Organizing a Closet for FREE

I love looking at beautiful closets.  The kind of closets that make an organization-loving gal like me drool.  (Seriously, I have to be careful while looking at Pinterest so that I don’t cause my laptop to short-circuit).  All those baskets and bins… shoes lined up on shelves with one shoe facing forward and the other facing backward… purses lined up neatly in a row… every single hanger matching… aaaaaaahhhh.

Now, I don’t have oodles of time or money to do what needs to be done to create the closet of my dreams.  So I have to get creative with what I have.  Meaning that when one of my closets needs some help I can’t just run out to The Container Store and whip out something Pinterest-worthy.  I achieve an organized closet by getting rid of things, finding new ways to use containers I already have, and moving things around until it works.

Case in point: Emily’s closet.

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 11.11.18 PM


  • Too many outgrown clothes
  • Maxi dresses didn’t fit on the top shelf (too long)
  • Legos were in open containers, spilling out
  • Outgrown & worn-out shoes
  • The drawers on the bottom right held items that were rarely used
  • The top left shelf was holding our Road Trip Toy Basket and some empty containers from my classroom
  • She received a few different craft projects for her birthday that were getting lost in the mess

After spending some time analyzing what the problems were, I went to work.  I first got rid of any clothes or toys that were worn-out or outgrown.  If it was something Julia could use it went into a bin in her closet (which ends up in the attic when full).  If it was in pretty good condition it went to the donate bag, and if not it went into the trash.  Then I just shuffled things around until it made sense, and ended up with this:

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 11.09.10 PM

You can see the difference, right?  And it didn’t cost me a single penny!

Here’s what I did:

  • Tossed/donated/stored outgrown & worn out clothes, shoes, and toys
  • Moved the drawers to the top shelf since they aren’t used often
  • Moved the Road Trip Toy Basket to Julia’s closet (she doesn’t have as much stuff as Emily)
  • Moved the games to the top shelf, since Emily couldn’t reach them before anyway and we always play them with her, meaning we could get them down when necessary
  • The birthday craft projects were moved into Emily’s desk, where she’s more likely to feel creative and work on them
  • Maxi dresses were moved to the bottom rack where they hung more easily
  • Legos were moved into bins with lids

Emily’s closet doesn’t look anything like what I see in magazines, but here’s the thing: it’s functional.  And it is organized, even if it’s not full of cute bins and matching containers.  All I did was look around my house for some that were either not being used or didn’t need to be used as they currently were (for example, I had a bin in my closet holding gift bows, but they easily fit in another bin that also held wrapping paper, freeing it up to be used in Emily’s closet).  The whole thing took about 30 minutes!

And there you have it – free closet organization!

PS – I’m only just now realizing how crooked those shelves are!  Another project for another day, I guess!


5 thoughts on “Organizing a Closet for FREE

  1. Anonymous says:

    you Go Girl. LOL! I too like to make a mess functional. Sometimes I can use something, (closet) and years down the road make a simple change and then wonder WHY I never did that before! Sometimes it takes me that long to SEE it!
    Love ya!
    Papa Bear!

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