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How I Organize My Closet

After Organization Project "Clean my own closet" by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

Do you ever just get into a rut with your closet - the way that it's organized, the clothes (and shoes) themselves? That definitely happened to me over the summer. I invested in all new organizational containers because the clutter in my closet was causing me anxiety every time I walked in. Ridiculous though it may seem, it really does make me feel better when everything is tidy and organized.

For starters, I recycled all of the old original cardboard shoe boxes and opted instead for clear plastic shoe boxes from The Container Store, which I also use in my work closet to keep samples tidy (I buy them in bulk). I decided to go the extra step and make labels for my shoe bins with type (heels, sneakers, flats, you get the idea) plus brand and color. I enlisted help from one of my teens who typed everything out on his phone then sent it to me to make the labels. He included a note to say that I have an issue with leopard print shoes and striped clothing, as in I own multiple multiples.

Even though I was mortified, this is a great outcome of this method because you see what you own, what you gravitate towards (and sometimes need to avoid - as in how many leopard patterned shoes does one really need?), and what items you may need to invest in, like new basics, if say your favorite white t shirt is now yellowing.

Before Photo from Organization Project "Clean my own closet" by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.


I ordered a couple of short and long hanging organizers from this collection along with my favorite shoe boxes. Once everything arrived, I started by taking everything out of the closet. Lean into this part because you're bound to get irritated. In taking everything out, I set them aside by grouping like things in one area, hanging clothes on the bed, again grouping by category - skirts, pants, jeans, tops. There is method to this madness, hang in there.

Once everything is out, now's the time to wipe all the shelves down, throw away any trash or recycle things like old dry cleaning bags or old shoe boxes. You might even vacuum or sweep the floors while you're at it. Embrace the clean y'all. You won't regret it.

Next, survey the layout of your closet. What makes sense as far as where things go? For me on my side of the closet, there are two long hanging rods with shelves above, one on top of another - perfect for hanging tops and pants or skirts. Another wall has just one high hanging rod with shelves above, perfect for longer dresses and coats.

Before & After Photos from Organization Project "Clean my own closet" by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

Since I knew long hanging items could only go on one wall, that's where I started. I used to hang all my jeans and pants up on hangers, but because of the double width when folded, I opted instead to trifold jeans and pants and place in the new hanging shelf dividers. Because I am OCD, I even separated them by color and season - spring and summer on the left, darker and fall like pants on the right. I also set aside the lower portions of the longest hanging dividers for sweater or long term storage. Again those are grouped by season and by color.

You can't see them but there are white labels on the top of the covered boxes. You could totally stack t shirts or sweaters in these cubbies, but because it's as hot as an oven here most of the year, sweater weather is really short. I personally like to keep those contained and out of sight.

Between the two long dividers I decided to hang my long dresses. I really don't know why I'm keeping these...they're on my hit list because I rarely, if ever, wear dresses anymore because of my #specialskin remember? To the left of this big grouping are all of my jackets. Again, one of the bonuses of doing it this way is you really see what you have. Apparently I also have a thing for green jackets - different materials and lengths and styles but yes, my name is Nancy and I'm not allowed to purchase one more green jacket. ever.

Above all the long hanging items are a couple of colorful striped buckets. I use these for things I don't use every day...swimsuits and cover ups, travel bags, and purses. I've always been a sucker for blue and white stripes but just know they also come in gray. Sometimes you just gotta go with what you love.

Before & After Photos from Organization Project "Clean my own closet" by Houston interior design firm Nancy Lane Interiors.

On the short side, I started reloading by organizing all of my shoes. Out went all the cardboard boxes for recycling and into the new clear boxes went all my shoes with a new label. Once I organized those by type, I placed them on the shelves based on season, putting sandals and open toed shoes front and center and within easy reach. Boots and heavier fall and winter shoes went up higher.

Once I had all of the shoes out of the way, I brought all the tops and shirts back in the closet. Now there are several ways to do of which is just hang your stuff. No judgment if that's how you roll. Personally, I like to group by season first, with current seasonal items in view and within easy reach. For me, that meant all the long sleeve tops towards the back, sleeveless and short sleeve in the center and then I went the extra step and organized by color. You do you though. This is just what felt good to me and my OCD.

I'm also very happy that there was still room to store some long term meaningful items, like an old table and chair that belonged to my grandmother and another old chair I found in college when I was young and broke. I painted and recovered it myself and can't bring myself to change it yet...but now that I've seen the photos I have another fabric in mind.

Are you inspired to redo your closet too? Please oh please tag me @nancylaneinteriors on Instagram so I can see your gorgeous closets and your own collections of green jackets and leopard print shoes...or it just me?


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