Starting your day frustrated every day because you can’t find anything in your closet is no way to live. Having a neat, tidy, well-organized closet can create a world of difference in your mental and emotional health.
You don’t need a walk-in closet or a closet the size of a tiny house to have one that is neat, tidy, organized and contains all the items you genuinely need. Sometimes, all you need is just some great closet organization ideas.
Organizing even the smallest spaces is actually possible and will free you from the clutter and chaos every time you open the closet door.
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Here is a list of 20 great closet storage ideas to help you conquer the chaos and maximize even the smallest of spaces to help you find things quickly and easily.
Figure out what doesn’t need to be stored in your closet
A bookshelf can be repurposed to make a great storage and display case for purses using this same idea.
Break up the space into more useable divisions
The traditional closet arrangement of a hanging bar with a single shelf over it (or even worse, no shelf at all) does not utilize the space to its best advantage. Consider customizing your space with Elfa shelves or the less expensive Rubbermaid shelving.
If you are really handy, you can custom create your own organizational system with a single sheet of plywood.
Trade items out seasonally
You generally won’t need a heavy winter coat in the summer or several pairs of shorts in the winter. One of the quickest and most convenient ways to turn a packed, cluttered closet into a neat, tidy and well- organized space is to take out all the clothing you are not currently using or wearing and store it in bins or under-bed storage units.
This also gives you an opportunity every few months to go through your clothing and decide what you really want to keep and what can be passed along.
Double Your Clothes Hangars
You can get the most out of your hanging bar space by doubling the number of hangars you can hang. One way to do that is with this ingenious DIY double clothes hanger idea. Be careful, though: this may not be a good idea for heavy or bulky items.
Be sure and keep the weight load on your hanging bar low or you risk pulling it down out of the wall. That is a mess that will take more than just a little organization to clean up!
Use a clothes hanger to organize belts and other accessories
Most people are familiar with the concept of looping belt hooks over the top of a hangar and then hanging the hangar. While this is a decent way to store belts, the head of the hangar can get very heavy, you can only store so many belts and you have to take all the belts off each time you want to use a belt that is resting on the bottom of the pile.
Instead, here is an ingenious idea for using a heavy wooden hanger to store all of your belts in a way that is neat, easy and makes it much more convenient to hang and retrieved individual belts.
Add an extra bar at the bottom to hang flip-flops
Most hanging bars in closets leave a great deal of space between the bottom of the clothes and your shoes or any shelves you might use for shoes. If you live in a warmer climate where you might wear flip-flops or sandals year round or just have a lot of flip-flops to store.
Here is a brilliant idea for hanging your flip flops from a hanging bar. Not only does it keep your flip-flops neat, tidy and in pairs, but also helps maximize your closet space to full advantage.
If your flip flops are light enough, you can simply purchase a tension rod that is used either for a shower curtain or regular curtains and install it below the bottom of where your clothes hang.
Use Shelves for Shoes
Installing shelving under your hanging clothes allows you to utilize all of the space beneath your hanging clothes. Shoe shelves allow you to stack multiple layers of shoes in the same amount of space. You can also use these great translucent stackable shoe drawers from The Container Store.
Use the door
If your closet door opens rather than slides or folds like an accordion, then the inside of your door also provides a wealth of storage options. You can create a hanging organizer like this one or hang some picture frame organizers like this one for storing accessories.
Hanging shoe bags are also great for organizing and storing all kinds of small items.
Get rid of unused items
Sometimes closets are just so overfilled with stuff that you can’t organize them properly. One great tip for getting rid of unused items is to start the year with all of your hangars turned backwards.
When you use an item, turn the hangar around. At the end of the year take all the items from hangars that you haven’t turned around and donate them to charity.
Another great idea is to pack up unused items in boxes and store them somewhere for a few months to a year. If you haven’t needed to get into the boxes for a year, take the unopened boxes to a donation site.
Limit the items in your closet to what is actually wearable
Many people have items in their closet that they aren’t currently wearing because they are in need of repair. Take everything out of your closet that you can’t or won’t currently wear and either get them taken care of or store them elsewhere.
Place like with like or organize by outfit
If you like to mix and match pieces, then organize your closet by placing all your similar items together, such as jackets with jackets and blouses with blouses. Conversely, if you are the kind of person that has specific outfits you always wear together, then place those outfits together on one hangar.
That way, you only have to pull out one hangar to have an entire outfit and it will also cut down on the space you need on your hanging bar for hangars.
Hang long dresses and other longer items on hooks
If you have only a few long items, such as long dresses or coats, instead of giving up the space under your hanging bar, opt to hang long items on hooks instead. This can be a great use of the inside of your door if you have a closet door that opens rather than slides or folds like an accordion.
You can also use over-the-door hooks to hang one or two longer items on the back of your bedroom door.
Use the right hangars
Hangars come in all shapes and sized these days and there is generally a specific type of hangar for each type of apparel. For slippery garments there are velvet lined hangars and for items with delicate spaghetti straps there are padded hangars.
For heavier and more bulky items, use wooden hangars or hangars made from thick molded plastic. There is nothing more annoying than opening your closet to find a number of items on the floor, or knocking one item off a hangar every time you remove another item near it.
You can save yourself a lot of frustration and hassle by just getting the right types of hangars for your clothing.
Add a row of drawers
There are many ways to put drawers in your closet. From this DIY laundry basket dresser to these wire mesh Elfa drawers, drawers are a great way to organize small items to maximize the space in your small closet.
Use shower rings
Shower rings are a great way to hang all kinds of items and they are lighter and take up less space than hangars. Hang shorts by their belt loops, scarves, hats, belts and even purses from shower rings rather than hangars.
If you have multiple people using a closet, you can help them keep things tidy and organized by using labels. Label specific hangars for specific clothes, shelves for where specific pairs of shoes go and any boxes as to their contents.
Even drawers can be labeled and organizers inside the drawers can be labeled for specific items.
Create sliding storage
Install sliding racks like these on the end walls of your closet. This allows you to slide the racks out to select accessories and then slide them back in when you are finished.
Use the high spaces
If your closet has a very tall ceiling, be sure and use the space all the way up. Using storage baskets with handles like these will help you remove things quickly and easily from high shelves.
For added convenience invest in a small, collapsible step-stool like this one and keep it tucked away out of sight in a corner of your closet.
Use hanging shoe organizers for bulky items
Hanging shoe organizers are a great way to store and organize a number of things other than shoes. Roll up sweaters or even jeans and stash them in a shoe organizer so you can find them quickly and conveniently and keep them from taking up a lot of valuable hanging or drawer space.
Stacking clothes on a high shelf is a quick and convenient way to organize, but when piles become too high they can start to topple and slippery fabrics will cause items on top of them to slip and slide.
Using shelf dividers like these will help you keep your shelves and all the items on them neat, tidy and organized.
Create Space in Your Closet Today
Sometimes, good organization is simply a matter of figuring out what you really need and what you don’t and getting rid of what you don’t. “Getting rid” of something doesn’t always mean for good, either.
Sometimes it just means finding a different place for certain things until those items become the things you need most right now. Then you can stash away out of sight the things you don’t need right now for the things that you do.
You can make the most of your small closet space by only filling it with the things you need right now and change those things out as your needs change.