Closet Organization Systems

Step-by-step tips for organizing your closet, once and for all.

Modern Reach-In Closet

Modern Reach-In Closet

Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

The first step to determining the best storage closet organization system is to inventory what you have and review how you use your closet. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) agrees that there are no "cookie cutter" solutions to getting organized and staying organized. Instead it is a process and the right systems, tools and habits can increase calm, even in the most hectic household.

10 Stylish Walk-in Bedroom Closets

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Stylish and Colorful

Painting the walls in your walk-in closet can transform it from an ordinary space to a stylish, refreshing area. This closet by ClosetMaid features a cozy area rug, a comfortable bench and chic storage boxes. White shelving makes the space feel more spacious and open.

Masculine Design

The combination of bold green, stark white and rich brown cabinetry brings a masculine look to this spacious closet. Multiple levels of hanging rods add height to the space, and white storage bins bring a crisp, clean feel. The bold-green wall color is carried through to the cabinet doors for a unified look, and the delicate white chandelier adds the only feminine touch in the space. Design by Brian Patrick Flynn

Crisp, Clean and Elegant

This space hardly looks like a closet, with its elegant lighting, open space and inviting accessories. Designer Julie Massucco Kleiner implemented the pattern from the plush area rug to the sliding door to create visual appeal. The luxurious closet seamlessly blends with the adjacent bedroom when the sliding door is open. A full-length mirror and vanity area provide a space to get ready for the day.

Boutique Chic

This Asian-inspired master suite closet features dual frosted-glass doors and cherry cabinetry. The drawers and hanging rod compartments provide different storage options, and recessed lights allow for different levels of lighting. Open upper shelving provides extra storage. Design by Danenberg Design

High-End Touches

This extravagant closet looks more like a high-end boutique. Crown molding, an elegant bookshelf and maple cabinetry by Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. bring a lavish, vintage touch to the space.

Spa-Like Closet

Wicker basket drawers keep closet essentials at hand in the HGTV Dream Home 2008 master bedroom closet. The open shelving makes the small space feel more open, and wooden hangers, spa-like accessories and a few personal touches bring a luxurious, serene look.

Shoe Shelving

HGTV fan amessis wanted a combination closet and dressing room, so she turned her old bedroom into a large walk-in closet. Different compartments provide storage for a variety of items, and an entire wall of open shelving makes shoes easily accessible.

Dramatic Wallpaper

You can achieve a stylish, dramatic look in a small closet at a low cost using wallpaper. Designer Lori Dennis chose a large-scale pattern wallpaper to contrast with the sleek white cabinetry. Shoes are stored underneath the floating cabinetry to leave extra room for other items on top of the cabinetry.

All-White Design

The dresser island in HGTV fan flgirlaol's closet stores plenty of items, including hats, workout equipment and books. The all-white cabinetry makes the large space feel more open, and track lighting brightens the space, making it easy to find what you need. A built-in, flat-screen TV adds a touch of luxury.

Dressing Room

Open shelving dominates this combination walk-in closet and dressing area. HGTV fan Homegurl chose bold storage bins to add a splash of color to the neutral space. A vanity area, complete with a magnifying mirror and plenty of lighting, provides a space to put on makeup. A dresser island with a granite countertop takes storage to the next level.

Approaching a closet with a plan can make it much less daunting. Prepare a staging area and empty your closet, sorting things into whichever piles best suit your family. Some categories that we've found useful are:

  • Keep - Sort this pile into current and seasonal so that you can assess what needs to be within easy reach and what can be stored away. Clothes seldom get better with age and sentimentality has to be balanced with practicality. If you haven't worn it in a year or if you have 10 others just like it throw it in the Donate/Sell pile.
  • Put where it belongs - Closets can become catch-all spaces and toys, tools and party supplies can wind up creating clutter.
  • Donate/Sell - Remember to ask for a donation receipt for when tax time rolls around and consider taking children along. It's a great way to instill the valuable lesson of charity and teaches them to be able to part with things.

Once you've narrowed things down to what you are keeping, measure the closet's space so that you can decide on the best closet organization system for your needs. Consider how you want to use your closet and what items are most often used and then take an inventory of your seasonal clothes, shoes and accessories.

Valet hooks, hangers, rods, double rods, shelf dividers, plastic storage containers, baskets, bags and bins are all great ways to customize closet storage systems to fit each person's needs. Double-hung rods can be a terrific to maximize space in a child's closet and many systems are adjustable enough that they can grow and change as your needs change.

There is a closet organization system to fit every budget. Custom wood systems can create a boutique look in your closet and be a lasting part of your home's design. Coated wire or melamine shelf-and-bracket systems are available in a wide range of price points. They can be professionally installed but most are easy enough to do it yourself.

Coated wire closet organization systems are economical and versatile. The vinyl or epoxy-coated wire systems provide for easy display and allow for air circulation. They are durable if installed properly and can be adjusted as your needs change. Boxes, baskets and bins can increase the versatility of these systems.

Melamine systems use ultra-thin paper that has been saturated with resin and either cold-pressed or thermally fused to particle board. Quality can vary greatly and it is important to install them properly. Melamine systems usually come in white or wood grain finishes.

Boutique-style Closets

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