How To Organize Your Closet With No Budget

I've wanted to have an organized closet for the entire last year, but it has seemed like such a daunting and expensive task. But I realized that you can do it even if you don't have an unlimited budget or tons of space! This is basically the story of life- figuring out how to make the best of what you have.

We've also created a free printable checklist so you can join us in The Tidy Room 1 Week Challenge. This challenge is designed to help you organize your room and closet and feel peace in the room again. Let's cut out the chaos this year!

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    Before you move into the organization of your closet and all that it holds, gather some tubs, laundry baskets, and boxes to help the sorting process. I spent about $6 on some small tubs with lids so I could organize and house the smaller things that live in my closet like tights, belts, gloves, sunglasses, etc.
    Step 1. Take out all your seasonal clothing and store in enclosed tubs. This was the number one thing that gave me space back in my tiny closet. If you have the space, you could either store these tubs in your closet, or just group the clothes together in a section of your closet. This way you don't have to look through a bunch of clothing that isn't what you need at the moment.

    Step 2. Remove everything from your closet that isn't clothing. This was shocking as this stuff covered my whole room and I wasn't even dealing with clothing yet!

    But your closet should already start to feel better. If you have the space, pull your hanging clothes out too. My room is small so I had no space to pull my clothes out and be able to organize everything still. If you need the visual of an empty closet, go ahead and pull them out.

    Step 3. Go through everything and toss all things you don't need or want anymore.

    Step 4. Sort all non-clothing items into containers and piles according to how you'd liked them grouped in your closet. The goal is to find a place for each and every one of these things. When multiple things don't have places, they create a mess- because they literally don't have a place to live. So group like items together to estimate how much space you will need for each.

    This is where my little bins with lids come in. The lids are very important because they make the bins stackable, and in a small closet you really need to use vertical space as much as possible. I have 6 of these and they house: sunglasses, gloves, tights, outdoor accessories, random electronic accessories, and belts. I have bigger bins for my beanies and tote bags.

    I sorted my shoes into sections- sandals & summer shoes, booties, active shoes, and everything else. I have the summer shoes and active shoes in their own bins. The summer ones currently live at the top of my closet since those aren't what I need right now. When summer comes, I will switch these out with my more "winter" shoes.

    Step 4. Sort your hanging clothes by length and then color. One of my sections is for all things that are long, so I have dresses, kimonos, long cardigans, and long tunics together. My other 4 sections are coats, short sleeves, long sleeves, and pants & skirts. It's very important to make sure each section contains things that are all the same length. When you do this you group all the empty space together that is under shorter hanging clothes. This allows you to use that empty space for other things. When all the lengths are mixed together you end up having long pieces across your whole closet, keeping the space underneath useless.

    The other thing that is important for a sane closet is to sort each section by color. This way when you are looking for a white long sleeve shirt, you know exactly where to go.

    This would be a good time to go through the hanging clothes to get rid of what you no longer need. This project took me a while so I didn't do this in my closet. This week we are starting a week challenge where we go through everything in our rooms and get rid of what we don't need or want anymore, so I will take care of that this week. If you'd like to join us on the challenge

    Step 5. Design your closet according to your needs. Now this doesn't mean go to The Container Store and have someone design your closet. You just have to remember what wasn't working in your closet before and figure our how to fix it. For example, I have to store some bulky folded clothes in my closet, like sweaters and sweatshirts, so I created some shelves/containers out of these cardboard boxes.
    I just cut off the flaps...

    (Luckily we had three of the exact same box.)

    And then stapled them together side by side.

    This design is great because it keeps the pieces perfectly stacked. Before this I had clothes stacked freely and they would fall over onto each other and in a short amount of time I just had a pile of clothes up there. These are going to keep that section organized.

    Some other things I did to create maximize my space: I added a hanging bar that we had ripped out of our studio a while back, I found some plastic drawers that were sitting in the basement to use and I added some wood shelves with some scrap wood to house some of my favorite booties. These booties used to live on top of my dresser, but I really wanted to be able to fit them into the closet. Because of the shoe rack I have, there was some dead space above it, so I just added a couple shelves. I also added a clip light in the closet because it's very dark in there.

    You basically have to figure out how you want to use your space and it can take a little finagling to get it right and exactly as you need it. Every closet is different. Definitely consider if using a second bar would be helpful to you, if you have a few extra dollars to purchase some tubs with lids, and things you already have laying around the house. I know it's isn't the nicest thing, but a cardboard box can really go a long way when you are on a strict budget.
    Step 6. Re-fill your closet. Put all your newly organized bins and boxes in your closet and organize any leftover items. Because I had the space, I added a hook to hang my over-the-shoulder bags on.

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      And you are done! I feel much more peaceful about my closet now. Everything has a place, it's less full, and it's 100% more functional. And I didn't spend much money at all. I hope this post will help you organize your tiny closet on little to no budget! If you liked this post or want to save it for later, pin the image below! And don't forget to sign up for the Tidy Room Week Challenge above so we can bring peace to our rooms as well!

      1 comment

      1. If you are anything like me, you have many clothes to wear. All the time. There is just no way around it! I mean, I've had a T-Shirt I've worn daily for over 10 years, and it's still in good shape! So, how do we all manage this Well, there are many ways to organize and store our clothes but one of the most creative ways is to use a closet organization system without spending a ton of money.