It’s finally here—the much-anticipated closet tour! After I posted My Best Tips for Cleaning Out Your Closet back in May, several of you requested to see the tips in action and to see my own closet, post-cleaning. I always lovvve seeing people’s closets and bedrooms because I really enjoy organizing and find it super helpful to see how others store their stuff. Or maybe I’m just a creeper who’s obsessed with clothes? Either way, I’m so excited to be fulfilling your request today, as you all know how much I love Before and After photos! I wish these photos were better quality, but unsurprisingly, my closet has (almost) no natural light.
A few reminders before I begin! While I do have a lot of clothes, the majority of my closet is either hand-me-downs and thrifted, or clothing that I’ve had since middle school. I try to take very good care of my clothes so that they last forever and I can continue to re-style pieces in new ways. I like to think of myself as a “clothing collector” hehe. (Not to mention, I’m obsessive about cost per wear—so I definitely make sure to get my money’s worth out of every item.) As much as I sometimes would love to be constantly shopping and receiving new clothing, that’s not my reality!
Also, stay tuned ’til the end of the post because I’m sharing pictures of my dorm closets too, as well as my favorite organizational items to use in smaller closet spaces.
Now, here are the Before pics:
Last summer, I kept my winter wardrobe with my school stuff in storage when I packed up and came home. But this year, since we were abruptly sent home from college and I was supposed to go abroad in the fall, I brought all of my clothing home with me. My closet has been a mess with all my stuff ever since!
So besides just general cleaning and reorganizing, I had a few priorities for my closet makeover:
- Make more space for my Lego sets. Yes, I am basically an adult woman, and I still love Legos. I even featured Legos on my blog once! You can see my collection shoved on the top shelf in the pic above.
- Find a better organization system for my purses.
- Make more space for my shoes.
- Add a place for my perfumes, which were previously in my bathroom but took up too much space.
In the photo above, you can see a glimpse of how messy my closet was. Cute tees and sweaters were just folded up and stuffed under the hanging tops (not a good look or very functional). Oh, and I couldn’t even open my closet door all the way!
A completely underutilized section of shelving, since my scrapbooking supplies, perfume, purses, and accessories were all haphazardly stacked on these shelves. I also had a weird shrine with all my childhood trophies, which I finally removed during the makeover!
The back wall held my dresses on the left, coats/jackets/vests on the right, scarves on the bottom right, and a bunch of childhood mementos and stuffed animals on the top shelf. I also had a lot of stuff shoved on the floor. I ended up giving several items away (after taking pictures of my favorite things, since I’m such a sentimental person!) and I packed some things into boxes to put in our crawl space (I’m sure my dad will love that).
I haven’t cleaned out my closet in several years, and I am finally tall enough to not need this red stool anymore (which really got in the way). Since I don’t have any drawers, all of the various bins contained pajamas, t-shirts, athletic clothes, and other stuff like that. There were more purses shoved on a shelf, as well as hats and all of my shoes on the bottom.
Behind my closet door, I kept my big, bulky bags. I also had a random drawer liner taped on my door because I thought it would make my closet smell like lavender. Spoiler alert: it didn’t.
With my priorities in mind, and while following my closet clean-out tips from this blog post, I got to work! So without further ado (drum roll please), here are the After photos…
I don’t think the After photos are quite as dramatic as I was hoping (my closet basically looks the same), but I still made quite a few changes. I really wanted all my hangers to match to give the closet a cleaner look. However, I wasn’t willing to pay for new hangers, nor did I want to waste the perfectly good ones I already had. Instead, I made the hangers match within categories of clothing. For example, all of my dresses on the left of the back wall have white hangers, whereas all my bottoms on the left wall have black hangers.
I moved all my Legos to the very top shelf of the back and right walls (where my stuffed animals used to be). I moved a couple of boxes of mementos onto the top shelf on the left wall.
I also decided to reorganize all my hanging items on the left wall. Rather than color-coordinating all tops and bottoms together, I decided to separate them into smaller subcategories. The tops are now divided by cardigans, collared shirts, and blouses, and the bottoms are divided by skirts and pants (my shorts used to be here too, but I moved them elsewhere). I’ve tried both ways over the years—all tops intermingled versus breaking them up into subcategories—and I haven’t found that one way works better for me. How do you like to categorize your hanging items? No matter which way I do it, I always love to maintain the color-coordination!
You can also see that I moved all the folded blouses and sweaters from beneath the hanging tops, and I cleared everything off the floor (except the basket of extra blankets). Besides the Legos and a few boxes of mementos, I tried to make my closet a space only for clothes and accessories, not the other stuff I was keeping there before.
I changed the shelves on the left a lot. I just got the fabric “drawers” on the bottom shelf from Amazon yesterday, and you can buy them here. The pattern is really cute, but unfortunately the bins are not super sturdy. I think they’re designed to go in actual drawers as dividers. They’re good enough for me, but if you plan on using the bins as real drawers (pulling them out a lot), then I’d recommend looking for something sturdier.
The dresses stayed in the same location, but I hung up a few belts on a belt hanger next to the dresses. The teal bins on the higher shelves store the rest of my belts, swimsuits, gloves, extra pillow cases to keep my skin clear, and random closet stuff (extra buttons, etc.).
While the lighting of this photo is not ideal, I really love how my purse storage turned out. I put the biggest pieces on the top shelf where my trophies used to sit, and the two black magazine holders on the left hold coin purses and beaded purses, kept separate so they don’t scratch or snag anything. Purses are usually the hardest thing for me to organize because they take up a lot of space and are “delicate” in that you don’t want to scratch or fold them. How do you like to store your bags? At school, I just shove them all into a fabric bin and hope for the best.
On the right, I used an old box to create a divider for my perfumes. Ideally, I would love a perfume organizer like this one from Amazon, but I’m not willing to pay $30 for it.
I got quite crafty to find the best way to organize my accessories. While you can’t see them in this picture, I cut an old shoebox in half to make two “dividers” for my purses. These help to keep the stack from completely tumbling over when I pull one purse out.
On the lower shelf, I have two picture frames I made to store all my hair pins (you can watch my DIY highlight on Instagram for a tutorial!). I then used another shoebox to build a makeshift shelf. The plastic container in the middle has more hair clips, and the two fabric bins on the right contain headbands/scrunchies and sunglasses.
I’m soooo pleased with how my sunglasses organizer turned out. I just used construction paper to make little dividers. Not only is this a way more space-efficient method to store my sunglasses, but it also keeps them from getting crushed! My only concern is scratching them, but given how inexpensive all of these shades were, I’m not too worried. I will be sharing a DIY tutorial of this on Instagram soon, too!
My scarves remained in this section. My closet still had a lot of open space, so I decided to fill it with “prettier” displays of my clothing, even though these are often less space-efficient ways of organizing. Like I said, I’m sharing pictures of my dorm room closets at the end of this post to give you ideas for organizing smaller spaces, too!
I rearranged the fabric drawers a bit, but they still have the same stuff: pajamas, t-shirts, etc. Additionally, the two lowest drawers have cute t-shirts (which were previously shoved underneath my hanging tops) and shorts. You can also see that I folded my sweaters on the two bottom shelves. Remember, you should never hang your sweaters because the hangers can stretch them out and misshape them!
Obviously, the right-hand side of the shelving became a shoe wall. Very pleasing to the eye, but honestly a total waste of space. However, like I said, I had room to display my shoes and accessories in a prettier way. At school, I keep all of my sandals and flats in one of those hanging shoes organizers, and I store the rest of my shoes on shoe shelves under my bed.
This is one of the parts I’m most excited about! I absolutely love Command hooks, so I added one to the back of my door for my robe and one on the wall. The one on the wall is to hang any outfits I need to photograph, or to lay out the outfit I want to wear the next day! The plastic thing is what stores sometimes use to hang entire outfits (you can buy them on Amazon here).
And as promised, here are the pics of my closets sophomore year (above) and freshman year (below). I kid you not when I say I brought almost my entire closet to school with me both years… which just goes to show how much you can fit into a tiny space! Both school years I also had a dresser to keep my pajamas and cozy clothes. The items I most recommend purchasing when organizing a smaller closet space are multi-hangers like these, shoe shelves (the ones I linked are expensive but amazing quality), and this insanely useful fabric dresser unit. You can check out my dorm room tours and more of these closet spaces in the posts below!
I hope this post lived up to all your expectations! I know I always write way too much, but I just have so much I want to share. Let me know if you have any questions, suggestions, or tips about your own closet organization, and be sure to check out my Pinterest board for more closet inspo. I only just finished the makeover yesterday, so I still don’t have a sense for how functional the closet is now. But I have a really good feeling that I’m going to love my new organization! For my fellow fashion bloggers, have you ever done a closet tour post? Leave a link in the comments below so I can check it out!
Have a great Thursday and weekend.
Miles of smiles,