Already have an account?
Get back to the

Use a Bookshelf Like *This* To Get Custom Closet Shelving For Pennies

Professional organizers share their simple organizing strategies for two clutter hot spots: the bedroom and bathroom closets. Read on for tips to take your closet from messy to streamlined using closet shelving secrets.

Outsmart bedroom closet chaos using shelving

Why is it so hard to keep a bedroom closet organized? It’s not — if you follow the genius advice from these professional organizers. Keep reading for the savvy details that make the closet above a mess-free zone, plus the tips that you can steal for your own space.

Create a ‘built-in’ feel with slim bookcase

“When our personal spaces, especially our closets, are organized, they can be a source of calm and inspiration,” says professional organizer Sara Pedersen, founder of Time To Organize. “But you don’t need to invest in a pricey renovation to get the job done.” Her advice: “Designate a ‘home’ for each piece of clothing.” In the photo above, all pants are folded on one shelf, and specific rods are dedicated to blouses and dresses.

For a custom built-in look, tuck a slim bookcase into the closet, then hang a double-rod on one side of it. Or simply install a handy hanging organizing system (try the ClosetMaid Closet Maximizer from Wayfair, $85.42).  “Easy tweaks like this maximize your space!”

Designate one shelf exclusively for what makes you smile

“I love the idea of carving out one shelf for stowing accessories and little things that make you happy,” says Pedersen. She suggests placing picture frames filled with treasured photos next to jewelry organizers, makeup, a mirror and an iPod dock. “This looks stylish and makes getting ready fun!”

Enlist a step-stool to easily extend your reach

“Getting dressed in the morning is easier when your closet works for you,” says Pedersen. Her low-cost, practical ideas: Place a step stool nearby to make it easy to reach for high items, group clothing by type (dresses, blouses, sweaters, pants) and give purses their own shelf. “This creates a neat space!”

Add a pop of color with colorful stick-on wallpaper

We spend time digging in our closets each day, so making everything simple to navigate is key, says Pedersen. “Painting the interior of your closet a pretty shade, like sky blue, makes clothes easier to find.” Her other wallet-friendly ideas: Press stick-on wallpaper to the interiors of cubbies or add colorful bins and baskets to conceal clutter or stash away out-of-season clothing.

Put the inside of your closet door to good use

“Whether your closet is large or small, there’s always untapped real estate to be used,” assures Pedersen. “Make sure you’re utilizing all your vertical space — hang shoe racks behind doors and store lesser-used items on the top shelf.” Also smart: Hang a few hooks on the interior side walls of the closet. “Hooks have the power to neatly store scarves, belts or even long necklaces.”

For more even more savvy tips on organizing small bedroom closet spaces and maximizing closet shelving, check out this step-by-step decluttering tutorial from organizing professional Cassandra Aarssen, founder of Clutterbug and host of HGTV’s “Hot Mess House.”

Genius ways to store more a bathroom using closet shelving

Organized bathroom closet
Courtesy of Closetmaid (

From toiletries to hair tools to towels, there is always a lot of miscellaneous stuff to store in the bathroom. The problem? It’s also one of the smallest areas in the house. To make your bathroom closet functional, enlist the following storage tricks and organizers.

Toss the old and place the seldom-used up high

“Organizing the bathroom is easier than you think,” assures organizing pro and DIY blogger Carrie Higgins, author of Organization Hacks (Buy from Amazon, $11.44). “Most spaces aren’t very big, so the positive impact can be felt immediately.” Her advice? “Divide and conquer! Toss out expired products and old items first. Next, group like items together. Then place less-used items up high on shelves and most-used essentials at eye level.”

Use clear jars for daily necessities

Tucking often-used items like cotton balls and bath salts in clear jars (like these from The Container Store, prices vary) on shelving not only keep things organized, but it also makes closet shelving appear instantly neat and unified. Plus, jars offer a nice visual cue when you’re running low on supplies. “It creates a cohesive and pleasing look and makes it easier to find exactly what you need,” says Higgins.

Be footloose and fancy free with hooks

“Hooks are in my organizing hall of fame,” says Higgins. “They turn any bare wall into valuable real estate and boost storage — plus, they’re so cheap!” In addition to using them for towels, Higgins advises hanging sturdy hooks on the inside of cabinets for hair dryers or hair accessories. “Hooks really keep things in reach and stave off floor or cabinet pileups.”

Enlist baskets to corral odds and ends

“Old baskets are a great resource to corral bath items in small spaces,” says Higgins. She suggests assigning a bath caddy to each family member to cut down on product mix-ups. Also smart: Label bins on shelves by categories. “All it takes is a few bins to set up a tidy grab-and-go system.”

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

Use left and right arrow keys to navigate between menu items. Use right arrow key to move into submenus. Use escape to exit the menu. Use up and down arrow keys to explore. Use left arrow key to move back to the parent list.