24 Easy DIY Closet Organization Tips That Won't Break the Bank

by Team Scary Mommy
Originally Published: 
DIY Closet organization
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Check out more from our organization package and find out how to declutter your home, how to organize your closet, make a moving checklist, how to properly organize your freezer, and small laundry room ideas.

Is your closet a disaster area? The truth is that most closets that belong to average Americans are, in fact, a mess. Famous people pay special services and experts to keep their homes (including their closets) in order. Real people don’t have time for that crap. First, know that no one is judging you for your avalanche of a closet — even the people who actually see it. If it’s still bothering you (and we know it probably is), then let’s work to fix it. Whether you’re here for a complete overhaul or just need a closet refresh, we’ve got ideas for everyone.

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The Do-Over

1. Cube shelves

Remember life before cube shelves? It was rough. Whether you fill them with bins or leave them open with folded clothes inside, a tall stack of shelves can break up your hanging rod and offer more space for folded items or purses.

2. Double rods

Still desperate for more hanging space? Hang a shirt or two on your upper rod and use that as a marker for installing a second, lower rod. (If you’re completely redesigning your closet, it’s even better if you can raise your upper clothes rod by six inches to a foot.) If you’re not quite ready to take on permanent installation, you can actually buy a double rod that hangs directly onto the one that’s already there.

3. Hidden Shelves

You know those little nooks on each side of the typical closet, where the wall comes out and the doors attach? Your rod goes all the way back on each side, but anything that ends up in those crannies is never worn. Consider installing shelves back in that dead-space where you can store out of season purses, shoes or clothes.

4. Metal/Plastic dividers

That long shelf at the top of your closet always ends up a mess, right? Grab a few metal or plastic dividers to help keep things contained. They slide over the shelf and stand upright to help keep your stacks of sweaters and such looking nice and orderly… even when you pull out the bottom piece at 5 a.m.

5. Back-of-door storage solutions

If you have closet doors that swing open, you’re in even better luck because you have yet another place to add storage. You can use a soft, over-the-door shoe holder on the inside of your closet to hold shoes… or to organize scarves and other small pieces of clothing.

6. Built-in drawers

If you don’t have a ton of hanging items, another great addition to a closet is more drawers. Whether you just don’t have enough room in your dresser or you’re hoping to avoid a dresser altogether, the drawers offer more space for things that don’t need to be hung — both on- and off-season.

7. Low shelf

Just like that high shelf grabs a ton of extras, a low shelf can accomplish the same thing… and help relieve the stress on the other one. Use it as a place to organize shoes (boots on top, flats underneath) or simply hold more purses. (We all have way too many purses)

9. Hanger-gadgets for multiples

Overflowing closets isn’t a new thing. Back before people were pinning DIY options, the unhandy members of society had to rely on what they could find at the store. Luckily, there’s actually tons of pre-made options to help double up on hanger space.

9. Bins

Put everything in a bin! Your partner will groan, because they have a weird aversion to bins. However, if bins didn’t work, they wouldn’t be sold in nearly every store.

10. Label Maker

Once you’ve got things in drawers and bins, you know what the best bet to keeping those things organized is? Labels, girl. Channel your inner-label-making monster and make sure every containers tells you exactly what’s inside.

Filling Your Closet, Again

Whether you’ve made any of the changes suggest above or you’re just looking for tips on working with the closet your home came with, there’s still more you can do. Don’t be discouraged at the idea that the only way to have an “organized” closet it to completely rehab it’s structure. It’s not. Just pulling everything out and putting it back in more orderly will help a lot.

11. Take Everything Out… And Go Through It

Listen. You can hug each item to see if it sparks joy… or you can just haphazardly flip through your crap. No judgement here. Does it fit? Does it matter if it will ever fit? Toss or donate things you don’t want. Or keep everything. Whatever.

12. Group Similar Items

While you have everything out of your closet, start making stacks of similar items. Keep your jeans together and your work pants in another stack. Separate long-sleeves from short-sleeves. You get the idea.

13. Hang Things In Groups, Shortest To Longest

I used to hang my clothes together by color. It looked pretty up top, but was a mess at the bottom, where everything was different lengths. Hanging things shortest to longest creates open pockets on the floor of your closet to store stuff where your clothes won’t get caught on them. By grouping things based on whether they’re for work or play and by their warmth/coolness will help you locate them quicker in the mornings.

13. Buy The Good Hangers

You know the ones. Rounded shoulders, thin design, covered in something that feels like velvet. Those hangers hold onto even the skimpiest tanks and widest of boatneck sweaters making them the number one tool you need for keeping an organized closet.

A Note About Drawers And Bins

For me, “organized” means “put away.” I learned a few years ago that the part of laundry I hate the most is folding it all. My solution: Hang the stuff the wrinkles, fold your pants and just toss the rest into the right drawer… unfolded. If you’re horrified, it’s cool. I get that same look from my SO every time I put my laundry away. But, while he spends an hour each month meticulously folding all of his band t-shirts, I have most of that time to do stuff I find more rewarding. I have drawers for socks/underwear/bras, tank tops, pants and t-shirts.

When I bring my clothes in from the dryer, I make piles for each drawer and one for stuff that gets hung up. Yes, occasionally I stumble across a wrinkly t-shirt… especially if it was put into the drawer before it was 100 percent dry or lived in the back for a few months before I found it, again. I keep the wrinkle spray on my dresser, spray, wear and go about my day. When I folded my tees and tanks, it was a constant battle to keep them looking nice after I dug through for the specific shirt I wanted. I lowered standards of what my drawers needed to look like, which made it easier to keep my room free of laundry baskets and my “to do” list free of one more thing I hate to do. Judge if you want, but it works for me.

If you don’t want to spend too much buying new bins and rods, luckily there are a number of DIY closet organizers that will keep your closet organized, clean, and stress-free. Here are the best DIY closet organizer ideas below!

Related: Say So Long, Farewell To Clutter With These Easy Organizing Hacks And Tips

14. Use Shower Rings

Have a ton of clothes but limited closet space for hangers? No worries. You can use shower rings to hang tank tops from the same hanger or use them to hang jeans held by belt loop. Add them to an existing hanger and simply hook your stuff through them. They can also be used to hang accessories. And the best thing? They’re pretty cheap!

15. Baskets Are Your Best Friends

Using storage baskets will free up a ton of space in your closet. From stacking hats to stacking sweaters to winter accessories to everything else in between, baskets are a great way to minimize clutter.

16. Use Tension Rods

While you might not have the room to build more space across your closet, you can always build up using tension rods. Tension rods are an affordable way of creating more space in your closet and with a single rod, you can totally change the look and capacity of your closet. Here are some examples on you can best use them: By stacking tension rods, you can create a shoe rack. You can place hats on tension rods above your closet shelves. You can even use them in small spaces and attach them to the wall and use it to hang baby clothes.

17. String Up Your Sunglasses

Blogger Emily Schuman was having trouble finding and placing her sunnies in the same spot, so she came up with the nifty idea of stringing them up on wire and placing them in a clear frame. You can read how she did it here.

18. Use a Soda Tab to Hang Extra Stuff

Similarly to shower hooks, you can use an old soda tab to double up your hangers in order to create additional space in your closet. For example, you can group together work shirts versus weekend shirts.

19. Use a Sandal Hanger

Do you have too many sandals and flip flops and don’t know what to do with them? Well, one creative genius created a flip flop hanger with a left over curtain rod mounted on two shelf brackets, and lots of modified hangers. Here’s how she did it.

20. Use the Kids Closet for Toy Storage Too

Because kids clothes are so small, they don’t take up a ton of room. Which is why you can double up their closet and use it as toy storage by placing additional brackets and hooks on the door, and baskets on the shelves. If you need some inspiration, here’s how one blogger did it.

21. Create a High Heel Space

Have a lot of heels but nowhere to put them? One blogger on a budget created an easy way to hang heels by its, well, heel with using a couple of wooden boards, glue, studs, and paint. The results are here.

22. Create a Monday to Friday Look for Your Kids

One mom hated rushed mornings picking out clothing for her kids, so she created day of the week closet organizers, which makes morning way simpler now. Kids can have fun helping out as they get older and can take all the time they want picking out the week’s clothes on Sunday. But come Monday morning they’ll be organized and ready to go….hopefully. Try it out here.

23. Use Clothing Dividers

This comes in especially handy when kids are younger and they grow out of sizes nearly every other day. You can buy blank or pre-labeled dividers that divide the 0-3 months section from the 3-6, and so on. You can also do this for yourself, separating T-shirts from dress shirts, lighter sweaters from warmer ones. These can be found on Amazon for ridiculously cheap but can make all the difference in your daily life.

24. Organize Your Wallets, Small Bags, and Clutches

If you love yourself a good clutch or small shoulder bag, an acrylic or see through organizer can help line up your beloved little bags and wallets for easy access and keep them in your within your line of vision. You know what they say, out of sight, out of mind, that saying goes for bags and clothing so tidying your closet to make sure your favorites are easy to access

Related: My House Is Always Clean (Just Don’t Open The Closets)

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