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How To Organize Your Closet: 5 Tips from Custom Closet Designers

5 minute read, by Closet America, on May 10, 2018

Learn how to organize your closet from top to bottom, creating a chic space that would make any fashionista proud.

Delicate pink cherry blossoms have already bloomed in the Tidal Basin, signaling the long-awaited arrival of spring in DC. Now that the weather is warming up and the smell of fresh flowers is in the air, you may be thinking about refreshing your own home with a little spring cleaning. One of the best places to start a spring cleaning project is in your bedroom closet. After all, your closet is the cornerstone of your personal style; it should be functional and easy to navigate, but it should also be an expression of your personality and good taste.

However, getting started on a complete bedroom closet makeover can be daunting. Should you start with your heels or your blazers? Do you need more shelves for your hat collection? Where should you store your scarves now that winter is over? To help you make the most out of your space, our experienced custom closet designers have put together a list of our five favorite closet organization tips. You’ll learn how to organize your closet from top to bottom, creating a chic space that would make any fashionista proud.

Tip #1: Have a Place for Everything. Yes, Everything.

When you’re rushing out the door to meet your friend for brunch in the West End, the last thing you want to do is hunt for your favorite pair of earrings. This is why a well-organized bedroom closet should have a specific, tailored space for every item you own. By creating unique storage solutions for all of your clothing and accessories, you’ll find every item you need in a snap.

Even though you’re adding extra hangers, rods, and shelves into your closet, you’ll find that all the additional storage items actually make your closet appear bigger because every piece in your wardrobe will have room to breathe. Say goodbye to crammed, messy closets!

organize your closet

Tip #2: Celebrate Trends and Wardrobe Staples

Heavy fisherman sweaters and thick, faux fur coats are out. Basketweave bags and lightweight polka dot prints are in. Keeping up with the latest fashion trends can be a fun way to experiment with new styles, but new, trendy items can easily get lost in a sea of older clothes if you don’t plan your closet layout carefully. When deciding on how to organize your closet this spring, consider placing trendy pieces and your “ride or die” staple clothing right at the center of your space. By putting these types of items at eye level, you’re more likely to see them and wear them. No more digging around for your classic navy blazer or wondering where your favorite LBD went.

Meanwhile, items that you use somewhat less frequently (perhaps once a month) should go on the lower shelves. And finally, items that you rarely use or out-of-season clothing should go on the uppermost shelves where they’re harder to reach. You won’t need that heavy wool coat in the middle of DC’s August heatwave, but you will need your breezy linen tank tops. Trust us, when it’s nearly 100°F outside, the last thing you want to do is climb up to the top shelf to get those.

custom walk-in closet shelves

Tip #3: Aim Higher

Few things are more beautiful than the vaulted ceiling of a Georgian home in Foxhall Crescent. So why not use these incredibly high ceilings to their full potential? When organizing your closet, the higher you can install your shelves, the better. Not only do tall, ceiling-grazing shelves maximize the room’s space, it also makes the closet appear more organized. Rather than cramming 100 pairs of shoes into just a few short shelves, you can create an entire wall of shoe storage, giving each pair plenty of space, like works of art in a museum gallery. By growing your closet up instead of out, you also give yourself more room to get ready every morning (or, alternatively, you’ll gain enough floor space to install a custom closet island for even more storage opportunities). Combine your custom-made high shelves with features like long curtains or even ladders to make the space truly unique.

custom closet island

Tip #4: Pick a Color Scheme That You Love

What makes a bedroom closet look messy and unorganized? It’s not just clothes strewn on the floor or tangled ties, it’s also the color of the cabinets, shelves, and hangers. Even sparkling clean closets can look a little unorganized if you don’t color-coordinate the space. To give your bedroom closet an instant facelift, choose at least two, but no more than three, colors that you want to include in your dream closet.

One of the most impactful color schemes is a neutral, light-colored set of shelves combined with rich, dark-colored cabinets or storage boxes. The contrast between light and dark adds visual interest to the space while also making it appear clean and organized. Even if your folding skills are a little rusty, or you like to messily toss your socks in a drawer, a perfectly-coordinated bedroom closet and matching hangers will lend an illusion of cleanliness and visual calmness to a space. To make this effect even more impactful, you can also organize your clothing by color, from darkest to lightest.

custom closet color scheme

Tip #5: Shine a Light on Your Space

When you research tips on how to organize your closet, you’ll find plenty of advice about hangers and getting rid of items you no longer wear. But lighting is another essential, and highly underrated, aspect of closet organization that could use a little more love and attention. Lighting sets the mood for your space, creating a calming atmosphere that, like a great color scheme, can make a closet appear more organized and sophisticated.

Lighting also helps you see every item in your closet. After all, having a well-organized jewelry drawer is only useful if you can actually see all of your pearl-studded earrings. A thin necklace or a statement necktie may get lost forever in a dark corner of the closet unless you have enough lighting in your space. Custom lighting designs installed directly into your shelves and other storage solutions work best, as they blend seamlessly into the design and can reach tight corners that overhead or side lamps can’t.

custom closet

How to Organize Your Closet Right Now

A bedroom closet can be so much more than just a storage space. When you understand how to organize your closet from ceiling to floor, you can create a space that reflects your unique personality and makes getting ready a truly delightful process. A custom-made closet could be your perfect little home sanctuary—it should make you smile whenever you enter the room and spark creative new outfit ideas. You simply can’t get the same feeling from a one-size-fits-all, DIY closet. You need a closet that combines style with detailed organization that is catered to your specific needs.

To get started on your own custom closet, sign up for a free consultation with Closet America today. Our experts will help you find the perfect storage solutions for your wardrobe, allowing you to unleash your creativity and style.


Closet America was able to work with my unique circumstances in order to give me the best use of my space.

Amy B.,
Fairfax Station, VA

Let’s Start Your Project

Whether you’re interested in a custom-designed closet, office, pantry, or garage, starting your project couldn’t be easier. Just fill out the attached form or give us a call to schedule your free in-home design consultation. You can download our brochure and you’re welcome to visit our Landover Maryland showroom, to see how beautiful our custom-designed organization systems look in person. We want you to experience the Closet America difference and see how we build organizing solutions for life.