How To Keep Your College Closet Organized, From A Type A Organizational Freak

As the semester begins, it’s important to do your best to try to stay organized, and to be honest, I’m no stranger to the cause. I’d call it a habit, but it may be more of an obsession. And while your initial focus and mine may have been getting organized for school, how can you possibly be expected to be on time to class if you can’t find that shack shirt from three months ago that’s so comfortable you simply must wear it every Monday? How can you study if you don’t have on your ratty high school track sweatshirt? And there’s obviously no way you are going to pass that exam without your lucky undies from Vicky’s. So, now in my quest to become the self-anointed Martha Stewart of TSM, let me give you the closet organization tips you deserve.

Invest In Thin Hangers.

Regular Hangers

Dresses Skinny Hangers

You’re probably all like “Um, I already have hangers, I don’t need to buy new ones,” but trust me, you’re wrong. Skinny hangers make a world of difference when you are working with a small amount of closet space, plus cheap hangers wreak havoc on your clothes, so it’s worth the extra cash to upgrade the hangers for a return of extra space and longer wear-ability. Pro tip: buy them in different colors and color code your closet – dresses on black, short sleeves on white, long sleeves on pink, etc. etc. Makes it a bit easier to find that dress you wanted to wear out tonight after a few hours of day drinking.

Repurpose That Soda (Or Beer) Can.

Soda Can Tab
It’s important that you recycle cans to make up for all of the trees we are killing by printing out our class materials. But before you toss that can in the recycling bin, pop off the tab. Now, you can and should donate those tabs to your nearest Ronald McDonald House or Shriner’s Hospital for Children, but also save some for yourself, because you can actually use them to double your hangers. Just slide the tab onto the hook of the hanger, let it fall all the way down to the neck of the hanger, and then hook another hanger onto the other side of the tab. Not only is this a great way to gain more space, but also to organize your outfits, because Lord knows I’m incapable of creating a matching outfit before an 8:00am philosophy class.

Double Up The Rod.

The space below hanging shirts and pants is kind of a wasted spot in the closet. You could put some baskets there (more on that later), but if you need more room to hang things up, you should invest in a closet doubling rod. Some people may try and go with a tension rod here, but they usually aren’t strong enough to hold up a reasonable amount of clothing. So instead, go with a version like this one that hangs from your original rod and can handle more weight. Pro tip: You can also use this bottom rod to hang up your boots with boot hangers like these.

Boot Hangers

Use Hanging Organizers.

Over the door shoe organizer
I hate, hate, hate keeping clothes in drawers. I never seem to be able to find anything, no matter how neatly I organize them. So if you’re like me and despise dressers, or even if you are just short on drawer space, your closet can be a great place to keep stuff that you couldn’t normally think to hang up, like with a hanging organizer for underwear and bras. Another thought is to use over-the-door hanging shoe organizers for things other than shoes. I use one for my scarf collection and the other to hold my t-shirts. Simply roll up the scarf or t-shirt, pop it in a slot and voila! The wasted space on the back of the door now holds twenty-four shirts or scarves that you can easily see. Pro Tip: if you have a door that can’t put hooks over the top of, no problem: you can just pop out the over-the-door hooks and hang this on some command hooks.

Or Make Your Own.

Tank Top Organizer
If you don’t want to spend the money on hanging organizers, you can make one version yourself rather easily. All you need is a sturdy hanger and some plastic shower rings. Simply put the shower rings on the lower bar of the hanger and use it to hang a bunch of anything – scarves, belts, handbags, baseball hats, tank tops, or even bras. Pro tip: It can be a really cool alternative to a jewelry board to make a few fancy versions of this by wrapping the hanger in pretty ribbon before adding the rings, hanging your necklaces and bracelets from them, and then creating a wall display with them using command hooks. (Is there really anything you can’t do with a command hook?!)

Jewelry Wall Decoration

Don’t Ignore Shelves.

T-shirt Bins:Chalk Tags
Usually, there’s a top shelf in a closet that becomes the land of miscellaneous crap. Sweatshirts, last semester’s notebooks, that fabric you swore you were going to “do something” with – all of it gets shoved in this closet no-man’s-land. But, given your limited amount of space, you don’t really have the room to waste. So instead, store things in cute fabric bins and label them with chalk tags so you know what’s inside, but can easily change the label if you decide to reorganize. Which, if you’re like me, you do every other week or so. You can use these for anything: t-shirts or scarves (roll them like you would for the shoe organizer for more space/easy sight), your yoga pants collection, whatever. Pro tip: if you are vertically challenged, invest in a small folding step stool so you don’t injure yourself trying to see what’s up there.

Got something you want some organizing advice on? Email me and let me know!

Email this to a friend

Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, and documenting her love of all things cheese related. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at

For More Photos and Videos

Latest podcasts

New Stories

Load More