AYDAH Foundation

Advancing Health and Improving Youth self development

African Youth Development and Health Foundation,

a non-profit group, organized to

Establish, Prevent and Maintain a comprehensive and efficient healthcare delivery to the youth and underserved communities

Provide opportunities and inspire the Youth through Education, Employment and Empowerment 

Living Glamorously in a Small Space

Over the last few weeks I undertook the very daunting project of cleaning out and utterly reorganizing my closet. As you can see, my closet is tiny and it has a very odd shape; the hanging rack and shelves on the right are set up turned inward to follow the shape of the wall, sort of like half of a triangle. It actually allows for a bit more space, but at my first glance I wondered how I'd ever fit the extent of my clothes and accessories. After a few months of haphazard living I decided to take it head-on. I turned to Real Simple for their excellent tips on closet organization, my mom for her ingenious storage ideas and a little bit of my own creativity. The above picture is the result! I took "Before" shots but they turned out awfully blurry – not to mention that it was, as I said, a haphazard mess – so I thought I'd save you all the unpleasantness and cut to the chase.

The first thing I did was go through my clothes with a realistic eye, determining what I don't really wear and setting it aside to donate to Goodwill. I also pulled out everything from the off-seasons: all my sweaters, blazers and the like. I kept a few pieces for layering in the chilly summer nights (which I doubt the existence of, but hey, it's good to be prepared) and stored them in the less accessible areas of the closet. Here’s a closer look at the details...

Organizing your clothes by color automatically creates an orderly, clean feeling that works wonderfully in the overall aesthetic, especially if you’re dealing with a small space.

The less-is-more approach works well on closet shelves, both for you and the aesthetic. I folded a few basic tops and bulky sweaters, which also gave me more room on my hanging racks.

Peppering your shelves with accessories looks cute and helps you utilize every nook and cranny.

A decorative box will keep all of your little bits in one neat place.

For jewelry storage, my organizer from Target is a favorite.
I also added a few tap-on lights for extra help in the unusually dark closet.

Shelves hidden under hanging clothes don’t have to be wasted space. I added smaller pieces and this low box to the side (originally a Victoria's Secret fragrance gift box, now holding costume jewelry too big for the hanging organizer.)

Storing shoes that didn't come in boxes (thanks for that, TJ Maxx) is a chore, but a good shoe rack makes it easier.

Now here's a before shot: this would be my scarf collection. I have an embarrassing number that I've collected over the years and no idea how to store them. Enter my mom and her ingeniousness...

A shoe rack on the back of my door! Brilliant, right? And yet again I employed the organize-by-color credo.

Handbags, another collection, came from all over my house to congregate on my bedroom floor and jeer at my helpless state as I floundered to find homes for them. In the end I once again reevaluated, donated a few, sent keepsakes to the basement and the rest went into two of these totes (we call them "tuckers" in my house; I had no idea that wasn't the real name for them until I was about sixteen). And those little ditties went under the bed.

More jewelry organization; I've acquired several jewelry holders over time and decided to keep my favorite pieces out as decoration on them.

This is something I've been doing for a long time, hanging my sunglasses on the wall. You couldn't find an easier DIY organizer: one pushpin, one hanger, your sunnies. There you go. (And again, just keep the ones you use the most displayed if you have too many.)

Fashion magazines can make for great décor, too; an empty shelf under my bedside table was the perfect place for these.

So there you have my attempts at reorganization and simplicity in my little space. You can find more tips at RealSimple.com. I loved going through their list of inspirational closets and their closet organizing checklist. Have you been spring cleaning lately? If you have any organization tips for overwhelmed closets feel free to share them!

- Casee Marie