Storage closet shelving

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How to organize your closet: 30 ideas for organizing like a pro

Is there a mountain of shoes in your closet? Do you have to wear a hard hat every time you take something off the upper shelf? If so, it's definitely time to organize!

Cleaning is always easier said than done, so we asked organizing expert Donna Smallin Kuper to share some of her favorite tools for keeping closets looking their best.

Whether you're looking to clean the bathroom, bedroom or linen closets, the "Clear the Clutter, Find Happiness" author has you covered with these recommendations.

To shop this article by category, simply click on the links below:

Closet storage baskets, bins and boxes

iDesign Aldo Fabric Dresser Drawer Organizers

These are especially great for towels and linens thanks to their spacious design.

Soft Fabric Stackable Storage Organizer Box

These work well with bulky sweaters or off-season clothes since the clear plastic on the front makes it easy to see what's inside.

Sorbus Woven Basket Container

These woven baskets, which are available in five colors, come in a set of nine sizes for a uniform look.

Hangers and hanger add-ons

House Day Pack Metal Wonder Magic Hangers

This innovative product triples closet storage space by allowing you to hang up to five articles of clothing on a single hanger.

Whitmor 4-Tier Swing Arm Hanger

You can hang five pairs of pants in the space of one hanger with this clever design.

AmazonBasics Velvet Suit Hangers

These velvet hangers will make your closet look much more uniform. Their slim design also allows more of them to fit in a contained space.

Hanging storage

mDesign Over Closet Shelving Organizer

This features two pull-out drawers that fit underneath existing wire shelving. Plus, it's large enough for shirts and pants or multiples of socks and underwear.

Regal Bazaar Double-Sided Hanging Gift Bag and Wrapping Organizer

Another Kuper fave, this holds all your wrapping materials in one convenient place.

Whitmor 4-Section Fabric Closet Organizer

With four shelves to store clothing and a horizontal bar for extra hanging space, this organizer can provide plenty of extra storage.

Whitmor 5-Section Closet Organizer

The five open shelves in this organizer allow easy access to folded clothes. The entire unit simply hooks onto the clothing rod for easy relocation if necessary.

Hanging Closet Bin With Chalkboard

A Kuper pick, these closet bins attach to a door, rod or hanger to expand storage.

Delta Children Nursery Storage Piece Set

This hanging storage set for baby or toddler items is a fast, easy way to organize your little one's clothing.

Closet hooks

AmazonBasics Wall-Mounted Coat Rack

These wall-mounted hooks are great for corralling bags and jackets.

Command Forever Classic Large Metal Hook

This Command hook is attractive, sturdy, easy to apply and designed to not damage walls.

Jewelry organizers

Akro-Mils 64 Drawer Plastic Parts Storage

Each drawer in this unit offers plenty of storage space, and you can double the number of items in each drawer by using dividers.

Brotrade Hanging Jewelry Organizer

This hanging jewelry organizer features 80 pockets that keep items in full view.

Over-the-door storage options

Smart Design Over-the-Door Organizer Pantry Rack

This over-the-door pantry organizer features six shelves and also works great on a closet door.

Lynk Over Door Accessory Holder

This organizer has nine hooks to hold scarves, belts, hats, jewelry and more.

Shelf dividers

Clear Shelf Divider

This clear shelf divider keeps folded items in a neat stack on the shelf while providing a convenient valet knob for hanging tomorrow’s outfit.

Lynk Tall Shelf Dividers

This tall shelf divider slides onto a solid shelf and keeps larger items organized.

Lynk Vela Shelf Dividers

These are made of durable fabric and epoxy-coated steel. The dividers simply lock onto any solid shelf and stay securely in place.

Shelf organizers

Honey-Can-Do Adjustable Coated Steel Wire Shelf

Double the amount of shelving in the closet using these metal shelves.

OXO Good Grips Lazy Susan Turntable

A lazy Susan is great for hard-to-reach places.

Whitmor White Wire Under-Shelf Basket

Using an under-shelf basket can create more storage in any closet.

Shoe organizers

8-Pair Shoe and Purse Organizer

You can easily separate your family's shoes with this spacious shoe cubby.

Whitmor Over The Door Shoe Rack

Each bar can be flipped up to create more space for the row below and accommodate all sizes of shoes.

Whitmor Over The Door Shoe Shelves

This organizer neatly stores 13 pairs of shoes in large, see-through vinyl compartments.

Other closet organization essentials

AmazonBasics Tension Curtain Rod

You can use three tension rods to create a shelf for bins, baskets and other lightweight items.

Position the first rod about an inch from the back of the closet wall and about a foot above the current shelf. Place the second rod 6 inches in front of the first and the third rod 6 inches in front of the second. Keep in mind that the larger the rod, the more weight it will hold.

Billy Bookcase

Hack Ikea's Billy shelf for a custom-closet look. Use ready-made shelving in bedroom closets for instant storage with designer appeal.

Spacesaver Premium Large Vacuum Storage Bags

Vacuum-sealed items take up less space in the closet, and this set is perfect to get you started.

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This article was originally published on Dec. 16,


Most standard closets are pretty lackluster, but installing an organizational system can turn your boring closet into something that not only ensures your clothes and accessories are always right where you need them but actually looks great, too. You know, because style and function are just as important. Closet systems can range from ultra-affordable to totally lavish—it just depends on what your needs are and what aesthetic you're going for. And there are plenty of options for those of you who want to go custom and work with the pros, as well as pre-configured and adjustable closet systems that are easy to install on your own.

Whether you've got a giant walk-in closet or a tiny reach-in (or even no real closet at all!), there's a perfect closet system for you out there. If you're ready to overhaul your entire wardrobe, these are the best closet systems for every budget. We'll also show you how to get consultations for custom systems if you'd prefer to go the tailor-made route. In any case, your closet will thank you—or at least, you'll be thanking yourself every time you go to get dressed.


Starting at $,


The Elfa system, available at The Container Store, is a totally customizable system that you can design online or work with an expert to create. It comes in two styles, Classic and Decor, and systems can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the size, the features, and the finishes you choose. Plus, The Container Store also has two other custom closet system options: Avera and Laren.


Starting at$84,


IKEA's Boaxel system is a stellar choice if you're looking for an affordable option. It has tons of shelving units to choose from as well as coordinating baskets, boxes, racks, and more. It's simple yet sleek—and most importantly, it's versatile. You can choose the pieces you need to customize it. You can also try IKEA's similar Pax for a customizable wardrobe.




For an affordable, easy-to-install option, look for ClosetMaid products. You can find the brand's systems on Amazon and at other retailers, and the designs vary. Whether you want something that's simple and effective (like this all-in-one kit) or something that feels a little more upscale, there are options for you.




Whitmor's closet systems are loved by reviewers (this one has nearly 6, 5-star ratings!) and totally budget-friendly. You'll find options with shelves, options with multiple hanging racks, rolling garment racks perfect for closet-less apartments, and more, so you're sure to find something that works for your space.

California Closets

Custom, prices vary,


If you really want to go all out, design a custom closet with California Closets. This is the option for you if you're ready to design the closet of your dreams. You can fill out your info for a free consultation, and you can even shop a modular collection from Martha Stewart.

Modular Closets



Modular Closets is all about making customizing your closet affordable and easy. You can buy pre-configured closet systems (like the one seen here) from $ up to $ and easily shop by the size of your closet. You can also fill out this form to get a free closet design based on your space's measurements and style.

Easy Track



Easy Track closet systems are available at retailers like Ace Hardware, but you can also design your own custom closet system with Easy Track if you prefer. You can fill out a form on the brand's website for free design assistance, too, if you need a little help DIY-ing it.

Closet Evolution



Closet Evolution sells a ton of closet systems you can find at Home Depot. Whether you're working with a corner walk-in, a reach-in, or a very small hallway closet, there's something that'll work for your space and budget. You can even customize the units by adding drawers, shelves, and accessories.




Rubbermaid also has a huge offering of affordable closet organizers and closet systems, many of which you can find at Walmart. They're simple and easy to install, and they'll totally give your closet new life.


Custom, prices vary


Another custom-designed closet system option? EasyClosets—you can check out the gallery on the brand's website for closet inspiration, and get a free consultation over the phone.

Closet Factory

Custom, prices vary


Another custom resource worth checking out is Closet Factory. The brand designs both walk-in and reach-in closets, shoe closets, closet organizers, and more—not to mention you get a free consultation with a designer before you even get started. They also have options for organizing other spaces in your home like laundry rooms, pantries, and home libraries, so you can go way beyond your closet if you'd like.

John Louis Home



For a closet makeover that isn't too expensive but still feels more upscale, try John Louis Home's closet systems. With customizable pieces and solid wood finishes (like the warm caramel seen here!), your closet will look stylish and organized.

Seville Classics



Another affordable option: Seville Classics. This freestanding wire system is easy to use in or out of a closet, and it's available for only $ at Walmart.

Grow With Me by Little Seeds



If you need a closet system that will work for your kids and adjust to continue to work for them as they grow up, Little Seeds makes a system aptly called Grow With Me that is basically exactly what you need. Available at retailers like Amazon and Wayfair, this wall-mounted system features plenty of hanging racks and cubbies and can be adjusted as your child gets older.

Brittney MorganMarket Editor, House BeautifulBrittney Morgan is a noted land mermaid and a Virgo with a penchant for crafts, red lipstick, and buying way too many throw pillows.

Kelly AllenKelly Allen is a writer based in New York and the editorial assistant at House Beautiful, where she covers design, culture, shopping, and travel.

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Custom Closet Shelving ~ A Tutorial!

So we live in this OLD house, right? And apparently years ago, storage solutions weren’t on the forefront of home-builders’ minds. Because our old farm house is without a single coat closet, linen closet… and pantry (until we made our own).

But instead of complaining about our LACK of storage, I should just be grateful that we even have closets in our bedrooms! Because we’re pretty sure they were added some time after the house was built!

And yet, the bedroom closets have high ceilings and a ton of wasted space. Take our master closet for example:

Those builder-basic closets with a single shelf are wasting SO MUCH SPACE. Above AND on the sides! Come see how to customize your closets with DIY Shelves to maximize storage! {Reality Daydream}

I’m sort of obsessed with organization, (and would commute many miles to work at The Container Store just for the employee discount if there were one in our state), so the fact that all our towels have been piled on the floor in the hallway since we moved in 3 years ago is a serious problem, and the sheets/blankets have been stuffed into the guest bedroom closet&#; well to have all that wasted space in the bedroom closet started making us feel like there’s an obvious solution.

Knowing how EXPENSIVE custom closet shelving is, we decided to tackle it ourselves. We knew we could since we whipped out a few shelves in our ‘pantry’. And by we, I mean Nick.

I helped by first emptying the closet of all our clothing. Ya don’t realize how many clothes you have until you have to take every last piece out!

BEFORE shot of our builder-basic closet with SO MUCH WASTED SPACE! {Reality Daydream}

We started by removing that top shelf. Then, using 1&#;4’s cut to size, we put them up on the wall with drywall screws. These will act as ‘braces’ to hold up the shelf.

Adding more shelves to our builder-basic closet {Reality Daydream}

We ripped (cut in half the long way) the existing shelf. Who needs a shelf that’s 2 feet deep when it could be TWO shelves!

This was my view for much of the day. It was very scenic.

My view while 'we' added more shelving to our builder-basic closet {Reality Daydream}

Take note that when you’re putting screws close to the edge of a board, you should first drill a hole just smaller than the screw… otherwise the board may very well split. Which is totally a no-bueno-situation. This is called a&#; ‘pilot hole’. Look at you absorbing so much new carpentry vocabulary today!

Drilling a Pilot Hole for our DIY custom closet shelving. {Reality Daydream}

This is what your joints will look like in the corners. Nothin’ fancy!

Process pic for adding DIY custom shelving to our closet to maximize organization and space {Reality Daydream}

I’m ALL about maximizing space, and I talked Nick into putting shorter shelves all the way down either sides of the closet. OH YES.

Adding braces for our DIY custom shelving in our builder basic closet! {Reality Daydream}

Next, we applied Edge Banding to the edges of our shelf boards. Because we’re using Melamine as our building material of choice (it’s cheap, and already white!), we needed to cover up the exposed edges. The Edge Banding comes in a roll, and has excellent instructions with it.

Basically you just cut it to size, iron it on, and slice off the little edges with a razor blade. Like so, yo:

Edge banding for DIY Closet Shelving. {Reality Daydream}

See how crisp it is with the edge banding, compared to the board without it?

Edge banding on melamine makes a HUGE difference. {Reality Daydream}

The boards got cut to size, and we tested them out to make sure they were the right fit!

Test fitting our DIY Shelves for our builder basic closets! {Reality Daydream}

THEN, I myself was able to contribute by filling the holes where the screws were on all the braces. I just used drywall compound and a putty knife. This will make it smooth and seamless once these boards get painted!

We applied drywall compound to the braces of our DIY custom shelving units.

After the drywall compound was dry, I sanded and painted! This went pretty fast, because only the braces needed painting since the Melamine shelves are already white! Score!

Adding braces for our DIY custom shelving in our builder basic closet!! {Reality Daydream}

Since the loooong top two shelves will wrap around the edges, Nick used a 3/4” router bit to create “T’s” that will merge the side shelves to the long shelf. This makes everything more structurally secure, AND it creates a seamless transition from shelf to shelf.

Since the loooong top two shelves will wrap around the edges, Nick used a 3/4” router bit to create “T’s” that will merge the side shelves to the long shelf. This makes everything more structurally secure, AND it creates a seamless transition from shelf to shelf.

So those “T’s” got pilot holes and then nailed on using little brad nails. You can just barely see the “T’s” where I added the arrows.

We used t's to seamlessly combine our DIY custom shelves.

Then we could put the side shelves in place! “Like a glove” (in Jim Carey’s voice)

The intersection of our DIY Closet Shelves. {Reality Daydream}

And because that long top shelf is SO long, we added an ‘L’ bracket in the center to help support things.

L-Brackets for DIY Closet Shelving upgrade TO MAXIMIZE SPACE and organization! {Reality Daydream}

Would you look at this? Can you hear the angels singing?

You can add SO MUCH extra space to your closet by just adding some DIY Shelving! Click through for the tutorial {Reality Daydream}

Speaking of angels, my babes loved checking things out. (Check out the little shoe shelf Nick built me with the leftover melamine!)

Our cute babes in the newly 'remodeled' closet! {Reality Daydream}

I mean, custom closet shelving like this would have cost us hundreds of dollars if we hadn’t done it ourselves. And I personally don’t think it would have looked this sleek and AWESOME.

Add some DIY Shelving to your builder-basic closet, and get SO MUCH extra space for organizing! {Reality Daydream}

And now look with all our clothes in it. ANNNND, notice all the sheets and towels on the very top shelf! Our very own linen closet! Oh the things we take for granted when we have them!

The FUNNEST part for me was loading ‘er up! Gotta love having a place.for.every.THING!

Maximize space in your builder-basic closet by adding shelving on the sides SO MUCH MORE storage and organization possibilities! {Reality Daydream}

I just keep going upstairs to look at it. It’s callin’ mah name.

Add custom DIY shelving to your builder basic closet and get SO MUCH MORE storage {Reality Daydream}

We were slightly worried that adding shelves on the sides would make the closet seem smaller, but after having cut the original shelf down to 1’ depth instead of 2’, it actually opens things up a LOT. I can actually walk into my closet now without getting clotheslined by an excessively deep shelf.

Not only did we get all our clothes, sheets, and towels in, we also completely emptied our 5 drawer dresser into the closet as well!

Add custom DIY shelving to your builder basic closet and get SO MUCH MORE storage {Reality Daydream}

I feel like we’ve maximized the heck out of this closet! …And for a small fraction of what we would have paid for custom closet shelving units! Ugh, can you even imagine?

Here’s our cost breakdown:

  • $ ~ 4’x8’ sheet of melamine
  • $ ~ 1”x6” (ripped in half) (Qty 2)
  • $ ~ 1”x4”  (side shelves afterthought)
  • $ ~ white melamine edge banding 25ft (Qty 2)
  • $ ~L-bracket
  • Prime/paint ~ already had
  • Labor ~ FREE! (well, that’s a lie… maybe it cost me a backrub or two)

Total:   $


Be sure to check out how we maximized space and added TONS of unique storage ideas in the nursery closet, AND the twins&#; bedroom closet!

Thanks for pinning!

Maximize closet space in your builder basic closet by adding custom DIY shelves on the sides! {Reality Daydream} #organization #organize #storage


10 Best Closet Systems for Walk-Ins, Reach-Ins and Spaces Without One

Make the most of your wardrobe, however big or small, with a closet system that will do the sorting and organizing for you.

Keep in mind: Price and stock could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.

I have a love-hate relationship with my closet. And by that I mean that I love my closet when it's organized and hate it when it's messy. (Which is it's current state, coincidentally.) Clutter gives me anxiety, so there's nothing worse than opening the double doors of my reach-in and seeing sweaters, dresses and jeans packed in tight, as though the whole thing's seconds away from bursting at the seams.

If I can't snap my fingers and magically make the space neater, then the next best thing is clearly installing a closet system, which is designed to do the sorting for you. There are all different types of systems out there — for walk-ins, reach-ins and even homes without closets to begin with — so I've rounded up the best by need and price to make finding a solution even easier. I'm not breathing a sigh of relief, you are!

Best Basic Closet System

Best Closet System for Entryways

Best Closet System for Reach-Ins

Best Closet System for Renters

Best Closet Systems for Kids' Rooms

Best Closet Systems for Walk-Ins

Best Closet System for Awkward Corners

Best Closet System for Couples


Shelving storage closet

The 8 Best Closet Organizers of

Final Verdict

If you have a walk-in or reach-in closet, you can't go wrong with the Rubbermaid Configurations Deluxe Closet Kit (view at Amazon). The basic set includes shelves and hanging rods, and you can opt to customize the kit further with add-ons like baskets and shoe storage. Those tight on space should check out the Umbra Enfold Over the Door Organizer, which includes four gusseted mesh pockets and a hamper.

When researching picks to include in this roundup, we took into account the useful features and real-world scenarios when recommending the best options on the market. For background, we consulted with organizing expert Ellen Karas, who has over two decades of experience helping people organize and refresh their homes. She's also the co-founder of Creative Organization Solutions, a Chicago-based organizing company.

Erica Puisis writes about cleaning, interior design, and home organization for The Spruce, and is always looking for new storage solutions to better organize her home. For this list, she considered the practicality and design of each type of closet organizer, as well as which type of closet it's best suited for. She consulted dozens of customer and third-party reviews, along with insight from our product testers.

DIY Cedar Closet Shelving system - Part 1 - Shelves

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