Last year, I completely transformed my closet in ONE afternoon. What did I do, you ask? First, let me tell you what I didn’t do. I didn’t go on a wild shopping spree. I didn’t spend days tossing aside pieces I hadn’t worn in over a year. And I didn’t spend a fortune. I actually didn’t spend anything.
So what did I do?… I organized.
And let me tell you, friend, it felt GOOD. In just a few hours, I pulled everything out of my closet and dresser drawers. I neatly sorted, folded, and stacked. I set aside anything that needed repairs or cleaning. I bagged up items I knew for sure I’d never wear again to donate or give away to friends. By the time I finished, my closet looked clean, streamlined, and totally Pinterest-worthy.
You might be rolling your eyes thinking, “That’s great for you, Heather, but #1 I have zero time to organize my closet right now and #2 even if I did, it feels like a waste of effort when I know I’ll never maintain it.”
I get that a closet clean out can feel like a super daunting task. But here’s why it’s more than worth your time. First, I found quite a few pieces hidden away in the far corners of my dresser drawers or buried on the bottom of the closet floor after falling off their hangers. They were welcome treasures, many of which I’d forgotten all about. So if you’ve let things become a bit messy (like I did), there’s a good chance you’re going to score some new pieces to wear this season that you didn’t even know you had!
Secondly, if you feel like you have a closet full of clothes with nothing to wear, your mornings are not only stressful, but also overwhelming. If you want to start your days with ease and joy, one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is a well-organized closet. Being able to see all of your options clearly will save you time searching for things to wear, inspire you with new outfit ideas, and help you figure out what you need to shop for next.
I mean, which would YOU rather “shop” from every day?
You don’t need an oversized walk-in closet, storage dresser island, custom built-ins, or a beautifully backlit showcase for your shoes and handbags. I don’t have any of those things either. But here are 5 things I do have and highly recommend to help you easily maintain a well-appointed and clutter-free closet. Bonus? They’re all between $0 and $15 (and affiliate-link free)!
No. 1 ─ Folding Board
If you’ve ever worked in retail, this one might haunt your dreams. I remember spending hours neatly folding and stacking displays of t-shirts and sweaters only to loop back around and find my handiwork promptly disheveled by hurried shoppers. To this day, I consider it a random act of kindness to straighten up a scattered stack of skinny jeans whenever I’m out browsing. Do you do this, too?
As much as I never wanted to look at another folding board again, I have to admit how incredibly useful they are. This single item (currently selling for $10.99 on Amazon) will completely transform the look and feel of your shelves. Use a folding board to quickly and uniformly fold your laundry and I promise you those neat little columns of clothing will soothe your organization-loving soul. You can even make your own following these simple instructions.
Looking for more pro tips? Sort your piles by item type (t-shirts, long sleeve shirts, sweaters, jeans, dress pants, etc.), then by fabric weight (light cashmere sweaters vs. chunky knit pullovers), and then by color (because who doesn’t love The Home Edit aesthetic?).
No. 2 ─ Matching Hangers
My no. 2 must-have item for your closet? MATCHING HANGERS. (Yes, all caps were totally necessary.) You won’t know what you’re missing until you finally make the switch from a hodge-podge of hangers to something more harmonious. This small investment will give you a great return and even greater peace when getting dressed.
Personally, I prefer velvet hangers (like these for $9.98 per 30 pack) to keep your strappy tops from persistently slipping to the floor. I also have a few sets of wooden hangers for more structured pieces like blazers and pants, although they’re definitely more expensive. Here’s an option under $15 to get you started.
No. 3 ─ Shoeboxes
I’ve tried a lot of shoe storage solutions over the years: racks, hanging organizers, you name it. My current fave? Clear plastic shoeboxes. I love these Container Store options in regular and tall sizes ─great for heels─ under $6 each. They make it easy to stack and save space while maintaining good visibility on all your pretty pumps. Bonus: the lids keep your shoes clean and dust-free!
If you have the room, I also recommend dedicating one small shelf in your closet to feature your most used pairs. I keep about 3 of my daily favorites out of the boxes and within quick reach on an eye-level shelf in my own (standard-size, non-walk-in) closet.
No. 4 ─ Underwear Organizer
Girlfriend, you need to grab your credit card immediately and get yourself an underwear organizer. Period. You can thank me later. Gone are the days of rummaging through a disheveled lingerie drawer stuffed with mismatched socks, balled-up boyfriend shorts, and tangled bras.
These cute, convenient, and incredibly reasonable drawer organizers will save you oodles of time and make slipping into your skivvies so much more fun in the morning! Choose from whichever style you like: honeycomb, accordion, or (my recommendation) a full variety set ─all less than $15.
No. 5 ─ Closet Audit Flowchart
And of course, no closet clean up would be complete without a little auditing as you go. It’s important to remove any pieces you’re not wearing regularly, or suspect you’ll never wear again, to make room for the existing AND the new.
I know it can be really hard to choose what stays and what goes, especially if you’re holding onto old clothing sizes, investment pieces you still feel guilty about buying, and sentimental items that take you back to a meaningful time. So I created a super simple Closet Audit Flowchart to make your purging decisions seamless and stress-free.
Simply answer the yes or no questions and then follow the provided prompts to confidently determine what to keep, repair, replace, and part ways with. The best part? This handy cheat sheet is completely FREE. All you need to do is let me know where to send it. So drop your first name and email address below to receive the instant download.
Don’t feel like you have to hand over your entire weekend to this project. Even small baby steps, like 15-minutes to organize your underwear drawer, 5-minutes to refold your sloppy t-shirt stack, or 30-minutes to audit your summer sundresses will make a major difference in the overall aesthetic of your closet and ease of getting dressed.
Your life is busy and stressful enough. Let’s make your wardrobe a welcome respite. These 5 low or NO cost investments will transform the way you view your closet, both literally and figuratively. I know they did for me.
Now tell me in the comments, which of these 5 items are you most excited to get your hands on? And if you have any other favorite closet organization gadgets or hacks, I invite you to share them below!