Metapost: Inside my closet

Recently I have received some requests to show how I organize my clothing and jewelry. I figured this slow weekend is a good time to do a post on it. I should warn you, this post is NOT for minimalists. One of the reasons I chose my current apartment is that it has three generously-sized closets (a rarity in NYC on a budget) and I have done my best to fill them up. I’m such a nerd that I can tell you when I bought almost any piece, where I bought it, and its approximate cost per wear. Here in NYC we chicks don’t mess around about our clothes.

My first closet is my shoes and coat closet. I have a couple of very special pairs of shoes that I keep in their boxes fulltime, but mostly it’s heels, flats and sandals in the canvas organizers and boots along the bottom of the closet. All of my tall boots have boot shapers in them which is vital to storing them upright. Without them the shafts of the boots would tip over and it’d be a real mess.

Next to the shoes are my puffer vests and my coats. Trenches, blazers, peacoats — they’re all here. I keep my coats organized by type from lightest wear to heaviest. My belts are also squished in on a hanging tie organizer. The storage baskets above are where I keep most of my winter accessories and baseball caps. A few of the scarves are so long and bulky that I hung them up. This closet is right by my door so it’s very convenient to grab whatever I need and head out.

Down the hall is my big closet, which is about 10 feet long. In this view you’re looking at my pants, tee shirts, short-sleeve blouses, open cardigans and skirts. I keep the pants on these hangers and keep the dress pants separate from the denim. Most of my tees are ordered by color from lightest to darkest but up front I keep about 5 tees out — the tees I wear the most. The blouses are admittedly unorganized. I just kind of have them all there. There’s a couple of NFL jerseys hiding in there too for when we watch games with friends. My skirts are organized by length first and then type (summer or winter, pencil or full). I have them on hangers similar to these; it’s great because they hook together vertically to save space (haven’t had to utilize that feature here yet).

The right side of the closet is still a work in progress. It’s blouses & tanks on the left trailing towards dresses on the right. It’s been hard to figure out how to organize all my blouses. For now it’s sleeveless on the left and full sleeve towards the right. I try to organize like colors or patterns. I do the whole turned hanger deal — I put hangers in facing one way and turn them as I wear each top. Every 3 months tops that haven’t been turned are donated or sold. I’ve gotten good at turning all of my hangers lately. For awhile though my fast fashion mistakes were leading to a lot of wasted money and space.

This is my last closet. This one’s actually in my bedroom. Mostly it’s for my hamper and suitcase but I also have my linens and bags in here. The skirts on the right are my off-season skirts (I have amassed skirts in the last two years after being a strictly jeans girl for most of my life). My bags are on a coat rack. Eventually I’d like to make this closet all shelves so I can put the bags on different tiers instead. For now though this works. I don’t have very many bags, they’re just all big and bulky. I never had such big bags until I moved to the city. I need them to carry all the crap I need for a day on the town. It’s insane how much you need to get through the day here!

On to jewelry. It lives in my living room on two shelves of my Ikea Billy single bookcase. (I have Nyckelby doors on them so they’re closed storage.) I use three different containers from Container Store for my jewelry. The top shelf is for my long and bulky necklaces, as well as bracelets and big rings. They are stored in the 3x12x2 mesh kitchen organizer, three layers deep by four high. They’re stackable which is great and I can see into them so I’m not fumbling around for the piece I want.

On the bottom shelf I have two kinds of stackable containers: large and small. These are great for my costume jewelry. Like the mesh containers I can see inside and I have things organized by color, metal and size. Below is a peek inside.

I owe these ideas to my mom. Living in a vertical urban environment you learn to utilize vertical storage yourself. Someday when I’m back in the burbs I’ll have a walk-in. Until then I’m lucky to have all the storage space I do.


  1. January 2, 2010 / 1:52 am

    I would kill for all of that closet space! You do a great job organizing and your jewelry organization is amazing. I have a pretty large walk in but it is stuffed. Sometimes having the wall closets are easier- you can see everything and you don't have to "enter" the space. I have boots and shoes around the bottom on the floor and things get lost. I would kill for an addition just for a closet! :)I always think of Carrie's dream closet in the Sex in the City movie. That is what I am talking about!

  2. January 2, 2010 / 1:54 am

    This is such a great post! I may have to get those pants hangers as well as the shoe cubbies. By shoes are overloading. Where do you find the boot shapers?

  3. January 2, 2010 / 2:33 am

    Hi! First- love your blog! Second- in your Closet Tour Post today, what is the name of that skirt hanging up- It's like a maroon and grey? Almost looks metallic-ish? I know I've seen it either at J Crew or Anthro and would love to search for it on ebay or somewhere if you (OR ANYONE) knew its name! Thanks so much!

  4. January 2, 2010 / 2:49 am

    Blondmoma – Ahhh, Carrie's closet. I want the room and the stuff in it please! Big wouldn't be so bad either. Maria – All the closet stuff is from Bed Bath & Beyond. I live by their 20% off coupons.Natalie – Thank you my darling!prettyface – That's the Bengal Striped Skirt by Corey Lynn Calter from Anthro. If you can find one in-store it's down to $19.95.

  5. January 2, 2010 / 2:51 am

    PS it's style #923243 if you want to do a store search through the 1-800 number CS. Good luck!

  6. January 2, 2010 / 2:59 am

    Roxy, awesome post and you've inspired me to take another look at my closet and the way in which I organize everything. Especially love the idea of turning over the hanger once something's been worn- that way, I can see what I don't frequent as often. The jewelry stacks are awesome, really organized!Dea

  7. January 2, 2010 / 3:35 am

    Seriously? I live house, in the 'burbs, in the midwest, and I still don't have all that closet space. I do have a basement. That helps. I wish I was as organized as you. I very much need to do the turn the hanger thing. And I really need boot trees! Do you ride horses? It looks like you have boot pulls in your show closet. Great post – a bit depressing if you are me, but still, so inspiring.

  8. January 2, 2010 / 3:40 am

    That's a lot of storage space. Enjoyed the voyeuristic tour, thanks for sharing with us.Pill boxes?! Now why didn't I think of that? The jewelry looks very organized.

  9. January 2, 2010 / 3:55 am

    Roxy – that's sooo cool. Love, love your organized closets – thanks for sharing with us. Will make good use of your links to BBB and Container Store! Happy New Year!

  10. January 2, 2010 / 3:56 am

    I am envious of your jewelry organization!!! that is great! One suggestion-have you ever thought of using huggable hangers for your tops? You'd be amazed how much space they really do save-which would give you MORE ROOM! You can buy them online or at Target. Your organization is inspiring. I need to revisit my closet and do some reorganizing. You've lit a fire under me!

  11. January 2, 2010 / 4:18 am

    Thanks Dea! By the way, thank you for having me on your blogroll. I've added you to mine. :)Georgine, I am an avid equestrienne. I haven't ridden since I moved down to NYC unfortunately but I started when I was 5 and rode steadily for years. I miss it! These days I use the boot pulls for my J.Crew Brewster Boots. (Not quite the same.)Diana Draw – My mom is a jewelry maker, and I got the idea from watching how she stores beads. Parents are so smart!jjc – Happy New Year to you too. =DPamela – MORE ROOM??!? I love it, I'm looking at them right now.

  12. January 2, 2010 / 7:44 am

    Wow — very nice! I love the clear containers for jewelry. You can just pop those into a suitcase can't you? Have you done that…?And uh…do you have any clothes in your oven? *lol* I'm wondering how common that is in NYC. p.s. Pamela is right — you will be amazed what changing to those huggable hangers will do. I'm talking like 25% more closet space.

  13. Anonymous
    January 2, 2010 / 8:30 am

    Hi Roxy,Do you hang your sweaters? Whenever I hang certain clothes, like sweaters or thin tees I get that awful hanger looking raised bump in the shoulder area. If I fold them and stack them then I get the folded line look. Is this an issue for you and if not what kind of hangers do you use? It looks from your pictures like regular plastic ones. Any suggestions? Thanks!Joy

  14. January 2, 2010 / 10:42 am

    Great post Roxy! Your closets look amazing and I love the way you store your jewelry, too. I also completely agree about the huggable hangers. I blogged about them back in May when I first started using them. They are absolutely fantastic! 🙂

  15. January 2, 2010 / 12:55 pm

    omg girl — i am amazed at the breadth of your wardrobe! i need my husband, who thinks that i have a lot of clothes/shoes, to see this post!

  16. January 2, 2010 / 2:18 pm

    Gigi – you could just pop them in a suitcase. I would worry about them breaking on a plane though so I actually use the little bags Anthro gives you when you buy jewelry and then put them in a makeup bag.Joy – Most of my sweaters live in a dresser. The only ones I have hanging are really thick, chunky knits that won't stretch or pull. I use the hangers that have the strap holder dips along the top so as not to pull. You know what's weird is that since moving to NYC I've had a hard time finding good plastic hangers — based on the love for the huggable hangers I'm guessing that's why. These are the ones I bought most recently.FFM – I found your post while Googling them — they sound great and I'm definitely going to give them a try. More room in my closet is going to be very dangerous.sarah – LOL. Uh oh. 😉

  17. January 2, 2010 / 4:10 pm

    I also heartily endorse the huggable hangers or an equivalent version. Bed Bath & Beyond has a big box of 50 for $30 right now. Use one of their coupons for an even greater savings.I also need to show my husband these pictures. We share one walk-in closet and I use just under half of it—he actually has more clothes than me, though I surpass him in the shoe department. I am kind of relieved because posts like this make me realize I do not have as much clothes as I thought. I'm also very good at selling/donating things, but sometimes it comes back to haunt me and I wish I had kept something.Thanks for the pictures. We are looking for a new house (just put in an offer Thursday!) and I am already starting to panic about what needs to go and how to set-up the new closet. I already do the clear Container Store shoe and boot containers—love those.

  18. January 2, 2010 / 4:20 pm

    Great post, Roxy! Your storage setup is inspiring me to re-examine how I've got my own things set up right now, and giving me great ideas for a possible suburban-to-urban move that I may likely have to do in the near future!

  19. January 2, 2010 / 4:55 pm

    Closet porn for real people! I love it, great organization. Love the shoe cubbies and clear jewelry stackers.

  20. January 2, 2010 / 5:30 pm

    roxy – you are SO organized!! I love it! I need those jewelry organizers in a bad way – I love the idea of it. Are they large enough (the large ones) to put necklaces, even long ones in them? I've run out of room for all my jewelry and I'm trying to find a solution.

  21. January 2, 2010 / 6:07 pm

    The hangers….try Costco 1st before you go anywhere else. I swear I saw the big box for $15.

  22. Anonymous
    January 2, 2010 / 8:22 pm

    Thanks Roxy for answering my question! Joy

  23. Stephanie
    January 2, 2010 / 8:44 pm

    Hi Roxy, I love how your closets and jewelry are organized. Thanks for the link about the boot shapers I sorely needed them.

  24. January 2, 2010 / 8:45 pm

    Ade, Jacquelyn and Gigi — thanks much for the tips on where to find the huggable hangers! I'll ask my parents to check Costco first since there isn't one in Manhattan.Suzanne, CheesyGoodness and Stephanie – Glad you enjoyed the post. :)Kim – All but my longest necklaces fit. I have to carefully manipulate the longest ones to fit. The longest ones aren't stiff so it's pretty easy.

  25. Bronzi
    January 2, 2010 / 9:54 pm

    Roxy: loved the "peek" inside your closet. I will be using your idea of flipping the hangers that will definitely give me a huge clue about what I am NOT wearing. I have a very nice sized walk in closet that I had professionally done some years ago which used to look orderly and now, well, not so much. I really do need to weed out of stuff I haven't worn in ages, but think I will one day (NOT).

  26. January 3, 2010 / 3:54 am

    I'm thrifty (aka I save my money so I can buy more clothes) so I use empty wine bottles to keep my tall boots upright.

  27. Kathy
    January 3, 2010 / 4:22 am

    Wow, that's a lot of closet space for an NYC apt! Thanks for showing us how you organize your clothes and accessories. Can I ask where the light grey handbag in your last closet is from? It's the one in the middle of the picture with tassels and has a woven pattern going around the bottom of the handbag. I've been looking for a handbag like that.

  28. January 3, 2010 / 4:54 am

    Bronzi – Ha! I do have a few items I refuse to get rid of, even though I'll probably never wear them again.Molly Darling – what a FABULOUS idea using wine bottles. So smart!Kathy – it's from Urban Outfitters. I think I got it last spring. It's by Deux Lux (one of their in-house brands, sometimes at Anthro too).

  29. January 3, 2010 / 5:05 am

    Roxy….confirmed. Box of 50 black huggable hangers for $14.99. Costco has their bins, hangers, etc… merchandised together for people who want to get organized. NY resolution, I guess. They were right when I walked in the store. Though I have also found them back by the liquor and also on end caps. You could get 200 hangers for $50 and that'd be a good start ;-).

  30. Anonymous
    January 3, 2010 / 6:19 am

    Ahem – Roxy, there's a Costco on 116th Street (…and FDR).

  31. January 4, 2010 / 12:42 am

    Wow so cool! Thank you for sharing your storage ideas! I think I'm going to pick up some of those clear vertical jewelry containers!!!!! I still keep mine in the silver JCrew jewelry boxes. It's like a guessing game trying to find the pieces I'm looking for! LOL!

  32. January 4, 2010 / 6:30 pm

    I love seeing your organization! I don't have nearly that much space so I am jealous. I think you have more shoes than me too. I didn't think that was possible.

  33. January 4, 2010 / 7:38 pm

    Wow, I am jealous of your closet space! I have a tiny 3 foot wide closet, plus a little space in a spare closet for coats and such.

  34. January 5, 2010 / 1:20 am

    Oh Roxy, I love closet tours, and this one especially made my day!! Your clothes, shoes and jewelry are organized beautifully!! I can hardly believe you live in a NY apt, everything looks so spacious and your clothes all have a lot of room to breathe. I live in a house with a walk-in closet and even have huggable hangers and my clothes are far more squished together! (Of course, this could just be a sign that I overbuy…) Also, I think the jewelry storage in those stackable cylinders is just brilliant 😉

  35. January 5, 2010 / 2:09 am

    roxylove the closet I especially like how you have organized your jewelery. Not bad for a nyc apt!

  36. January 5, 2010 / 4:45 am

    Lovely post. I love the jewlry containers. Brilliant!!!

  37. March 17, 2011 / 9:16 pm

    Whew, I squeeze into one closet in my 1920s Seattle tiny apartment that I share with my man, our dog and two cats! (The hall closet belongs to my coats and Simon's clothes. Luckily he doesn't mind me taking up space with my clothes as long as I make room for his music gear). It's a constant shuffle – storage cases under the bed, sweaters folded in vintage hampers, and tights in vintage suitcases. I'm at the point where I need to be piece in, piece out, but haven't really dealt with that yet.

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