Master Closet Organization Ideas
Last summer, I set off to revamp my wardrobe, which then kicked off a bigger re-organization of our Master Closet. I’d love to say this closet was a quick weekend makeover project; but in reality, it’s been a several-month endeavor of purging clothes, installing some renter-friendly systems, and even identifying (through LOTS of trial-and-error) the best storage solutions for our particular wardrobes. I am so excited to (finally!) give you the tour of our finished closet, and share some of my favorite master closet organization ideas with you!
Can you believe I’ve been blogging about our 8 homes for almost 10 years and this is the VERY first “Master Closet Reveal”?
Truth be told, the master closet is usually one of the final spaces I get to…if I ever get to it at all. And since Greg and I aren’t typically on the same page about how to organize our shared closet, I’ve never had a finished product to show you. This time around, my wardrobe overhaul inspired Greg to purge through his clothes too, and we worked together to come up with some great master closet organization ideas that work for both of us!
Below is a snapshot of where we started. Although we had a few systems in place, most weren’t working well. Additionally, the closet was overstuffed, the floor was packed, and we weren’t taking advantage of the vertical height of the closet walls.
But here is how the closet looks today!
Getting rid of most of our clothing certainly helped, but so did adding some really affordable and smart storage solutions. Let me give you a tour of everything we have in here!
Taking Advantage of the Walls
I’m continually amazed at how much wasted space there is in “builder basic” closets. Although a single shelf above the clothing rod provides some storage, our “before” photo clearly demonstrates that it’s pretty hard to use that space without additional systems in place.
After seeing how well an additional shelf worked in our front hall closet, I knew it was the answer for maximizing the storage capacity of our master closet too.
These shelves are nothing fancy; you can get them at most hardware store in a variety of sizes (brackets and shelves). You can buy as many brackets as you need and cut the board to any length, making them a really affordable solution for pretty much any spot in the home.
We opted to hang shelving halfway between the existing shelf and the ceiling. We put one long shelf across the back and a shorter shelf along the left side.
In a “forever home,” we would have worked harder to come up with a more seamless solution for the corner. However, hanging the two shelves at the same height and perpendicular to each other works quite well!
We chose not to hang a shelf on the right-side wall because my shoe collection fits so comfortably without a shelf. However, we did hang another storage system on the wall below the clothing rod.
Here, “drawers” slide into a box, which hooks into rails secured to the wall. Not only is this system pretty flexible and easy to expand, but it is no more difficult to install than a standard shelf. This off-the-shelf option is a really great way to add some “built in” storage to a closet without demo, custom systems, or tons of holes in the wall.
Since I have more folded clothes than hanging clothes, this was the perfect way to accommodate a majority of my wardrobe within the footprint of our master closet.
You can see how I made the “faux” drawer fronts HERE.
Smart Clothing Storage Solutions
In addition to adding more storage surfaces, we also worked hard to find just the right solutions for our various wardrobe elements (e.g., shoes, uniforms, etc). Let me break down a few more of the master closet organization ideas seen in this space!
Greg didn’t want to fuss with boxes or racks for his shoes, so we made space for him to simply place them on the open shelving.
I use clear stacking shoe boxes for my collection, and I honestly couldn’t love this solution more!
The boxes are super simple to stack, as well to get up-and-down from the shelf. The picture labels help me know which shoes are where and also hold me accountable to actually put my shoes back everyday.
You can see how I made the shoebox labels HERE.
The single right-side shelf holds the collection of 16 boxes plus my rain boots, hiking boots, and ice skates perfectly!
Another big switch we made was swapping all of our mismatched plastic hangers for identical non-slip versions. I had read these velvet hangers allow you to store more in a closet. I’m not entirely sure they help us fit more, but I can’t overstate how much cleaner the whole closet looks because of them. And the fact that clothes don’t fall off them at all definitely keeps our floors clothing free!
You can see my entire Capsule Wardrobe HERE.
Closet Storage Boxes
Although the open shelving gave us more surface area, I knew they would quickly fall into disarray if we didn’t use bins or boxes to coral smaller, non-stackable items. I searched forever (even returning several sets) to find bins that were sizable, sturdy, and of course…cute! I am seriously obsessed with these pin-striped versions from Storageworks.
After identifying 1) what types of items we needed to store on our shelves, and 2) how much space we actually had, I determined 3 of the lidded boxes and 3 of the trapezoid bins would be ideal.
The large lidded boxes are nice and roomy and don’t warp very easily. We are using them to store chunky sweaters, memorabilia, and other rarely-used items.
See how I made the labels with my Cricut machine HERE.
The trapezoid bins are great for holding random items or things too large for a lidded box. We have one to store all Greg’s covers (uniform hats), his uniform “extras,” and my bags and purses.
My only complaint with these darling bins is that the trapezoid versions don’t have label holders like the boxes. So I flipped them around (you can still pull them down by the handles on the sides) and placed a label in my favorite label holders.
These bins use up the available shelf space perfectly and are a great way to contain collections that would otherwise topple or be hard to keep tidy.
The final storage solution I’m using are these hanging clothespin bags. I have my scarves in one and my bathing suits in the other. Not only are these infrequently-used items all together and easy to find; but by hanging them on a rod, I free up precious drawer space in my nightstand!
You can see how I labeled these hanging bags HERE.
Shop Our Master Closet
All together, these smart and affordable systems have truly transformed our master closet!
1 – StorageWorks Lidded Boxes | 2 – StorageWorks Tapered Boxes | 3 – Silver Bin Clips | 4 – Canvas Hanging Bags | 5 – Velvet Hangers | 6 – White Metal Shelf Brackets | 7 – Hangable Drawer Unit | 8 – Wire Basket Drawers | 9 – White Laminate Shelves
I hope this post gives you some great master closet organization ideas! Like other organizational overhauls we’ve completed around the house, we’ve been amazed how much having a tidy closet positively impacts our day-to-day lives. Finding clothes, getting dressed, and even putting away laundry is so much easier; and I definitely didn’t realize how much easier it would be to vacuum with the floor completely empty!
I’m so glad I didn’t leave this spot until the very last minute like usual!
19 Comments on “Master Closet Organization Ideas”
This looks so neat! As always, love your ideas. You’ve inspired me with a few updates we can use in our master closet. I have been using the pantry organization from one of your previous house posts since I redid the pantry at the beginning of Covid last year. And…it still looks great and organized. Love the Target weave baskets and the Container Store label holders that I used in there.
That’s so great to hear, Deanna! Those Target baskets are my go-to for almost everywhere…I love hearing they are working for you!
The things that drive you nuts are usually the spaces you need to do first. Looks good. You are obviously tall enough to access those high shelves.
Thanks Linda! Yes – the trouble spots are typically where I start, but that never seems to apply to our closet for some reason! Easy to overlook I guess. I can reach those high shelves, but we purposely put items up there that are seasonal or that we don’t use very often!
Wow! You must go in and stare at just how great your closet looks (and works) now! You’ve given me some inspiration for my son’s closet (after we PURGE)!
Thanks so much, Shannon! I can see the closet from my spot in our bed, and it’s definitely a welcome sight to wake up to each day! So glad there’s some ideas that might work for you here!
Love your blog! Curious as to the reason there are big empty spaces between each canvas box… other than to facilitate getting to one in the corner. I would have the containers reasonably close together to use the extra storage space 🙄
Great question! There’s a few reasons.
First, I prefer all my boxes to match and a 4th definitely wouldn’t have fit.
Second, it was partly out of necessity, or lack thereof I guess. I worked hard to identify the categories of items we needed to store, and then found baskets to accommodate those categories. I came up with 6 categories of items, so I needed 6 baskets.
Finally, a little extra space visually gives some “breathing room” which can make the whole area look a little nicer!
Hope that helps! Megan
This looks great. It is nice to know that it takes even someone like you — a master organizer — several tries to get the right system. It looks like it was definitely worth the effort. I do have a question about the “box” hung on the wall with the wire “drawers.” Where did you source the box and hanging system?
Thanks so much – it definitely was a work in progress for a long time, but it was well worth it to get it figured out just right! The hanging system is from The Home Depot (Closetmaid). You can click the links or shopping picture in the post and it will take you right to the product!
Hope that helps! Megan
Hi Megan – the link to the Home Depot stackable base unit doesn’t give any instructions for hanging it like you did. In fact, the description states that this is a floor unit. Can you please give us details on how you hung yours? It would be very helpful. Thanks!
Oh I see the confusion now – I am so sorry. I actually had to dig through some old posts to make sure I had the correct info this time!
The box and rails are indeed part of this ClosetMaid system from The Home Depot. In looking more closely at the website, it appears that some of the specific pieces I used (like that box unit) might no longer be carried (at least online).
To get a really good sense of how it is setup, refer to this post: https://thehomesihavemade.com/2017/07/organized-nursery-closet-start-finish/ (There, I have tons of pictures of how it’s hung and how it works).
I know The Home Depot often carries stuff in stores that isn’t on the website, so next time I am in, I will see what the current offerings are!
I hope that helps a bit!
My closet needs a refresh….starting with a clothes purge! These are some great suggestions. I can’t wait to implement some of these ideas…if I ever get a redone closet. 🙂
The purge alone made such a huge difference on its own! It’s a great way to see a lot of change, especially if not much else can be updated right away 😉
Thanks for sharing. Very neat and tidy. I like your faux fronts! Very creative! It’s so well put together.
I don’t think I’d be disciplined enough to put my shoes back in those boxes every time. I’m short so I prefer lower storage. Another idea to maximize hanging space is to raise one hanging rod by 1-2 feet (as high as you can hang a hanger) and install another rod below to double your hanging space for shirts and blouses, etc. To reach those boxes you can add a stool/chair to the closet. Also helpful for dressing.
I have a single level closet and would really like some organizational ideas.
I’m in the midst of redoing our master closets and the thing that made the biggest difference? Hubby being deployed! (Haha! Just kidding. . . Well, it’s true, but I’d rather have him here than an empty closet.)
We are renting furnished and I’ve found that closets are great places to put extra dressers/bookshelves that we don’t want in the main living areas but can also provide extra storage. Because we have two generously sized closets in the master bedroom and teeny-tiny closets everywhere else, the kids’ clothes are in our closets, too. Makes laundry/dressing much easier for me (and for my kids, as I’m checking that they’ve actually hung things up or put them in the hamper.)
Also, I’m the opposite of you in that I hang almost everything and fold as little as possible. We have lots of kids and I found it way more efficient to hang clothes while I did laundry — especially when I had a European sized dryer and ended up air drying most things.
With that caveat, I found I much preferred the simple, white plastic hangers that can be found at Target or Walmart to the velvet hangers. Quicker to slide clothes on, less likely to break, and inexpensive to replace. But to keep things peaceful to my eyes, I’ve removed every other type/color of hanger except for heavy-duty wooden ones for Hubby’s suits.
I recently have added numerous storage areas in my basement and thanks to your web site, I’ll now know how to get my “stuff” organize and/or pitched. A Big Thank-You!
FYI – I have a better solution for your shoes. Called – “Shoe slotZ” A space-saving storage unit. Doubles your storage space. This works great for women’s, men’s and children’s shoes.
I use these for my dress shoes, tennis shoes, horse & yard shoes.