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How to Maximize Small Closet Space in 10 Easy Steps

Are you wondering how to organize your tiny closet?

If so, then you came to the right place. The following small closet organizing guide will take you through the do’s and don’ts of closet organization to make sure you maximize your space, whether you have a lot of clothes or use it as storage. Along the way, we will explore several practical organizing solutions to help you reclaim your closet from the wrath of clutter.

What are you waiting for? Keep reading to transform your small closet from an unorganized mess to a space you can be proud of!

10 Tricks to Organize Your Small Closet and Maximize Space

Maximizing your small closet doesn’t have to break your wallet or your back. Consider following the 10 steps listed below to give your closet a makeover and send clutter packing.

1. Clean Your Closet and Purge Unwanted Items

We have all been there. Life gets hectic, you’re putting in extra hours at work and trying to carve out even the slightest bit of “me time”. The last thing you want to think about during those precious moments of relaxation and serenity is your messy closet. So, what do you do?

Never open your closet door with the light on, so that you don’t have to witness the horrors that lay inside? No, how about just biting the bullet and doing the work to reclaim your space? Sure, organizing your closet will require a bit of time and effort up front, but after you finish, your organized closet will make you happier, more relaxed and may even save you time getting ready in the morning.

The first step to organizing a small closet is to clean out the closet, freshen up the space and then get rid of unwanted items that either no longer fit or no longer spark joy. The best way to go about separating unwanted items is to ask yourself, “how often do I wear this?”

If your answer is “not ever” or “only once a year” it is probably time to let the article of clothing or pair of shoes go. If you are looking to get started on your closet transformation in a few days or weeks (or later if you are still putting it off, we're on to you), then you can try separating all the clothes you wear during that period. This strategy will allow you to see what exactly you wore over the course of the last two weeks and what never left your shelves.

2. Organize Your Closet for the Current Season & Rotate Appropriately

One of the best ways to maximize space in a small closet is to organize your closet seasonally. The distinctions between your spring and summer wardrobes may not be that apparent depending on your style and locale. However, there are probably significant differences between what you wear during spring and summer and fall and winter.  

If this is the case, organizing your closet by season is quite easy. Simply separate your spring/summer clothes from your fall/winter clothes. Many people store their winter clothes somewhere else to get them out of the way. You can even create a special space in your closet for items that you utilize during both halves of the year.

While you have your closet empty, it is also a good idea to dust, disinfect and wipe down any shelves or hanging rods. This will not only give your closet a clean feel but also a pleasant smell.

3. Use a Measuring Tape to Record the Dimensions of Your Closet

Once you have your closet cleaned out and its contents organized seasonally, you will want to measure and record the dimensions of each shelf and open area. These dimensions will be helpful during later steps where you will be looking to organize folded clothes, purchase containers, additional hanging rods and other closet organization supplies.

If you really want to give your closet a pop of color or special touch, consider purchasing shelf liners to cut and lay down throughout your closet. These liners will also make cleaning and dusting your closet significantly easier.

4. Purchase Baskets & Containers to Easily Store Various Items

Now that you have your closet empty, your clothes organized and your measurements, its time to talk about baskets and containers. There are several different types of closet organizing baskets and containers, but most will do just fine. Honestly, some sources will say it's better to use clear containers or baskets of a certain material, but ultimately it's your closet; maybe you want to go with a particular color scheme or texture. It really doesn’t matter as long as you enjoy what you purchase and it gets the job done.

Consider purchasing different sized baskets to store items on the various shelves in your closet. Make sure you consult your closet measurements so you know how many of a particular basket you can fit on each shelf. You don’t want to plan for having three different baskets for hats, socks and underwear only to get home and realize the shelf can only fit two baskets.

Pro Tip: Check out Ikea's online store for baskets and other containers while still at home. This will better allow you to visualize exactly how the various storage containers will look when working to organize a small closet.

5. Purchase and Install an Additional Hanging Rod

Chances are your closet already has at least one hanging rod currently installed within it. However, you can double your hanging power and maximize your small closet by purchasing a second one. This will not only give you more space to hang your clothes, but it will also free up space among your shelves where you may have previously stored clothes you didn’t have room to hang.

6. Take Advantage of Space Below Your Clothes

If you do decide to keep the single hanging rod, consider adding a small dresser or shelving unit below the clothes hanger and your shirts to create more space for shoes and additional baskets. This space can also be used to store small accessories that otherwise might be forgotten among your closet organization ideas. Even if you don’t have a lot of space below your hanging rods, you can add a small shoe rack or shelf close to the floor to provide more space.

7. Make Room in Your Small Closet by Utilizing Vertical Space

While we have already talked about maximizing vertical space a little with the addition of an extra closet rod, there are also other ways to carry out this closet organizing strategy. Most effective closet systems will either use closet dividers or add-on accessories, such as a hanging shoe caddy, to take advantage of vertical space. Storing your suitcase and other luggage at the top of your closet (and storing off season clothes inside) is a great way to maximize vertical space in a small closet.

Adding this strategy to your organizing repertoire, will not only allow you to free up additional space on shelves below your clothes, but it will also transform piles of hats, scarves or shoes into organized groupings.

8. Purchase Matching Hangers

Purchasing matching hangers might seem like a purely aesthetic decision but doing so can actually increase the overall space in your closet. This is mostly because matching hangers will align better and allow your clothes to hang evenly. Clothes that are not hung evenly may take up more space and will also not appear as pleasing to the eye.

9. Add a Hanging Organizer or Mirror to Maximize Door Space

The back of a closet door is often underutilized. Why is this case? People simply don’t think it can be helpful. However, if you are asking how to organize a small closet, you should be taking advantage of every inch of space. Sliding doors are great for space utilization, but can't hold anything on the inside.

Adding a hanging mirror or over-the-door organizer is a great way to utilize your closet door smartly and efficiently, even if you are dealing with a tiny closet.

10. Take a Step Back & Enjoy Your Hard Work

Remember when you didn’t even want to look at your messy closet? How do you feel now?

Relieved? Elated? Overjoyed? No matter how you are feeling, you deserve to take a moment to enjoy your hard work. Snap a pic, share your newly organized closet with your closest friends and show them this guide so they conquer their monstrous closets as well.

Pro Tip: Instagram, Pinterest and other social platforms are not only great for sharing your hard work but also for gaining inspiration. It never hurts to take a minute to see what other creative solutions individuals have found when asking how to organize a small closet.

FAQs: How to Organize a Small Closet

Q: How do I make room in a small closet?

A: There are several ways to make room in a small closet. You can start by cleaning and decluttering your closet. Next, take inventory of your clothes, accessories and shoes and then divide the items into two categories: keep and donate. After taking stock of your clothes, consider organizing your closet seasonally and storing additional items in another area where you have more space. Finally, purchase additional hangers, baskets, hanging rods and door organizers to take advantage of every inch of space in your closet.

Next Steps, Closet Pro

Now that you are a professional closet organizer and you are ready to rival Marie Kondo, you may be wondering what to do with all the seasonal clothes and other items you removed from your closet. Well, store them with us, silly.

Store Space is not only your one-stop shop for all your storage needs, but we are also committed to providing all our customers with professional storage at an affordable price.

Use our storage location finder to find the Store Space Storage Facility nearest to you and your newly organized closet masterpiece.

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Rent Online Right Now. Skip the Counter & Go Straight to Your Space.


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