Clothes Clutter: Organizing All Your Accessories

posted by Andrea | 08/13/2011
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Earlier this week, I took you on a tour of our brand new Master Closet.

It was the first post in a series of posts I’m planning to do about “clothes clutter” and it gave me a good opportunity to  show you exactly how Dave and I keep all our clothes organized {and all in ONE closet!}.

However, after hearing feedback from many of you, I decided that accessories should be the next post in this series.

I think accessories are like food storage containers — they magically multiply without your knowledge — and before you know it, they’re everywhere!

If you feel like your accessories are taking over your closet, bedroom, bathroom, etc. Then let me give you a few tips to keep them organized — and show you how we keep our accessories organized.

Jewelry:

I keep my bracelets in an old star ice-mold that sits on the top of my dresser. It looks fantastic and makes it really easy to find what bracelet I want right away. Plus, if the mold starts to overflow, I know it’s time to purge. Cool bowls and baskets would also look nice.

Similarly, I keep all my earrings and rings in an old muffin tin. I actually keep this tin in one of our bathroom drawers so it doesn’t spill or tip over. Ice-cube trays are another great way to store earrings and rings in individual compartments — plus they stack!

 

I hang all my necklaces on an old ladder — simply by pounding nails into the ladder at differing heights. It’s nothing fancy, but it also serves as decoration for our bedroom and keeps my necklaces tangle free.

 

Unmentionables:

I got a TON of questions asking how I stored my underwear and socks — so although I never thought I would show a picture of my underwear drawer on the internet…. here it is!

It’s the very top drawer of my dresser and I use these clear plastic drawer organizers to keep everything in neat rows {yes, I always fold my underwear!} Also, I should mention that I actually have a double layer of socks on the right side of the drawer — heavy wool socks and tights/nylons on the bottom; athletic socks and dress socks on top.

 

Tank Tops / T-shirts / Athletic Clothes:

I have quite a few tank tops, t-shirts, and athletic clothes because that is what I wear most often. I usually wear a tank top under everything, and the minute I get home, I change into a t-shirt. So I like to keep these items easily available and very visible.

As you can see by the pictures below, I fold all my shirts and stack them “horizontally” instead of in a vertical pile — that way I can see every single shirt when I open the drawer. Tank tops and PJ’s are in the 2nd dresser drawer, t-shirts and athletic gear are in the 3rd drawer.

 UPDATE: If you would like to see how I fold our t-shirt, click here!! 

 

Shoes:

Shoes were another thing I got a lot of questions about — and I realized shoe storage can be a huge pain, especially if you have big boots, and other more substantial shoes that take up all kinds of space.

I used to have a ton of shoes, but over the last few years, I’ve really cut back to just the basics — a good pair of black and brown flats, black and brown dress shoes, black and brown boots, a few flip flops, a few “cute” pairs, and then my tennis shoes. Besides the boots and running shoes, I keep everything in the basket below.

A few other ideas for shoes would be to use an over-the-door shoe organizer, put shoe shelves at the bottom of your closet, or even keep your shoes by the back door {if you have enough room there}.

 

Belts, Scarves, etc.

I just installed a clear over-the-door shoe organizer on the back of one of our closet doors to organize all our belts, scarves, and other mics. accessories — we LOVE it!!

Dave even decided to keep his MP3 player, cell phone, sunglasses, wallet, and watch in a few of the compartments {which means they won’t be sitting out on his dresser any more!}

As you can see, we still have plenty of space for more!

A few other ideas for belts and scarves are to install hooks, put the items in baskets, or just hang them on hangers.

 

Purses and Bags:

Over the past few years, I have REALLY tried to cut back in the purse department too! I have a nice bag for summer/spring and another one I like to use in the fall/winter. I also have a couple smaller bags as well as a couple dressier clutches…but that’s it.

I keep all my purses and bags on the top shelf of our closet. I stuff them with newspaper so they keep their shape and then put them inside cloth bags so they don’t get dusty.

 

So that’s how I organize our many different accessories.

Obviously, depending on the size of your closet, your bedroom, and the amount of accessories you have, my suggestions may or may not work for you. {too bad I can’t have ALL the answers!}

Do you have any suggestions that work well for your accessories?  I’d love to hear them!

And just because it’s been a while, here’s a picture from earlier this week {6 months along}

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86 comments

  1. Diane

    06/13/2012

    Oh no. Now I have to organize my accessories after visiting your site! I want my drawers to look like yours. Nice and simply organized. Thanks!

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  2. Danielle

    05/19/2012

    I use an old tie hanger of my husbands for my necklaces and took a shelf that has bottom hooks and draped one of my multi-strand necklaces across it to hang my earrings.

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  3. Frank and Marla

    05/12/2012

    Thank you Andrea, I am very excited about your blog and look forward to further reviewing it over the next few days – as well as implementing many of your methods :- ) I love the look of the ladders in the bedroom, both decorative and functional :- ) We will definitely be in touch with in reference to your weekend giveaways :- ) Thanks & have a very happy Mother’s Day! ~ Marla

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  4. Frank and Marla

    05/12/2012

    Thank you!!! LOVE it! This is going to change our life!! The jewelry storage is ok in a pinch, though, we only live *once*, so, lets talk *real* (pretty) Jewelry storage :- ) http://www.etsy.com/shop/JewelryHoldersForYou

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks for the link to your Etsy shop — you’re jewelry organizers look nice and I think they would be a great item for my weekend giveaways. Feel free to contact me if you’re interested 🙂

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  5. Laura

    05/02/2012

    Love this!! What about shorts? Tank tops, I have discovered, work well rolled (fold in half “hot dog” and roll from the bottom) and fit nicely if you have small drawers like myself (not very deep). Also, for earrings (I have a lot of dangly earrings) and find that using fishing net either draped on the wall or fit tightly in an open frame works great! Hang all your earrings for display! You can even paint the frame and/or the net to add a pop of color!

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  6. A.

    04/11/2012

    how do u fold underwear??

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  7. Yvonne

    04/01/2012

    How would you organize jeans in the dresser?

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  8. Tammy

    03/21/2012

    How are the tshirts and tank tops folded before stacking horizontally? I’d love to try this

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    Andrea Reply:

    Tammy, I JUST did a post about how I fold these t-shirts. You can read all about it and watch the Vlog over here!

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  9. Amanda

    03/19/2012

    I spray painted part of a lilac bush we lost in a winter storm and “planted” it on my dresser to hang my earrings, bracelets, and chain necklaces from. It added some sparkle to the room and makes it really easy to find what I’m looking for. After a couple of spills I anchored it to the ceiling using fishing line and clear tacks.

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  10. Fresh energy | somniloquism

    03/19/2012

    […] post a few pictures throughout the week, but for now I want to share this new drawer reorganization trick I saw via […]

  11. Sheena

    03/09/2012

    I have a nice walk-in closet but my boyfriend takes up most of it lol. However, I found a tie rack and instead of ties it holds all my camies! So instead of tons of hangers for all fifteen of my camies they each have their own peg on the tie rack placed nicely behind the door! Also to save myself time and hassle I only buy short black socks so I never have to mate my socks! I have like two or three warm funky socks but that’s it and so it really cuts back on my laundry time since all I have to do is throw them in a drawer

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  12. Leisa Swan

    03/07/2012

    I organized my Husbands Harley Davidson shirts like you showed, THANK YOU SO MUCH!! It worked great he has close to 100 shirts, short sleeve, sleeveless, also his long underwear shirts he wears under t-shirts in the winter. He loves it now he can just look and see what shirt he wants without tearing up the whole drawer. I am organizing all my drawers now! We have a small closet but its tall its about 5.5′ wide, so we are going to build our own little cubby boxes down center from floor to ceiling have a shelf a very top, then 2 rods on each side, one high for shirt, one low for pants I am so excited. Thanks again!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    You are so welcome! My hubby’s shirts were always messy too, so that’s why I started folding them that way too!

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  13. Jen@mamaZEN

    03/05/2012

    It never occurred to me to fold and stack my shirts like that! I will definitely be trying that.

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    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Jen, if you want, you can watch the Vlog I did about folding our tshirts this way.

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  14. Cheryl

    03/04/2012

    I have a few rows of push pins on the wall inside my closet. Each pin will hold 2 or 3 necklaces and takes up no space at all.

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  15. Meg

    03/03/2012

    Because our closet doors open on a track, I installed the over the door show organizer in my closet on one wall with some good nails (no hooks). I use it to store socks and under clothes easily so we coul get rid of a dresser in the room. In the kids room I put their Jammies in an over the door closet organizer at theIr height do they get them out themselves.

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  16. Michelle

    02/28/2012

    I just had to let you know, I “pinned” your way of organizing shirts in drawers and in less than 14 hours, it has been repinned almost 1300 times and “liked” more than 200 times!! Obviously this puts you in the brilliant category!!!

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    Andrea Reply:

    wow — thanks Michelle 🙂

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  17. Wrongful Death Law Firms

    02/28/2012

    The accessory trays were pretty cute and functional, but you really blew my mind with putting your shirts in vertically instead of horizontally, it’s simple, but i’ve never though about it like that. I think I would maybe wrap them around pressed wood boards or something to keep them stiff enough that I could put them away, like a filing system of sorts. Very cool!

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  18. K Henley

    02/14/2012

    A shadow box lying down instead big hanging up lined with batting and your favorite piece of fabric is great for storing jewelry… You can see right in thru the glass foot and open it straight up when you’re ready to get simething out

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  19. Jennifer

    02/13/2012

    OMG, I’ve already had an incredibly productive morning (floor washed, laundry done) and sat down to procrastinate on Pinterest…but now I HAVE to go re-organize my sons T-shirts! Thank you for the inspiration!

    For the ridiculous question of the day: what font do you have for the labels on your photos? It’s driving me nuts that I can’t figure it out!

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  20. Sarah

    02/10/2012

    For those who are short on space or cash, nails are great for just about anything that can hang. I put a few nails into the side of my closet to hang belts, and smaller finishing nails inside my bathroom closet for necklaces. For scarves, I took a really long piece of fat ribbon, tied a loop around one end to hang it up, then every few inches I tied a loop. I just string scarves through the loops. The best part about the ribbon is that it takes up vertical space, which you usually have more of than horizontal space.

    Finally, my husband got me one of those wire shoe racks that hangs over the back of the door, but it wouldn’t fit on our door. Instead, I took the over the door hooks off, threaded the top of the rack through the wire rack in my closet against the wall behind the dresses I rarely wear, then put the hooks back on to keep the rack from just falling. I keep my formal and less worn shoes and purses on it where they are tucked completely out of sight and out of the way, but are handy when I need them.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    wow sarah — sounds like your closet is really organized!
    I love all your frugal ideas too… thanks for sharing!

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  21. Debra

    02/08/2012

    I’ve been doing the bra/undie/sock drawers that way for about 20 years now. Started doing all my tshirts that way about 10 years ago when we downsized and lost closet space.
    I fold my tshirts in 1/2 arm to arm then fold the arms back in, then fold the whole thing
    in 1/2 from top to bottom and place in the drawer the same as you–saves on closet space
    I also group them in the drawer, the same as I do my socks by color =)

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  22. Kris

    02/04/2012

    I’m having an issue organizing my scarf collection, do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks!
    Kris

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    Anonymous Reply:

    You can always put shower rings across the bottom of a hanger and put scarfs through the shower rings.

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  23. Stacey@RealSouthernLiving.com

    01/31/2012

    Oh I love these ideas! I am going to be sprusing up the Master bedroom next week and I love your organizing ideas for the dresser that I’m going to put to use! Thanks! Stacey@RealSoutehernLiving.com

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  24. Jen

    01/31/2012

    So going to reorganize my underwear/sock drawer TODAY! Thanks for the tips!

    For my necklaces, I bought a towel rack (from Ikea) that came with hooks…I just had to buy extra hooks and I hang my necklaces individually on each hook. It only sticks out from the wall about 2 (ish) inches and hubby hung it on the wall behind our door…so when the door is open, you can’t even see it! 🙂

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  25. Kath

    01/31/2012

    When you pull shirts out of the “vertical style” storage, how do you keep the rest upright? I would think they would start to sag and it would start to get disorganized. Is there a “filler” piece that is used to keep them upright?

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    yes, I have shelf dividers between the stacks {I even mention where I got them in this post} And as with any organizing project, there is maintenance involved… so yes, I do have to “re-stack” the shirts every now and then.

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    Kathy Reply:

    Sorry — totally missed the comment about shelf dividers being used! Thanks so much for explaining to the non-observant person. Re-stacking periodically no problem. Thanks again! 🙂

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  26. larissa

    01/31/2012

    definitely going to rework the way my closet is organized! thanks for the tip

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  27. Suezi Ambro

    01/31/2012

    I have a question that i’ve never seen asked before, but with your knowledge and insight, i hope you can help.
    what do you do with clothes that you’ve only worn for a few hours—they are not 100% clean, but they aren’t really dirty either. you can get another wearing out of them, but i don’t want to put them back in the closet…
    this has always been a big issue for me…
    any ideas????

    thanks

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    oh this question makes me laugh — because my husband and I have this discussion often! Dave has 1 shelf in our closet that he uses for his “half dirty clothes”. If something is not dirty enough to wash, but he’s already worn it once, he puts it on that shelf. I simply hang the “once-worn” items at the very front of my closet so I know what ones they are.

    I know other people who fold them and put them on top of the laundry pile, and others who hang the hangers backward so they know which items they’ve already worn!
    Hope these tips helps 🙂

    [Reply]

    Brooke Reply:

    We have a coat stand in the corner of our room that we hang worn but clean clothes on. We usually don’t have more than a couple items, so it doesn’t get too cluttered looking.

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  28. Beth

    01/30/2012

    hey there.. found you on pinterest.. LOVE your organizing ideas, but I have one question for you… what is a good way to organize and store lingerie so that it doesnt get messed up, but doesnt take up precious closet space either.. thanks

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    thanks beth!!
    I wear sweatpants to bed… so I don’t have this problem 🙂 but I would suggest rolling it and then putting it in a drawer, in a basket, or even in a hanging shoe organizer. I’ve found that by rolling clothes, they don’t get as wrinkly… so that might be a suggestion. You could also hang multiple items on one hanger to save closet space.
    Just a couple ideas… hope they help!

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  29. Joy

    01/29/2012

    I found you last night on pintrest. I went in and reorganized my oldest son’s drawers this way today. I fit two drawers of tshirts into one! I couldn’t get it to work with sweaters and hoodies (too thick). I was wondering if you had any advice for those and shorts?
    I totally need to get the shoe organizers for belts, genius! And believe it or not my underwear and sock drawer has looked like that for years. So easy to find things and put it away. 😀

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  30. Robbie

    01/02/2012

    I had to break down and buy a jewelry armoire because I was finding I was not wearing my stuff as much as I wanted with it not being organized properly. I tried organizers in drawers and that did not work for me. I wanted to have ALL my things together and organized and visually accessible. Plus, in my dusty old house, anything out, like the necklaces, would not work here, as I would definitely have to dust before I could wear anything.

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  31. Meg

    10/08/2011

    I folded my underwear for the first time ever! This post has changed my relationship to my formerly too-small drawers! Thanks so much!

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  32. Mandy

    09/13/2011

    I love this page!! I am going to share it with my thirty-one team! We are all talking about organizing right now. Mainly our office space with my team but our house is in major need too!! I am getting married in 12 days in our backyard and praying for no rain but if it does rain, we will have to move it inside! There is NOT room in our house and our house is great size! I NEED to do some clutter management! So this site and this article is helping a lot! I already use the shoe basket idea since we offer the perfect size baskets in my business. I cant wait to go through all of our clothes and our papers! If those two things were gone and organized, our house would look so much better!! I am gonna work on this for sure this week!! I am so glad I found your site!! Thanks for sharing all of this!!!
    Mandy Haffner (Soon to be Mrs. Arnold)
    http://www.mythirtyone.com/treats4us

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Mandy — yes, feel free to share my blog with anyone you know 🙂

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  33. Suzanne

    08/22/2011

    Andrea,
    Thanks for all the visuals! So helpful in thinking about what I already have that I can use, how to adapt things, or what I could buy to help. The bra photo helped too! On a side note, I pulled out a bunch of shoe boxes per your ideas and organized the toiletries stockpile I’m starting in my hall closet, and it works wonderfully! Thanks for the great ideas!

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  34. Briana Cady

    08/16/2011

    Hi Andrea! I’m on a roll this week…organized my closet, my dresser and my coupons. I even made a batch of the granola bars and they were awesome! Thanks for all your work on the blog it’s helped me feel a little more control in my seemingly crazy house!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Yay Bri!! OK, so you have to admit that organizing is fun once you get going…right!! I’m glad you guys are liking the granola bars {we can’t stop eating them over here either}.
    Hope you and the family are doing well 🙂

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  35. Heather Irene

    08/15/2011

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Andrea! On Saturday evening, after I read this post, I reorganized both my dresser and my husband’s dresser. Not sure why I never thought to do the shirts like that before, but it works perfectly. No more pulling out 5 shirts to find the one shirt he wants and not being able to fold them back like me! Everything fits so much better!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Heather!
    I hope you are enjoying your newly organized dressers!! Doesn’t it feel great 🙂 And yes, that way of folding shirts really does make a HUGE difference.

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  36. nicole

    08/13/2011

    love your posts…inspiring and helpful. what about doing one on folding?

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  37. Meghan

    08/13/2011

    Love the organization! Could you tell us how you fold your shirts to fit like that in the drawers? I would love to be able to see everything I have available when I open my drawers 🙂

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Hey Meghan,
    I’m not sure if I can “tell” you how to fold your shirts like that — but I’ll try! I simply fold them like a normal t-shirt {in half hot-dog style, arms folded in, in half hamburger-style} but then I fold them in half hamburger style one more time so they are “short” enough to fit in my drawer. Not sure if this makes sense at all — maybe I need to to a vlog about it!

    [Reply]

    Meghan Reply:

    I think I understand. Thank you!

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    Tricia B Reply:

    A vlog would be great. I have room to hang all my clothes, but my teens both have dressers, and I think this way of folding would work so much better for them, but we can’t seem to get them to fold right to fit.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Meghan, I know this comment was posted a long time ago… but I finally did a post about HOW I fold out t-shirts: if you want, you can watch the Vlog I did about it! Hopefully that will help 🙂

    [Reply]

  38. Linda

    08/13/2011

    Your idea for bracelets and the ladder for necklaces is a great idea. But….I will tell you from experience that you will have to dust those things. And I truly prefer NOT to dust my necklaces and bracelets. Love the look though.

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks Linda,
    I’ve been storing my jewelry this way for almost 3 years now and I have never dusted any of it {and I don’t wear it dusty either!!} I guess I just wear everything enough that any dust that does accumulate is quickly blown/brushed away! We’ll see how it goes in the new house/bedroom though. Hopefully this house isn’t more dusty than our last one!!

    [Reply]

  39. mama marchand

    08/13/2011

    You look fabulous, mama! Thanks for the helpful ideas on organizing. I love the muffin tin idea!

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  40. Cassie

    08/13/2011

    I think that is the most organized closet/dresser I have ever seen and trust me that’s a good thing! =D I can’t wait to put some of these organizing tips to good use when we finish our closet.

    You look great && your baby bump is sooo adorable! =D

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