Creative Wardrobe Organization

creative wardrobe organization tips

I assume you’ve all got closets. With hangers. Maybe a few shelves. There might even be a chest of drawers or an armoire in the mix. I also assume that you’ve got some wardrobe organization challenges and that some of your belongings might be a little worse for wear due to makeshift storage situations. (A few of mine certainly are!)

And suggestions like the one pictured above – painting some crown moulding a gorgeous color and nailing it to the wall so you can display a few pairs of heels in an unusual way – are fantastic if you don’t mind taking up wall space, opting for a semi-permanent and highly visible storage solution, and making your wardrobe into makeshift art. But I prefer wardrobe organization techniques that are temporary, reversible, or even portable. Personally, I’d much rather keep things out of sight, out of sunlight, and out of the dusty, cat-friendly environment that is my home.

Happily, there are loads of creative wardrobe organization practices that don’t involve nails, paint, and permanence. Here are a few that have piqued my interest as I’ve roamed around the Interwebs lately.

Store handbags on a hat rack

My understanding is that perfect bag storage would look something like this. Bags are kept upright, they don’t crowd each other, they’re out of the sun, and larger bags aren’t suspended (which might eventually cause handles to distend). I have no such area in my home for bag storage, so I started storing my own handbags on a hat rack. I worry about my handles a bit, but so far no problems, and the rack allows bags to hang without crowding or crushing.

Store jewelry on drawer pulls set into a framed board

There are loads of board-based jewelry storage solutions, but this one is my favorite. Less likely to scratch your goodies than the framed screen and a visual step up from the framed burlap. It would take a bit of doing since the fabric would need to be backed by something stiff – plywood or similar – but the end result looks tidy and interesting.

Use a desk insert for makeup organization

I nabbed a plastic makeup organizer at a garage sale for $1, and I do love it. But if I had actual cabinet or drawer space for my cosmetics, I’d likely just buy a desk insert or silverware organizer for my goodies. Such an easy, affordable, practical way to keep makeup from wandering off into dark corners of your cabinets.

Attach shower rings to a wood hanger for scarf storage

My own scarves are in a pre-made hanger-like contraption with loads of holes, but I think this DIY solution would likely work better. The scarves are able to breathe and move, they’re all visible and accessible, and the hanger can be stored in or outside a closet. Pretty slick.

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Image via Santa Barbara Chic.

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  • Shower rings for scarves – yes! You just made my day a little sunnier with that tip. My DH made me a necklace holder similar to yours, and it’s perfect-o. Happy Friday.

  • I’m not exactly known for my wardrobe organization skills, but yay, I’ve stored my handbags on a hat rack for a long, long time – and it works like a charm!

    Overall, re: creative wardrobe organization; I always admire people who are able to keep their clothes, shoes or jewelry visible, as a part of their overall decor, but for some reason I can’t seem to make it work. I find that clothing gathers too much dust, and our cats are far too interested in playing with displayed shoes or jewelry! 🙂

  • I have my scarves on a hat rack and love it. I went to Ross and bought a brass one with lots of curls. I have a lot of scarves so this works well and I can look it over while I am showering in the morning and fashion outfits in my mind! These are great ideas also.

  • Oh yeah…I’m definitely running out to buy some shower rings today!

  • Heather

    I have probably a hundred scarves- the heavy pashminas go on a fancy scarf hanger from ikea. I do have one of those holey ones for the silkier scarves but I find clothespins work better on a regular hanger. I like to keep them in plain sight because they are pretty and also because I remember what I have!

    I bought a copper necklace hanger at a craft fair that hangs on the wall for all my vintage beaded necklaces- they are too pretty to keep in a drawer.

    I just ordered a rolling garment rack- we went from having a huge walk in closet in our apartment to almost no space in the house (1880 farm house). I do have a bunch of those hangers that hold multiple garments but I find it is hard to see what you have. I plan to keep my in season rotation where I can see it. I also like the idea of having a place to air out my slightly-worn outfits (I don’t like putting dirty stuff back in the closet).

  • Heather

    Forgot to add- does anyone have a brilliant solution for the piles of shoes by the back door? We always take our shoes off when we come in (and I don’t want dirty shoes hauled up to the bedroom). Problem is there is NO room for a boot bench or a conventional shoe rack near the door…

  • Stacy

    For shoes by the back door: I bought one of those large metal drink buckets on clearance at Target, and we put our shoes in there. It works especially well for dirty softball cleats.

    I’m lucky enough to have a small walk-in closet. Behind the door, I covered the wall with decorative hooks (about 10 total) I bought on clearance at JoAnn Fabric (the seasonal ones that go on sale for 70% off). I hang my rather large collection of belts on the hooks, as well as long necklaces and some of my smaller cross-body purses. This helps me see what I already have.

    For my other necklaces, I screwed teacup hooks into the wall (about 8 of them). This lets me sort the necklaces by metal, length, color, etc.

  • Love these ideas (and thanks for the link-love)! My hat rack has still been working very well; it’s been a little over six months, and no visible damage or disfigurement, plus I am getting a lot more use out of my purses because I can see them all!

    (here’s the original post: http://www.stuffjewishgirlslike.com/2011/12/home-improvement-purse-display-dilemma.html)

  • I store my scarves in two boxes, one for silk scarves and one for pashminas and larger scarves. I folded a typical silk scarf in quarters and a pashmina in eighths and measured them. Then I went to Michael’s and found those “wallpaper” covered cardboard boxes in just the right sizes:

    9″x9″ for the silks
    10″x15″ for the pashminas

    They come in a huge variety of colors and patterns to match any decor. I chose dark, sober patterns because I put the boxes on a surface in my living room. I tend to pick a scarf as I’m on my way out the door, so having them in the bedroom doesn’t work well for me.

    I would rather have open baskets in those sizes than the wallpaper boxes, but they needed to have lids to keep my cats from nesting on the cozy scarves! While I enjoy a variety of scarf colors and patterns, cat fur isn’t one of them.

  • KL

    I have a mix of chunkier scarves and slippery silk scarves, so I hang some of them on a combo belt/scarf hanger and the silk scarves in a drawer with my chunky stretch belts.

    I have some metal sensitivities and prefer to buy sterling silver jewelry when I can, so I don’t like to store it hanging out in the open. I bought a drawstring satin jewelry pouch from Etsy in the XL size (this one) and I LOVE it. I also have a heavier jewelry box-type thing, but the pouch is easy to access, organized, and portable. I keep my earrings together in tiny plastic bags, which I can sort through and toss into my drawstring bag whenever I’m traveling.

  • Marsha Calhoun

    I wasn’t wearing my earrings because they were in drawers, out of sight. I took an old picture frame, removed the backing and replaced it with screen (black), which I stapled to the frame. I then stapled ribbons to the top, at either side. Now I hang my hooked earrings on the screen, and the stud earrings in rows on the ribbons, and all are visible. One of my very few crafty successes. The only earrings I now have in drawers are the ones I inherited from my non-ear-pierced mother (which I could probably clip on the ribbons, as well).

  • Didi

    For my winter scarves, I use an over-the-door towel rack that hangs inside my coat closet. For silk and other scarves, I use the slim flocked (velvet) hangers so that they do not slide off, and it works very well. I have two of them hanging on hooks on the wall of my closet where I can see them to select a scarf. I have dozens of vintage scarves that were my grandmother’s that I have in boxes in a dresser in the guest room.

    For the shoes by the door, depending on your decor, perhaps an over-the-door shoe rack? We come into the house through the garage, and I would hang it on the garage side. Or a nice basket in a nearby closet.

  • mdp

    Makeup storage: I attach small magnets to the back of each compact and stick them to the metal interior of the medicine cabinet door. Of course, I don’t have tons of makeup – one or two colors of everything, max. I also store nail clippers, tweezers, pencil sharpeners, etc., the same way. To store brushes, mascara, etc., I use a magnetic pencil cup made for high school students to use in their lockers. The only cosmetic items I don’t store this way are loose powders and liquids.

  • I’ve actually been working on a reorganization this afternoon and I’m going to use the scarf hanger idea!

  • I’m pretty good at organizing my things, but jewelry is the one thing I’m terrible with! I have necklaces & bracelets all over the place, always getting tangled up. I’ll add that jewelry board idea to my DIY to-do list!

  • Heather

    Oh, I just remembered, back in the day when I had a million pairs of crazy earrings, I had a earring rack made from a frame (it had it’s own stand like a mirror) with window screen material instead of glass. worked brilliantly, wonder what ever happened to it.

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