DIY · Home & Garden

DIY Closet Organization Ideas for a More Collected Life

Tour our cozy cottage closets we styled using these DIY closet organization ideas. From the walls to the shelving, baskets, and more. Every corner of this space has been reorganized and refreshed to fit our cozy cottage in the Midwest. 

Wicker baskets are organized into white closets for some DIY closet organization ideas.

The dreaded closet organization. This was not a project I was super excited for. (Well, I was excited about getting it organized, but I was not excited to sort through everything in the first place.) I knew it was essential for a more organized home in general, though. Nevertheless, I came up with some DIY closet organization ideas for those of us who like a tidy, attractive style.

What inspired my closet organization ideas?

One reason I like to stay so organized is because it makes me feel more like I have my life together. Honestly, it reduces my stress, too. I can’t be surrounded by a mess and feel at peace. I just can’t. Not even in a closet.

Even behind closed closet doors, I need some sort of structure and efficiency in my household. And this is one of many ways I’m able to stay organized in my home. 

The closet itself was not only disorganized beforehand, but it was just very drab and boring. It needed to be brightened up big time. 

I had purchased a few small baskets when we first moved in, but even these were only enough for smaller hygienic products. The baskets themselves were a mess, the contents being in no organized manner whatsoever. 

A bright white closet gets organized with some DIY closet organization ideas.

First, I brainstormed a few DIY closet organization ideas, and then I shopped for secondhand items, found an old, large jar in the kitchen, and filled in the rest with baskets from an outlet store. 

I can’t lie, I’m kind of obsessed with this new organization going on in these closets!

It won’t require a ton of upkeep either, since I don’t like to let things get messed up once they’re cleaned and organized. 

If you’re anything like me, you’ll find these DIY closet organization ideas useful and appealing. I can now open the doors and feel a sense of pride in the appearance, and I can also feel confident I can actually find items when I need them. (That goes for my husband too.)

I can’t tell you how many times I knew something was in one of these closets, but I just didn’t know where it was at. Tiny items, like tweezers and nail trimmers, get lost at the bottom of the baskets. And then I just give up on finding them. 

Now, I have items categorized in baskets and also have the contents within the baskets organized, so I can actually find things! Game changer.

So, without further ado, let’s get into all the nitty gritty details of organizing a bathroom closet…

Several shelves in a closet have been perfectly organized.

Closet Organization Ideas


First of all, sorting and decluttering the closet was an essential step. I had to get rid of some stuff and the rest I organized later.

I just started shelf by shelf, pulling items off and placing stuff to throw away (or give away) in one pile and the rest went in another. I’m sorry I don’t have any prolific advice to give on that one, but it’s really that simple. I know, this is usually the part most of us despise doing. You have to start somewhere, though!

An old, dingy closet has wallpaper on the shelves and is need of a makeover.


Next, I wiped everything down. I took out the cheap, boring cabinet covers I’d purchased months ago and moved on to the next step. 

Once I was finished clearing the shelves off, I had to wash them properly. I took a hot, soapy towel and scrubbed these clean since it had been a while. It’s funny how easy it is to forget cleaning areas of our house we rarely see. Oops!

Fresh coat of paint 

I then painted the entire closet, shelves included, a crisp, clean white color. There was some pasted on wallpaper on the shelves that I had to remove, too. I peeled it off in one piece, but it required a bit of patience and a lot of strength to tug it off.

Some people prefer to go with a fun color for the closet since it’s really just for them and guests won’t be seeing the insides. But I wanted something simple and clean, so white it was. We already had some white paint on hand from painting all our interior doors over the winter, so it was an easy decision to make. 

Since it was already a white color and just needed to be freshened up, I decided to only paint one coat. It was sufficient to cover up any ugly marks and brighten up the space. I did, however, spend extra time applying additional coats to the shelves and the coat rack since these were unpainted wood. Just be sure you’re covering up anything you don’t want to see later on. 

An empty closet has just been painted a bright white.

Storage bins added  

Then, I added in more baskets + some thrift store wicker baskets and a glass jar for storing smaller items. These were the whole basis of my closet organization ideas! I recommend selecting baskets of varying sizes (they don’t even have to all match) to fit all kinds of different items inside them.

I was lucky to find the glass jar in my kitchen. If you don’t have any on hand, purchase large jars from craft stores, online from Amazon, or at Menard’s. If you worry about glass breaking, maybe you can opt for a large plastic one instead. 

Various hygiene products are organized on a shelf for easy access.

Now onto my favorite: baskets. Check local thrift stores and antique stores for affordable baskets first. I can get some of mine for as little as 50 cents at a thrift store a mile away from our home. 

My husband and I actually have a joke that the cashier who rings us up must call us the “basket freaks” because we buy them so often. They’re just something worth snagging since I use them for so many different things.

If you get them at craft stores, they tend to be expensive. Some retailers offer affordable ones, like these I found here, but I always recommend finding secondhand baskets first to cut costs.

I am not big on plastic storage bins or the fabric ones either, but this is up to you since we all have different preferences. I just like the more old-fashioned look of wicker personally. So that’s what I went with. 

A large picnic basket is organized next to other baskets on a newly organized shelf in a closet.

Organizing it all

Finally, it was time to put things in their respective places in these “new” closets. Yay! This was finally a part I was excited for. The actual organizing. 

I chose to place my larger wicker baskets I had picked up from a local thrift store on the bottom of the closet space. I then placed any larger items I had (mainly props for food photography) in these baskets for easy access. Put anything larger or that you use less frequently toward the bottom (or top) since they’re a bit less convenient to grab in these areas.

Next, I organized my smaller baskets along the three rows of middle shelves within the closet and categorized these based on their purpose. 

For example, I placed all of my hair products and accessories in one basket. All body products (razors, sunless tanner, body wax, etc.) were placed in another one. As so on and so forth. 

Instead of piling things up, I placed them one in front of the other. This allows for easier access in the future. I feel silly for not doing this sooner. It just makes more sense.

Jars, soap, and more are organized in a closet.

I decided against making labels for baskets because what’s inside is quite obvious. I can clearly see the contents and didn’t want to make another job for myself. Too many labels can look cluttered in my opinion. I’m just not a label person. Plus, I don’t even have a label maker and would worry about them all just falling off the baskets anyway. If you want to avoid this extra work, just skip it like I did. 

I even grabbed some linens I use for food photography to make the baskets look nicer and cover some items up. It has a pretty seamless look now if you ask me. Then I used a large jar I had in the kitchen to store some cotton balls. I knew these would be more visible in a clear jar, so I paid special attention to making this look nice. 

As I worked my way up the shelves, I had a few larger items that wouldn’t fit into baskets. I skipped the baskets and kept them as is. I don’t see a reason to create unnecessary tasks. Don’t feel like you have to have a basket for literally everything. Focus on using them for smaller items that commonly get lost.

Candlesticks, small decorative boxes, and a wicker basket line the top shelf of a closet.

Now, in the other closet we have, there is only one shelf above the coat rack. One of the shelves being our medicine “cabinet,” it was necessary to save an extra basket for it. I placed our first aid kit, throat lozenges, and other symptom-alleviating medicines we sparingly use in it.

Then, as usual, I stored all of our bathroom towels next to this. Beneath all of this, on the floor, I store our milk cooler.

A basket full of medicine and first aid is placed onto a top shelf in a closet.

I also have a couple of vacuums and bathroom cleaning supplies. I did stuff these into a storage container for less clutter, but that’s about it in this one. This closet doesn’t look much different, but it still looks so much prettier overall. Even just adding white paint alone seemed to transform it.

My last tip is to invest in some command strip hooks to place inside closets. Even if you won’t need them to hang articles of clothing, you’ll easily be able to hang other extra items on them. I’m using mine to hang all of our reusable shopping bags. Anything like this that is fairly lightweight is great to hang on these hooks out of the way. Place them on the inside of the door or along a wall. You could even hang certain accessories on these hooks. They are pretty nifty.

Shelves are lined with linens and baskets for some closet organization ideas in a newly painted closet.

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