Small Apartment Solutions: Closet Organization!

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Home Depot & Rubbermaid, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #AllAccessOrganizers

I don’t know about you, but closets are one of the hardest things for me to organize! They have a lot of vertical space, which is sometimes hard to use efficiently, and because you can just shut the door on them, sometimes I’m not really motivated to keep them all that clean or organized! But if your storage space is limited like ours (dang small apartment!), having an efficiently organized closet can really help. So when I was given the opportunity to get organized with Rubbermaid All Access organizers from Home Depot, I jumped at the chance!

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization Before And After!

This is the main closet in our living room. It’s wide and shallow and really really tall! To me, the biggest closet organization challenge is to use vertical space effectively, especially if you have 10 foot ceilings like we do. There’s a lot of room in the closet, but if you can’t stack stuff, you’re wasting a lot of space!

This is what the closet used to look like:

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization: Before

Kinda jam-packed, huh? :-) The shelf near the top with the closet bar underneath was already there when we moved into the apartment. (There is no closet in the bedroom, so I think this was supposed to be our clothes closet. But I don’t want to have to walk all the way out here just to get dressed in the morning, so we added a closet to our bedroom!) I added the metal wire shelves and wooden shelves to try to make use of the vertical space beneath the shelf, and that definitely helped, but there was still a big “hole” on one side of the closet that was unused.

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization: Before

I put a few buckets of stuff on the ground, but there was still about 16″ of space behind the buckets that was empty, plus all the space on top of the buckets wasn’t being used. And that wood shelf thing is too heavy to slide easily, so it was really a pain in the butt to get anything out of the buckets behind it, especially the bottom one!

When I saw the new Rubbermaid All Access organizers, I knew they were the PERFECT solution! You can open up the side and get at everything inside even when the organizers are stacked!!! And the side is clear so you can see what’s inside without having to write it down or remember which is which. Perfect I tell ya!

So I went to Home Depot, bought four of them, and got right to work cleaning out my closet!

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization

Does anybody else organize like this? The easiest way for me to get stuff organized is to take it all out of the closet (or bookshelf, or dresser, or cabinet, or whatever), put it all on the floor, organize it into piles, and then put each pile back into the closet. No? Just me? Well it takes up a lot of space while I’m working on it, but the end result is a super organized closet!

The first thing I did was fill up my new organizers. One really fun thing about putting stuff in them was realizing that I could open the top OR the side to get my stuff out! So I made sure the stuff near the front panel was the stuff I used most: paint, paint brushes, tape, envelopes and stamps, batteries, and of course, our NERF guns! :-p

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization

Then I moved the wooden shelves over into the unused corner of space and put the Rubbermaid organizers in between the wood shelves and wire shelves. The closet has two sliding doors on it, so you can’t ever actually open it all the way up. But in order to show you how pretty this closet is now, we took both doors off the sliders to take pictures of the whole thing.

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization!

Because the litter box is on the bottom wooden shelf, we have to leave one sliding door open at all times so the cats can get in there. So I don’t even get to shut the door on the clutter in my closet; one half of it is always visible! But it’s so much prettier now that everything is organized.

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization Before And After

Using these organizers in this closet not only cleaned up the clutter and made it much more organized, but it made everything easier to access as well! The organizers stack neatly, and you can still get at your stuff! The lids come off if you want to get in from the top, or the sides open so you can get at stuff from the side! I needed that can of white spray paint for a project last night, and it took me all of five seconds to get it out of the organizer! Before, I had to reach in past the wood shelves, unstack the grey buckets, open the lid, and dig through to find the spray paint, which was always inevitably at the bottom… SO MUCH BETTER NOW!!!

Small Apartment Solutions - Closet Organization

And the best part is the clear, drop-down doors lock back in place when they are shut so you don’t have to worry about stuff spilling out!

I’m totally thrilled with this closet now! Everything has a place, and we can get at anything we need really easily! Now I need more organizers to use in the bedroom… :-)

If you are looking for more storage solutions and organizing ideas, be sure to check out Rubbermaid and Home Depot on Facebook! There are a ton of great ideas out there!

Disclosure: I received compensation from Rubbermaid and Home Depot in exchange for this post. But these All Access organizers are really amazing! I love that I can store my stuff and access it at the same time, and all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! :-)


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Hi, I'm Jessi! Welcome to Practically Functional, a blog about real projects that real people can actually do! You don't have to be a pro in order to craft or do DIY projects; Practically Functional is full of projects for everyday life that anyone can do, regardless of skill or experience! Whether you're looking for fun crafts, DIY projects both big and small, gardening advice, cleaning tips, or quick and easy recipes, you'll find them here! Follow the step by step instructions in every tutorial, and don't hesitate to ask if you have any questions! Make sure you subscribe to free weekly emails so you don't miss a single tutorial!

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  1. Paula@SweetPea says

    I love these organizers and can think of so many ways to use them both my home and classroom. I should go to Home Depot stat before the college kids grab all that are available.

  2. says

    I do the same thing – – pulling everything out, making piles, and then putting it back in! Though when I tackled our hall closet recently, I actually decided to do some moving around in the process, so some things got put back and others got new homes. It was a new style of organizing for me, but worked really well. Our closet needing rethinking anyway. (Ha ha…realized how fitting that last sentence was considering my blog title.)

    Truly, these Rubbermaid bins are incredible. I’m a HUGE fan!

  3. Audrey says

    Love the new look on the website Jessi – and those totes that have clear panels and open both ways are a brilliant idea. However, I’m afraid to ask how you get the litter box out to clean it????? BTW our kittens now play with Lodi. So cute.

    • says

      Oh good, glad the kittens are getting more comfortable! We just reach in to scoop the litter box most days, but when we need to fully dump all the litter and change it out, we can just rotate the box sideways and pull it out. :-)

  4. Laura @ The Rookie Cook says

    Ah, I bet that feels much better! I really need to do a closet clean-out soon. Especially with our “catch-all” closet…

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