How to Organize A Customizable Closet

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #FreeYourClutter #CollectiveBiasScreen Shot 2016-06-01 at 3.25.17 AM

When I quit my job as a Salon Manager (to be home with Jade) four years ago, I had NO idea that I would become even more OCD about my house. Like, All. The. Time. If you have kids or have ever known a kid, you might have guessed that a fully immaculate house is only attainable during the hours while said kids are sleeping… Provided you stay up late to clean everything from top to bottom, only to have it “lived in” at 7AM the next morning. Over the last few years my cleaning expectations for my house have become more manageable realistic as I’ve found a very happy medium with learning how to keep things organized and knowing that it probably won’t be immaculate all the time. I’ve also found that having systems in place helps even the littlest of helpers to keep things looking nice and neat, even if it’s only at the end of the day. Organizing and DIY are my happy place. I get a lot of satisfaction from turning a cluttered, non-functional space into organized and beautiful one.

My organization hobby turned into more than a passion, as I’ve been able to help dozens of people organize their homes professionally. Interestingly enough, I always hear the same thing from my clients: “No matter how much I clean, someone will get in there one time and mess it all up.” This was a big concern for me because if I couldn’t teach someone how to keep something organized and clean, what were they paying me for?! My first priority is teaching others how to not only clean and organize a space, but how to keep it that way. I love organizational systems and tools because they not only make a space look nice, they keep it looking nice by giving everything a “home”.

We’ve recently finished our basement and needed shelving solutions for a large walk in closet. I considered having my husband build shelves, but after comparing the amount of time and work (plus having to paint over our finished hardwood flooring) we started looking elsewhere.Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 2.46.49 PM I found out about the Rubbermaid® HomeFree Series™ Closet Kits and was directed to their interactive Rubbermaid® Storage Planner. I was impressed with how fast and accurate it was. After setting the dimensions for my closet, I was able to fill it with tons of options and customize it exactly how I wanted. For my closet, it recommended one of the expandable wardrobe organizer kits which comes in three different sizes (adjustable for closets 3-6 feet, 4-8 feet or 6-10 feet in length) and they may be used for both walk-in or reach-in closets. We were able to take our custom print-out into Lowes and find exactly what we needed. Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.59.52 PMEven though the Rubbermaid® Storage Planner recommended the Rubbermaid® HomeFree Series™ 6-ft to 10-ft Closet Kit, I still spent a good fifteen minutes pricing out individual items to see if it was the best deal. I only felt a little sheepish, as the kit was a better price (plus it’s already boxed up and ready to go). We ended up purchasing the 6-ft to 10-ft Closet Kit and the Rubbermaid® HomeFree Series™ White Wire Add-On 2-Shelf Kit (because I’m all about maximizing vertical space, extra shelves are everything). My husband loved how fast & easy the kits were to install, with no cutting necessary, a huge bonus. Then, once the main valet rods were in place, I was able to start arranging the shelves and getting to my favorite part, the organization. Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 1.36.38 PM

HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET

Now, in a perfect OCD world I would have all matching bins, baskets and boxes. But the amazing part about systems that work, are they are almost always transferable. So to all of those OCD folks out there, I see it too. As far as my tips and “rules” go,  I really only have four rules for organizing and they definitely apply here.

1. Everything Has a Home

One of the biggest pitfalls I see with poor organization happens when someone is holding on to random stuff that they don’t use. If it’s something you honestly use regularly, give it a home. Adopt this rule and do not allow “miscellaneous” bins. Sell, donate or dump things you can’t find a place for, if you haven’t used in the last twelve months or you feel guilty about tossing because it’s an heirloom. I give you permission, toss it or give it.

 

2. Use ALL Vertical Space

Never waste your vertical space. Think, what tools can help you get the most out of your space? Stackable open bins, clear boxes, drawers, baskets? I love shoeboxes to maximize space this way. They’re affordable, clear so you can see the contents and most importantly they’re uniform. Adding more shelves can help you get more storage and with a better weight distribution. If you start stacking more than two boxes on top of each other it can become difficult to take only the box you need, and it gets harder to put them back right away.Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 1.11.05 AM

3. Label EVERYTHING

Labels may seem like they’re pointless (especially when the boxes are clear) but trust me, sometimes what I think is CLEARLY a box of children’s paint supplies, can quickly turn into an “anything you can find in the craft aisle box”. This will help keep others on board with keeping things organized too.

 

4. Communicate

If you organize a community space (like a pantry) where multiple people will be using it throughout the day, tell everyone what you had in mind and how you want them to use this newly organized space. Make the systems easy enough to follow that anyone using the space would know what item is supposed to go where… Did I mention labels? (ha!)

It’s amazing how having the right tools, taking a little time to organize initially and making it user friendly will save you hours of cleaning and re-cleaning later. If you do find that a system isn’t functioning well, change it! Sometimes it takes a few tries to get the right system to work for you and your family. Another reason I love the Rubbermaid® HomeFree Series™ expanding shelves that let you organize, reconfigure or expand your closet system as your life and needs change. Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 12.33.56 PMScreen Shot 2016-06-01 at 1.07.39 AMIf you’re looking at my finished, organized closet and wondering who in the world needs that many tablecloths, just remember rule number 1. And yes, I use ALL of them.dd57b7c7-71af-412f-9841-80df1df2d3c0I found my Rubbermaid® Closet Kit at Lowes in the closet organization aisle. For more closet inspiration and organization ideas, check out Rubbermaid® on Pinterest.

What is your best tip for closet organization?