Make closets feel bigger and function more efficiently with these simple ways to streamline storage and organization.
Organize How You Use It
Whatever your closet corrals, it's more likely to stay orderly if it's organized by how you use it. Each season, set aside time to declutter and throw away items that are no longer needed. Relegate out-of-season decor, accessories, and clothing to high shelves and bring relevant items to the forefront. Place heavy, frequently used items on lower shelves or at floor level for easy access and lifting.
Bins & Baskets
Perfect for toys and clothes alike, bins and baskets are inexpensive; available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials; and are equally at home storing just about anything. Sort like with like, and label each container. The key to returning things to where they belong is labeling -- not only the containers, but also the shelves where they belong. Tag labels looped through basket handles can be moved around as needs or seasons change. A lidded container will shrug off dust and keep contents from spilling should it take a tumble.
Customize Your Closet
Elevate a basic closet with a customizable system of bins, rods, hooks, and cubbies. From over-the-door organizers to self-adhesive hooks, vertical storage is a lifesaver in most small closets. Store overflow items, such as paper products and cleaning supplies, near the house entry for quick and easy retrieval. In this cleaning supplies closet, labeled door caddies stocked with cleaning equipment take advantage of back-of-door space. Hang a collapsible step stool inside the door for quick access to items stashed on high shelves. If your home has young children or pets, place cleaning contents near the top, and lock cabinets for safety.
A hook requires mere inches of wall or door space and can be positioned at any height. Try dangling a satchel, jewelry, or scarves on a set of hooks. Hang kids' backpacks and jackets on lower hooks so they can reach without needing to ask for assistance. An over-the-door pocket organizer frees up floor space and makes tidying up a snap.
I'm Jill Waage with Better Homes and Gardens. At first glance, all bedroom closets may appear to be created equal, but like many things in life, it's what's on the inside that really counts. We've outfitted 1 basic closet to meet the needs of 2 on-the-go individuals. Instead of 2 hanging bars to organize his wardrobe of shirts and pants, we started with 1 bar, and then rolled in a versatile trouser trolley for his slacks, khakis, and jeans. Neckties hang from the wire insert. Folded sweaters stay fresh by placing them in top of a specially-sized sueder palette. Again, this drawer is hooked on to vertical braces just like hanging bars or shelves. And with the addition of inexpensive canvas bins, these drawers are ideal for organizing folded garments like t-shirts, underwear, socks, and accessories. A low-angled shelf makes it easy to pick out the right pair of shoes, while acrylic boxes protects favorite footwear. Just press down on the tab to open. First side of the closet also features wall-mounted drawers for folded garments. Using solid-framed drawers means she could have a small vanity area. It's perfect for trying on jewelry and other finishing touches. In addition to more cubbies to put all of her footwear, her side also includes acrylic shoe boxes, but these are sized for her shoes, and even include a special slot for extra high heels. And rather than sacrificing limited space inside the closet to long-hanging garments, an over-the-door rack holds her favorite dresses and long coats. 2 people sharing 1 small space requires clever strategies to keep both parties happy. In this closet, vertical dividers keep garments organized by types and by person. To gather laundry for 2 people, place a hamper in an accessible spot. This door-mounted canvas bin is a great way to squeeze in a hamper when floor space is limited. Make the most of upper shelves in a shared closet by labeling the bottoms of the containers so they are easier to read, and by including a step stool so everyone can easily get purses, extra beddings, or off-season clothing. Sharing a closet requires some creativity, but with a little planning and some great storage add-ons, you can transform an ordinary closet into a smart storage space for 2. For Better Homes and Gardens, I'm Jill Waage.