Closet Organization 101: A Step-By-Step Guide for Busy Moms with Real Closets

Shannon Burns

When it comes to closet organization...things can get tricky. There are so many variables to consider like how much space you have, where you live, how much you are holding on too, etc, etc. 

So I am going to break this down into a few simple steps that will give you some guidelines on how and where to start for your personal space. So take this information and then explore all your options to find the best solutions for your closet. 

First off, if you haven't must PURGE your closet!! If you need some tips on how to do that, read my blog post HERE

Once you have really cleaned out your closet and taken out anything that doesn't really belong in there (like weird random keep sake boxes & your second grade class pictures) then you can start to make a plan for how you are going to put it all back in there. 

I use the word department because it is best categorize your closet like a department store would. So dresses, tops, pants, skirts, etc. 

When everything is broken down this way, it makes it easier to find what you are looking for in hot mom mess second! 

BONUS POINTS: Once everything is in categories, colorize each department from light to dark. This further breakdown will make finding your favorite black floral blouse a breeze! 

Here is a quick list of what items you should hang or fold: 

If you aren't spoiled like I am...(I have a cabinet maker for a husband & had him build us exactly what I needed) then you need to do some research but start by answering these questions...

  • Do you current have any storage for folded clothes like a dresser or binning that can be either inside your closet or near your closet? 
  • Do you have enough hanging bar space to hang everything you plan to hang? 
  • What about shoe storage? Do you need to buy/build anything for that? 
  • What else do you need to dedicate space for in your closet? For me, I made an upper shelf to store my luggage (best decision ever!). For my husband, he wanted a space for his watches, belts and a pull out hamper inside the closet. All of which makes it sooo convenient!

Take time to walk thru these details when you are looking at how to "map out" your dream closet plan. 

BONUS POINTS: Store your accessories in a way in which you can visual see them all! This way you don't lose or forget about something you have when its tucked in a jewelry box or bin. (I have a hanging hook wall for all my jewelry and my scarfs are hung on a towel bar that I installed in a small open wall space inside my closet. 

SUPER BONUS, EXTRA CREDIT STYLE: Do yourself a favor and put in a valet rod! Its a simple pull out rod you can use to hang a garment for steaming or just hang your outfit for the next day. Consider this your closet assistant along with the best accessory a CLOTHING STEAMER!! Buy this one.


I prefer the slim velvet hangers to save space and keep my blouses and dresses from falling off the hangers. I bought mine in Ivory to match the Ivory Linen wallpaper in our closet. But for my husbands side, wood hangers are best. I have heard IKEA has the best pricing on those. 

It's not as hard as it seems but they really should teach this stuff in school. (It's like housekeeping 101 that no ones ever tells you like How to fold a fitted sheet! Thank goodness for Martha Stewarts Good Housekeeping Book!)  

Here are some resources you can use: 

  • Buy a folding board if needed. 
  • Then watch this short and sweet video from HGTV on how to fold your clothes so that they can be stored in your drawers standing up. This ensures you can see everything you have in the drawer, prevents wrinkles & keeps your drawers neat and tidy. 

This is probably the hardest step..building lasting habits! In order to maintain an organized closet, you have to set some ground rules and stick to them! Here are a few of my own that I practice...

  1. Always hang up or put in the hamper right away. Same with shoes & accessories...put them back where they belong as soon as you take them off. Do not take your shoes off in the living room or take your earrings off at the kitchen sink. Put things back in the place you have designated for them. 
  2. When I run out of hangers..its time to PURGE my closet again. I don't go out and buy more hangers. This keeps my closet free and clear so I have room to see what I have hanging year round. 

    BONUS POINTS: Your closet is a living, breathing organism that must be maintained and is never complete done. Be ok with letting it morph into whatever it needs to be for the season you are in NOW! 

Lastly, remember that you will not get it PERFECT the first time! Its OK! Just adjust as needed to make it perfect for YOU! And keep trying different things until you have get it just right. 

In the end, your dream closet should be one of the best spaces in your house. You should be able to find things quickly, get ready effortlessly (minus the kids bugging the heck out of you) & get on with your day like the Mom Boss you are! 

PS: Do you have a closet organization hack that has worked for you? COMMENT below with your tips and tricks! 

Until next week...

XO, Shannon 



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