Shelf dividers are designed to divide and conquer closet shelf clutter. These simple organizing tools offer an easy and fairly economical way to organize soft, “floppy” items: tote bags and purses; stacks of t-shirts, sweaters, towels and linens; and whatever else you have trouble keeping tidy on your closet shelves.
Shelf dividers are available in a wide range of sizes, styles and materials to work with all different kinds of shelving. Here are three examples of shelf dividers that can help you keep your closet shelves outstandingly organized:
- Vertical shelf dividers such as Chrome Shelf Dividers (pictured) are the most streamlined type–they slip smoothly onto shelves yet stay snugly in place and take up virtually no space. In addition to chrome, this type of divider also comes in coated wire, clear acrylic and fabric on steel frame versions.
- The Closet Shelf Organizer provides both vertical and horizontal storage. It slides over any solid wood shelf up to .75 inches thick or less and the rigid design securely locks in place. The sides and top are made from non-woven polymer and the frame is constructed of steel with an epoxy-coated finish.
- The stackable Park-A-Purse Tote and Clutch Organizer features 10 compartments with adjustable panels for customizing the sections so you can keep purses and totes of various sizes upright and neatly separated. Designed for use on wire racks and closet shelving, it’s constructed of heavy-duty plastic and metal wire; universal connectors allow you to re-position the panels for customization, and the connectors can also be used to attach multiple units together. A smaller version, the Modular Park-A-Purse Organizer, is also available.
Tennis shoes, boots, flip-flops, high heels, loafers, sandals, ballet slippers…the list of footwear seems almost endless. (Fun footwear fact: There are at least nine shoe museums around the world.) And the more pairs you have, the more space you need to store them.
Fortunately there are space-savers designed to let you store the maximum amount of footwear in the smallest footprint (pardon the pun).
Here are three space-saving footwear storage solutions that can accommodate all different kinds and sizes of footwear:
- The rotating Adjustable Boot Tree (only 12 inches in diameter) features three tiers of storage that can hold up to six pairs of boots or nine pairs of shoes–or a combination of both. The tiers revolve individually and are adjustable in height. The system also includes six sets of boot shapers. Other thoughtful features are a weighted base for stability and a carrying handle.
- The Boot Storage Bag is only 6 inches high–making it ideal for under-bed storage–and has four spacious compartments sized to store up to four pairs of boots or large-size shoes. The clear vinyl zippered top allows you to view the contents while keeping them dust-free. Side handles make it easy to access the bag from underneath a bed. It can also be stored upright on a shelf.
- The Large Hanging Closet Shoe Organizer will fit on any size closet rod and holds up to 10 pairs of shoes, yet only requires 8 inches of hanging space. It features compartments that are roomier (8 inches wide by 14 inches deep) than those of standard sized hanging shoe organizers, to accommodate extra-large shoes (including men’s) and short boots–they’re even large enough to hold shoe boxes. Made of breathable natural canvas, it hangs from two heavy-duty metal hooks.
More footwear storage ideas can be found in my posts on shoe organizers,
boot storage and new shoe storage solutions.
When it comes to sock storage, opinions are divided. That is, some people prefer to store their socks with dividers between pairs, while others (probably most people) don’t.
Another way that people are divided about sock storage is whether to store socks balled up and stuffed inside each other (a big no-no according to us organizing experts) or neatly folded and “filed” on end. Whichever way you choose, I doubt that the sock police will come knocking on your door.
Now that I have your possibly undivided attention, I’m going to share three types of undivided sock storage solutions. (And in case you’re firmly in the camp of dividers, my post on sock drawer organizers offers several outstanding options.)
- Sock boxes such as the Bamboo Sock Box and the Clear Dresser Organizer (pictured) are slender containers specifically sized for multiple pairs of socks. They work well inside drawers but can also be used on closet shelves. The Closet Bin is a wider version which has removable dividers (so you can go either way).
- If you want to think outside the drawer and utilize vertical space, various hanging systems can be utilized for storing socks. For example, the dual-sided 28-pocket Hanging Jewelry Organizer is designed to hang on a closet rod; the clear pockets make it easy to see and access whatever you store in them. Another type of vertical sock storage solution is the Sockitumi, a clear plastic dispenser that can be hung on a wall or door (you can also use it horizontally inside a drawer).
- If you’d prefer to have a designated sock drawer but have no dresser drawers to spare, don’t despair–storage drawers are available in a variety of sizes and styles. This Three-Drawer Organizer, sized well for a moderate sock wardrobe, can sit atop a dresser, side table or closet shelf. Larger sock collections may require a more extensive set of drawers, such as the colorful 10-Drawer Storage Cart which gives you an easy way to color-code your sock storage system.
The best closet-clearing remedies are those that many people find impossible to administer consistently: seasonal wardrobe weeding, or perpetual pruning using the In/Out Inventory Rule (whenever a new garment is acquired, an older one is retired).
The alternative is to utilize every square inch of closet space, which is what closet organizing companies specialize in doing. But what if a professionally customized closet— or even a do-it-yourself version — seems like too much of a project?
The good news is that you don’t have to completely redo your clothes closet to create more storage space. A few efficient and economical closet organizers could give you just enough wardrobe wiggle room. Here are three of my favorites:
- The Rolling Pant Trolley–with 15 removable cedar hangers–utilizes your closet floor for slacks storage (and not in a wrinkled pile, either). This clever cart tucks away under hanging shirts or blouses and rolls out for easy access to 15 pairs of your pants and jeans.
- Another rollaway closet helper is the 7-Drawer Storage Cart, which can be used for storing folded t-shirts, socks, underwear and accessories.
- You can fit more clothes in your closet by using space-maximizing specialty hangers. A great example is the Tank Top Organizer, designed to hold up to eight tank tops, camisoles or swimsuits.
For more ideas on how to make the most of your clothes closet, read my post Clothes Closet Maximizers.
Never enough closet space? Portable closets to the rescue!
Portable closets, aka rolling wardrobes, are ideal for storing out-of-season or infrequently worn clothes and accessories. The old-style rolling wardrobe is basically just a garment rack with a zippered cover–it’s only designed for storage of hanging garments. But portable closets tend to include more features, such as shelves and pockets that allow you to also store folded clothing and other items.
Here are three types of space-efficient portable closets, all with fabric covers and smooth-rolling casters:
- The Rolling Wardrobe Rack offers three storage sections: a top zippered shelving area for folded clothes, hats or handbags; a steel rod that provides 30 linear inches of hanging space; and a ventilated bottom shelf for shoe storage. The roll-up door makes it easy to access hanging garments and footwear; the top section has a triangular flap door.
- The versatile Mobile Wardrobe Center provides multiple storage options–the exterior features eight mesh pockets (sized for four pairs of shoes), a removable hamper bag for laundry (attached by Velcro and with a shoulder strap for easy transport), a wooden bar for hanging ties and scarves, removable pockets for toiletries, and additional pockets for undergarments and socks. The zip-up door has a clear section at the top so you can easily view your hangered clothes.
- The Clothes Armoire with Shelves has four compartments for keeping stacks of folded clothes and accessories organized, plus a closet bar that can hold up to 50 pounds of hanging garments. The bottom part is fully enclosed (unlike that of the Rolling Wardrobe Rack) to keep the contents protected.
Other types of portable closets can be found here.
Whether or not you have the luxury of an entry closet (aka coat closet), it’s a good idea to have an alternative for hanging rain-damp items and other gear that should be aired out.
A wall coat rack or series of individual coat hooks attached to the back of an entry door (or on the wall behind it) may be sufficient for keeping jackets, coats, hats and scarves off the floor. But that still leaves the problem of where to stash wet-weather necessities such as umbrellas, rain boots and shoes, which tend to get left in a jumble by the door.
Luckily there are several types of efficient outerwear organizers with umbrella storage. Here are three of my favorites:
- The practical bamboo 4-Shelf Shoe Rack and Umbrella Stand has four spacious slatted shelves for holding footwear and purses, and a vertical side holder for storing umbrellas, canes and hiking sticks. The entire unit is a relatively compact 28.37 inches wide by 10.62 inches deep by 25-1/4 inches high.
- The handsome wooden Hallway Tree offers storage for everything but shoes–it has eight double coat hooks (two on each of the four sides); two center shelves for holding purses and totes; an umbrella stand; and a small drawer for stashing keys, gloves and other accessories. It towers at 72 inches high and is 17 inches wide and deep.
- The elegant birch wood Mission Style Coat Rack features a lower section for holding umbrellas, four double coat hooks for outerwear and hats, plus two drawers on top for stowing small items. Shoes can be tucked under the umbrella section. It measures a slender 16 by 16 inches and is 60 inches high.
To learn about other kinds of entryway storage systems, see my previous posts on this topic.