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My closet has needed a serious overhaul for a long time, but I’ve finally tackled it and am sharing my tips to organize your closet for free. Yep, I didn’t spend a dime and my closet is nice and tidy at long last.
I’ve been on an organization binge as of late, possibly due to my new workout and nutrition regimen. You know how one good choice leads to another, so I think becoming more regimented with exercising and eating right is carrying over to making positive changes in other areas of my life.
And now let’s take a walk down memory lane. This was the state of my closet before…
Please excuse the photos – the lighting is terrible in my closet. A lighting kit is on my wishlist for this blog!
I’m not proud. I’ve had a few pseudo systems in place that sort of worked for me (like separating my clothes by color and grouping like items), but they definitely needed a little – er… a lot – of tweaking. I had my accessories like my bags, scarves and necklaces and my jewelry holder all in one area, but they were crowded and tangled together.
I was also storing our suitcases on the top shelf which took up a ton of space. Plus, I had some bins of decor items and photos stashed on one of the shelves. Why? Because at the time I didn’t know where else to put them.
I also share this closet with my husband so the space you see is pretty much what I’ve got to work with and it was just incredibly overcrowded.
My shoes take up a short wall by the closet door and are stashed on a homemade shoe rack (a small bookshelf turned on its side). But they had no absolutely no organization. And with everything else on my closet spilling out over them, they just added to the messiness.
So I set to work sorting, purging and reworking the whole space. It took me about two hours. I had to resist taking a walk down memory lane over a few finds that I discovered, but I just set those aside to continue work on the project at hand. It was a Sunday evening and I did not want to start Monday with a huge, heaping mess in my closet, so that helped motivate me to focus and get it done.
And this is the result!
I can actually see the floor! Can we all just say a collective “ahhhh”?
The whole process took me about two hours and I spent exactly zero dollars. Yes, zero! It is possible to organize your closet without spending any money. Of course, a fancy closet organizing system and some pretty baskets and bins are on my wish list for the future, but I am so happy with result I keep going in there just to look at my newly tidied space. 😉
Before I started I did a little reading and watching of other organization blogs/vlogs (Just a Girl and her Blog, Do It on a Dime and How Jen Does It are three of my favorites). I gleaned a few tips and ideas on closet organization and these are a few of the ones that I think were the most helpful.
P.S. I’d love to hear from you if you attempt to organize your closet. Drop me a note and let me know how it went, your challenges, what worked and what didn’t.
Closet Organization Tip Number 1: Sort your Clothes by Seasons
First things first, I sorted through my clothes and separated my fall/winter wardrobe from my spring/summer. Bulky sweaters and sweatshirts were folded and put on the top shelf according to color. Then I pulled out all my spring/summer items (sundresses, white pants, etc.) and moved them all to end of the rack, so the first things I see are seasonally appropriate items.
I pulled out any stray hangers, as well. I put these all together in a corner of the lowest shelf of my closet to be able to easily grab whenever I need to re-hang an item.
It’s great to not have to dig through all of my clothes to find something suitable for the season we’re in, so that alone was a big help. I applied the same principle to my shoes – putting the ones I’ll be wearing most in the next few months toward the front and the others moved to the back.
Closet Organization Tip Number 2: Find a New Home for Seldom Used Items
My luggage found a new home in the attic. We honestly don’t use it much – we camp a lot and usually use duffel bags as luggage, so having the bulky suitcases taking up my valuable closet real estate was not working for me.
I also moved the box of decor and pictures to another bin in another closet (that will be getting an overhaul soon), along with a box of baby clothes. My kids are 9, 11 and 12. I do not need a box of their baby clothes in my closet. It can go in their keepsake bins which are stored in THEIR closets.
Closet Organization Tip Number 3: Sort By Category and Color
As the saying goes, “a place for everything and everything in its place.” So I separated my clothes in the order of sweaters first, then shirts, then tunics and dresses, then skirts, then pants*. I did this for no particular reason other than I wear a lot of cardigans this time of year and I usually pick those out first, then my tops, then pants or skirt. Simple as that.
*I share my closet with my husband so those are his shirts to the right of my sweaters. I only tackled my side of the closet this go-round. His side is next, but you know… baby steps. 🙂
I have always color-categorized my clothes. Don’t know why, but they are generally hung from light to dark. It just helps me find things faster when I know where, say, my purple tunic top is or my yellow shirt with the ruffles. Purples are generally near the darks and yellows near the lights. It’s just easy.
Closet Organization Tip Number 4: Give Bulkier Items Enough Space
I had my big bags hung with my jewelry holder and my scarves on the lowest shelf in my closet. It was the worst part of my closet because they would often fall and just sit there in a big heap until I tried to untangle it all and rehang everything. I also seldom vacuumed underneath it all because pulling all that stuff out was such a pain.
So I put my two biggest bags – my big canvas beach bag and my big Thirty-One bag on a shelf all their own. I took my other bags and hung them from the shelf above. They aren’t crammed in anywhere and I can see everything that I have, including the fact that my bags are all black. I think I need to branch out a bit.
Tip Number 5: Hand Scarves on Hangers and Necklaces from Command Hooks
So my scarves I loosed tied about 3-4 to a hanger. It’s easy to just grab the hanger and choose a scarf or move the hanger out of the way if I want to vacuum. I’d also been hanging my necklaces from a hanger, but they were always tangled together. Tangled was the theme of my closet, lol.
I have currently them hanging from the knobs of my bathroom cabinets, but my plan is to put them on Command Hooks on the blank wall above my shoes in my closet. I saw this on How Jen Does it and think it’s a great, low-cost way to keep them neat and organized.
Closet Organization Tip Number 6: You Don’t Have to Pull Everything Out of Your Closet to Organize it
This was one of the hang-ups (no pun intended) I had about organizing my closet. I didn’t want to totally clean it all out and start from scratch. I know there are popular organization books (ie. the Konmari method) and even my favorite bloggers often recommend pulling everything out and starting clean, but mama ain’t got time for that!
So I organized everything right where it was, shifting it around to get it into order. First, I knew those suitcases were going to find a new home so I took those out and set them aside in my bedroom. Then I took out the boxes of decor/photos, the bag of baby clothes, a box of my grandma’s old costume jewelry (I really thought I’d wear it, but I never could pull it off). After that was done I started on the clothes. I started on one end, pulling the off-season items out and moving them to the back of the rack and making two small piles of things to give away or throw away. But I didn’t dump my whole closet onto the floor. I didn’t find that necessary or appealing, because knowing me, I would get overwhelmed and walk away from it leaving it messier than before.
Of course, if it works for you to organize your closet with a clean slate, more power to you. But if you’re like me and mess overwhelms you, tackling it this way was less stressful. Plus, if I didn’t finish I didn’t have a huge heap of stuff all over my floor. But I was able to tidy up my closet to a very satisfactory level without a starting from scratch.
So there are my 6 tips to organize your closet for free that I hope are helpful to you. As I was cleaning I did come up with a few organizational items that I would like to eventually purchase to create an even more organized space.
Tools to Organize your Closet
But for now I’m just glad it’s tidy and organized and I didn’t spend a penny! And you can organize your closet for free, too! Just a pick a rainy Sunday, set aside a couple of hours and you’ll be on your way to closet heaven.
What’s preventing you from trying to organize your closet? Drop me a line below and let me know your biggest closet organization obstacles are and maybe together we can find a solution.