closet storage hacks

Raise your hand if you're all about decluttering your closet, but the thought of culling through clothing, shoes and bags is enough to evoke anxiety. We've been living in that reality lately and couldn't agree more, mama. So when Lisa Adams of LA Closet Design gave us quick and easy hacks that instantly provide more closet space, we were all ears.

The goal isn't to create more space for more clutter, but to provide storage relief so every item has a home. And yes, that's not to say we won't declutter someday, but if we can have more space in the meantime it's a total win, mama.

Here are eight closet storage hacks to help you get out of the "my closet is a mess" rut:

1. Add liners

Add a few in your closet hamper to separate light and dark laundry, dry cleaning, tailoring and items you want to purge. "I suggest this tip because it not only helps separate your laundry, but it also is a place to house items that need action versus putting them back into your closet," says Adams.

2. Install a towel bar for scarves

Scarf enthusiasts take note: Adding a towel bar is a chic way to add a display rod in your closet, but can also be used as a staging area to help with packing and getting dressed every day. "The idea is to hang scarves so that they are visible and that you'll actually use them instead of piling into a drawer," says Adams.

Another cool option is to install a pegboard behind your closet door or an adjacent wall.

3. Fold items in drawers from front to back

Fold clothing in your drawers from front to back, not top to bottom so that you see everything at first glance. "I like to see everything; if a shelf is deep, it should pull out so that you see all the contents on the shelf," says Adams. "And, the same goes for drawers. When I open a drawer, I want to be able to see all the contents immediately without having to dig through to the bottom of the drawer. Use filing folders to help to fold tops equally and easily into drawers." Cheers to no more digging!

4. Install valet pull-out hooks

Valet hooks are great for in-coming dry cleaning, packing, staging and getting dressed. They rest adjacent to your shelf or dresser and can be put away when not in use. "These are probably my most-requested items in a closet and rightfully so—they get installed into cabinet panels and pull out about 6 to 8 inches to give you more hanging space in your closet," says Adams. "It's a no-brainer."

5. Use purse hooks to hang tote bags

Tote bags are notorious for slouching and falling over, but if you hang your tote bags they'll stay upright and are easier for you to see. Adams suggests installing them under a shelf so you can space them evenly throughout.

6. Hang jewelry on walls

"This is a hack straight from Tyra Banks' closet," says Adams. "Simply line a wall with double-sided ultra-suede fabric and add hooks to hang costume jewelry. It's a great way to keep jewelry from tangling."

7. Adjust shelf heights based on your shoe inventory

There's nothing worse than having a beautiful closet, but not enough room to house your shoes. When this happens don't be afraid to readjust your shelves based on your show types and heights. "If you are someone who mostly owns flats, adjust the shelves 5 to 6 inches apart," says Adams. "This will allow you to fit more shelves into your closet."

8. Install battery-operated LED hanging rods

To add more lighting in your closet, replace hanging rods with battery-operated LED hanging rods. "This is a great hack if you are unable to hard wire lighting into your closet, says Adams. "It will also instantly help you to distinguish your navy from black tops."

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

This is how we’re defining success this school year

Hint: It's not related to grades.

In the ever-moving lives of parents and children, opportunities to slow down and reflect on priorities can be hard to come by. But, a new school year scheduled to begin in the midst of a global pandemic offers the chance to reflect on how we should all think about measures of success. For both parents and kids, that may mean putting a fresh emphasis on optimism, creativity and curiosity.

Throughout recent decades "school success" became entangled with "academic achievement," with cases of anxiety among school children dramatically increasing in the past few generations. Then, almost overnight, the American school system was turned on its head in the spring of 2020. As we look ahead to a new school year that will look like no year past, more is being asked of teachers, students and parents, such as acclimating to distance learning, collaborating with peers from afar and aiming to maintain consistency with schooling amidst general instability due to COVID.

Despite the inherent challenges, there is also an overdue opportunity to redefine success during the school year by finding fresh ways to keep students and their parents involved in the learning process.

"I always encourage my son to try at least one difficult thing every school year," says Arushi Garg, parenting blogger and mom of a 4 year old. "This challenges him but also allows me to remind him to be optimistic! Lots of things in life are hard, and it's important we learn to be positive during difficult times. Fostering a sense of optimism allows kids to push beyond what they thought possible, like biking without training wheels or reading above their grade level."

Here are a few mantras to keep in mind this school year...

Quality learning matters more than quantifying learning

After focusing on standardized measures of academic success for so long, the learning environment this next school year may involve more independent, remote learning. Some parents are considering this an exciting opportunity for their children to assume a bigger role in what they are learning—and parents are also getting on board by supporting their children's education with engaging, positive learning materials like Highlights Magazine.

As a working mom, Garg also appreciates that Highlights Magazine can help engage her son while she's also working. She says, "He sits next to me and solves puzzles in the magazine or practices his writing from the workbook."

Keeping an open mind as "school" looks different

Whether children are of preschool age or in the midst of high school, "going to school" is bound to look different this year. Naturally, this may require some adjustment as kids become accustomed to new guidelines. Although many parents may wish to shelter our kids from challenges, others believe optimism can be fostered through adversity when everyone is committed to adapting to new experiences.

"Honestly, I am yet to figure out when I will be comfortable sending [my son] back [to school]," says Garg. In the meantime, she's helping her son remain connected with friends who also read Highlights Magazine by encouraging the kids to talk about what they are learning on video calls.

Following children's cues about what interests them

For Garg, her biggest hope for this school year is that her son will create "success" for himself by embracing new learning possibilities with positivity.

"Encouraging my son to try new things has given him a chance to prove that he can do anything," she says. "He takes his previous success as an example now and feels he can fail multiple times before he succeeds."

There's no denying that this school year will be far from the norm. But, perhaps, we can create a new, better way of defining our children's success in school because of it.

This article was sponsored by Highlights. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Products that solve your biggest breastfeeding challenges

Including a battle plan for clogged ducts!

When expecting a baby, there is a lot you can test-run in advance: Take that stroller around the block. Go for a spin with the car seat secured in place. Learn how to use the baby carrier with help from a doll. But breastfeeding? It's not exactly possible to practice before baby's arrival.

The absence of a trial makes it all the more important to prepare in other ways for breastfeeding success—and it can be as simple as adding a few of our lactation aiding favorites to your registry.

MilkBliss chocolate chip soft baked lactation cookies

MilkBliss lactation cookies

Studies have shown the top reason women stop breastfeeding within the first year is because they are concerned about their milk supply being enough to nourish baby. Consider MilkBliss Lactation Cookies to be your secret weapon. Not only are they wholesome and delicious, but they were formulated specifically for breastfeeding moms based on the science of galactagogues—also known as milk boosters. They also come in peanut butter and wild blueberry flavors.


Evereden multi-purpose healing balm

Evereden multipurpose healing balm

Also up there on the list of reasons women stop breastfeeding: the toll the early days can take on nipples. Made from just five ingredients, this all natural healing balm is ideal for soothing chafed nipples, making for a much more comfortable experience for mama as her body adjusts to the needs of a breastfeeding baby.


Lansinoh milk storage bags

Lansinoh milk storage bags

For a breastfeeding mama, there are few things more precious and valuable than the milk she worked so hard to pump—and it's the stuff of nightmares to imagine it spilling out in the fridge. With these double-sealed milk storage bags, you can be assured your breastmilk is safe and sound until baby needs it.


Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Belly Bandit bandita nursing bra

Nursing a baby is a 24/7 job, which calls for some wardrobe modifications. Because Belly Bandit specializes in making things more comfortable for the postpartum mama, they've truly thought of every detail—from the breathable fabric to the clips that can be easily opened with one hand.


boob-ease soothing therapy pillows

Boob Ease soothing therapy pillows

For nursing moms, duct can quickly become a four-letter word when you suspect it's getting clogged. By keeping these soothing breast pillows in your breastfeeding arsenal, you can immediately go on the defense against plugged milk ducts by heating the pads in the microwave or cooling them in the freezer.


Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

Belly Bandit perfect nursing tee

A unfortunate reality of nursing is that it can really seem to limit the wardrobe options when you have to think about providing easy, discrete access. But by adding functional basics to your closet, you can feel confident and prepared for breastfeeding on the go.


Bebe au Lait premium cotton nursing cover

Bebe au Lait cotton nursing cover

Nursing in public isn't every mama's cup of tea. But babies can't always wait until you've found a private place to get down to business if that's your preference. That's where a nursing cover comes in handy. This one is made from premium cotton and features a patented neckline that allows for airflow and eye contact even while you're covered.


Lactation Lab basic breastmilk testing kit

Lactation Lab breastmilk testing kit

Curious to learn more about the liquid gold you're making, mama? The testing kit from Lactation Labs analyzes your breast milk for basic nutritional content like calories and protein, as well as vitamins, fatty acids and environmental toxins to help boost your breastfeeding confidence.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this


In Montessori schools, parents are periodically invited to observe their children at work in the classroom. I have heard many parents express shock to see their 3- or 4-year-old putting away their own work when they finish—without even being asked!

"You should see his room at home!" or, "I ask him to put his toys away every day, and it's a battle every single time" were frequent comments.

Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play