Since I took a week off, we’ve got some closet business to catch up on. This week the topic is Organizing. After I thought about it, it might be easier to organize then assess. But that would change my PAOSR acronym. And I hate changing a good acronym. So I guess do whatever makes sense for you. But leave my acronym alone.
The best way to actually see what you have is by getting organized. This is coming from the mouth of a girl who could live under a pile of clothing and not once complain. So trust me — the weight of this message is huge.
This is what my closet has looked like at it’s very worst. I snapped this photo one day when I realized that I in fact had a problem. Now I only post that to show you my true habits — which are that of a slob. I would live in a shed if I had enough floor space to pile everything on. But my natural habits are not my best habits.
I know this more than anyone — getting organized will you help you get dressed in the morning as well as help save you money. Remember when you thought you needed a black skirt but really you just needed to find it in your closet or under the bed or it somehow ended up in your pantry? Yeah, that happened to me too.
So please know I am by no means an expert on organizing one’s closet. I just know how much of a help it is as compared to Exhibit A. This is simply how I do it and how I like it to look. Go at organizing your own closet in your own way. Just be sure to do it. You’ll thank me later. And I, Kendi Lea Everyday, promise to never go back to Exhibit A ever again. Mainly because you’ll call the health department on me.
See? I’m not a terrible human being after all.
1. Start with the shoes. To me, shoes are the easiest things to organize. I like to organize by type, so I showcase mine from flats to heels to heels to heels. I know I have a problem, I love heels. Since I have three pairs of boots, I place them on my top shelf, so they have enough room to stand up and keep their shape.
You want to know a hint? Put a few clean and empty wine bottle in your boots to help keep them upright. Want to know another hint? Don’t drink wine while organizing your closet. Your methods will not make sense.You’ll thank me later.
2. Next hit the racks (or rack in my case) of clothing. I have one rod in my closet so I have to maximize as much space as possible. I push all of my jackets in the back, I don’t know why. There is no reason to organization, only rhyme. Then dresses, pants, skirts, sweaters, then tops. I don’t color coordinate, as that doesn’t really help me. But if it helps you, go for it. Again it’s your closet, this is mine. I like to pull outfits I’ve created to the front of my closet, so that in the morning I can have an idea of what to wear.
3. After that gather all of your accessories and get them in order. I like to place all of my scarves on a belt holder that I bought at Ikea as well as my belts. That way I can see what I have and they aren’t tangled in a drawer somewhere.
I roll my tights and place them in a divider that I also found at Ikea. Then I stash my purses in a basket underneath my clothes. Out of the way, but I know they are there. This helps me sleep at night, knowing my purses are tucked away from harm.
4. Jewelry is one of the hardest things for me to keep organized, so with the help of my Necklace Showcase made by the lovely Jennie Claire I am able to keep them organized. I use this for my earrings and smaller, more delicate necklaces and I am able to keep them un-tangled. I can get pants tangled, so you can imagine what I can do with tiny chains.
Then I use a few racks to hang my hats and large necklaces on at the back of my closet. I call it my Accessories Wall, just like in Project Runway. Except smaller and less impressive.
5. Next I like to keep an inspiration board in my closet. Why? Why not is what you should be asking. Mostly I pull ideas for colors and pattern mixing. And I keep my inspiration board in my closet because I wasn’t allowed to hang posters in my room as a child. This practice has carried with me into my adult years. Somehow I’m still pining for a particular Garfield poster. Something to do with lasagna.
6. And you’re done! Well I’m done. You’ve just now started. And as always if you have any organization tips, PLEASE leave them below! I’m much better at collecting clothes instead of organizing.
AND if you are really into looking to blogger’s closets, head on over to The Good Life for Less. After reviewing her post, I think she’s naturally blessed with the organization gene. Don’t be jealous.
For my scarves and belts: Ikea Komplement Multi-Use Hanger
For my tights: Ikea Skubb Box with Compartments
For my hats and large jewelry: Ikea Logga Hanger with 3 knobs
For my earrings and small necklaces: Jeannie Claire’s Necklace Showcase
Part 1: Purge
Part 2: Assess
Thank you! After seeing the before/messy closet photo I am much less ashamed and much more encouraged to get my closet looking like yours 🙂
so so awesome. love it.
Love this post – I was planning to clean my closet this weekend already, and now I am even more motivated. Definitely going to try to implement some of your ideas. I do have empty wine bottles lying around, that's for sure!
this is so helpful kendi! i never thought i would say this but, i'm actually EXCITED to organize my closet now!
I'm tackling my closet this weekend. I'm scared, but also excited. Thought I am working with a VERY small space, so it might get interesting.
I love the idea of rolling the tights. So smart! Would have never thought of that!
me again. sorry. but i have a question for you: what do you do with your winter/summer things that aren't in use?
me again. sorry. but i have a question for you: what do you do with your winter/summer things that aren't in use?
YAY! Glad you guys liked the post, that's super encouraging. I was a bit nervous to post my before photo, as that's a pretty scary closet. Organizing and keeping a tidy closet has never been my strong suit, but might as well be honest about it.
@theboot — i thought the same thing before I started organizing. Hence why this post is a week late. This sounds weird but I think the componenents from Ikea helped. It almost turned into a project instead of me just cleaning my closet for the umptenth time.
Here's to keeping it clean in the new year. 😉
Thank you so much for posting this! I've been trying to find a logical less messy way to store all my winter accessories namely scarfs and tights. I live in Boston so I have a lot of both and I can never find what I am looking for when I store them in my dresser.
@theboot — it's me again too. I store my clothes that I'm not wearing in 1-2 large plastic bins. Luckily we have a storage room off of our garage and I can easily stack them. I usually leave my shoes in their place year round, just as I have enough room in my closet for them.
You could also fold them and put them in thinner plastic bins (they are long and flat) and slide them under your bed, if you are tight on space.
Some great and simple ideas and tips! I have to find myself that fantastic hanger at Ikea, I have so many scarves, it would be perfect!
All of your tights rolled up into little bundles in their cubbies just made me melt. I think I love you.
Kristine. Or Polly.
Yay, thank you for this post! When I have a "real" closet these ideas will come in handy. Right now, I'm at the mercy of an old fashioned "summer-winter" closet. Thumbs down to whoever thought up that idea!
i love this series. it is giving me the itch to eliminate a few things from MY closet and reorganize.
my real question though:
i share a closet with the hubs. how the heck to i stop his closet-creep? hes totally invading my space, and it aint cool, yo!
Love, love these scarf hanging organizers from IKEA, they are perfect! Thanks for the tip!
Such a nice working closet! My issue is I have two closets– one at home and one in Miami (college). It's hard to keep track of all my stuff! I will definitely have to have them both this organized 🙂
Thanks for the great advice! Loving the Necklace Showcase 🙂
AMMAAZETOWNS!!! Gonna ask my mates who live in US or UK to buy me those organisers and I will send them loot – I wish we had stuff like that in South Africa. Kendi, your closet is gorgeous!!! Eat your heart out SJP x
dang! i've never (and i mean never) been so inspired to leave work and go home and organize my closet. great tips, especially the wine bottle/boot tip. totally going to do that one!
Yes, I need to do this for sure. My problem is that there is really poor light in my closet. Yours is nice and bright, that can make a really big difference.
I think my favorite part is how you organized the tights…that's definitely something I need to work on.
Thanks for all the great ideas!!
I love seeing in your closet!!! so fun 🙂 Ive seen people say to use a wine bottle. but thats so heavy- and a little dangerous on the top shelf with it being glass? I use magazines! simple DIY-
Wow so inspirational- thanks for sharing! I am guilty of the messy closet and a New Year is a great time to start fresh!
great tip on how to organize your tights! you have no idea how this helps me! my tights drawer is a mess!
This is fantastic! My closet is much smaller and cramped than yours, but this gives me hope. I might have to take a trip to Ikea of the Container Store this weekend.
Your closet looks quite lovely now! I am in the midst of a closet makeover, as I'm currently dealing with a case of closet rod collapse. What a terrible disaster. Your series comes at a good time for me to read, I suppose. I'm glad to see we have a lot of the same organizational ideas (the tights divider, the wine bottles)… maybe there's hope for me yet. My favorite thing to do is to occasionally replace one of the empty wine bottles in my boots with a full one. Then I randomly get a present when I wear a pair that I already own instead of a new pair of shoes. I believe in the reward system. 🙂
Ah, now all I have to do to stay organized is to get a place with a walk in closet. 🙁 Any tips on people with only one measly closet and no other storage?
"There is no reason to organization, only rhyme."
I love this. So true!
I share a reach-in closet with my husband so space and finding stuff is such a challenge. I think that PURGE is the key word for me, but organizing is my favorite thing to do. I've been too overwhelmed with my lack of space to even tackle organizing the closet, but now you've actually got me excited about it! I'm hearing that Waterboy "You can do it!" chant in my head now. Oh, and I have a space behind my bedroom door that I used for my jewelry organizer – a.k.a. the Bling Board, which I blogged about here: http://2cool4myminivan.blogspot.com/2009/10/bling-board.html – it's not rocket science, but it's the only option I had since I don't have a walk-in closet.
wow! this gives me a little hope 🙂 only, i have more books than clothes in my closet at the moment…so i have a little more work ahead of me. thanks for the inspiration!
Girl Meets Handbag
OMG! I totally had a Garfield lasagna poster in my room as a kid. I'm not trying to make you jealous. What did I ever do with that poster? If I still had it I would totally give it to you!
So cute! I (maybe weirdly?) love seeing other people's closets – it can be such a great reflection of their personality and individual style, and yours is definitely no exception. I totally get why picking up some Ikea organizers transforms this from "ugh, cleaning!" to "fun project!" I hope my next closet gives me the opportunity to create as inspired a space as yours 🙂
Awesome – you've inspired me to go to Ikea at lunch for closet organization tools. Where are your boots from – top left with whine bottles in them? Love.
I'm a bit of an organizer freak so I love these ideas. Looks great!
A) Looking at this post makes me feel so much less ashamed about my own small closet and my disorganized habits.
B) It is frightening how much we think alike. When I AM organized, I do it nearly the exact same way – clothes in the same order, shoes organized by type, purses tucked safely in their own bin to keep each other company. Weird!
C) The wall hooks and tights storage are brilliant. Thanks for the inspiration!
Love the idea for tights and need to investigate, mine are out of control.
psst. i totally have those rainboots too. and i love them!
My biggest tip for organization is to go vertical. Everyone ignores the very top of their closet but there is space up there for something that is out of season or that you don't use all the time. I just installed some shelves in the top of my closet and life is better! I also really love Command hooks. I put some on the back of my closet door for the husband and I to hang our robes. You can use them just about anywhere and they hold a surpring amount of stuff!
Love your tight idea. I did the exact same thing a few years ago with plain tanks/camis. I bought a sock organizer from the container store and roll the tanks up and slip one in each slot. It sits perfectly in the bottom of a drawer and lets me grab the right color without having to weed through all the others.
i think i'm finally inspired to organize my tiny closet! somehow, even though it's the smallest closet in the smallest apartment in boston, i'm determined to make it a tidy one!
i love your blog. seriously, so adorable. i'm just starting a small blog of my own, and i would love to hear any tips from you about layouts, design, and anything else you could think of for someone just starting out!
Thank you for posting this. Very helpful information.
This is great! I wish I had a walkin closet. I guess I shouldn't complain because the entire closet belongs to me and the BF gets an exposed hanging rack and a bookshelf :p.
I also use rolled up magazines in my boots — a suggestion for the non-wine drinkers (though personally, I drink tons of wine! Well…not tons…)
I love reading your tips, they're so helpful and so true. I have a question about your inspiration board: would you be able to give us a sneak peak at it? Pretty please!
Love your blog!
Thank you so much for the tips! I am heading to ikea now this weekend because I need that tights/socks organizer. I just keep them in a pile and lose them every which way. This advice is so helpful!
Oh, and I'm totally one of the OCD organize my closet by color people so thank you for not judging!
There is nothing better than a well organized closet. It takes a lot of stress out of my life.
I really enjoyed your first two posts (which inspired me to purge and assess) and now this one. Can't wait for the next two posts!
OMG so many great ideas for organization in this closet! I LOVE the tights in the shoe box from Ikea, that is such a great idea! I'm definitely feeling like reoganizing today 🙂 great post!
Awesome post! Thanks.
I always imagine fashion bloggers to have these huge closets filled with clothes. Its a relief to see that you're down to earth and don't have one of everything. And I love the inspiration board. Thanks for sharing!
What a helpful post! Thanks!
Love the wine bottle tips for my boots! Thanks Kendi and great post!
Yay for closet organization! You're giving me inspiration for my closet once we've moved. Thanks!
Awesome! So inspiring, I have been trying to organize my closet (ok, make that closets) for years now.
that is definitely one thing i need to do in my apartment…i have thought about buying clothes racks and displaying my favorite pieces in my room, but i feel like it would be too cluttered!
this gives me hope!!
I have major closet envy right now!!! Oh how I wish mine looked like this…mine looks much like the first picture…ERRRR!
very inspiring Kendi! What are the chances that we both featured our closets today…? ha! One of my commenters just told me to come check out your post!
Geez your sistem really works magic! You can stop by my closet anytime honey! Think my biggest problem is that I shop for a lot and don't have enough space! Gotta figure that out asap, loved your organizers, so going to try them 😉
Thank you for your ideas. How come the simplest ideas are always the best. The way you keep your tights is awesome. I'm doing this today. And I love your accessory wall. Brilliant. 😀
Your closet is awesome! Love of all of the little details: tights, jewelry and pretty shoes lined up.
For me, this was the best closet post. I organize mine very often, so this is not new to me. But here were so many new and helpful inspirations!! And thanks for sharing your closet with us!! (My husbands closet looks always like your before picture)
looks great! my sis Livy stuffs fashion magazines in her boots works kinda like the wine bottle.. i really need to purge.. i have 3 closets (one for ONLY beautiful shoes) and i still feel like i have nothing to wear! i am starting part 1 TODAY!
Those are really easy to follow steps. I wonder if I organize my closet it will magically become a walk in… probably not.
The Container Store has some decent earring storage.
Also, I have declared next week colored tights week in the world of 260 Days, No Repeats if you would like to join me 🙂
Very impressive transformation! I love pretty closets. 😀
good Girl! You did a fabulous job. That before picture was really scary! I am not an overly organized person. I love how you stored your tights and accessories. I have over 30 pairs of socks and tights so this idea will save my relationship, I mean life! Great post, thanks
I love it, I feel inspired to spend my weekend organizing my closet.
Sadly I will be stuck in Mammoth in the snow, sneezing and tearing up a sad little storm while everyone snowboards and enjoys them selves.
wow the before and afterr photos are soo different:) great work Kendi!!:D love the after photo, the way u organised ur closet looks great and I LOVE ur tights collection!! so many colors. makes me need to get organised and buy some more myself instead of just black or grey lol. and to reorganise my ever growing and embarrasing amount of clothes closet haha:P
This is a really helpful with the way you showed us the before and after + links to the products you used to become more organized! For my boots I don't use wine bottles, I actually roll up old magazines or newspapers and put them inside. I think it helps the leather/suede etc. breathe easier than a bottle would!
Can I pay you to come and organize my closet?
I'm moving in a new apartment on Saturday and I NEEDED to see this!
Now that is inspiring.
this is a very helpful and inspiring post, kendi. i have had the hardest time getting started with cleaning out my closet – and let's not even talk about organizing. baby steps.
Great ideas Kendi! I wish I had a little more room in my closet, but as I've been honing my wardrobe, it's made it easier to deal with! 🙂
I feel inspired! Thanks for the post. I love the rolled up tights idea.
ps. Have you worn those cute red/white (plaid looking)heels in the last pic? I dont think I've seen them on you. I wouldn't know what to wear them with but they are FABULOSO!
I love, love, love the idea for organizing your tights. Mine are shoved in a bin in the dark corner of my closet and I never know what I have in there at any given time. I'm totally going to steal your idea (I hope you don't mind)!
Great post! I am always reorganizing my closet…I find it pretty fun 🙂 My favorite things are my cascading pant hangers. Oh and I recently completed my goal of having all my hangers the same. It took a while because I like those velvety ones (keeps silky shirts from falling off) and they are not so much on the cheap side.
This is a great post, and Im feeling inspired. Inspired to go to IKEA, that is. I love the wine bottle idea, that's really clever! Question: Where does Mr. Everyday keep his clothes if you get the whole closet? It's a constant battle for closet territory in my house. I steal hangers, he steals them back, I hide tank tops under his blazers, he puts his boots on top of my purses. It gets ugly.
Today is the day I take on my closet! It is so out of control I can't even describe it. I will be posting pics on my blog soon- thanks for the tips!!
i live in new york city… i would KILL FOR A CLOSET THAT SIZE! as it stands now, my entire room is a closet… one that needs organizing. thanks for the tips!
Great post! I love the built-in shelves you have. It would be so awesome to have a wall full of shoes! Using that Ikea belt organizer for your scarves is genius. I need to get one of those. 🙂
THANK YOU. For posting that first shot so I can feel better about myself. Haha. 🙂 I feel like I'm the ONLY one in the world that cannot stay organized! Like I'm the ONLY one that is afraid to open cabinets and closets because I'm afraid everything is going to fall on top of me. I just organized my closet too – to the best of my ability. And I actually created something for my necklaces similar to the Necklase Showcase pictured. I ALSO have considered putting up an inspiration board in my closet – and every page from that editorial from Lucky would have gone on it. The ONLY thing I'm afraid of is that it would become yet another clutter space in my closet. So I'm actually considering a binder. ? What do you think?
I love your closet! I wish mine looked like that. Can you come help me please?! I am down-grading to a much much smaller closet and I have no clue how I am going to make it all fit. You gave me some great ideas on things I can get at Ikea though.
I see you have normal hangers. Have you considered buying a pack of huggable hangers from Costco so you can make more room in your closet for more clothes ==> ergo, more fashion blogging??
Wow, that's a lot of tights.
Beautiful, tidy closet 😉 I'm jealous 😀
I ROYGBIV my tops. I use skirt hangers for my skirts and shorts. Keep all the dresses together in the back.
I'm with everyone else on your tights! Great idea! Mine are all together in a drawer but I can't see them easily. Thanks for the idea!
Oh dear, my before closet is not that different from yours! I'm glad I'm not the only slobby person.
But you're inspiring me to get it clean!
now i feel like i should do something to my closet. lol. great tips!
i have a question/ request for u. I am a new reader of urs and love the blog.
can u do a post with helpful hints on taking self photographs and how to pose?
i took some pix the other day of myself and they were aweful. i know that your husband takes the pix for u, but if you could offer any advise, that would be great! 🙂
I love how you've done your tights – much better than rolled and shoved in a drawer. I will now be on the hunt for a tights cubby.
I fall victim to messy closet syndrome, mostly with my shoes. After scuffing a few pair, I've learned to do better. aslong as i put them in their assigned place immediately after pulling them off, i do ok. Yes, my shoes have assigned seating, all 37 pair of them. it's ridiculous.
I take my organization a little further and not only hang by clothing type, then by color, but also by lenth – tank, short sleeve, long sleeve, etc. its easier to see that way, for me anyway. mt closet is divided in the middle by a shoe rack, so tops and blazers go on one side and skirts, dresses, slacks on the other.
Probably best org. tip i've got is from Sal over at Already Pretty – use rolled up magazines to keep your tall boots from flopping over. i never thought to use wine bottles! gives me something to do with all those old mags anyway.
Great closet series!
So Miss Kendi it seems I've done things a little out of order! As per usual, if we're being real. I organized before both purging and assessing, which actually turned out GREAT because I was better able to purge and assess once I figured out what the heck I had! *sigh* sometimes 2 steps back is the only way I suppose.
I started the inspiration board in my closet by just taping magazine clippings on the wall. The I found a huge frame in our attic (with no picture or glass in it,just the frame) and hung it around the clippings. Now it looks like it's art! Ha! Let's see husband argue with that one…
Looks like closet halls of fame are seriously in our future. 🙂
Too funny. I also roll my tights and keep them in a compartment like you have! AND I have one of the Ikea hole caddy for my multiple scarfs! We empty similar methods I see…
i am so gonna organize my closet today! thank u!
Good grief! Exhibit A is FRIGHTENING!!!! That's what my bf's closet looks like. And the trunk of her car… I'm convinced there are bodies in both places that she has no clue about… My closet organization nuttiness started w/my friend Ash who has her closet organized on all the same color hangers by item and color, shoes arranged in rows under the clothes also by color. I did it too a few years ago and now my closet is a delight! It's one of the first things I do when I move. I need more compartments, though. My biggest problem is that the shelves above the hanging items is too high for my shortness. My closet would look even better if I could reach those shelves w/o harming myself and my shoes!
I have major closet envy. However, you have inspired me to clean up my closet! Thank you. xx veronika
Oh my gosh… your before photo looks just like my closet/bedroom/life.
I swear I've been diligently doing laundry and organizing for two weeks straight every night after work. But it's endless! I know that when I'm finished and organized like you life will be so much easier.
Thanks for the motivation my dear! 🙂
I love seeing other people have messy closets. It makes us all seem real. 🙂 Though, the funny thing is… my closet is probably the cleanest place in my entire apartment!
LOVE the idea of keeping an inspiration board in your closet. Now I just need to find room!
This. is. awesome!! Thank you for this. Your blog is gorgeous!
Thanks for this post series!
Try rolling up old magazine's instead of the wine bottle to hold up
your boots. (I've been known to flip through 'em for inspiration sometimes too, kind of like a inspiration board.)
I still might switch one out for a bottle of wine for those Friday night pretty parties before heading out. Fun!
Kendi – Your blog is amazing!
Readers – If you need more detailed guides on how to organize each are of your closet so it'll look perfect just like in stores try theasksection.blogspot.com