gift wrap
MonkeyHooks® to hold heavy duty pictures
BILLY bookcase at IKEA® (available in additional sizes and finishes)
Fabric storage bins (available in many colors) at Walmart
InstaHANGER® at The Container Store®
Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws. You can connect with Get Organized! on Facebook, follow Get Organized! on Twitter and connect with Lorraine Brock on LinkedIn.