Spring cleaning isn’t something I always do, but this year it was unavoidable. Our bedroom walk-in closet had become overrun with miscellaneous belongings: bags, clothes, electronics and more. Everything was precariously stacked on top of each other, just waiting for a wrong move to tumble down.
It was nerve-wracking having to open the door every day, with hardly enough room to fit inside and find something to wear. I knew it was time to finally get down to business and get organized.
I took a trip to Big Lots with $75 to spend to give me the supplies I needed to transform my closet. I wanted storage solutions to contain loose items that ended up on the floor and on the shelf above the rack, as well as a way to make the whole space look neater.
First, I set out to find was velvet hangers. Velvet hangers are MUST HAVES for an organized closet, and to get most out of your space. They take up less than half the size of your traditional plastic hanger, and grab a hold of your clothes more snugly. This helps avoid garments from sliding off, ending up on the floor… and ultimately lost forever! You wouldn’t imagine how many times I thought I lost an article of clothing, only to find it months and months later crumpled up in the corner of the closet after it had fallen off a slippery plastic hanger. My entire rack of clothing was condensed to half the size after switching them out for 40 velvet hangers, costing me $16.
Next, I tackled the shelf above the clothing rack. This had become a disaster—a graveyard for rejected outfits, a stack of seasonal items like pool floaties and sleeping bags waiting to come crashing down, just a mess. Because there were so many smaller items shoved up there, I came home with three of these grey plastic baskets. They were $5 each, with a weave pattern to add a little bit of style but still very sturdy and functional. I used them to organize electronics and cords, old photos in frames, and more.
The baskets made everything look so much more organized and kept items up and away from the racks, helping to avoid catching on a hanger and falling. The baskets cleared up so much space that I was able to move some of the things from the closet floor, like our extra stash of toilet paper, up to the shelf.
To help further clear up the floor, I stuck Command hooks in the back corner of the closet. This part of the closet was now accessible unlike before, since the velvet hangers allowed my clothes to be slid all the way to the side of the rack. I used them to hang our hiking backpacks, usually splayed out and messy on the ground, as well as scarves and off-season purses.
We had a ton of out of season clothes and items that took up way too much space on the shelf and closet, and wouldn’t even fit in the large plastic containers I picked up at Big Lots. Then it hit me: space bags! These vacuum-seal bags let you suck all the air out of fabric products so that they take up a fraction of the space. I stuffed in about four outfits, a huge sleeping bag and a floating pool raft into the extra large Ziploc space bag and it shrunk before my eyes as I vacuumed the air out. I was able to slide it into the back of the closet, and use the plastic bin for excess hangers and other clothes.
The biggest transformation to be seen was the floor. Before, it was just a sea of mess. I had a ton of mismatched shoes lying around, which I managed with a wire shoe rack that only set me back $12. It has four levels and can hold a total of 9 pairs of shoes, though I took off one of the shelves so that it could fit perfectly under my clothes. It still gave me enough space to stack six pairs of shoes that I wasn’t wearing regularly, so that they’re neatly stored for when they’re in season.
I used the plastic bins—which were about $7 each—to hold extra tote bags, purses, and vacuum-sealed clothing. They all stacked on top of each other neatly and were able to slide right under my fiancée’s side of the closet. When he came home, he was in awe of how much space I recovered from the closet. He hadn’t been able to enter more than two steps inside in almost a year—now he could go in, move around, and find stuff easily!
I, myself, am pretty proud of how big of a closet transformation I was able to do with only $75 and a trip to Big Lots. There’s something so relaxing about having an organized space. I challenge you to try it yourself this Spring!