Organization Ideas for Small Closets

Organization Ideas for Small Closets

Sometimes organizing a small closet overrun with clothes, toys, or other items can feel like a heroic feat. From baskets and closet systems to ingenious hanger ideas, you can start tackling your chaotic closet with a few of these simple tricks. If you follow the organization system consistently, your small closet can stay happy and clutter-free.
Image Provided by Caroline Rector.

10 Tips for Small Closet Storage & Organization

1

Create a "Keep, Donate, or Toss" Pile

Closet Editing 101 Flow Diagram

Before you organize your small closet, it’s wise to edit your wardrobe. Start by sorting everything in your closet into three boxes: items you’ll keep, those for donations, and a third for the trash. This idea keeps you on task and decisive when clearing out the closet’s contents. If you wear a piece of clothing often and it fits well, keep it. If it doesn’t fit or you haven’t used it in the last year, donate it. And finally, if it hasn’t seen the light of day in over a year and has considerable damage, it’s time to say goodbye.

2

Store Anything Out of Season

Store Anything Out of Season

If you don’t wear sweaters in the summer, put them away for the season. Swapping out seasonal wardrobes keeps your closet fresh and makes you more mindful of what you want to keep, donate, or toss. With every seasonal swap of your wardrobe, you’ll likely find pieces that you used to love but aren’t your style anymore. Keep any out-of-season clothes you love in vacuum storage bags or in drawers under your bed. Your cozy sweaters, coats, and other pieces will stay safe and easily accessible without cluttering your closet.

3

Invest in Specialized Hangers

Invest in Specialized Hangers

Keep your clothes from wrinkling or falling into the depths of your closet by investing in quality, specialized hangers. Look for grippy velvet hangers that keep your items up and wrinkle-free. If you have a large belt, scarf, or tie collection, look for hangers with multiple branches to hold your entire stash. You can find hangers for almost any type of clothing and some that work for multiple pieces.  For example, pant hangers are perfect for holding tall winter boots together to keep them clean and off the ground.

4

Try Storage Boxes

Use storage boxes in your closet
Image Provided by: Shira Gill Home and Vivian Johnson Photography.

Just like clothes hangers, portable organizers come in different shapes and sizes to fit your needs. Bins and hanging organizers are great for toys, baby clothes, craft supplies, or any other item you want to keep but you may not need every day. Stackable organizers can save even more room. No matter what you keep in your small closet, using an organizer, cubby, or bin for miscellaneous items will keep it tidy.

5

Hang Tension Rods

Hang Tension Rods

Once you run out of room on the first clothing rod in your small closet, you might have to resort to piling items on the floor or in boxes. Instead, simply add another layer of clothing to your closet with an extra tension rod. Shower rods or a thick dowel rods are durable and take minimal installation. Whichever you choose, be sure to stagger the position of the new rod to avoid interfering with your existing setup.

6

Use Every Surface

Use Every Surface

If you’re stuck with a small closet, you know how quickly racks, drawers, and floors fill up. An organized small closet doesn’t just use the tension rod and shelves, it uses every surface available. One of the best strategies for any small space is to use any available space on walls, doors, and even ceilings. Try hanging items on the inside or outside of the closet door, above shelves, or on the walls inside the closet. The more storage options you have, the more items you can fit in your closet.

7

Organize Like a Clothing Store

Organize Like a Clothing Store
Image Provided by Caroline Rector.

Ever wonder how boutiques fit all their inventory in such small stores? Thinking of your closet as a small boutique can help you stay organized and keep your clothes looking great. Start by pairing related items together or even organizing them by color for quick outfit assembly. If you have space on the closet floor or the back of the door, use a shoe rack to keep your shoe collection clean and organized. You can also fold clothes with the same techniques that retail stores use to maximize accessibility and visibility.

8

Add Extra Hooks

Add Extra Hooks

If you don’t have enough room in your closet for additional rails, drawers, or other storage ideas, consider using wall hooks in the back of your closet. You can easily hang winter coats, sweaters, and more to make room for items you need all year-round.  Stick-on hooks apply instantly and don’t damage your walls, so they’re great for renters or dorm residents. You can also install hooks outside or near the closet to free up more space inside.

9

Install a Small Closet System

Install a Small Closet System

One of the fastest ways to improve organization in any closet is with a small closet system. Each system is built around a frame or central shelf that makes organization incredibly easy. Although systems vary by material, shelving layout, and size, they’re a great idea for saving yourself a DIY headache over installing anything in your closet. Look for a small closet system with adjustable parts to ensure it fits in your own space. Small closet systems are so easy, it only feels like cheating.

10

Think Outside the Closet

Use Garment Racks

If you have a small closet, you know the struggle of squeezing winter coats, work essentials, and other garments anywhere you can. By the time you need them, they’re cramped, wrinkled, and nearly ruined. Instead of stuffing your clothes in the corner, extend your closet with a garment rack. Garment racks are essentially extensions of your closet and are affordable as well as easy to move and style. You can find models with lower shelves and extendable rails for items like scarves or bags. Give your favorite pieces room to breathe by designating their own special rack away from your cramped closet.