25 Budget Friendly Closet Organizers

25 Ways to Organize Your Closet

Closet organizers should be simple. People tend to seriously over-complicate closet organization, but around here, I follow the KISS motto: Keep it Simple, Stupid. Hang your most-worn clothes up front, make sure you can reach everything, and use some assists where you can.

Here are 25 ideas to organize your closet quickly and…simply:

  • 01 of 25

    Over-the-door shoe racks.

    Closet organizers

    An over the door shoe rack will free up space on your closet's floor for cubbies and bins. This budget-friendly 36 Pair over the door tower will fit over most closet doors, but make sure to measure before purchasing.

  • 02 of 25

    Label your shelves.

    Closet Labels from realsimple.com
    Closet Labels from realsimple.com. Closet Labels from realsimple.com

    Labeling your shelves is especially helpful for jeans, which tend to blend in together when they are folded. I like The Container Store's simple label maker.

  • 03 of 25

    Shelf dividers for sweaters, jeans and shirts.

    Neu Home Chrome Shelf Dividers
    Neu Home Chrome Shelf Dividers. Photo/ Neu Home Chrome Shelf Dividers

    Shelf dividers will instantly make your closet (and linen closet) look tidier and more organized. These shelf dividers are budget-friendly and good-looking enough to have in your guest room closet.

  • 04 of 25

    Shoe cubbies for shoes *and* accessories.

    12-Pair Shoe Organizer
    12-Pair Shoe Organizer. Photo / The Container Store

    Shoe cubbies to store more than just shoes; use them for clutches, handbags, accessories and jewelry holders. They are also great for sheets and pillowcases if your clothes closet doubles as linen closet. This 12 pair shoe organizer cubby from the Container Store is perfectly-sized for even a small closet.

    Continue to 5 of 25 below.
  • 05 of 25

    Pant hangers for multiple pairs of pants.

    Multiple Pant Hanger
    Multiple Pant Hanger. Photo / Stacks and Stacks

    Pant hangers can maximize space by hanging 5-6 pairs on the same hanger. This tiered pant hanger makes each pair easier to retrieve.

  • 06 of 25

    Expandable shoe rack.

    Expandable Stacking Shoe Rack
    Expandable Stacking Shoe Rack. Photo / Container Store

    The expandable part is the real winner here, you can make the rack as small or large as you like to custom-fit your closet. This budget option from Whitmor is well-priced and sturdy.

  • 07 of 25

    Peg board on inside of closet door.

    Nate Berkus New York Home Office Organization
    Compare Nate Berkus' New York home office organization with that of his Chicago residence (following page). Photo / Oprah Winfrey Show

    A pegboard on the inside of your closet door can be one of the most helpful DIY installation projects you can add to your closet. Hang jewelry, scarves, belts and more off hooks attached to the pegboard. Even better: you can custom fit it to maximize as much or as little of your closet door as possible.

    This peg board organizer kit is a great way to get started customizing your closet door.

  • 08 of 25

    Hanging shoe rack to save space.

    22-Compartment Eco-Fabric Shoe Bag
    22-Compartment Eco-Fabric Shoe Bag. Photo / The Container Store

    Hanging shoe racks can also free up floor space, and can be used to organize both accessories and shoes. This number from The Container Store eschews ugliness for a nice slate, gray color.

    Continue to 9 of 25 below.
  • 09 of 25

    Inventory your closet.

    Clipboard by The Macbeth Collection
    Clipboard by The Macbeth Collection. Photo / The Macbeth Collection

    Take an inventory of your closet and affix--on a clipboard--it to the inside of the closet door. That way you’ll know if your clothes are stored or ready-to-wear in your closet.

  • 10 of 25

    Hooks for handbags.

    Handbgas from merrimentstyle.com
    Handbgas from merrimentstyle.com. Handbgas from merrimentstyle.com

    Command Hooks affixed to the inside of your closet door are another great, less-bulky option to hang everyday jewelry, scarves and handbags.

  • 11 of 25

    Group like with like.

    Closet with Fold Out Doors from Domino Magazine
    Closet with Fold Out Doors from Domino Magazine. Photo / Domino Magazine

    Group clothes together by which type of clothing it is, will make it easier to organize your closet quickly.

  • 12 of 25

    Re-purpose an out-of-use bookcase.

    Shoes in a Bookcase. Petra Bindel via desire to inspire

    Not everything has to be fancy or specially-styled for your closet. A great option for DIY closet organizer is a plain old bookcase, which can hold sweaters, accessories and shoes. 


    Continue to 13 of 25 below.
  • 13 of 25

    Get a boost.

    Lilipad Studio Kids Step Stool
    Lilipad Studio Kids Step Stool. Photo / Lilpad Studio
    • A good step still will allow you to reach the top shelves in your closet, which means you can use those areas for storage. You can read my list of favorite steps stool, or, look no further and buy the sleekest one on the market, the Slim Folding Step Stool.
  • 14 of 25

    Remove the mirror.

    Mirror from dreamywhites.blogspot.com
    Mirror from dreamywhites.blogspot.com. Mirror from dreamywhites.blogspot.com

    Move the mirror to the outside of the door, and find a way to utilize your closet door, whether it with command hooks, a shoe rack or a pegboard.

  • 15 of 25

    And, maybe your shoes.

    Shoe and Boot Tower from Ballard
    Shoe and Boot Tower from Ballard. Photo / Ballard

    Store shoes outside of your closet. They are clunky and even worse, can smell up your closet. Find another space in your home to store shoes (like a shoe tower).

  • 16 of 25

    Or, stack your shoes neatly.

    Shoe Storage from aliciainwonderlandphotos
    Shoe Storage from aliciainwonderlandphotos. Shoe Storage from aliciainwonderlandphotos

    Store shoes in clear plastic shoe boxes. Extra credit is you label them for easy retrieval. Shoe boxes stack so well together they don’t need anything to hold them in place.

    Continue to 17 of 25 below.
  • 17 of 25

    Use a specialty hanger.

    Vertical Te and Belt Rack
    Vertical Te and Belt Rack. Photo / Organize.com

    Store belts, scarves and hats on a tie hanger. You won't believe how much space you can free up when you use the right hangers. 

  • 18 of 25

    Hang your most worn clothes in an easy-to-reach spot.

    Closet Organization by Color
    Closet Organization by Color. Photo / Elle

    Hang your most-used work clothes up front so you can easily grab them in the morning. This will also remind you to press them or take them to the dry cleaners when necessary.

  • 19 of 25

    Treat wool scarves like a wool sweater.

    Scarf from Old Navy
    Scarf from Old Navy. Photo / Old Navy

    Stores scarves on a scarf organizer. Scarf organizers make them so much easier to find, and cut down on wrinkle since they are made to hang. 

  • 20 of 25

    Use a big shopping bag.

    Orange Chair in Foyer
    Orange Chair in Foyer. Photo / Tumblr

    Instead of a donation box, keep a large, sturdy shopping bag (the kind you get from Nordstroms or Bloomingdales) in your closet for donations. This way when you decide to donate or sell something, you can toss it right into the bag. Tossing is so much more fun than "placing."

    Continue to 21 of 25 below.
  • 21 of 25

    Separate out gym clothes.

    Backpacks from joannagoddard.blogspot.com
    Backpacks from joannagoddard.blogspot.com. Backpacks from joannagoddard.blogspot.com

    Move your gym clothes into a bin with everything together: pants, tank tops, and athletic socks. Now you have no excuse to not get dressed quickly for workouts.

  • 22 of 25

    Ditch the wire hangers for good.

    Scotts Deluxe Wood Coat Hangers
    Scotts Deluxe Wood Coat Hangers. Photo / Scotts Deluxe

    Bring clothes to the dry cleaners on your own hangers and request they be returned on the same hanger. No wire hangers!

  • 23 of 25

    Export your out-of-seasons to the dry cleaner.

    Thomas Northcut / Getty Images

    Have your dry cleaner store your fancy, once-a-year clothes like formal dresses, tuxes. They will charge you for cleaning; but the cost of storage is usually free.

  • 24 of 25

    Then color code.

    Elfa Closet with Adjustable Drawers
    Elfa Closet with Adjustable Drawers. Photo / Container Store

    If you have a large wardrobe, coloring coding may seem fussy, but it will be mush easier to spot your go-to clothing. I group my pants, dresses and shirts by color. 

    Continue to 25 of 25 below.
  • 25 of 25

    DIY Your Own Closet System

    How to double your closet space
    How to double your closet space. elfa

    Closet systems can get pricey (think California Closets or Elfa), but you can learn how to DIY your own closet system using my favorite organizers that fits your space and your wardrobe perfectly.