The best closet organizer: Storage ideas to simplify your life
Make sure you know exactly what clothing you have. (Artem Beliaikin via Pexels /)
Wardrobe storage solutions come in all different shapes and sizes, for all different kinds of closets. What works for a walk-in won’t be right for a nursery, and vice versa. The key to picking the best closet organizer and corresponding organizational accessories is to consider what you need space for (shoes? Linens? Dress shirts?), how much you want to spend, and what kind of changes you’re willing to make (e.g. are you ready to invest in an entire closet organization system, or are you just looking for some hangers to help streamline the bulk?). From bathroom closet organization ideas to stackable shoe storage, find the best organization closet systems for you! The good news is, no matter what kind of organizational solution you choose, your space is about to get a whole lot neater.
Best closet organization system: Rubbermaid Configurations Deluxe Best walk-in closet organizer: ClosetMaid ShelfTrack Best small-closet organizer: DOIOWN S-Type Stainless Steel Clothes Pants Hangers Best closet drawer organizers: Simple Houseware Closet Underwear Organizer Best baby closet organizer: GRANNY SAYS 3-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer Best budget closet organizer: Simple Houseware 5 Shelves Hanging Closet Organizer
How the best closet organizer can do more than just declutter your space
Here’s how to figure out if you’re in the market for a closet organizer. Ask yourself: How’s my current organizational wardrobe system working for me? For some of us, that system consists of one pile of clothes in the corner of the bedroom for clean socks, another in the bathroom for used towels, and many other smaller piles strewn about everywhere else (what’s in them? Nobody knows!). In these piles are different pieces of clothing—some clean, some not—and the best part is, whenever we find what we’re looking for, it is sure to be completely wrinkled.
It’s hard to imagine that there could be a better way, much less many better ways, but there are! Organization doesn’t come naturally to everyone and some of us are just prone to messiness. Adding organizational components to your closet will give you the incentive and tools to keep things tidy, even if you don’t feel a natural instinct to only hang onto items that spark joy. One little change—be it layered hangers, hanging shelves, or drawers—can clear out the physical clutter of your space, which in turn can clear out the mental clutter of your mind and bring on a sense of calm. Now, let’s find the best closet organizer for you.
Related: 31 ways to organize all your stuff
If you’re ready for a major overhaul, look at closet organization systems
Unlike a la carte closet additions, full closet organization systems do all the thinking for you and offer loads of variety. You get rods, you get shelves, you get drawers—and many are customizable, so if you need, say, more shelves than drawers, you can have that.
You don’t even necessarily need a ton of space to install a closet system, as many models are adjustable (meaning even if you move, you can take your hard-earned organizational system with you and just adapt it).
Best closet organization systems: Rubbermaid Configurations Deluxe
You get nine shelves in two different sizes, two top rails, two hang rods, and more with this legacy brand’s adjustable set, with 22 feet of shelving space and 12 feet of hanging space. (Amazon/)
All the mounting hardware you need to put this closet organizer system together comes included. Telescoping rods and the ability to add accessories to the set mean you have numerous configuration options to create the perfect custom space for your 4- to 8-foot closet.
What features should you look for in a walk-in closet organizer?
If you have a walk-in, a) we are jealous, and b) congratulations! On the downside, figuring out how to maximize your space when adding an organizational element can be overwhelming. On the upside, you have options and can incorporate lots of different elements—hooks, tie racks, accessory drawers—to make your closet uniquely yours.
If you’re indecisive or have trouble conceptualizing different layouts, make sure to get a second opinion from an expert before you invest in a walk-in closet organizer.
Best walk-in closet organizer: ClosetMaid ShelfTrack
This vinyl-coated steel option provides 132 inches of hanging space and 216 inches of shelf space (including 36 inches of shoe-shelf space). (Amazon/)
This walk-in closet organizer retracts to 5 feet wide and expands up to 8 feet. Some cutting may be required for installation, but all hardware and an installation template are included. Each shelf can hold up to 60 pounds, so this is a sturdy pick.
Are there ways to organize a teeny-tiny closet?
There are! Organization can happen in even the littlest places—the key is to figure out how to make the most of every single inch you have. That may mean sacrificing the ease of a furniture-like system and instead opting for individual small closet organization accessories that allow you to add space without adding bulk or making your closet claustrophobic.
Hooks, built-in wall shelves, and even special hangers should all be in your organizational arsenal when you’re dealing with a lot of stuff in a little room.
Best small closet organizer: DOIOWN S-Type Stainless Steel Clothes Pants Hangers
They may look like plain old hangers that are just curvy, but they add vertical space to your closet by giving you layers upon layers on which to drape your clothes, without fear of wrinkles or snags. (Amazon/)
This small closet organizer is durable, rust-resistant, and come with transparent rubber edges to stop clothes from falling to the floor. The unique S-shape lets you see every item on the hanger so you can pull out just what you need. And they also double as a drying rack for your hang-dry-only items.
You might need drawers instead of hangers
If you need a place for your undies, socks, and other soft, compact items, say no more: You need a closet drawer organizer! You can place drawers on any existing shelves or sills, or just put them on the floor, a chair, or a table.
Because closet drawers are soft, they’re forgiving, which means you can probably shove more in there than you’re meant to if you’re running low on room.
Best closet drawer organizer: Simple Houseware Closet Underwear Organizer
The mold-proof non-woven fabric comes in an array of colors, with multiple bins and cells to accommodate items of varying sizes. (Amazon/)
In addition to underthings, closet drawers are a good bet for anything delicate you don’t want to stretch by putting it on a hanger (e.g. sweaters). Some people with bras larger than a C-cup have reported that their bras don’t fit perfectly in these closet drawer organizers, but if you’re flexible about what you can store here, it’s a good, very affordable bet.
This is what to look for in a baby closet organizer
Nappies, onesies, booties, and all other soft, adorable things for a baby deserve a place of their own. A hanging component—as opposed to a dresser or other hard piece of furniture—is a good option if you want to store your kiddo’s stuff in the closet.
The best part is that you can move a baby closet organizer from room to room, so if the baby is co-sleeping with you one night, then back in her crib the next, you can just move the hanging shelves with her and keep all the essentials close by.
Best baby closet organizer: GRANNY SAYS 3-Shelf Hanging Closet Organizer
Shelves made of corrugated cardboard are easy to remove and clean, and they won’t slip (or drop the baby’s things onto an unsterile floor). (Amazon/)
Soft hanging shelves in this baby closet organizer let you store all sorts of stuff—whether from a closet rod or freestanding clothing rack—and lightweight material means it collapses down to nothing, perfect for taking with you when you travel. The grab-and-go design of this hanging closet organizer makes it particularly easy to reach a new outfit when the little one has made an oopsie.
The best closet organizer on a budget: What you can get for under $10
Unless you’re investing in a complex organizational system, most closet components are relatively affordable. Think of it this way: All you’re paying for is a contraption that gives order to space you already have, so many options are truly cheap.
Especially if all you need is a little added vertical space, like with hanging shelves that hook onto a closet rod or with layered hangers, you can easily get what you need for under 10 bucks. This is the best closet organizer we’ve found in that price range.
Best best budget closet organizer: Simple Houseware 5 Shelves Hanging Closet Organizer
Two hooks, five shelves, six mesh pockets—all for a 10-spot. (Amazon/)
Especially if you’re just looking to add a little bit of room (say, you own a handful of T-shirts that always end up on the floor no matter how many times you put them away), a simple hanging closet organizer is perfect. It’s unobtrusive but essential.
FAQ: Everything else you need to know about buying the best closet organizer for you
What should be folded and what should be hung up?
The rule of thumb is that if it’s something delicate or that can wrinkle (e.g. silk), or that is starched (e.g. dress shirts), hang it. Same goes for heavy formalwear, like gowns and tuxedos. If it’s something stretchy or a material that will warp under the weight of a hanger (like a knit), fold it.
How do you store jeans in the closet?
Dealer’s choice! If you have the drawer space to fold your jeans and prefer a stack, do it. If you like the look of having jeans hung up in the closet—and the ease with which you can find the pair you’re looking for—you can do that too. Either option is perfectly fine for denim.
How does Marie Kondo organize a closet?
The Konmari closet method is based on the idea that organization brings happiness. At its most basic, it asks you to keep any items that “spark joy” and discard everything else. Beyond that, Kondo believes in investing real time and commitment to tidying up and organizing by category: e.g., fold all your jeans, then hang all your button-downs, then line up all your sneakers. It’s more complicated than that, but that’s the gist!
Related: You should start your spring cleaning now
A final word on shopping for the best closet organizer
Whether you want to take a big step toward organizing your closet with an intricate system or just add a few organizational elements, a happier, less cluttered tomorrow is on deck once you invest in the best closet organizer for you. From linen closet organization to shoe closet organizer options, find all the best storage ideas here.