We moved into our house 3 years ago. One of the selling points with this house is that the previous owners (who lived in the house for about 15 years) added closet organizers in all the closets and extra shelving throughout the house and garage. When we moved in and saw the house empty it was more noticeable that most of the organizers were DIY and in rough shape. In this post, I walk you through how you can organize your closet on a budget.
I was able to keep costs low because I re-used what I had, which also meant I wasn’t sending my old closet to the landfill. I followed these simple steps to create a functional and organized closet.
This post contains affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The Simple Steps to Organize Your Closet
- Clear out the closet
- Rearrange or install organization solution
- Clean the closet
What you’ll need to organize your closet:
- A designated space to temporary place all the items from your closet
- Cleaning products and tools
- 1 clear recycling bag, 1 garbage bag and a bin for the declutter
- Closet organizers, bins, hangers
This entire process took me 2 days to complete.
Step 1: Clear out your closet
Remove all your belongings from the closet and place them in your designated space. The space should be big enough to allow you to sort through your stuff. You will get to this in Step 2.
Step 2: De-clutter
This is probably the step most will have difficulty with and the one step that could potentially drag the entire organization process. So if you are having some serious anxiety issues over this step I promise to make it simple and share with you some really helpful resources I’ve used over the years.
Before you start to organize your closet
Get your clear recycling bag, garbage bag, and bin, and head for the designated decluttering space. Try to move quickly through your stuff sorting them into 4 sections as outlined below.
Let’s get started
Section 1 – Donations: Anything that is still in good condition, but doesn’t fit your current size, style, or season of life is for this pile. Pack them up in the clear bag.
Section 2 – Garbage: Same rules as section 1 but where the condition is unsalvageable.
Section 3 – Items that belong elsewhere in the home. If there are items that made their way into your closet that belong elsewhere in the home place them in this bin.
Section 4 – Keep pile. This pile should only be the items that are going back into your closet. And if you are familiar with the Marie Kondo method, these items should spark joy.
Next, take a break from your stuff. Grab your bin and walk around your house putting the items away. Make a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy it. Come back to your designated de-clutter area and go through your keep pile one more time to see if you changed your mind on anything. I like using the quarantine method from the Minimal Mom. Anything I’m on the fence about getting rid of, I place it in a container and store it out of sight. This container will go under the spare bedroom bed or on the top shelf of my closet. Revisit the quarantine bin in 3 to 4 months and see if you missed it.
Below are my two favourite de-cluttering experts.
Marie Kondo – is probably the most well-known master of the art of de-cluttering. I downloaded her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing to my kobo and really enjoyed it. Tip: Using an e-reader cuts down on physical clutter!
Step 3: Rearrange or install organization solution
If you are installing a new closet organization solution, remove the existing closet. This is also a good time to patch and paint the walls. Maybe even change out the light fixture. I was reusing the existing closet system so I didn’t need to remove it. The previous owners had painted the closet a deep mauve colour and it was still in pretty good condition we decided to live with it. This also helped keep the cost down.
We wanted to bring our chest of drawers into the closet. Having them in the closet really frees up space in the bedroom. It’s also a great space-saving hack for small rooms. To make room for the dressers, we reconfigured the existing closet organizer, by moving the two existing shelf towers to the corner. I then added additional shelves to the towers by “borrowing” unused shelves from the guest bedroom closet. This made the shelf towers more functional.
The closet had 2 clothes rods each (one high and one midway). We purged enough clothes that we only needed one rod each. We kept the lower rod in place and slide the dressers under them. The lower rods can be used to hang ties and jewelry.
Items I purchased for this makeover
- Scarf organizer, I have lots of decorative scarves. I love using them to dress up a casual outfit. Mine is from Ikea and cost $8. Link to a similar one from Amazon here.
- Drawer organizers, I bought 2 different sets of organizers from the Ikea SKUBB line. These fit our Ikea Malm dressers perfectly. I bought 3 sets of 6 boxes, 1 large box with 7 dividers. Total cost $46. Link to similar ones on Amazon here.
- Glass table top (not necessary by I wanted to lighten up the look of the dark wood, it also make its easier to see what is on the top of the dresser). These cost $25 each.
The total cost of my Organized Closet Makeover was $104
Things I reused in this makeover
- Hangers. We decided to use what we have. My husband uses wooden hangers and I use slim plastic ones. I do love the esthetic of matching hangers and if one day we do upgrade them I would probably invest in the velvet lined hangers.
- Existing closet system, rearranged to better fit our needs
- Borrowed extra shelving from guest bedroom closet to add more shelves to Master closet
- Clothes storage boxes, shoe boxes for organizing items not used everyday, like heels and swimwear.
- Hooks – the previous onwer installed wall mounted hooks and over the door hooks. These are great for handing bags and laying out your outfit for the next day.
Step 4: Clean your closet
Grab your cleaning products and tools and give your closet a deep clean. Start from the top and work your way to the bottom of the closet. Wipe down the shelves, the clothes rods, wipe down the baseboards and vacuum the floor. Don’t forget to clean behind the door!
Step 5: Restock
My favourite part. Putting all the items that made the final cut back in your newly organized closet!
I like to repeat step 2 each season. This helps keep your closet organized, and allows you to make room to invite new things into your closet. 🙂
If this post got you in the mood to declutter, check out my post on 15 Simple Things to Declutter From Your House Today and How to Declutter Your Digital Space.