5 Steps to Maximizing your Small Closet Storage Space

Everyone (well, at least most woman) dreams of having a giant closet where all their items can be placed on display, but when you are house or apartment shopping, what do you find? A small space that you can barely fit your shoes in, let alone all your clothes! Since this is your reality, we are going to share some tips on how to make small closet storage space manageable.

1. The first thing you need to do is assess your closet space and your belongings.  Don’t get caught up in the limitations of the closet as it exists.  Most closets come with one bar placed about 2/3 the way up the closet with a shelf above it. Don’t be afraid to blow this out.  If you are renting, ask for permission from your landlord first.  Usually they will be happy to approve  renovations that add storage space. Take a good look at your closet and find unused space.  I define unused space as any wall in the closet that I can see! If you can see it, you’re not using it.  Every bit of space can be used to store something, remember that as you begin to plan your storage space.

2. Next, look for other open storage space in your house. Do you have a storage closet on the patio or extra garage space? If you do, store your off-season clothes in these areas using plastic containers or a protected closet rack.  Don’t have extra storage space? Don’t worry, another great way to store seasonal clothes is to use space saving bags.  You can store these under the bed or even in your suitcases!

small closet storage
Seasonal Clothes Storage ideas. Keep them out of closet!

3. Now that you’ve decided how to store your seasonal items, it’s time to decide how to store the rest of your belongings in your closet. Think about all your items in compartments such as belts, shoes, hung clothes, folded clothes, scarfs, purses and accessories.  In a previous post, there are some great shoe storage solution ideas that can help you organize your shoes. Some of these solutions can happen outside of the closet! Here are some more creative storage solutions to consider when planning out your closet:

  • Modify a wooden hanger to hold your belts (or buy a belt hanger). This one allows you to keep it consistent with your other closet hangers. Learn How.
  • Use shoe organizers to hold leggings, stocking or anything else you need space for. (Tip from Better Homes and Garden)
  • Utilize shower curtain hangers to hold your jewelry on a towel rod, or use them to hang your scarves on a hanger!
  • Change the way your fold your clothes to use less space. Learn How.
small closet storage
Closet Storage Solution ideas.

4. Add Shelving and/or clothing racks.  If you are reading this post, you need them!

  • Hung items: The best way to plan for clothing racks is to determine how many long items  you have (Dresses, long skirts and winter coats), and how many shorter items you have (pant, shirts, skirts, etc…).  Then measure the longest of each of these groups to determine the  minimum spacing required between racks.  If you plan on putting shelving above the lower racks, then allow space for items to be placed on the shelves without interfering with the hung clothes above.
  • Folded Items: First consider whether you have room for a dresser or cabinets in the closet. If not, you will probably need to add some shelving. When spacing the shelving, think about how many items you can reasonably stack on top of each other without them toppling over. If you plan on stacking too many items high on one shelf, you are opening yourself up for a messy closet after the first time you need the item on the bottom!

Below are a few closet arrangements that may work for you: (I threw in a good one for kids closets too!)

small closet storage
Maximize the functionality of your closet by customizing it to fit your needs!

5. Now that you have a plan and the infrastructure in place for a well organized closet, all you have left to do is put your stuff in it.  This is the fun and easy part!

I know I have thrown a lot of information at you in this post, but I wanted to share as many tips as I could find to help you on your journey to an organized closet. To help you work through some of these ideas, I have pinned all the sources for this information to a Storage and Organization board on Pinterest.

Was this post helpful? Do you have any other great closet storage solutions to share? Tell us in the comments below!