Realistic Rental Redo: How To Organize A Closet And Maximize Space

Closets inevitably become disorganized, messy and cluttered if there’s no rhyme or reason to them, so to keep your closet in order, we have a few simple but necessary closet organization tips to follow. Usually closets never feel big enough, but with these space management tricks, you can maximize the size of your closet.

organized closet

Yes, a clutter-free closet is possible. (Photo courtesy Rubbermaid Products on Flickr)

How to Organize a Closet

Storage Compartments

Closet organizers like shelves and bins can do wonders for utilizing space. Storage units should be used for anything that isn’t on hangers in a closet, like shoes, accessories, delicates or foldable clothing. These kinds of dividers and containers can be placed below hung clothing to use that open space to make room for more items so they don’t all wind up on the floor, under the bed, or bulging out of dresser drawers. Bigger, clunky items like sporting equipment can be put on top of shelving.

closet before 1st lake

We used a real 1st Lake Properties closet to put our tips to the test. Here’s the “before closet.” It’s still pretty neat, but it can definitely be more organized.

To maximize space, store any items you aren’t actively using in boxes or baskets. Aim to place these at the very top of your shelving, along with sporting equipment and other large, infrequently used items. You can color code these boxes or baskets to help you know what’s inside without having to reach for them. Here at 1st Lake, we use blue baskets for bedding and brown baskets for books and other miscellaneous items. This creates harmony and peace in the closet and helps us maintain a clean, organized look.

closet after 1st lake

Storage boxes and shelving units make a huge difference!

As a general rule, you’ll want to store things in the following order:

  • Place most-used items at eye level
  • Place less-used items below
  • Place least-used items up higher

    bike closet bella ridge

    This closet at our Bella Ridge property is spacious to hold all your clothes… plus sporting equipment!

Sort by Season

A simple way to organize your closet seasonally is to place your most-used items of the current season in a visible, accessible location. If it’s winter, place your summer clothes and bathing suits in storage bins so they won’t take up the needed space for jackets, pants and sweaters. If it’s spring time (or even if it’s not) spring cleaning is always a good idea. Take a closet inventory, and separate unwanted clothes to make room for what’s really needed. Then, donate those unwanted items and pat yourself on the back for doing something good.

Once you’re in good shape for a particular season, here are a few more simple tips on sorting your clothes:

  • Face all hangers the same way. A small tip that makes a big impact!
  • Consider color coding your wardrobe to help you see what pieces you have and how you can mix and match them.
  • If you have a shared closet space, use a divider (like a shoe hanger) to designate your own space. Speaking of shoes…

Organizing Your Shoes

Though a very famous character from a glamorous NYC show dismissed closet shoe organizers as unthinkably tasteless, real ladies should think twice before thumbing their noses at these handy space savers. Amazon.com, Kmart, Target, and other such retailers sell a variety of types of shoe organizers. Certain varieties are meant to be suspended from a hanging rod, like the kind in your average closet, while others are designed to hang from a door or sit on the floor. For maximum space saving, the shoe organizers that hang from a door are best. These contraptions hold anywhere from 10 to 30 pairs of shoes and most cost around $20, though there are many overly fancy varieties that cost upwards of $50.

Organizing Your Clothes

Vacuum storage is an excellent way to save valuable closet space. While it’s tough to separate winter and summer wardrobes in a place like New Orleans where “summer” and “not summer” are considered seasons, vacuum packing winter clothes and blankets can save a surprising amount of space. Stores like those mentioned in the previous section sell fancy bags with vacuum nozzles and zippers and such; but, you can achieve almost the same reduction in volume by storing items in a regular plastic bag, vacuuming the air out of the bag, and sealing the bag quickly. However, some styles of the store bought bags are made to be hung in a closet, which is a feature that is not so easy to duplicate at home. For items such as ties and scarves, you can but a multi-item hanger for about $10. On average, one such hanger holds between 10 and 20 ties or scarves.

One last thing to keep in mind is to make sure you devote enough time to organizing your closet. You may not be able to do it in 30 minutes, and you won’t want to leave the project half completed to come back to. It’s definitely worth the time it takes to organize, and should be done according to season. Happy cleaning!

1st Lake Properties has a large selection of New Orleans area apartments communities with ample closet space to make organizing a closet much easier!

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