Now that the new year has started, I am sure some of us have goals of getting our lives more organized, whether that means using our daily planners more (see the 2011 calendar roundup here), getting rid of things we don't use (one of my New Year's resolutions -- see here), or just decluttering our houses.
Therefore, I thought I would dedicate a couple posts this week to organization. Today I am sharing the storage system I use in our current master bedroom closet, and tomorrow I'll go over the merits of hidden vs. open storage. (And to see one method for organizing your kids' toys, see this post.)
One of the best things about being in a newer house is that there is typically more closet space. Our master bedroom closet is not huge by any means, but I tried to maximize the available wall and floor space. Here's how we use the space (see the end of the post for sources).
One side of our closet is primarily clothes (a combination of hanging and folded). I invested in matching wood hangers and canvas storage bins so that everything looks more uniform.
Pants hangers hold all my skirts. I sort them roughly by color and try to swap them out each season (since it's winter now, I have a lot of black and grey here!).
My shirts are also organized by color. I find it makes it so much easier to get dressed every day.
My husband's shirts are--you guessed it!--organized by color too. I also put all the button-downs together, polos together, blazers, etc.
Here you can see the canvas bins we use to store out-of-season clothes. A couple small shelves hold my husband's baseball caps and shorts.
We each have a hanging storage system for our sweaters. These are -- surprise, surprise -- grouped by color too. In the summer we don't have as many sweaters, so I store some folded shorts or skirts here.
The other side of the closet is my favorite side: my shoes! I have four shelves (the top one isn't visible in the picture above), with boots lined up on the floor below. I hope to eventually add a fifth shelf at the very top of the closet to store handbags.
I also bought a floating shelf, cut it to size, and painted it the same color as the walls. Installed on the far closet wall, it holds jewelry, a valet tray, folded up scarves, etc. The corner of the shelf is barely visible in the picture above.
Here are a few recommendations I have for your closet, regardless of how small or big it is:
Be organized. I like to categorize everything as much as possible (short-sleeve, long-sleeve, color, etc.). At the very least, separate your pants from your skirts, shirts, jackets, etc.
Paint your walls. I don't think closets need to have white walls. They just show scuffs more quickly, and they are not inspirational when you are standing at the door trying to come up with an outfit. I continued the taupe wall color from our master bedroom into the closet, which makes it feel more like part of the room. However, if I weren't sharing my closet with my husband I probably would have painted it a brighter color or used a fun patterned wallpaper.
Have good lighting. If you can't see your clothes, it's hard to find anything. Install a lighting fixture with more than one light bulb, or stick little battery powered lights in the dark corners of the closet. If you can manage it, having a window in the closet is great!
Use matching hangers. They can be thin space-saving ones, white plastic, or wood. It really doesn't matter as long as your clothes aren't getting stretched out of shape. Having a consistent style makes a really big difference in making your closet look organized.
We didn't use a really expensive closet system. If you can afford one, great, but if not, you can still make your closet look organized by using a consistent system to store your clothes. Here are some items similar to what we used (click on the product names for links).