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Over the years, I have lived in many old homes. That means that I have a lot of experience with tiny closets! I have learned a few tricks for efficient small closet organization. Some I am using in my current closet, and others I used before. I want to help you save time and energy by sharing these tips today!
1. Consider a Capsule Wardrobe(Optional)
I don’t want to scare you off by mentioning minimalism. You were probably looking for a folding method to make five shirts take the space of one, but hear me out.
If you are struggling with space, then that is my first tip: downsize. Creating a capsule wardrobe can save you time, money, and help keep your closet organized. I would never have considered it before I downsized my kids’ clothes and felt all of the benefits, but nw I am sold.o
I don’t expect you to purge to a specific number, but start somewhere. I want you to love and wear everything in your closet. Then feel the difference it makes! If you don’t use it, lose it.
Getting my closet to where it is now took me three rounds of purging, but I have found that the more I get rid of, the easier getting rid of stuff becomes. There is a relief to only owning what I actually use. Now, I have a closet full of things that I love and wear, and I can find everything easily.
Related: How to Overcome Overwhelm When Decluttering: My Mindset Secrets
2. Maximize Your Existing Space
Once you have curated a wardrobe that you like, it’s time to organize! When it comes to organizing small spaces, a great thing to do is to utilize as much space as possible! Leave no corner untouched, and give every item a home regardless of its size.
Also, I have a new obsession with labels. We moved recently, and with so much running through my head these days, I love having a label tell me where to look. That way I don’t need to pull out every drawer until I remember where I put my stuff. Labels are so helpful!
These are perfect for a little girl’s room or a teenager’s closet. Or for crazy women like me that can’t seem to remember which bin the socks are in. 😉 Just print them on cardstock and use velcro dots to keep them in place, or use a peelable shipping label on drawers. Grab these from the Freebie Library! (Need the password?)
Here are a few simple ideas to gain “more” space:
- Raise your current rod to create more vertical space.
- Add tension rods or shelves in dead spaces.
- Double your hanging space with one of these rod extenders.
- Install hooks on the door, behind your clothes, on the wall next to the closet, you name it!
- Try using S-hooks and a rod to hang shoes and accessories from.
- Consider installing shelves above or below your clothes
- Place a dresser underneath your hanging clothes to make space for folded items, shoes, and accessories.
- Closet shelf dividers will keep your folded clothes neatly stacked.
- These hanging shelf baskets are perfect to hold jewelry and belts.
- Use these dividers on a shelf to store small purses and clutches.
3. Reconsider Installing A Closet System(Right Now)
If you can swing it, installing a closet storage system is ideal because it will help you avoid awkward design flaws, but it can be pricey.
I recommend really considering the way that you function before you make any big purchases. Sometimes our needs are different than we think! Get things functional with cheap options like dollar store baskets or bins from Amazon, use the system for a while, then make it pretty. Often keeping a gorgeous space is more about forming healthy habits than buying fancy things.
Before making any purchase decisions(even at the dollar store), consider what kind of items you need to store. How many shirts will you hang? How many shoes do you have? Adjust your system to match these quantities.
Make sure to keep items that you use often in an easy to access place. Use the really high and really low spaces for items that aren’t needed on a daily basis. That way your system doesn’t become a hassle. Making everything as convenient as possible is the key to keeping up with a new organizational system!
4. Organize With Baskets & Bins
Bins and baskets are a great way to contain anything you need to. They are affordable, come in many sizes, and can be tucked into pretty much any space.
I personally love using bins on shelves because they are so easy to pull down and peek into. I definitely prefer them to drawers! In fact, I would choose shelves over a dresser at this point, especially
Shelves are relatively affordable to install. Everything can be in its place, and out of sight, yet easy to access.
For example, my extra shoes are nicely placed in a bin that is located next to my socks and underwear, as you can see. There is no way that I would be able to store all of that with only a shelf, and drawers wouldn’t be accessible there.
I also love bins because I get out of folding! I just toss my socks and underwear into their bin when I do laundry. It is incredibly simple to get what I need, especially with my labels reminding me of what is where. Love them!
I also try to use bigger baskets where I can. That wicker hamper holds my hoodies and my robe. They are bulky. They take up a lot of space on hangers, in drawers, and I don’t really want them in plain sight on hooks.
Using this wicker hamper is super functional because I wear them frequently. This solution is using space that would be dead or dysfunctional otherwise because my closet door doesn’t move any further. Plus, you know, no folding.
5. Choose Your Hangers Wisely
Using the right hangers for the job is a cheap and easy way to make everything look neater and more cohesive.
For years I used wonky metal hangers. When I switched I realized how nice it is to have nice hangers. Since I switched, I don’t have hangers getting stuck under each other or have to perform hanger surgery because one is bent out of shape and stuck in another. Although I am an advocate for saving money where you can, sometimes splurging on the little things are worth it.
Right now, I just have some black plastic ones (like these) from Walmart. At some point, I plan to splurge and get these from Amazon. They save space because they are thin and look so chic!
If you prefer hanging to folding, there are so many different types of hanging storage to put to use in your closet. Here are a few:
- Single Trouser Hangers. Hang your pants without having to clip them!
- S Pants Hangers. Maximize your vertical space by hanging 5 pairs on one hanger.
- This affordable closet system would be a great way to add shelf space, bins, and more hanging space after raising your curtain rod.
- Do you have six inches to spare on your curtain rod? Fit ten pairs of shoes there with this hanging shoe organizer!
- Store your jewelry with this sleek organizer.
- Keep your belts in order with these hanging hooks!
- Even though this hanger is meant for belts, I instantly imagined storing my tank tops and camisoles on it!
6. Come Up With Creative Solutions
I want to encourage you to come up with creative solutions for items that are giving you trouble. Another good example of how I do things differently is my camisole storage.
I have been using shower curtain loops to hang my tank tops for a few years now and I wouldn’t go back! It frees up space behind the rod, and all of the tank tops can be pushed together to take only a few inches. If I were to hang my tank tops on hangers, it would take up half the closet!
You have to tug a bit to get the loops around the rod in the closet (which you only have to do one time), but once they are on it is like magic.
I like to keep the tank tops separated by hue so that it just takes a moment to find what I want. Not to mention how much nicer it looks.
You can see my hat peeking through my clothes. Very functional!
Your creative solution might mean you remove an item from your closet completely or use things in a different way than they were intended to be used. Here are a few simple ideas:
- Use a shadow box to store your jewelry and attach a mirror, art, or photo to the front. Now you no longer need to hide it in the closet!
- Create a hat display on your wall to free up closet space. This would also work for jewelry if you prefer.
- Use your luggage to store out of season clothes, killing two birds with one stone.
- Use the space under your bed in order to store anything from your closet really. I love Sterilite’s plastic rolling bins, and have also eyeballed these divided bins for shoes.
The basic gist? If you are struggling to fit it all in, find a way to eliminate the need to fit it all in.
7. Organize With A Seasonal Swap
If you are still strugging to keep everything in its
My in-season clothes and accessories are kept in a drawer at the bottom of my closet, but bins would work great, too.
My out of season items are packed away into a small tote that I keep in my basement with my kiddos extra clothes.
When the time comes, I switch the contents out. This makes it simple to always have what I need
My Organized Closet
I hope that you have been inspired by my itty-bitty side of the closet. Organizing small spaces is a challenge, but it is totally do-able with some thought and organization skills! What are your biggest struggles when organizing your small closet? Did I miss anything? Tell me in the comments!