DIY · Home & Garden

Closet Organization Ideas for a More Collected Life

Tour our cozy cottage closets we styled using these 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. 

Two shelves in a closet have been organized with wicker baskets and glass jars and such for some amazing 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 closet organization ideas!

A newly organized closet is being shown off.

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.

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. 

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

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

First, I brainstormed a few 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!

A closet organization has taken over a closet.

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 my 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. 

I can’t tell you how many times I know something is in one of these closets, but I just don’t know where it’s 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.

Several shelves in a closet have been perfectly organized.

Without further adieu, let’s get into all the nitty gritty details.

Closet Organization Ideas

Decluttering

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!

Cleaning

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 I knew it had been since we’d moved in since I actually cleaned them. 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 are the whole basis of my closet organization ideas! 

I recommend selecting baskets of varying sizes (they don’t even have to all match either) 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 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.

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


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. 

Basic, everyday hygiene products are organized inside a wicker basket in a closet for closet organization ideas.

For example, I placed all 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.

A small basket of various facial skincare products sit on a shelf.

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.

I then 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. 

Candlesticks lay on an oval tray next to a jar of cotton balls and homemade sugar scrub on a closet shelf.

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.
A bucket has several items inside but is cleverly disguised with a pretty linen draped over it on a shelf.

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.

A wicker basket has different medicines inside it for safe keeping.

Then, as usual, I stored all our bathroom towels next to this. Beneath all of this, on the floor, I store our milk cooler. (This comes in handy when Shatto Milk Company delivers straight to our doorstep each week.)

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.

A cooler and vacuums have been placed in their respective spots in a small bathroom/hallway closet.


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 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. Pretty nifty if you ask me!

Reusable shopping bags and aprons hang in a freshly painted closet space.

I hope this post serves you well. I would love to hear in the comments what closet organization ideas work for you in your home. 

If this article was helpful and useful for you, check out Easy Ways to Keep a Tidy Home. You can learn all of my effortless secrets to maintaining both a clean home and my sanity.

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

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