From Spotlight: Let’s-Get-Real Organizing Solutions

7 Closet Organization Ideas

Learn how to make the most of tight spaces in a few simple and budget friendly steps.

A custom built closet for a married couple with color organized clothing.
Image: JuFagundes/Getty

Here’s how to organize your closet without wasting money on gadgets.

7 Clutter-Free Closet Tidying Tips

Good organization can take your storage spaces from chaotic to comfortable and make it easier to find, well, just about everything!

Outfit your closets with these seven budget-friendly closet organization ideas and you might just do the happy dance!

#1 Grab-and-Go Bins

White closet packed with neatly organized cleaning supplies
Image: Meg Markland of NEAT by Meg

It's easy enough to sort your cleaning supplies on organizing day. But then you grab and put back, grab and put back, and two weeks later, the window cleaner is MIA again.

Easy closet organization starts with bins. Place items together into bins or baskets based on the task. Then, when it’s cleaning time, tote the whole bin along. Everything you need for your to-do will be right there — and you'll return the bin to a well-organized closet shelf just as tidy as it was before. 

Bonus: Corral those mops and brooms with a hanging organizer and watch your floor become visible (and clean) again.

#2 Labeled Baskets and Containers

Now that you have well organized closet bins, you probably want to know what's inside. It might sound easy to keep track of, but since baskets can manage everything from dental floss to beach towels, and they may be high up on the top shelf, make it easy on yourself and write out the contents (or at least a general idea of what's inside). Place your bins so that labels are visible from the closet door. Another idea is to put related items in the same container if possible.

Bonus space-savvy solution: Spin your way to the back of the shelf with a Lazy Susan.

#3 Pullout Storage Shelves for Closets

Stainless steel fridge beside cupboard with roll out drawers
Image: Nicole Loiterstein, NEAT Method

Pullout shelves make every inch of your cupboards count.

No more can't-reach corners. Nothing quietly expiring behind a blockade of cereal boxes.

To simplify even more, organize pullout shelves in closets and cupboards by purpose or meal: breakfast or dinner items, cans, baking supplies, etc.

You don't need a custom-cabinet makeover to maximize closet space with pullout shelves. Grab a kit from the hardware store. It's quick to install — and totally worth it on a groggy Saturday morning when the pancake mix is just a slide away.

#4 Clear Boxes for Toys and Games

Closet full of toys haphazardly thrown inside
Playroom closet full of toys organized in clear bins

Image: Neat by Nina

The before photo screams, "Maaahhhm, I can't find my..."

And the after? Not only will the kids be able to find things themselves, but this system also makes cleanup easy. (Er, easier, at least — a parent can dream, right?)

Clear and labeled storage bins make things visible. Changing the shelf heights to match the containers makes the space more productive and helps you see which bins go where.

Easy-to-update chalk labels can evolve along with the kids' interests.

#5 Closet Storage Systems (the Budget-Friendly Kind)

Poorly organized master closet with white walls
Neatly organized master closet with gray walls

Image: Stacy's Savings

Primary closets are hard workers, often storing clothes for more than one person, for more than one season.

If you're looking for ways to organize your closet without the high price tag, create your own organization system with a little ingenuity.  Get the look and function of a custom closet organizer without the custom price. Turn an IKEA system like PAX into an organized closet that will streamline your life.

Do a thoughtful analysis of what will go in it and where to maximize closet space with just the right number of shelves, drawers, and hanging rods. The best part? Make it look built-in by adding molding at the top and bottom of each unit. Future buyers of your home will love the look and the added closet storage space just as much as you do.

#6 Customized Catch-All Closet

Chaotic hall closet awaiting organization
Well organized closet with wrapping paper, boxes and shelves

Image: Ellery Designs

Ah, the catch-all closet. Jack-of-all-trades, clearly not the master of anything.

Tame the tumult with these ideas for how to organize a closet that's supposed to hold everything:

  • A back-of-the-door rack maximizes space and is perfect for small items (closet shoe storage, anyone?)
  • A big ol' basket or trunk corrals bottom-of-closet clutter.
  • Buckets are perfect for midsize, grab-and-go items. Just remember to label them.
  • A floating shelf for closet organization can go a long way. How about two?

#7 A Color-Organized Closet

Image: Kristina Strasunske/Getty

One of the easiest ways to organize your closet is according to color.

Chaos is hard on your brain. Order is pleasing. Especially colorful order. Behind all the bins and pullouts and pegboards, organization is just about making your stuff more visually digestible and easy to access. Sorting by color does both — and it's pretty, too! You can try combining closet organizing ideas by placing accessories into labeled bins based on color.

Closet Organizing Ideas for Any Closet

An organized closet doesn’t have to be just in your dreams. With these seven closet-organizing ideas and a few bins and baskets, your closet organization dreams can come true! 


More Savvy Ways for Closet Organizing

Your Inner Child Will Love these Creative Ways to Organize

Kelly Walters headshot
Kelley Walters

Kelley Walters is a Southern writer and editor. She focuses on interior design and home improvement at outlets from HGTV to Paintzen. She lives in Italy a month every year, drinking Negronis and writing in internet cafes.