You have to see these incredible before-and-afters. 

By Katie Holdefehr
January 30, 2018

The go-to platform for designers and organizers to show off their latest home transformations, it's no surprise that Instagram is a treasure trove of inspiring closet makeovers. And if these beautifully organized spaces make you want to shoot your own cluttered closet some serious side-eye, don't get jealous—instead, steal their tips so you can do it yourself. Wrangle the chaos using the ideas pulled from these makeovers, so you can turn your own closet "before" into an Insta-worthy "after." 

A lover of "all things organized," Jordana Kashin did the best thing a friend can do: she offered to help declutter her fashionista friend's closet. Swipe above to see how the jumble of clothing got sorted into easy-to-find categories. 

The Lesson: Divide and Conquer 

The big problem with the "before" is that nothing is sorted. Pants live on a shelf with sweaters, and blazers hang beside jeans. It's no wonder she had trouble finding things. To sort it out, Kashin recommends creating clear categories, and then, when the closet is completely empty, use Post-its to map out where each category will live. Once you've finished sorting through what you want to keep, clear categories will make it easy to maintain a system (and find that dress you're looking for as you run out the door). 

Before Tracy of SunnyChicHome made over this closet, shoes were piled up on the floor. After the transformation, each pair has its own place. 

The Lesson: Invest in the Right Organizers

Organizers can make all the difference, as long as you're buying devices that fit your belongings and your space. By adding two shoe racks to this closet, you can now easily spot each pair. Before purchasing a shoe rack for your space, first be sure to measure the closet, and then count how many pairs you need it to hold. Make sure you're buying a real solution, rather than yet another belonging that will only contribute to the clutter. 

We have been taught by marketers for many generations to believe in the power of MORE. They have told us that who we wish to be and how we wish to feel are entities achieved through the purchasing of THINGS. "If you buy this shirt, you will feel sexy." "You must keep up with the latest trends." "The more options you have to choose from, the happier you'll be." "This piece is a necessity for every______." . . These tactics, designed to be powerfully influential, couldn't be further from the truth. Trends are fleeting attempts to establish a sense of belonging. Emotional value is what we ascribe to an item, not what that item intrinsically has. Too many choices overwhelm us and sabotage our fundamental task. That is, of course, to figure out what matters most, what we love most, what makes us feel best from out of all the rest. . . None of us needs much. If I asked you, I'll bet you could rattle off your essential material belongings with complete ease. All those extra options serve only to confuse us, slow our decision-making, and cloud our clarity. . . When you realize you are more fulfilled and wealthy by having 5 of what you positively need and love rather than 35 of what makes you feel ho-hum, then you will feel--for the first time maybe--free. . . That's the revelation my rockstar client had upon seeing the beauty of her newly Simplified closet space. [Swipe for the before, if you dare.] . . Okay, so what are your top 5 things (living creatures not included)? [Money says nobody's list is sans 📱]

A post shared by LIVE SIMPLY (@livesimplybyannie) on

When professional organizer Annie Traurig first saw her client's closet, it was a mess of clothing and accessories, many of which the client didn't love or wear very often. 

The Lesson: Keep in Mind What's Most Important

Annie recommends thinking about the five items you love most, then build out from there. So many of us have clothes we don't love, let alone even remember buying. When you consider your belongings in terms of which ones matter most to you, the process of purging those that no longer serve you will become much easier. Plus, this process could win you more than just a tidy closet, as Annie writes in her caption: "When you realize you are more fulfilled and wealthy by having 5 of what you positively need and love rather than 35 of what makes you feel ho-hum, then you will feel—for the first time maybe—free."

Before Lisa Jacobs of Imagine It Done came on the scene, this closet was a total disaster, with the majority of its contents strewn across the floor. 

The Lesson: Take Advantage of Vertical Space 

The more that's piled on the floor, the harder it will be to find your missing shirt. To maximize space, use wall hooks, hangers, and vertical shelving units that get your belongings (including shoes) up off the floor. Hats, purses, and scarves can go on hooks, while footwear and larger bags get stashed on shelves. 

Because organizing is always the best form of productive procrastination, Jena Roach decided to make over her linen closet to avoid editing a manuscript. 

The Lesson: Pretty Jars and Wallpaper Can Solve Everything

Okay, so organizing a closet is all about doing the work of purging your belongings, sorting them into categories you can stick with, and buying the right organizers—but while you're at it, why not make it pretty? If you're doing all of the hard work of clearing out the closet anyway, why not add some temporary wallpaper while you're at it? Then, let pretty glass jars hold essentials, like soap, so you can tell immediately when supplies are running low.