Most Organized is a monthly series in which one of our style editors or a friend of Livingetc tackles the secret storage solutions that’ll transform your space into a style haven.
Fashion has always been my first love. Collecting clothing and accessories has been a passion of mine since childhood. Vintage holds a special place in my heart — those unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that compel you to make a purchase because you may never come across something like it again.
Over the years, my collection has grown significantly, meaning I rely on the best closet organizers to keep me in check.
“The best way to organize is by type of clothing and then if they want to filter down even more, color coding helps to be able to pick an outfit quicker and know where things are easier," says cleaning expert Audrey Boyce. Also organizing by color, Bridget Flynn, a closet specialist with a background in fashion brands like Ann Taylor and Banana Republic, advises an extra step, categorizing longer items, such as coats or formal dresses, by hemline. This closet organization idea frees up extra space for shoe storage.
Although the rise of minimalism suggests hiding clothes for an ultra-sleek look, I can't help but find joy in actually seeing my clothes. Christina Giaquinto, Professional Organizer and Brand Ambassador of Modular Closets, shares my sentiment, advocating for an open closet approach. She emphasizes, "By no means do you want closets to be disorganized behind closed doors, but when it is an open concept, you can see all your items, and that means you may have to organize it in a different way to ensure it is aesthetically pleasing at first glance."
In a similar vein, professional organizer Caroline Roberts advises to make "in-season pieces and favorite pieces are most accessible." Treat your closet like a curated department store — "Declutter regularly and put off-season items in the back of the closet or in another closet, so that you can easily see everything you are enjoying now."
Let these beautiful walk-in closet ideas fill you with inspiration.
The 12 best closet organizers
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Living in New York, notorious for limited closet space, my current studio apartment essentially functions as a sizable walk-in closet. I am the embodiment of that old woman living in a shoe nursery rhyme. If anyone needs the highest level of closet organization to store the most amount of items with the smallest amount of space, it’s me.
To create the illusion of a larger closet, Giaquinto advises, "Keep things slightly spaced out to create a spacious and airy look." She adds, "If you can, keep the floor open to make the space look bigger." Professional organizer Caroline Roberts suggests "creating a retail-esque display of shoes and purses using acrylic risers. Nothing is more luxurious than walking into a closet that feels like your favorite boutique." However, she cautions against excess, stating, "If there are too many, then the closet starts to look messy. Anything that may translate as clutter is stored in an opaque bin."
Partly for selfish reasons and partly to share my knowledge with fellow fashion enthusiasts, I’ve compiled a wishlist of storage, decluttering, and organizational solutions, incorporating all the expert insights I've gathered. These are not just ordinary closet tips or organizers; this is a guide for true clothing connoisseurs. Give your most prized possessions the showroom-worthy organization they deserve with the chicest closet suggestions you’ll ever find.
Let's start with the back of the door, and all that dead space. These button-sized hooks can be easily affixed and are ideal for bags, or for outfits you plan to wear the next day. Or that have been worn once and are otherwise destined to be flung on to a chair.
Bear with me, because I know the image shows this shelf playing host to wine bottles and glasses (now, wouldn't that be handy for getting dressed with?!) but actually it's perfect for trinkets and hangers. I have this exact one on the inside of my closet drawer and use it to hang outfits off, while my sunglasses sit on the shelf. It's a perfect multi-functional space saver.
Ok, this is clearer to visualize, perhaps, and so lightweight that they're easy to fix to a closet interior. Again, it helps you keep things off the floor and at ease of reach - your most favored pairs of shoes would be perfect here.
We’ve all likely misplaced a pair of sunglasses. I do this often. According to Boyce, a sunglasses organizer like this with a glass lid is the perfect solution. This way, you’ll actually remember to use your old shades because they will remain in plain view.
Meanwhile, according to Giaquinto, opaque storage bins give your clothes and accessories “a sleek look while also giving you the freedom to store a bunch of items in one place.” This option by Pottery Barn is made of handwoven rattan, but is more contained than the Anthro version above. I plan to purchase a couple in the large size for sweaters and other bulkier items.
Price asserts that “Accessory trays are a must for a fashion lover’s closet” — and I would agree. “Not only do they help you store and see all your accessories in one place, but they also look amazing and help level up your wardrobe aesthetic. You can get designs with different shaped compartments to get the perfect accessory layout for your closet.” This organizer from The Container Store holds watches, jewelry, and other small accessories alongside larger ones, like sunglasses.
Shoes are a pepetual closet problem, and often end up littered on the floor. Forcing yourself to get into the habit of placing them in these gray boxes - which have a pleasing seagrass effect to their exterior - will help no end.
If the idea of boxes seems too large for your small city closet then these genius little risers take up far less space. True, they can't be stacked like boxes, but if you were planning to run your shoes along the floor anyway then storing the pairs one on top of the other will help you get more into your precious square footage.
Boyce advises finding a storage solution capable of holding all of your jewelry in one spot. "I often see people have it in multiple places, making it nearly impossible to remember what you have and where you last put it," she explains. It makes more sense to keep your jewellery in a closet, not on the dresser. It feels safer, and you're less likely for it to roll away. This tangy orange holder will keep all your treasures secured.
I like to think that if I had these slimline little dividers on my closet rail I'd know where everything was immediately and keep all my hangers in pristine order. They instantly give a more uniform feel, and help to maintain a sense of decorum.
“Every fashion lover has several handbags, and these are usually investment pieces,” says Flynn. “I always want to display them, because their beauty adds to the beauty of the closet.” “The strategy for organizing handbags," she continues, "is two-fold: file organizing and box organizing. Small- to medium-size handbags can always be stored in my favorite purse organizer by mDesign. This is a file formation, which saves space and makes the bags visible.” That's all I needed to hear — this organizer is already in my cart.
This pick is perhaps a little niche, but as I mentioned earlier, I have a strong affinity for vintage items, which are tricky to store. “Many fashion lovers have vintage pieces that need to be properly stored to preserve the fabric and prolong the lifespan,” says Flynn. She recommends storing these items in boxes, always using “acid-free archival tissue paper" between items.
Tight on space? Be sure to check out these expert-approved small closet ideas.
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Formerly covering fashion at L’Officiel USA, style maven Julia Demer brings her love of design to Livingetc’s world of interiors. As the title’s Style Editor, Julia's work reflects a sharp eye for detail and an innate passion for aesthetics. Her journey began with a strong foundation in design, honing her craft at renowned establishments like The Row and even establishing her own eponymous fashion brand. Julia’s design background is evident in the way she thoughtfully curates shopping edits, always maintaining a focus on emerging trends while preserving timeless sensibilities. For Julia, fashion and interiors go hand in hand, reflecting her lifelong commitment to perfecting the art of style.
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