Few things in our home can be as satisfying as a tidy closet where everything has its place. In reality, the dream of neatly folded, carefully sorted clothes rarely lasts more than a few days before chaos sneaks in and takes over. And when things get out of control, it is hard to restore order. The bigger the mess, the more likely you are to postpone organizing your closet. Eventually, you find yourself wearing the same things over and over just because digging through piles of clothes is too much trouble. Whether you have been busy, lazy, or your walk-in closet organization method didn’t work out, you can always roll up your sleeves and start over. If your favorite T-shirt is buried who knows where, that means you are in need of some good organizing tips and storage ideas for your walk-in closet.
Empty and clean your walk-in closet
First, you need to empty the closet. Remove every item starting from the bottom and finish with the hanging clothes. Once everything that has accumulated over the years is out, clean your entire walk-in closet. Wipe the shelves and mirrors, vacuum and mop the floor and let it dry completely before stepping on it. This is also a good opportunity to paint the walls, fix any loose shelves, etc. If you’re re-painting the walls, installing new shelves or giving them a fresh coat of paint, have in mind that peaceful and light tones visually expand the space.
Declutter your walk-in closet regularly
Before you start putting everything back, decide what to purge. If you edit your wardrobe regularly, it will never become messy and difficult to navigate.
Divide your belongings into three piles – keep, toss, and donate. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Is it damaged?
- Does it fit me?
- Do I still wear it?
Damaged items should not be sitting in your closet taking up valuable space. By tossing, we don’t mean taking ripped, worn, and stained clothes and shoes to the nearest dumpster. Look for clothing recycling bins in your neighborhood! Many textile recycling programs will take clothing items in any condition.
Try not to be sentimental. If you have not worn something in a year or more, there is no reason to keep it even if it’s good as new. Your unwanted clothes could make someone else very happy. Do the same with the items that don’t fit you, unless you are determined to lose/gain weight.
Space-saving storage ideas for your walk-in closet
After getting rid of unwanted items, rethink your current layout and storage system. Even a huge walk-in closet can look small when it’s messy and cluttered. On the other hand, if you organize your storage space with some creativity, the tiniest walk-in closet will appear spacious.
- Categorizing is key to organizing a walk-in closet, or any closet for that matter. You can divide items by type and further categorize by color. For example, hang all blazers together and all black blazers next to each other.
- Save the most prominent spots of the closet for the items you wear most frequently and put everything else in the back.
- Hanging your clothes is one of the most practical storage ideas for your walk-in closet. It prevents wrinkles and keeps everything easily accessible. To maximize space, we suggest dedicating an entire wall of the closet to clothing rods. It is a good idea to install double hang rods to hang items like shirts and pants. You will also need a space to hang long clothing items such as long dresses, robes, coats or jumpsuits.
- However, you should avoid those wire hangers you get at the drycleaners. They may take up less space but they aren’t sturdy enough for heavier items. Moreover, they can actually damage your clothes. Besides, they don’t look very chick, do they? Invest in uniform plastic or wood hangers instead.
- Depending on your budget, closet type, and personal preferences, you can opt for built-in shelving, drawers, clear plastic containers, rustic crates, decorative baskets, or boxes. To find what you’re looking for more easily, add labels to the containers.
- Another useful storage idea for your walk-in closet is creating compartments inside your drawers to separate different items. This is an easy and inexpensive way to organize your drawers and prevent clutter. If you need to fold clothing inside your drawers, fold them upright so the drawer looks like a file cabinet. Not only will you make the most of your drawer space, but you’ll also be able to see everything.
- Use shoe racks or tension rods for shoes. Store your shoes, boots, and sneakers on the floor of your walk-in closet underneath hanging clothes. Pool noodles can be repurposed as boot inserts. Just cut them and insert them into boots to help maintain their shape. If you have more space, you can showcase your favorite pairs of stilettos on open shelves. A more practical option would be keeping them in their original boxes to avoid dust and exposure to sunlight.
Extra storage tips
- Every walk-in closet needs a mirror, especially if the closet is small. A strategically placed mirror creates an illusion of space and adds more light. Hanging two full-length mirrors on two opposite walls would be ideal. With this practical addition, you can try out different outfits without leaving your walk-in closet. Additionally, even a small mirror with a nice frame will make your closet look more stylish.
- Use LED lights, chandeliers, or garlands to add more light to your walk-in closet. There are also mirrors with built-in lights available. Additional light will make finding things much easier. Also, the entire closet will feel less claustrophobic and more inviting.
- In addition to clever storage ideas for your walk-in closet, you need something to keep it smelling fresh and absorb foul odors. As an alternative to standard air fresheners, you can use strongly-scented soap, perfumed cotton balls or tissue paper, coffee grounds, etc.