Organizing a Basement Storage Closet

My husband, Doug, enjoys hunting, fishing and camping.  Can you tell by his storage closet?  He is fortunate to have this large space in our basement to hold his equipment.   Doug is an organized guy and he has creative ideas for storing his equipment.  You can see in the two  ”before” photos that he knows how to efficiently use the space.

Fall and winter are busy hunting and ice fishing months for him, thus his storage space became a bit disorganized.



On a rainy Saturday he spent a couple of hours in his “man cave” errr, storage closet, straightening it and purging clothing that he no longer needed (some of which was from his teen years).

Doug pulled some of the items out of the closet and sorted them on the large floor of our basement.  He then started tossing, donating and categorizing things.  He had a trash bag and a donation container near him and his i-pod in his ears for entertainment.  By the time he finished he had a full trash bag as well as a full donation box.



When the sorting was finished it was time to return the gear to the closet.  Doug organizes his closet by grouping items according to the sport: ice fishing, hunting, open water fishing and camping.  The gear he is currently using is stored in our garage.  Off-season gear is in the basement closet.

Here is the re-organized space.



I like the way Doug uses an old dresser for his clothing, installed a rod for hanging clothing and installed hooks for heavier items like his waders, and his ice fishing bibs.  The shelves offer more vertical storage.  There isn’t anything sexier than an organized man:)

Closet Tips Galore!



It’s National “Get Organized” month.  Is your closet full of clothing you don’t wear?  Is it unorganized and uninviting?  Hop on over to this month’s Blog Carnival featuring closet organizing tips from professional organizers–including ME:)

Now is the time to get your closet in order so you may get dressed…..not stressed!  Start with these closet tips.


Closet organization for a client

Krystle Marks is a personal stylist who puts together flattering outfits for her clients with ease.  She started her full service personal styling business to help women feel beautiful.   Who doesn’t want that? 

I’m jealous of her talent.  Shopping for clothing completely overwhelms and frustrates me, especially now that my fashion savvy daughter is off at college!   When I first met Krystle she mentioned that her closet needed a bit of organization and SHE was feeling overwhelmed. 

We are perfect for each other:)  With our complimentary skills we decided to become each others client.  I was overjoyed to have a closet to organize (I LOVE closets) and I would receive some desperately needed fashion advice!

Here are some ” before” photos.










Krystle’s closet was very full.  The first step of the organizing process is to decide what to keep and what to save.  She did a fine job making the decision to let go of clothing that no longer fit or no longer wore.  Look at all the bags of clothing she decided to donate or re-sell!

Everything was sorted and categorized into groups: pants, shirts, shoes, workout clothing, dresses, ect.  Her husband’s clothing was just re-categorized; we left the purging for him to do.  I removed all the empty hangers and stored her favorites in one location in the closet.  The wire hangers were taken to the dry cleaners for re-use.

We discussed supplies she needed to purchase: plastic boxes, wood clamp-style pant hangers, 3M Command Hooks, and a scarf hanger.









She wanted to finish the project on her own.  When she finished, I was thrilled to receive these photos.  She did an amazing job, don’t you think so?

Baseball caps are hung on the wall using Command Hooks by 3M.




















Nonslip scarf hanger.

Krystle and I will be presenting a fun workshop together on November 14th.    She will teach personal styling and I will provide closet organization tips.  Watch for more information in my November newsletter (please subscribe here).

Are you inspired?  What area will you organize?

Favorite Organizing Tool #4







The basic laundry basket.

Why is it one of my favorite tools?  It’s a useful organizing container for many areas of your home, not just the laundry room.

I’ve used laundry baskets to hold balls, sand toys, and more in client’s garages, for toys and dress-up clothing in play rooms, and in closets as dirty clothing hampers.  We even used one to contain our puppy during car rides (for the first couple of days).

What non traditional items do you contain in a laundry basket?

photo by: amboo who?

Quick closet organization

I caught my 17 year old daughter organizing the other day.  She said, and I quote her “I’m tired of all this crap in my closet.” Of course I pulled out my camera so I could share this proud moment with you:)

She loves clothing and shoes, as you can see by her full closet.   Her job at a re-sale clothing boutique only makes matters worse.

The good news is that Natalie organizes on a regular basis.   She purges items from her closet a couple times a year and places clothing that is in usable condition in a donation area of our basement or resells the clothing at the boutique.  Her system of purging and straightening has helped her maintain an organized closet and from outgrowing her space.

Natalie filled up 2.5 bags with donations and items to sell and said she feels great now that her closet contains the clothing she likes and wears. I’ve already warned her about the tiny dorm room closets!

How often do you purge items from your closet?

Do I ever become tired of organizing others?

Do I ever become tired of organizing for others since this is something I do almost every week day?  The answer is NO!  I’m passionate about organization and enjoy helping others feel better.

Since 2003 I have volunteered at a local organization called Middleton Outreach Ministry (MOM).

MOM is a non-profit that is leading a community-wide effort to prevent homelessness and end hunger in the Madison, WI area.

I love helping out at MOMs because I use my organization skills to serve others!

Their food pantry and free clothing distribution are among the many ways MOM serves the needy in the Madison, WI area.  When I’m volunteering I have the very fun job of sorting clothing that has been donated by folks in the Madison area.  As a volunteer, I sort through bags of donated clothing and determine which clothing should be distributed my MOM.  We keep clothing that is in good condition and is suitable for the current season.  Clothing is hung up and organized on racks in a area separate from the food pantry. If the clothing doesn’t fit this criteria, it’s passed onto St. Vincent DePaul.

In an average month, MOM’s distributes over 5000 pounds of FREE clothing!

I’m thankful for the opportunity MOMs has given me over the years.  I’m also grateful for all the donations MOM’s receives from generous people in the community who share their excess.

Do you have clothing in your closet that you don’t wear but is still usable?  Pass it on to your favorite charity.