In a recent survey, lack of adequate closet space was one of the top complaints among homeowners. Don’t let a small closet space cramp your style. From downtown city lofts to suburban tiny homes, these six DIY tips and storage ideas will help you create a more efficient closet space and turn even the smallest wardrobe into an organized, tidy oasis.
6 Ways to Maximize Your Closet’s Storage Space
1. Kickstart Your Closet Storage Upgrade With a Big Purge
You don’t have to go full Marie Kondo, but purging unwanted items, rarely used clothes, and clutter will immediately help you prioritize what needs to be stored in your closet and what is simply taking up unnecessary space:
- Start with the big stuff: Whether it’s suitcases or housecleaning supplies, reconsider if these bulky items need to be in your closet or if they’re better stored in the attic, the pantry, etc.
- Throw out clothes you never wear: From fashion styles you no longer like to items that no longer fit, local vintage stores, thrift shops, or charities will be happy to take them off your hands.
- Declutter: Do you really need that empty shoe box or all those spare hangers?
- Stay seasonal: You don’t have to keep your hefty winter coats in your closet all year long. Pack away seasonal items so your closet only features what you need for the current weather.
2. Consider Your Needs and Research Smart, Savvy Storage Solutions
The default setup in your small closet space may not actually fit your lifestyle and needs. For example, perhaps you’re someone who needs more space for bulky coats and long dresses instead of numerous small items on shelves. Re-imagine what your closet could look like:
- Review the types of items you need to store after your big purge (e.g., how many hanging items? How many things that need to be in drawers or boxes?)
- Measure your closet’s total dimensions
- Browse your local home goods store or online retailer for storage solutions you can add that maximize every inch of your closet while better aligning with the items you need to store
3. Streamline and Shrink
You’ll be surprised how much space is taken up by your actual so-called storage “solutions”:
- Switch to thinner hangers, or consider stacking hangers that let you hang several pairs of pants or scarves on a single hanger hook
- Think thinner boxes instead of big, bulky plastic bins or drawers
- Avoid using precious shelf space and instead try spice racks, stacking wire bins, or hanging organizers for small items, accessories, and jewelry
4. Go Vertical and Use Wasted Space
Go beyond existing shelves and racks and make use of every square inch:
- Adding corner shelves or a corner closet rod is a great way to make use of this oft-ignored space
- Set up hooks or hanging fabric/plastic organizing pouches on the back of the closet door — these are great for storing folded sweaters
- Consider multiple horizontal rods in your closet — many closets have just one rod, yet many clothing items don’t need the full hanging space — and don’t forget to utilize the very top shelves of your wardrobe for necessary items that you don’t use every day
5. Don’t Neglect the Floor Space
From stackable shoe racks and cubbies to rolling carts, the floor of your closet can easily double or triple in storage capacity instead of reserving it just for shoes or similar accessories.
6. Don’t Forget Aesthetics
Dark, cramped closets are harder to navigate and find the things you need. Besides making your closet more visually appealing, maintaining a bright and airy closet can make it feel more spacious and help you use the space more effectively. Consider:
- Adding lighting so you aren’t neglecting the boxes or shelves that you can’t quite see
- Hanging a mirror or two to visually expand the space
- Repaint shelves and walls with a brighter, more vibrant color (light colors make small spaces feel bigger)
Finally, don’t forget to maintain the space. Make decluttering and reorganizing a regular habit so you’re always purging unwanted items and keeping things tidy. It’s far easier to keep your closet space organized than it is to do a once- or twice-annual purge and clean.