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How to Organize Your Clothes Closet on a Budget

Updated on April 14, 2013
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.



It's Time to Get Organized

Do you have so many clothes in your closet they are starting to take over? Have you been looking for the same sweater for two weeks, but you still can't find it? Are you starting to just fling stuff in your closet and hope for the best? Well, sounds like it is time to organize your closet now.

It can be a tough task organizing all your clothes. This is especially the case if you don't have a lot of money for shelves, organizers, or dressers. After all, you just spend your money on clothes; you don't have the extra funds for boring stuff to keep it organized. If you are lucky, you can at least buy one dresser and a cheap closet organizer or two. If not, you are still up for the challenge. You can make it happen!



Throw Out Some Stuff

The first task to get you started is to go through all your clothes and determine what you are not wearing. If you have clothes you have not worn at least once in the last 2 years, you obviously do not need them. You have the option of either throwing them out if they have holes or stains, or adding them to a donation pile. You may also want to take your clothes to a consignment shop to make some extra cash. Then you can buy some organizers for your closet if you'd like.

The only exceptions I make during this task are simple: A) If you have not worn something in 2 years because you haven't seen it in about a year since your closet is such a mess, then yes, you can perhaps keep it. If you are excited and it is like having a whole new item, by all means, wear it as if it is new outfit. B) You probably have some clothes you save only for particular occasions like weddings, funerals, job interviews, court appearances, etc. Yes, you can always keep those clothing items in your closet. You may just want to move them to a location you don't use a lot.


Start Sorting It Out

Once you've gotten rid of clothes you no longer want, you can start sorting out what clothes you wear regularly and what clothes can be stored because it is out of season. The clothes you are going to put away should be items you are certain you won't need for about 6 months. If it is warm weather, you can probably put away most sweaters and sweat shirts, but you may want to keep a couple available in case it gets chilly.

An easy way to store your out of season clothing is packing them away in plastic bags. If you have bought a new comforter or blanket recently, they usually come with thick plastic bags with zippers. I highly recommend always saving those bags because they are perfect for clothing storage. You might want to consider using a suitcase for this purpose, too, unless you constantly use it for traveling. Also, if you work at an office that stocks up on printing paper in bulk, those printing paper boxes make perfect storage boxes for clothing. They are also great if you are moving, too. Most even have built in handles!

BEFORE: Low budget at any discount store.
BEFORE: Low budget at any discount store. | Source
AFTER: This cart holds a lot of t-shirts.
AFTER: This cart holds a lot of t-shirts. | Source

Cheap Alternatives to Dressers

If you are lucky, you have a huge dresser for all your clothing or you can buy small dressers to hold your clothing. If you are not so lucky, I recommend getting economical small organizers you can use in your closet. Many of the small wire kind are only about $10 to $20, and some even have wheels. They are perfect for storage items like t-shirts and you can roll them around in your closet to find what you need.

A surprising amount of t-shirts fit on the small cart pictured to the right. You just need to make sure you fold them in a way that will help all of them fit on the mini-cart and not get wrinkled. It is also fairly easy to find items on it. You can also use something like this even for socks or underwear storage if you do not have a dresser.

You can also consider buying fabric organizers that are intended to hold shoes. They can hang from the pole in the closet and hold items such as socks, underwear, t-shirts, gloves, hats, etc. Plastic crates that are often sold at stores for just a few dollars a crate are also good alternatives to dressers. You can either put the clothing inside the crate like a box, or you can prop the crate on its side and stack clothing in it. You can then stack the crates inside your closet.

A practical plastic crate
A practical plastic crate | Source

Putting Everything in Place

Once you've determined what you are keeping out for this season and how you'd like to organize everything, it is important to put your clothes in an orderly fashion back in the closet. After all, it is necessary to be able to find everything. You can't possibly make use of all your clothing options if you have a hard time finding items.

I suggest buying extra hangers from the store to encourage hanging everything up in the closet that you can. Walmart and Target often sells plastic hangers in bulk for a few bucks. I recommend getting a couple of extra sets to make organizing your closet even easier.

When you go to look for your clothes, it is a good item to set up everything in a way that makes sense to you. Perhaps you can put all your short sleeved shirts in one section and long sleeved shirts in another. Maybe you would rather organize everything by occasion: work in one area of the closet, casual wear in a different spot, and so on. Do whatever makes the most sense for you so you can quickly put together an outfit when getting dressed.

Don't cry! It will all be over soon!


Don't Give Up!

During any major task such as organizing a clothing closet, there comes a point when you might want to give up. You may just feel like screaming, possibly crying, or just walking away. Don't do it. If you need to take a rest, do it for a bit, but come back to it. When you are surrounded by piles of clothes, it can be overwhelming. Don't let it get to you! In no time, you will have a nice, tidy closet with clothes that are easy to find. Good luck to you!

Copyright ©2013 Jeannieinabottle


Submit a Comment

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 2 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    That is true, lucille12. Thanks for checking out my hub.

  • lucille12 profile image

    lucille12 2 years ago

    They can hang from the pole in the closet and hold items.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much!

  • IslandBites profile image

    IslandBites 4 years ago from Puerto Rico

    Nice hub.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    I also tend to hoard a bit, too. I have to force myself to give up things at times. It is so tough, so I understand. Thanks for your comment!

  • bkirembu profile image

    Becky Kirembu 4 years ago

    Hey Jeannieinabottle, my closet is such a horrid mess. Thank you for the useful tips especially the tip about throwing stuff out ... you see I am a "hoarder" and I find it sooo hard to get rid of stuff but I am working on it.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much for the vote up and for pinning. I am all about being economical and calling no one. :-)

  • carol7777 profile image

    carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

    I do like your ideas and they are far more economical than calling in a professional company. Great hub. voting up and pinning.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks so much! It is tough getting motivated to clean up things... you only discover new things that should be organized. Good luck!

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 4 years ago from south Florida

    There are some great ideas here, Jeannie, for organizing my closet. I'm going to start right away. Well, maybe tomorrow. If not tomorrow, then before the week ends. If not then, . . .

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    europewalker - Wow, that is amazing timing. I still have more to go - one plastic storage container full of pajamas and bathing suits... I am dreading that! I have one dresser full of socks and undergarments. Sigh. It never ends, does it? Thanks for your comment!

    Gypsy Willow - I am glad I inspired you! There is always something that needs to be organized. Thanks for checking out my hub.

  • Gypsy Willow profile image

    Gypsy Willow 4 years ago from Lake Tahoe Nevada USA , Wales UK and Taupo New Zealand

    You have inspired me. Thank you!

  • europewalker profile image

    europewalker 4 years ago

    I have spent 4 hours so far today cleaning out and organizing my closet. I just got to the computer to check out hubpages and saw your hub. Great timing! I still have a ways to go. I am weeding out clothes that I haven't worn in ages along with shoes and handbags. Useful hub Jeannie.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    shiningirisheyes - I wish I loved to organize. I simply had no choice. Thanks for your comment... and remember, you can visit me anytime and help me organize my closets. ;-)

    RealHousewife - I had a moment when I thought I might geniunely start crying. It was totally ridiculous, but the bulk of the work is done now. Thanks for your comment!

  • RealHousewife profile image

    Kelly Umphenour 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO

    Jeannie - I really do need to organize my closet! It might make me cry too:) LOL

  • shiningirisheyes profile image

    Shining Irish Eyes 4 years ago from Upstate, New York

    Jeannie - This is great, especially for me! I am one of those irritating individuals who LOVE organization, especially within the closet!

    Good write

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you! I am trying to get my apartment in order and stop with all the clutter. :-)

  • bravewarrior profile image

    Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

    Excellent tips Jeannie. It's a good way to start Spring cleaning, too!