Simple Steps for Organizing Your Closet | An Apartment Closet Makeover!

Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips

Jake and Olivia are a happy couple that recently moved in together in one of Planned Property Management’s Gold Coast highrises. While they love the spacious one bedroom apartment, city views from the floor-to-ceiling windows, ample closet space, and other amenities that come with the building [doorman, rooftop pool, fitness center, etc.] one area presented a small challenge: their bedroom closet. Yes, it is large, but what happens when two people with very large wardrobes combine two closet’s worth of clothing into one?
Knowing that many people make resolutions at the beginning of the year to be more organized, we decided to pick one of our residents to get a closet makeover from professional organizer Hannah Tricamo. We asked for residents to submit a photo of their closets and when we saw Jake and Olivia’s, we knew we wanted to help!
Here’s how we transformed their closet space and got it organized!
Start with Purging Clothes You Don’t Want or Need.
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
The best way to start organizing your closets is by purging clothes you don’t want or you don’t need. Let’s face it — we’ve all got a lot of clothes we rarely wear or need. So, start by going through your closet and downsize to clothing you are currently wearing or clothes you definitely plan on wearing next season.
PPM has a great opportunity for residents to donate used clothing through our annual clothing drives that goes to benefit the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. In fact, PPM residents donated so much last year, we were received their Hero Award for Outstanding Community Involvement in November 2012!
Jake and Olivia made haste before our organizer got there and donated clothing that they no longer wore or needed. And let’s face it, we all have so many t-shirts, old hoodies, and other clothing that could go and benefit someone else!
Make the Most of Your Space — Get Creative With Your Storage Solutions!
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
Our organizer utilized Jakes and Olivia’s spacious bedroom and got creative with storage solutions by adding 2 shelving units on either side of their bed.
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
“I purchased bins that fit perfectly in their shelving unit to contain things that they didn’t want out in the open,” Hannah said. “We used the bins as extra shoe storage for Olivia and as storage for Jake’s DVDs and electronics.  All bins were labeled with inexpensive gift tags that perfectly matched their bedroom decor.”
Open the Door to New Possibilities!
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
One simple thing that you may not consider when organizing your closets is the doors and how they open. Jake and Olivia’s closet door opened in, and without realizing it, they were missing out on maximizing their space. With one simple call to maintenance, their door hinge was adjusted so their door would swing out instead of in, and it was astonishing how much more room it opened up in their closet by having the door out of the way! This simple change made it much easier to reach things that were previously behind the door.
Take a Look at Your Shelving — And Take Care of Your Clothes!
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
For the closet shelves, our organizer moved Olivia’s clothes to the lower shelf so that she could reach everything and moved Jake’s clothes up to the top shelf. They took Olivia’s sweaters off hangers and folded them neatly so they wouldn’t get stretched on the shoulders. This simple switch made it easier for both Jake and Olivia to reach their clothing and also helped maintain it!
Move What’s Important to the Front
We all have clothing we don’t wear all of the time, so Hannah advised Jake and Olivia to move their least-used clothing to take back of the closet so that the more important clothing would be conveniently accessible.
Store What’s Out-of-Season
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
Extra bins were used in the hallway closet to store out-of-season clothing on the top shelf.
“This makes it easy to swap out clothes with the seasons,” Hannah pointed out. “Once summer come, they can take out the summer clothes and replace them with their winter clothing and accessories.”
Olivia’s hanging clothes were sorted in the following categories: tanks, short-sleeve tops, long-sleeve tops, dresses, blazers. Every category was organized by color.  They used a wire bin they already had to contain Olivia’s pants and jeans. They also streamlined the hangers they were using. Each category of clothing has its own color/ type of hanger.
Creative Solutions for Shoe Storage
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips

They purchased inexpensive shoe shelves to display Jake’s shoes. It also added a nice surface to place bins for accessories (hats, belts, handbags). They also used a behind-the-door shoe rack that Jake had previously owned to store shoes on the back of the closet door.
Strategically Place Your Accessories
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
In the hall closet they hung 3M Command hooks (great for renters!) for Olivia’s handbags and umbrellas.  They moved the shoes they weren’t currently wearing into the bedroom closet.
Get Decorative
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
Laundry hampers can take up too much space in closets, so one creative solution was to purchase decorative hampers that can be moved out of the closet and into the bedroom! This great, decorative touch made a world of difference in opening up more space in their closet! There are many great options available at The Container Store.
With a few simple purchases and a couple of hours on a weekend afternoon we were able to transform Jake and Olivia’s closet from being over-packed and under-utilized to perfectly organized and spacious. You can, too, if you follow these simple steps.
Chicago Apartments, Closet Organization Tips
HUGE thanks to our expert organizer Hannah for her help and for Jake and Olivia for letting us makeover their space.
Learn more about Hannah by visiting her website,!