OK, so let's start with a "before" picture:
(Notice I made sure to plaster the word "before" all over this picture.... The haphazard mountains of clothes and exploding bins strewn on the floor still make my eye twitch....)
This may be hard to believe but I actually lost closet space when we moved from my apartment to the condo. I gave the girls the master bedroom when we moved into the condo, since they outnumber me (and also there's a lot more sunlight that comes in the smaller bedroom- great for morning person me but not for preschool children who fight naps). I tried for a while to keep some of my clothes in the giant armoire I have on the other side of the room and in bins under my bed, but I hated walking around the room just to assemble one outfit, and I really wanted to use the armoire to hold other things. So I started playing with different solutions.
After I updated the girls' closet (that was another awesome transformation- read this post and this post to see that one), I had extra bins leftover from their old closet. I also re-organized the girls' toys in the basement playroom and was able to bring the IKEA Expedit shelf that used to hold toys up to my closet. Although it wasn't pretty, I was able to use those "leftovers" to play around with where I could keep different clothes and figure out what I wanted.
I initially thought I would like the idea of bins turned sideways, like the red and green ones you can see on the floor in the "before" picture, because then there are no drawers to open and I could easily find what I need. I quickly discovered that, if I maximized the space in each bin (which I need to do with the smaller closet space), it was too hard to keep everything organized and contained. That's when I switched to thinking about drawers, but I wanted to have all the different types of clothes separated like I did in the smaller bins, and most sets of shallow drawers I found were too expensive (at least in the quantity I would need) or too bulky.
Then I took a trip to IKEA and all of my problems were solved (how many times have I said this? A LOT, people, a LOT):
I picked up two things at IKEA that completely transformed my closet: these ALGOT metal mesh basket systems, and these blue SKUBB fabric bins.
I seriously lucked out with the metal baskets: they fit perfectly inside my closet, just barely allowing the doors to close in front of them, they are the perfect height so they stay under my hanging clothes, and they were just recently released and on sale when I went to the store. They had a few different combinations, including taller frames and deeper bins, but these were perfect for that space.
TIP 1: SHALLOW DRAWERS ALLOW FOR BETTER SORTING
I was able to fit all of my non-hanging tops and bottoms into these drawers! For leggings and shirts that don't wrinkle, I rolled each one up and put them side by side so I could see each one without having to sort through a big stack. That freed up enough drawer space so that the rest are stacked just 2-4 items high, so I still don't have much to sort through to find what I need. Each drawer is sorted by type (long sleeve/ short sleeves/ etc).
TIP 2: ROLL UP CLOTHES THAT DON'T WRINKLE SO YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING
I was pretty excited about the particular fabric bins- probably more excited than one should be about such things- for 3 reasons: they fit perfectly in the Expedit shelves to maximize the space, they have a vertical handle on the front which makes them easier (in my mind) to pull in and out, and the color matched my other room decor.
TIP 3: USE BINS THAT MAXIMIZE CUBE STORAGE SPACE
Inside the bins I actually re-used some of those old bins again:
They are perfect for dividing up the large bins into smaller ones so I can keep two different types of items in the same bin without them getting mixed up! I may eventually find something that fits the boxes a little more completely so I can use the full depth of the bins, but for now this works perfectly and everything fits!
TIP 4: USE SMALLER BINS TO DIVIDE LARGER ONES
The final touch actually came from another store I love: Michael's. I found the small chalkboard hanging signs on clearance and I knew I couldn't beat that price (or those colors, which again fit in so nicely with the rest of my room!) so I went ahead and got them, even though they are a little bigger than I initially was thinking of getting.
TIP 5: USE LABELS TO KEEP TRACK OF THE CONTENTS OF YOUR BINS/DRAWERS
I did have to do a little surgery on these little guys to make them work. First I cut the twine on one end, threaded the twine through the handle on the bin and back through the hole on the label, then tied a knot to keep it attached to the bin. To keep them attached at the top of the bin (instead of hanging down at the bottom, where they get in the way when you pull the bin in and out), I stapled the twine to the handle. So far it had held up perfectly! I used my trusty chalk marker to label each bin. I love this because if I ever change my mind and move clothes around, I can easily re-label the bins without removing the label itself.
I hope you found some helpful tips to help you get your closet more organized! What are your favorite tips for organizing your closet? Leave a comment! :)