Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Organizational Tips & Tricks: Master Closet Edition

Today I'm linking up with Andrea at the Momfessionals Blog for one of my favorite things; organizational tips & tricks!

I love organizing and keeping a neat life so when I saw this linkup I brainstormed my ideas.  Do I share my planner and calendars (yes, I have multiple), how I organize my nail polish and make up, under our bathroom sinks, our pantry, my "Christina" folder (to do lists, meal planning, home work, expenses, etc.), cleaning schedule, the opportunities were endless!

First I narrowed it down and decided to go with hidden spaces; linen closet, under sinks, pantry, garage shelves, and our closet.  Then that was way too much for just one post so I picked my favorite and decided to go with how I organize... our closet!
I definitely foresee some more organizational posts in the near future to plan some of the others listed above

Our closet is a fun one to share because when we were designing our house last year, I spent LOTS of time searching Pinterest finding ideas and making my own sketches.  

My top key tips for keeping an organized closet

1. Maximize your space
My two previous closets were much smaller than my current one but they were perfect for me and all I needed because if you get creative and maximize your space, you'll be good to go.

2. Categorize 
Keep similar types of styles together.  It makes it so much easier to find what your looking for.  
(some people like organizing by color but then you could have a plain tshirt next to a nice blouse)

See closet photos below for examples

3. Don't cram it all in
Don't cram everything into your main closet just so it's all in one place.  If there's items that can be kept in a different place, keep them there.  

Have a coat closet?  Keep all your outdoor gear there - not just your coats but snow boots, rain boots, hats/gloves/outdoor scarves, rain coats, etc.  If not, you could always get a coat tree or a hallway organizer with compartments for the boot, glove like items.

Have guest rooms with extra closets?  Keep your nicer dresses for weddings, nights out, etc. in one of those closets since they are just used on occasion and having them all together in one spot will also make it easy for decision making.  If there's a shelf, pop your fancy shoes on top of the shelf.

If you really have the space, consider shoe, purse and/or accessory closet.  I considered doing this at first with one of our office closets but then everything worked in the main closet.

4. Seasonal Switching 
  I've always been big into "seasonal" clothes

I make two big closet changes each year - for fall and spring and tweak it a little at the start of summer and winter - Ex. in a couple months, I'll get all my heavy sweaters and such out (leaving just a few in case temperatures drop) and put my spring tops, shorts, tshirts, etc.  By this time I'm so ready for winter to be over, so that's why I only keep my favorites around (in the front of the closet, easy to take out) and a little prematurely get ready for the summer months.  Once the spring is here to stay, I get rid of the last of the winter and bring in the final more "summery items."

This cycle repeats again around the start of September - all the bright colors (sadly) are removed and pants, long sleeves and boots are brought in.  I keep a couple light weight tops around for the rest of September.  Around November I grab out my real winter gear and am good to go for the cold months.

Same goes for shoes - you do not need the shoes your not wearing in your closet if you don't have the space (if you do have the space, more power to you!).

5. Staples
An exception for the season switching rule is to always keep a few staples. Classic tshirts, a couple hoodies, yoga pants, etc. are good to keep in the back of your closet all year long.

6. Give Aways
When packing up my clothes to put in storage at the end of each season, if there was something I didn't really wear that year, I still put it away for the season.  When getting the clothes back out for the NEXT season, I immediately hang up my favorites and make a pile of things I'm unsure about.  I try those on and decide if I'm not going to wear them anymore, into the go away bag they go.  I like to keep them the extra year because sometimes tastes change and I pull out something two years later and fall in love again.  If I am not going to wear something, its much better to just get rid of it rather than cramming my closet, somebody else out there needs it more and I make some space.

7. Clean Outs
I love how my closet looks and feels right after one of the seasonal switches.  It's so clean and tidy.

When putting laundry away it is so easy to just throw clothes on the rack instead of where they are suppose to go.  Every month or every other month, I go through and get everything back in order.

8. Use ALL your space
If there is open space, there's most likely a way you can use it - just brainstorm!  We had a huge open space in the middle of our closet and after brainstorming we made our own island for it.

Ok, how about we take a look at my closet now… Welcome!

I love having a double level closet.  Most clothes can fit in a double level so we did most of our closet this way - we measured it out but you could just eyeball it also.  We do have a section straight back for dresses, robes and longer pieces.
The white cubbies in the middle are an easy DIY.  I knew I wanted an island in the middle of our closet but wasn't sure what size/shape or what kind.  I had a couple of those white three cubbie shelves from Target (Closetmaid brand, I believe) and began playing around with them and decided to make my own!  I went to multiple local targets to stock up and decided five was the perfect amount.  Our contractor made a base and bottom for the cubbies but this is something you  could easily do yourself also.
The cubbies are awesome for accessories - I store most of my jewelry/headbands and headwater here while Derek stores hats, belts and some shoes.  We each store some sweats in the bottom cubbies too.

The top of the island is perfect for laying out outfits for the next day (or dropping a shopping bag post mall trip) as well as my "drop area" and necklace holders.
Everyone has a drop spot right?! This is key for me because at night I'm always too tired to put things where they are suppose to go.  For Christmas I got a Lilly Pulitzer tray for a bigger drop area - then once a week, I usually put things back where they need to go.  Unless they are usually daily items, then I just let them be.

In the very front of the racks, I usually try to leave a gap to hang outfits for the week or at least the next day.  We usually do the same thing on Derek's side.
Ah my necklaces, I love keeping these organized.  I've tried everything from scarf holders to tie racks until last year I finally fell in love with these organizers.  I usually keep these organized by color - right now all my neutrals are on my side and my bright summer necklaces are facing Derek's side - in a couple months I'll switch them around.
When we planned our closet, I knew I also wanted a way to keep my scarves neatly organized because with so many, unfortunately sometimes it's out of sight out of mind.  If it's hard to see them, I sometimes forget about them.  Thanks to these shoe racks, I have a great system; I have a total of four shoe racks, two on the bottom and two stacked on the top and they provide a nice little shelf perfect for the scarves, I roll them in and categorize them by color, pattern, heavy, light, etc.
They have a great little spot because what else would have gone there?! You could also stack the shelves on the top shelves of a closet but since I'm short it's nice to just kneel on the floor and make my choice.
Another key for our new closet was I knew I wanted to have a nice section for my shoes.  I knew I wanted different size cubbies to accommodate my winter shoes (in the summer I'll just have a little extra space) but as you can see the bottom level is big enough for tall boots and the two above that are big enough for short boots - the rest are the same size and can fit anything a wedge/heel or smaller.
Organized by type as well as color
Derek uses the top levels for his shoes (he also has some more in the cubbies) and I keep my nicer purses up here too.
Other than my nicer purses that need to be protected in their bags, I keep all my other clutches, side bags, purses underneath my bottom level of clothes.  Maximizing space.
Like I said in the tips above, I like to keep my clothes organized by category. Some sections include: dressy short sleeve tops, dressy long sleeve tops, plaid tops, work tops, jeans/pants, vests, casual tops, sweaters, workout clothes, t-shirts, etc.

Any ideas for the top rack empty space????
I (try) to help Derek keep his side organized as well. (My side is bigger but not by that much and we each have an even amount of dresser space too).
Maximizing our space, we also have our full length mirror behind the door.  Our shower is also attached to the master bathroom so we each have our own larger mirror out there too.


  1. Those necklace organizers are awesome. I have so many necklaces I never wear because they're hidden away in an old school jewelry box. I think I need to track those down!

  2. I love all of your closet space and how you hang your necklaces! -Astleigh


  3. Girlfriend!! Your closet is hugee!! Love how you put the cubicles in there - well done!

  4. Love your shoe organization! Where can I find cubbies like that. I have been searching around. My closet isn't nearly as big but I can them in the spare bedroom.

    1. Target! If not in the store, then definitely online!