No Hang Ups Here: Master Closet Organization


January 30, 2013 by Decorum DIYer

Like most of you, I have been slowing moving through my home trying to make it more organized and take inventory of what I have (and what I need).  I recently gave our family’s hall closet a good reorganization and thought the master closet should be next on the list.

This is the scary, unorganized master closet with which I have been living:

As you can see, there are only two bars, each with a shelf above.


When we moved in, there was only one bar beneath a shelf placed on the wall around 60″ (five feet) from the closet’s floor.

The two rods, two shelves, were placed in the closet after we reconfigured Roman’s closet with a Closetmaid system and stole his no-longer-needed rod and shelf.  The lower bar and shelf at 46″ from the floor and the upper rod and shelf at 80″ from the floor. It doubled our hanging space, but many of my dresses and pants (I prefer that they hang long, not folded) were dragging on the floor collecting cat hair and tumble weed dust bunnies (yuck!).

Not to mention, there was no place for shoe storage, so they simply piled up on the floor of the closet.

It was a temporary solution that we have lived with for far too long.

At a mere 68″ wide, 94″ tall, and 22″ deep with bypass doors (one can only access half of the closet at a time), this closet is tough to outfit well for two adults.


The first step was to take everything out of the closet.  Sounds easy, but my bed looked like Mt. Kilimanjaro and it took a whole weekend to come up with the first stage of the plan and execute.  So is the life of a mother of three small children and a husband that works way too much.

Oddly enough, the solution to making our master closet be more efficient, for not much time, nor money, was two-fold.

1. Cut the lower rod and shelf, remove the middle portions, and hang the rod and shelf on the right 50″ from the floor (an additional four inches).  The additional bracket (we had three and required one additional bracket) was an extra we had squirreled away in the basement from a previous closet reorganization completed in one of the other bedrooms.


You can see my drawings on the wall and some spakling. I wanted to be sure that things would fit and I do have plans to paint the interior of the closet just to make it extra nice.

2. Lose some hanging space for a much-needed shoe storage solution.  Luckily for me, I happened to pick-up this FREE Ikea unit during a Craigslist pick-up for a small, campaign dresser (more on that gem in another post). I honestly was about to list this square cubby on Craigslist for free, but then thought maybe it could would, as it is only 36″ square and 12″ deep.  Sorry, I don’t shop at Ikea (maybe twice in my life), so I couldn’t tell you the Swedish name for this handy-dandy piece, but they are quite ubiquitous on Craigslist. (Correction:  Per my sister-in-law, this piece may actually be from Target or Walmart.   Just an fyi, if you are looking for the same type of storage.)



I placed some of the occasional/seasonal shoes in shoe box containers from Dollar Tree as well. The blue bin is actually my husband’s loose coins and coin wrappers (he rides public transportation and uses coins a lot).

I also added a $1 over-the-door hanger from Dollar Tree that I simply fashioned over a hanger to hang my husband’s ties.



The ties were simply folded in half, then folded in half again, and then rolled.


Before I reloaded the closet, my husband and I donated about ten pairs of shoes to Goodwill and I returned a borrowed Austin Powers costume (the dark blue shirt/jacket with white, lace sleeves peeking out of the closet) to my friend.  Really, most of what was in the closet was returned to the closet.  I should also mention that I already owned matching hangers.  This is HUGE in terms of how neat and organized your closet can be.  If you have mis-matched hangers, I suggest you move your entire closet wardrobe to matching hangers before reloading the closet.  The hangers only need to match in terms of size.  Feel free to mix up the hangers’ colors to further customize the organization (i.e. one color for each season, one color for each individual, etc…)

I should also mention that I kept my husband’s items to the left of the closet and my items mostly to the right (although, I did take up a lot of the middle, too).  Interestingly enough, this is opposite of where we sleep (I am to the left, he is to the right). Huh?

You may also notice that I didn’t ‘color code’ my clothing completely.  I try to keep sleeveless with sleeveless, short sleeves with short sleeves, jackets with jackets, dress shirts with dress shirts, etc….  I do, however, color code within the categories.  This makes it easy to get dressed according to the expected weather for that day.

Like I mentioned, I would like to paint the interior of the closet.  Since I am all about using what I have, I may use the remainder of the master bathroom’s orange paint.  Although I am not a fan of the sheen (kitchen and bath, too shiny, and it distorts the color), I may make a go of it.

Or, I may cave and buy a quart of Behr’s ‘Acorn Spice’ to test it out. (I’m thinking of repainting the master bathroom with another orange color. But, shhhh, don’t tell my husband.)


Closet reorganization, STAGE 1 – COMPLETE!


My husband was quick to point out that I have a whopping 58″ of hanging space compared to his measly 42″ of hanging space. I don’t feel bad for him, he has no idea how many more clothes I could have pulled out of storage. Trust me, when I say I went easy on him with respect to this closet.

You should also note that I have space for unused hangers.  Once an item is removed from the closet, I place the empty hanger with other unused hangers.  This makes keeping the closet organized easier and it also streamlines the ‘putting the hanging laundry away’ process easier.  No fishing for an empty hanger amongst the clothing.

I decided upon the height of the bars by measuring how long our items actually hang (meaning I measured from the top of the hanger to the bottom of the hanging item and then added an inch or two to determine the hanging length).

Most online closet manufacturers have suggested guidelines for hanging lengths, if you need assistance with this.  My husband and I are both petite (he is 5’6″ and I am 5′), so our clothing tends to be shorter than most.

In our closet, I used the following hanging measurements:

  • 39″ long hanging space for husband’s dress shirts (upper left)
  • 46″ long hanging space for husband’s casual shirts and folded pants (lower left) – this also left him space to place shoes or other storage items on the floor of the closet
  • 46″ long hanging space for dresses (center)
  • 32″ long hanging space for my shirts, cardigans, and jackets (upper right)
  • 48″ long hanging space for my pants (lower right)

That said, I strongly urge you to measure your clothing items to ensure a proper hanging length, especially if you are above average in the height department.  This also holds true for babies and children, as their garments are shorter/smaller.  Makes sense, right?

So, let’s see the transformation and budget:

Total cost of phase one closet organization: $7.00

(six shoe boxes and one over-the-door organizer, $1.00 each).

Let’s compare:





Like my post title states, there are no hang ups (other than the obvious hanging clothing, of course) about my closet now.  Well, maybe a few, but for the most part, the closet is one step closer to being functional and fashionable.

After painting the interior, I will need to find a more functional solution for the closet doors.  I loathe bypass doors.  Bi-fold doors could work in this room, but they would require some building, as the closet opening has no front walls of which to speak and the bypass door arrangement also serves as the master bathroom’s door.  Odd, I know.

Until next time…, happy organizing!

Linking up with March Point of View Link Party!


11 thoughts on “No Hang Ups Here: Master Closet Organization

  1. Happy organizing indeed. Glad you could find a solution- it’s good to purge the excess! As an ikea shopper (soooo much inspiration there!), I must say that your organizer isn’t likely from there. It looks like something they sell at Target or Walmart (your other favorite stores). 🙂

  2. Thanks, Lady Drumgoole! I was told it was Ikea, so good to know that it is in fact from elsewhere, in the event anyone else is looking for one. I don’t dislike Ikea (well, some of the furniture is poorly made), I just don’t get the opportunity to shop there, or much anywhere else. I’d like to visit Ikea more (after all, it’s only five minutes from my house), I just don’t get out much.

  3. Suzz says:

    Very nice!

    Nothing againt Chris, but you will have to let me know how “cooperative” he is in keeping his share neat & tidy … I find that when I do a major overhaul/organziation project “the royal we” slips back into old “patterns,” haha!

    • That is my thought exactly with the tie organization. I noticed that when Chris (my husband) is dressing for a formal occasion, he tends to drag out all of his ties, tries on a few, and then shoves the tangled mess onto the closet shelf. This may still happen, but my hope is that he will remove the entire tie hanger, see all of his ties at once, and make a decision as to ‘the one’ tie. We shall see. I can tell you that he and I have been putting our shoes away on the shelves. THAT is a huge improvement for us.

  4. It looks so much more organized. Great job. My parents added mirrored doors to their closet, sliding doors and it made the room so much more open. The bed wasn’t in view from the mirrored doors though. My daughter had bifold doors right behind her bedroom door and we replaced them with a curtain instead since the doors kept hitting each other. I don’t have any other suggestions about the doors. Hope you find something that works. Good luck. Great way to organize the ties!

  5. I’m amazed at how much you’re able to do on a dime. This is fantastic! And I, too, organize my clothing on hangers by “category” – – but haven’t gotten into color-coding yet. Never say never! I like the idea of having a space for unused hangers – – I need to adopt that (so I’m not sifting in between clothes all the time looking for one), and I think the shoe organization was key to really revamping this closet. We need a good shoe system…especially for Mark’s shoes. Right now, they’re just in a line on the bedroom floor. We don’t have a ton of closet space, so I’m thinking of investing in a wardrobe for Mark’s clothes and shoes…with perhaps shelving on the bottom for shoes. You’re on a roll with these closets, Christine!

  6. […] (Remember, I found a use for the above in my master closet reorganization?) […]

  7. […] the lesser quality white dresser on which I practiced my ombre’ painting skills, and the storage cube that I used in my master closet reorganization.  You can see the ombre’ dresser tutorial […]

  8. Love the new cubes–and yes, getting rid of shoes can help so much huh!

  9. […] bedroom. (No, well you can check out my baby steps here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and oh here.  Yeah, those should keep you […]

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