Life Hacks: DIY Your Way to a Larger Closet

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We’ve all been there. You had a long, loooong day at work. You get home, and the first thing you do is take off those painful heels (pants, shirt, accessories…. everything) and cast them into the depths of your closet. You’re exhausted, and you figure you’ll get around to putting your clothes away eventually. It all starts off innocently enough, until it becomes a ritual. Suddenly your closet is a dreaded abyss, and even finding a pair of matching heels is an arduous task. As the mound of clothes accumulates, you blame the clutter on a lack of closet space. But what if we told you the solution to the problem was not to blame the closet space itself, but to simply re-imagine it?

We all know and are fascinated by life hacks, but some life hacks are cooler in theory than in practice. Sure, flipping your toaster over on its side to make grilled cheeses sounds brilliant, but I’m not sure if I’m willing to forgo classic grilled cheese preparation altogether just yet, you know? However, when it comes to interior design and organization, life hacks are actually super helpful! With these simple tips and tricks, the size and storage capacity of even the smallest closets can be maximized. And, by organizing your closet, you’ll create a more efficient space that will allow you to find and put away things quicker than ever.

Keep, Sell, Alter, Donate

I know you don’t want to hear this, but the first step to an organized closet is getting rid of what you aren’t wearing or using. If you haven’t worn it in the past year, odds are you aren’t going to be wearing it in your near and distant future. Go through everything in your closet and decide whether you want to keep, sell, alter, donate… you get the drill. If you have a lot of seasonal items in your closet, follow these guidelines to keep track of your clothes as the seasons change. Edit your wardrobe frequently, so your closet is less likely to revert to its catastrophic state ever again.

Utilize That Closet Door

You’d be surprised how much stuff you can store just by increasing storage space on the front and back of your closet door. Many furniture and organization stores will sell plastic bins that can hang on the back of your door, which you could use to keep anything from socks, to jewelry, to purses. Mounting rods on the back of your door also provides you with extra space to store things like scarves, belts, etc. Another fun idea is to mount a hook on the front or back of your closet door and designate it for hanging your outfits for the next day. It’ll keep you organized and save you time in the morning!

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Double Your Shelf Space

Have some shelves in your closet? Double that shelf space by adding some undershelf baskets to your storage arsenal. Use them for shoes, purses, or any articles of clothing that you don’t mind folding. These undershelf baskets from The Container Store should do the trick. Just because these baskets are made for kitchen pantries and linen closets does not mean they don’t have clothing closet potential!

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Get Your Boots off the Floor

Boots generally appear to take up a lot of space in closets. If you have the room, hang your boots with pants hangers (preferably no-slip velvet hangers which will be more gentle on the material). This will free up some floor space and make it easier for you to see and find your shoes. If your space doesn’t have the kind of room to hang your boots, buy some foam floaters or boot stuffers to stand your boots upright. You’d be surprised how quickly this declutters your space.

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Think Outside the Box (/Closet)

Not all wardrobe components need to be stored in your closet. If you have any small or unused spaces in your house, using tension rods or mounting towel rods could be a great way to create your own shoe organizer and free up your closet for other things.

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Organize Your Scarves the DIY Way

If you have a lot of scarves (and yes, we hope you do!), store them easily by placing shower curtain rings on a hanger and organizing your scarves accordingly. You’ll be able to see every scarf you own, which will save you time when you’re scrambling to find the perfect one to complete your outfit.

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Keep Everything in Sight

When organizing your closet, make sure everything that you own is visible and easily accessible. This way, you will know what you have at any given time, which will save you time when you’re getting dressed and prevent you from shopping for things that you don’t need. If you must use bins to hold things like sweats, swimwear, and workout clothes, use transparent ones if possible. If you can’t get a hold of transparent bins, be sure to label the bins you do have so you know exactly where all of your belongings are.

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Double Up

Add a second rod to your closet by simply using some rope (or chain links) and a dowel. Hang the dowel below your already existing rod at whatever length works for your clothes, and voila! Use the lower rod to hang things like shoes, skirts, pants, and purses. For in-depth DIY instructions, check out this tutorial from Engineer Your Space. Otherwise, using rope is a quick fix and perfect if you only need extra space to hang lighter clothing items.

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Every Little Thing Counts

Even small organizational swaps can make a huge impact on the overall appearance and cleanliness of your closet. Using identical hangers, (we love ultra slim velvet hangers, which not only save space but also keep your clothes from falling off) will both save you space and instantly make your closet look better.

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