Organize Your Closet for Less

Kelly Ann Butterbaugh

The key to a happy closet is organization, but sometimes that price of that organization doesn't make you happy. Shelving systems and organizers are available in home improvement stores around the country, but there are alternatives to these often pricey organizers.

Shelving

The wire shelving made for closets is nice but often expensive. The average price for a pre-packaged system for an 8' closet is $150. To buy the pieces separately often adds up to more than the package price. Yet, wield your hammer and nails and try to build your own shelves. A 16" wide by 6' long piece of wire closet shelving costs $15. A 4' wide by 8' long piece of MDF lumber is $20. This is three times the amount of shelving if you're able to cut it down.

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If this is too much for you and tools aren't your friend, then try stacking milk crates. Often on sale during the back to school rush, these can be purchased for under $5 each. Stack them on the floor to create a cubicle-style shelving or use them on the closet's top shelf for out of season gear. If they aren't staying in place well, use zip ties to fasten them together quickly and securely. With the use of a washer and a sturdy screw or some screw hooks, the crates can even be fastened to the wall for light weight storage.

Shoe Bags

Shoe organizers are great for organizing items. Use one for mittens, hats, and earmuffs. Use another for costume jewelry. Put one in the kids' closet for action figures and dolls. They hold spices, cooking utensils, washcloths, shampoo Even better is the fact that they can be hung over the back of a door, strapped to the closet rod and hung, or even screwed to a wall. While some can be expensive ($40-$80) most fabric or mesh models sell for under $20 depending upon their size.

Ties and Belts

Forget the tie racks; there's a cheaper way to organize ties and belts. Tack a heavy string to the wall of the closet so that it spans horizontally across. Use nails to assure a secure hold to the wall, and be sure to pull it tightly so that there is no slacking. Then, simply lay the ties over it. Belts work the same way.

Jewelry

Many products are marketed for jewelry organization. Instead of the $40 jewelry insert for closet organizers use a bead organizer from the craft store or a silverware tray (both under $1.) The variety available in these two items should allow you to store any type of jewelry or even extra buttons.

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Delicates

The last fancy frill to your new closet can be your hangers. The frilly stuffed hangers can be expensive, and we know that the cardboard and wire hangers from the dry cleaners work just as well for delicates. Instead, insert empty paper towel tubes onto hangers by slitting the tube to allow for an opening. Instantly you have the rounded edge needed for less.

Keep thinking creatively and your closet will be organized in a little time for little money.

About The Author: Kelly Ann Butterbaugh is a freelance writer who regularly contributes to a variety of magazines as well as online newsletters. She teaches writing in the public school as well as at the collegiate level. Contact her at Englishteach@rcn.com or visit her website at http://users.rcn.com/wesavedamutt/Writer

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July 25, 20060 found this helpful

You can organize clip-on ties by clipping the clip right over a metal clothes hanger and hang as usual.

One hanger will hold 4-5 ties on bottom. Come up with a way to keep them from sliding around the corners and you could fit at least 3 on each side on the top. I'll leave you to come up with that idea!!

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September 19, 20080 found this helpful

I'm finding that if you ask for the hanger when you make a garment purchase, invariably they'll give it to you. These are the hangers where your stuff doesn't fall off easily. And they don't get tangled. I'm nearly at the place where I've given away just about all my other kinds of hangers.

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November 27, 20140 found this helpful

These are all great tips thanks. Another good thing to use...is a very cheap tool box for storing nail polishes, files, cotton etc. I love the way it opens up and everything is in it's place and ready to go.

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