How to Fit a Lot of Clothes in a Very Small Closet
Cabinets are a great idea, but they never seem big enough. And even if they are of a decent size, they can be difficult to organize. But as someone with a lot of clothes and little closet space, I’ve learned a thing or two about how to work with minimal space. Personal images I refer to below from this album of my own closet situation. Here’s what you need to know:
- Use ALL available space, but keep it organized.
- Keep unseasonal (winter / summer) clothing away from clothing.
- You are more likely to wear something if you see it.
- Keep one or two hooks empty so you can quickly remove them.
- Do not forget about the backs of deep shelves and high places.
- Try installing a second cabinet bar above the main one. This basically doubles your hanging space. Buy a stool (I prefer) or a fishing rod for access. I’ve often done it myself on the cheap – looking for lessons or visiting my local home improvement store.
- Matching hangers make everything look so pretty . I have these Joy Mangano and I LOVE them SO. I bought 200 packs or something when it was a special order. Worth it.
- Cascading hooks are pretty darn ingenious and work with just about any kind of hanger. Use two at a time !
- For skirts, you can get a tiered hanger . Mine is over 30 years old and I am still strong.
- I have yet to find the perfect single skirt hanger commercially available, but it should have spring clips and smooth rubber handles. Joy Mangano’s videos aren’t great – don’t waste your money.
- Fold up all knits so that there are no bumps on the hanger . This includes sweaters, most T-shirts, and some blouses.
- Deep shelves? Fold your clothes correctly . If you still have room behind folded clothes (for example, on very deep shelves), store your off-season sandals / sweaters there.
- If you are using a chest of drawers or other drawers, fold your clothes vertically instead of horizontally. (See Tip 3.) I do this for everything, including tights , socks , pajamas, and even underwear. By the way, folding your underwear saves space.
- For open shelving, make sure not stacking so high that they won’t fall over.
- Feel free to use additional shelves on existing shelves .
Shoes and boots
- Use the shoe organizer above the door – I like these more than the wardrobe versions because hanging space is so valuable. Ideally, look for shoes in which you can fit both shoes in the same slot. This is the one I have and I like it .
- Small cheap bookshelves are great for boots .
- Some people like to keep their original shoeboxes, but that violates the third tip.
- Stuff the bags with a cloth to keep them from losing their shape. If using the bag, leave the tissue as storage space .
- Sit them on a shelf instead of hanging them so the handles don’t stretch.
- Use book stands to keep them from lagging. I built mine .
- If you need to hang yourself, use an open coat hanger .
- For less used bags, make a box out of a long luggage compartment. Line them up in the box and slide them onto the shelf – great for deep shelves (tip five).
- I like to have a trash can / box / place for things that I often but not always carry in my purse, such as hand sanitizer or a different sized wallet.
- Hang the scarves on a towel rack – you can buy one for under $ 15 at your local home improvement store. I have two on the inside of the cabinet door , but they also used to hang above the boot bookcase (see above) on the wall.
- For belts , jewelry , sunglasses and basically anything else ever, buy screw hooks in bulk from a home improvement store, and don’t leave walls or closet space uncovered. They are also very handy in the kitchen. They work best if you drill a hole first.
- Pack small items into open boxes, cans, and cups from thrift stores.
- Items that you intend to use infrequently can be hidden in boxes . (Pictured from Ikea, they have travel tools, special occasion lingerie, and hats.)
Create more space
- Bought a wardrobe – that’s what I did .
- Are you comfortable? Build a closet in the corner !
- Just sort of at hand? Purchase a stud finder, drill, cabinet brackets , shelf and cabinet rod. Install the brackets , add a shelf on top, and insert the rod into place. Beware of how much your wardrobe weighs; you may need more than two of these parentheses. Note: I only installed a shelf once, underneath was a towel rack for scarves and underneath was a bookshelf for shoes.
- Purchase a freestanding stand . I have one in my pantry for my coat.
The bottom line is that with a little patience, spatial thinking, and a few home accessories, you can turn your tiny closet into a tiny closet that will hold a lot of things.
This story was originally published on 02/12/14 and updated on 10/21/19 to provide more complete and up-to-date information.