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Organizing Pro’s Genius Shower Caddy Hack Frees Up Closet Space + More Storage Tips

Plus 8 more DIY ways to organize your closet

There’s nothing more frustrating than running out of space in the closet, especially if you’re tight on storage space throughout the rest of your home. Plus, with hats, pants, shoes and more, it can be tough to keep everything tidy in such a small area. So we asked experts for clever DIY closet organizer hacks to help maximize the minimal space so it works the best for you!

DIY closet organizer: 9 savvy hacks for different items

Before you get started on re-working the space, you’ll want to go through what’s already in your closet. “It’s essential to assess and remove items you no longer need or use as it gives space for the items we love and makes organization easier,” says Olivia Parks, owner and lead organizer of Professional Organizer New Orleans. “I like to declutter enough items to create more space and group items by type or frequency of use to maintain organization and accessibility.” Once you’ve pulled out the items you no longer need, it’s time to start re-organizing! Read on for helpful hacks:

1. For clothes: Use thinner hangers

Velvet hangers are a closet organizer DIY

One of the most frustrating aspects of a closet is not enough space for hanging clothes! If things are packed in a small spot, regular plastic hangers actually take up a lot of room, plus clothes can slip off and end up in a mess on the floor, creating closet chaos. A better alternative: I use velvet hangers,” says Parks. “Clothing is less likely to fall off and create a disorganized look, and they’re more narrow than other options.”

2. For shoes: Keep them sorted with plastic boxes and Post-it Notes

Plastic boxes keep shoes organized

Few things make a closet feel more messy than piles of shoes on the floor. “Easily free up space by placing shoes in clear, uniform boxes, which can be stacked on a top of a shelf or the floor of a closet,” says Rachel Rosenthal, organizational expert. She organizes shoes by type and labels each box with Post-it Super Sticky Notes. “And since Post-it Notes have strong sticking power, I can trust that they will remain in place even as items get moved around.”

3. For pants and jeans: Try shower-curtain hooks

Hang jeans on shower curtain hooks for a closet organizer DIY

A great space saver and hanger alternative? Shower-curtain hooks. “They’re perfect for hanging anything with a loop from jeans to shorts,” says Heather Aiello, CEO and founder of The Organized You. Just loop the hook through a belt loop on and hang it on your closet rod.

Also smart? You can use these hooks to hang large purses or bags on the rod instead of placing them on a shelf or on the wall, adds Rosenthal. 

Related: How To Fold Pants To Save Space: Organization Pros Share Their Brilliant Hacks

4. For bags, ties and more: Opt for over-the door shower caddies

“I always say to make use of any unused real estate — especially on the inside of doors and tops of closets,” notes Rosenthal. To enhance storage on a door, simply attach a few hooks or a hanging pocket organizer to stash scarves, belts or even jewelry. “These hanging units triple the amount of storage and keep often-used items neatly contained yet within reach.” Also smart: Stow lesser-used items (like out-of-season sweaters, hats or throws) on the top shelf.

Have a shower caddy you don’t use? Hang in on the closet door and use it to organize bags, ties, sweaters and more. Check out this video from @FABEDhacks for a variety of ways you can repurpose the low-cost item:

5. For boots: Free up floor room by hanging them

Hang boots in a closet as a closet organizer DIY

You love having different options of boots to wear, but they can easily become a messy pile on the bottom of your closet. What’s more, taller boots tend to flop over, which leads to unsightly creases in the fabric. A favorite trick of Aiello: “You can use clip skirt hangers for boots. These help them to keep their shape and saves floor space.”

6. For jewelry: Sidestep tangles with a cork board

In a jewelry box or a drawer, necklaces and bracelets can easily end up in a knotted mess. What’s more, you may have very limited space to store jewelry in an organizer on a shelf. If you have wall space in your closet, try this: “A hack that we use for hanging jewelry is to use a bulletin board or corkboard,” says Aiello. “You can use pins to hold necklaces and bracelets.”

See how well this works in the TikTok from @darlene_darma below:


Best way to organize jewelry!! I might make another one for my earrings #organize #necklacehack #necklaceorganizer #jewellry #hacks

♬ Luxury fashion (no vocals) – TimTaj

7. For scarves: Opt for a towel rod

Hang scarves on a towel rod as a closet organizer DIY

 Towel rods attached to the door or wall of your closet can practically double the acreage in your wardrobe. “Simply hang scarves by looping them around the bar and even necklaces by clasping them around it,” says Joanne Archer of Expert Home Tips. “You can also place your high-heeled shoes on the rod — the possibilities are endless.”

Related: Genius Tension Rod Hack Makes Your Winter Gloves and Hats So Easy to Find

8. For coats: Color code hangers

coat closet
James Ransom / MSLO

“A closet near the front door is the holy grail of entryway organization — and you can improve this area very quickly,” assures Martha Stewart, who talks about these and other organizing tricks in her book Martha Stewart’s Organizing Her simple solutions for a cluttered coat closet: Utilize door space by hanging baskets and a small mirror for last-minute touch-ups. Also smart: Color-code hangers for each family member, using paint or ribbon. “Everyone is happier if they know where things go.” When it comes to all those items taking up valuable real estate on the top shelf, Stewart says, “If they haven’t been touched for six months, move them to longer-term storage.”

9. For sweaters, socks and more: Store them in cubes

bedroom closet
ClosetMaid /

To make even small closets feel spacious without spending a fortune on pricey organizing units, try adding an affordable cube shelf like ones from Closet Maid above and below your clothing rack, suggests organizing pro Tanya Plattner of “This shelving comes in a myriad of shapes and sizes that can be mixed, matched, rotated and stacked to fit any closet.” Simply stash shoes, socks, folded sweaters, accessories and other essentials in bins on the shelves of the bottom unit, then place any items that aren’t used as frequently but still need to remain easily accessible in the top unit.

More DIY closet organizer secrets

Add the right lighting: “We spend time each day digging through our closet, so making sure it’s easy to navigate is key,” says Rosenthal. Her simple ideas to add function and style to any closet: Apply press-on LED lights to the wall or under shelves and line shelves with pretty peel-and-stick wallpaper or shelf liner. “Having more light and adding a pop of color in a closet will allow you to find items faster. Plus, it will make the space look larger!”

Group clothes by length: Group short-hanging pieces at one end of the closet rod and longer clothes at the other. This creates extra space on the bottom for a stacking shoe rack or a storage bin. 

Add space with a tiered hanger rod: “Finding more space in your closet doesn’t need to require a pricey renovation or installation,” assures Rosenthal. Simply add a double rod hanger — it hooks onto your existing closet rod and adds another rod below, allowing you to hang twice the amount of clothing. One to try: Closet Maid Double Hang Rod (Buy from Amazon, $11.47

For more home organizing tips, keep reading!

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