Medium Walk-In Closet Organization: Spring 2014 Overhaul

OJ_OLJ_05-16-2014_01.1I’ve been working on updating the clothing and accessories organization in our bedroom at the family vacation home in Utah while we’re here.  Last week I shared a look at the dresser drawer organization.  This week, I’m taking you into the walk-in closet in our room.

The closet is located on the wall between our bed and our in-room bathroom.  It is medium in size, with just enough room for the door to open inwards and clear the hanging clothes at the back of the closet.  There are built in structural components including a shelf section on the lefthand wall and hanging space along the back wall.

As you can see, we have quite a bit stored in our closet!  I make use of every nook and cranny in this space as I like to store a variety of things in here, not just clothes and accessories.  Because this is a family home and not our own house, I like to keep as much of our personal belongings in our room so as to not take up too much space anywhere else in the house.  Even though the house is technically owned by my in-laws, they are very clear that it is a shared home for the family and to make ourselves feel comfortable in it.  Having most of our belongings in our room just makes me personally feel better, though.

As you will see, we store some items you might find in a garage, mud room, storage space, and hall closet in here.  I like using organizational aids such as lidded and open bins and tubs to help corral like items and keep dust at bay when we’re not here.

Let’s have a look!


Looking straight into the closet you see the hanging components along the back wall.  This is broken down into two sections by a dividing piece in the middle.  On the left side I keep my various year-round everyday and running jackets as well as my pants.  The right side, which hangs a bit higher, is half my clothing and half Don’s (and yes, I have more clothes than my husband).  While we have a nice variety of clothing for every season, we keep only a small fraction compared to our full-time wardrobe at home here.  I like to hang items by type.  I hang in order from sleeveless dresses and tanks followed by short-sleeve shirts, to cardigans, flannels, and sweatshirts.  Don’s clothes are ordered from pants to golf shirts, button-downs, and his jackets.  I love the Huggable Hangers which are flocked to prevent clothes from slipping.  They’re also nice when you’re working with less room because they are quite thin.  I picked up a couple of the combo packs from Target which include some shirt hangers and some suit style ones as well as clips and hooks that attach to them.

We also have a small shelf just above the lefthand closet rod where I keep extra hangers, a bin to store toiletries when we are away, and a Sterilite Stacking Organizer for extra grooming supplies for my dog, Winnie.  My cow girl hat has a nice perch on top of this bin!

OJ_OLJ_05-16-2014_03There is a set of built-in shelves along the left wall of the closet, which offer a lot of storage space.  We stow five larger plastic tubs on the very top shelf.  The two on the left wall are for our ski gear with one bin for my and the other for my husband Don’s things.  Ski gear is rather bulky and having a spot to keep our gear tucked away for most of the year is a great space saver!

The other three bins along the top shelf of the back wall are for other out of season clothes and accessories.  One bin is for our everyday winter outdoor things like coats, gloves, and hats.  We each have another bin for extra or out of season items, which are about half full at the moment, although that tends to fluctuate.  It’s useful to have a dedicated bin for each of us to store things that we might not need right now but don’t necessarily want to part with.

Back to the left wall shelves, the next one down is where we store the extra set of sheets to our bed as well as a bin for miscellaneous items such as extension cords, hooks, manuals for electronics, etc.  I also keep my small collection of children’s books on this shelf.  I am an avid collector and over the years have accumulated a nice lot to keep at this house in addition to my massive collection at home.

The next two shelves down are where we store all of Don’s folded clothing.  He much prefers having his things on a shelf as opposed to in a drawer, which works out well since we don’t have a lot of dresser space in this room.  I keep his shirts folded in stacks by type with t-shirts on the right and undershirts and sweaters in the middle.  Lounge clothes including mesh shorts and pajama pants make up a stack while his swim trunks and summer shorts are another.  I store his socks and boxers in Sterilite bins by Room Essentials I picked up at Target (not available online, unfortunately).


On the middle shelf I have three of the Medium Grommet Totes from Bed Bath & Beyond to corral some of my things.  The tote on the left is where I keep my accessories that don’t fit well in my dresser.  I have out of season slippers in the middle tote and out of season candles in the right one.  I like these totes for easy access as well as flexible storage.


After relocating some items from the dresser to my closet in my overhaul, I decided to purchase some drawer organizers and give my dresser junk drawer a bit more structure.  I picked up four clear drawer organizers in two different sizes with blue rubberized bottoms in the kitchen section at Target to help corral the many small items I keep in this drawer.  I love drawer organizers for this purpose!  The drawer not only looks nicer, but, more importantly, it is much easier to see and access its contents.  Back to the closet…


The last couple of shelves are dedicated to shoe storage.  I picked up two additional two-lot sets of those Sterilite bins from Target, which fit like a glove.  One shelf is dedicated to my out of season and less frequently used shoes and the other is for Don’s footwear.  I have also tucked a couple of larger bins on the floor underneath the shelves for winter boots as well as extra things for Winnie.  I have to be a bit careful about what I store on the floor in this house since we have radiant heating, but I do like to make use of every available spot in the closet where I can store something!  As long as I keep items that are unaffected by heat in the bins on the floor, it’s a safe place to store things.


The built in shelving unit creates a bit of a nook in the back left corner of the closet, which I use to tuck our skis and poles into.  I also have an extra large Sterilite bin on the floor that houses our ski boots.  I use this bin as a shelf of sorts, since we don’t need to access it often to keep a bag for items to donate as well as my pool bag up off the floor since I do store sunscreen inside of it.  On the other side of the divider is our little laundry area.  We have a Curver Style Hamper for our dirty clothes.  I picked this one out because it is durable yet breathable and I like the lid feature since sometimes we have to leave a little dirty laundry until our next visit.  I keep a small Room Essentials Laundry Basket next to it for dirty towels and to also use when I am doing laundry.

OJ_OLJ_05-16-2014_07While all of the main built-in organizational structure of the closet is along the left and back walls, I also use the space that is available on the right wall (where the door opens into) for more narrow storage.

There is a tie rack on the wall that was there long before I started visiting ten years ago that I use not for ties, but for robes, belts, my “dressy” purse and a hat.  If it still works, just not for its intended use, why change it, right?  I also added a double hook to the back of the door where I stash my most worn robe and nightie for easy everyday access.  I keep a Vera Bradley Villager Tote Bag on the back side doorknob that comes in handy from time to time and a small step stool so I can reach the bins on the top shelf without assistance.

As you can see, I really do use every nook and cranny in this closet!  While it is quite full, I like that it isn’t messy and overwhelming.  There’s a place for everything and everything in its place.  Anyone walking into the closet for the first time could easily figure out the layout within a few minutes.  I am using a variety of bins and tubs from different stores over the span of the past decade in this space.  Even though they don’t all match, they get the job done and make my closet tidy.  Functional organization may not always look perfect, but if it works, it works!

I go through each part of the closet in more detail in my coordinating video if you’re interested in a closer look:

I would love to hear how you organize your closet if you care to share.  Check back next week for a look at how I organize my small vanity where I stash my makeup and jewelry in our Utah house bedroom.
Happy organizing!


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6 thoughts on “Medium Walk-In Closet Organization: Spring 2014 Overhaul”

  1. I enjoyed looking at your Utah closet! Thanks for sharing! I hope you are having a great time while you are away!

  2. Love all your organization ideas. I’m so excited that The Container Store is opening in my state on Saturday….WOOHOO!!!! Can’t wait to make a visit. Thanks for all your inspiration on all you channels!

  3. Really like watching this series of videos. I think between these and the ones of your home, it gives people a lot of ideas and options. We are in a good sized house closer to the one you have but no basement. So, I am able to have an office, etc. etc. DH too. But, on the east coast where space is premium or if you have an apt. for 1, it’s not always easy to organize and see your goodies. Small kitchens are also very challenging for me. We had that once. But, I like this. Doesn’t matter what size your space is. To have it neat and organized and clean is very calming. Any space large or small can easily turn into an overwhelming mass of clutter. Exhausting to look at. Hard to figure out there to start to make it nice and happy. Happy House. Happy Life. Thanx. These is another fun series.

  4. I found your site a few weeks ago, while looking for a shih tzu breeder and have been following you ever since. Winnie is so cute!
    I love your videos and organizing tips.

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