Sharing a closet can be a true test of patience and organization, especially for families with siblings or multiple household members using the same space.
It’s all too easy for shared closets to become cluttered and for items to get lost in the chaos. However, with a few creative strategies, it’s possible to maintain order and peace.
In this post, we’ll explore six practical ways to transform your shared closet into a functional space that meets everyone’s needs.
1. Implement a Color-Coded System
Why It Works: A color-coded system simplifies the process of sorting and finding items, making it quicker to get ready and reducing the likelihood of taking someone else’s belongings.
- Choose a distinct color for each person sharing the closet.
- Purchase color-specific hangers, bins, or labels.
- Organize items according to the assigned colors.
Estimated Time Investment: Setting up a color-coded system can take a couple of hours depending on the size of the closet and the number of items to organize.
Cost Breakdown: Colored hangers can range from $10 to $30 for a pack of 30-50, bins may cost $5 to $20 each, and labels are typically under $10 for a pack.
Maintenance Tips: Regularly check that items are being placed back in their correct color zones. Encourage family members to put laundry away according to the color system to maintain organization.
2. Utilize Vertical Space with Multi-Level Hanging Rods
Why It Works: Multi-level hanging rods effectively double or triple the available hanging space and can be adjusted to accommodate items of varying lengths.
- Install additional rods below or above the existing rod, ensuring they are spaced appropriately for different types of clothing.
- Assign rods by person or clothing type for easy access.
Estimated Time Investment: Installation can take about 1-2 hours, including measuring, purchasing materials, and setting up.
Cost Breakdown: An adjustable hanging rod typically costs between $15 and $40. Additional hardware for installation may add a few dollars to the total.
Maintenance Tips: Periodically ensure that the rods are secure and that the weight is evenly distributed to prevent sagging or damage. Reorganize as necessary to adapt to changing wardrobe sizes or seasons.
3. Introduce Drawer Dividers and Storage Boxes
Why It Works: Drawer dividers and storage boxes keep items separate and prevent the contents from becoming disorganized, making it easier for each person to find their belongings without disrupting others’.
- Measure the inside of the drawers and purchase dividers that fit.
- Assign drawer sections to each person or categorize by item type.
- Use clear storage boxes for items that don’t need to be hung up or folded, and label them.
Estimated Time Investment: Organizing with dividers and storage boxes typically requires 1-3 hours, depending on the number of drawers and items to organize.
Cost Breakdown: Drawer dividers can range from $10 to $30, depending on the material and quantity. Storage boxes vary widely in price but expect to spend around $5 to $20 per box for quality options.
Maintenance Tips: Encourage family members to return items to their designated spots after use. Every few months, reassess the drawer organization to ensure it still meets everyone’s needs and adjust as necessary.
4. Rotate Seasonal Clothing
Why It Works: By keeping only the current season’s clothing in the closet, it reduces clutter and makes daily selection much more straightforward, freeing up space for the items that are actually in use.
- Sort through the closet at the change of each season, removing items not needed for the upcoming months.
- Store off-season clothing in labeled under-bed storage containers or on high shelves.
Estimated Time Investment: The seasonal rotation can take a half-day to a full day to complete, especially the first time you go through the process.
Cost Breakdown: Under-bed storage containers generally cost between $15 and $40 each. Vacuum-sealed bags are a budget-friendly option, typically ranging from $10 to $30 for a set.
Maintenance Tips: Make sure to clean and repair any clothing before storing it for the off-season. Check on stored items periodically to ensure they are kept dry and free from pests.
5. Maximize Space with Specialty Hangers and Organizers
Why It Works: Specialty hangers and organizers can significantly increase the capacity of the closet by allowing more items to be stored in the same amount of space, making it easier to keep the closet neat and preventing items from becoming wrinkled or lost.
- Invest in slimline hangers, which take up less space than traditional hangers, allowing more items to fit.
- Use cascading hooks or multi-garment hangers to hang several items vertically.
- Add over-the-door shoe organizers and hanging shelves for storing shoes, hats, or other accessories, freeing up shelf and rod space.
Estimated Time Investment: Incorporating specialty hangers and organizers can take 2-4 hours, including the time to purchase these items and reorganize the closet.
Cost Breakdown: Velvet slimline hangers can cost around $20 for a pack of 50. Cascading hooks are typically under $10 for a pack of 10. Over-the-door organizers can range from $10 to $30, depending on the size and quality.
Maintenance Tips: Regularly straighten items on hangers and ensure that the added weight from multiple garments isn’t causing the hangers to bend or break. Periodically declutter to avoid overfilling the organizers.
6. Create Personalized Closet Zones
Why It Works: Dividing the closet into dedicated zones for each person helps maintain organization and ensures that everyone has their own space, which can reduce conflicts and make it easier to keep track of personal items.
- Divide the closet space visually using hanging dividers, colored backdrops, or different types of hangers to delineate each zone.
- Ensure that each zone is proportionate to the amount of clothing and belongings each person has.
- Regularly maintain these zones and encourage everyone to keep their items within their assigned space.
Estimated Time Investment: Creating personalized zones can take 1-2 hours, depending on the size of the closet and the number of people sharing it.
Cost Breakdown: Hanging dividers can cost anywhere from $5 to $20 each, depending on the material and design. Colored backdrops or fabric can be a few dollars per yard, and specialty hangers may be around $20 for a pack of 50.
Maintenance Tips: Have a monthly check-in to discuss the zones and make any necessary adjustments. Encourage each person to be responsible for their zone’s tidiness.
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