How to Organize (and Maximize) Your Closet Space Like a Pro

in Small Space Ideas on by
woman easily pulls clothes out of her organized closet.

Spring is in full bloom, which means it’s officially time to get organized. And since you’re most likely packing up those bulky sweaters and unpacking those Bermuda shorts right about now, there’s really no better place to start than the closets. But what’s the best way to get yours in tip-top order?

The answer lies in maximizing what space you have — whether you have the luxury of a large, spacious closet (lucky!), or, like most of us apartment dwellers, are reduced to a single small one (I have two myself, but one is basically useless, as it’s literally the size of a small phone booth). But fret not. The tips below can help you start maxing out whatever space you do happen to have available. So get to organizing, and reap the rewards of your fun, functional new closet space!

Seasonal Savvy

The first step on your closet-organizing journey is to plan. This is often based on seasonality, as most of us tend to pack away our heavier clothes when the weather starts warming up. For those of you lucky enough to live in areas where the temperature holds steady for most of the year: not to worry! These tips can also help you become better organized.

The keys to having an organized closet are accessibility and storage. Naturally, you want your closet to offer easy access to the clothes you wear on the regular while still having room to pack away those lesser-used (or seasonally-inappropriate) items.

The Plan

Take the time to really ask yourself what clothes need to be hung up. Can some items be folded and stored more effectively somewhere else? What’s the best way to make your clothes more accessible? Questions like these will get the wheels turning and allow you to begin planning your dream closet layout.

Storage Solutions

Young woman stores her big winter coats in plastic containers to clear some valuable closet space for summer.

Now that you have a general idea of how you want to lay out your closet, it’s time to get started! Remember, you can always make changes later if something’s not quite to your liking, so don’t stress. You just don’t want to go in without a plan and end up having to play a life-sized game of Tetris to make everything fit. We can’t stress the importance of storage enough in this step, as the way you store items in your closet can make or break your organizational success.

First, decide how you want to store those winter items like sweaters, coats, and scarves. These are items you know you won’t need in the next few months. In more temperate regions, this may mean sweaters, pants, or long-sleeved shirts, and that’s okay, too! Just make sure your items are freshly laundered and folded up as neatly as possible.

Now it’s time to get packing. Depending on the size of your closet, you may need a variety of storage containers to get everything packed. These handy containers are our fave, as they come in a variety of sizes, are see-through and stackable, and have well-fitting lids to keep out dust and other contaminants. Be sure to add a lavender sachet or other moth deterrent to each one, though, as no one wants little moth holes in their finest threads.

Coats are particularly bulky and can take up a lot of space. If you’re looking to streamline the coat-storing process, invest in garment bags, as they tend to fit a lot without taking up much room.

Hanging Out

Now that your non-essentials are packed and ready to go, it’s time to decide what you want to hang up. For those of you who don’t have a place to hang clothes, be sure to check out other handy storage options here and here.

There a lots of ways to hang your clothes more effectively to maximize your closet space. Below are just some examples of the handiest hanging products out there, and how to use them most effectively.

  • If you have a lot of shirts that you want to stay crisp and wrinkle-free without hogging that valuable closet real estate, then this is the product for you. Store multiple shirts on this adjustable hanger that comes in a variety of styles and colors. Cute and functional!
  • For more delicate or fancy items like evening wear or dresses, you may want a padded or non-slip hanger. These velvet non-slip hangers are both chic and functional. For more casual dresses, pants, or skirts, multi-tiered hangers are ideal for saving space.
  • Belts, scarves, and ties, oh my! How to keep them corralled and neatly organized? Choose a stylish solution made for storing your fave accessories all in one place.

Trim the Fat

Young woman works furiously to get the junk out of her closet.

Closets aren’t just about storing your clothes. Usually they also consist of an untidy mish-mash of lonely and forgotten things. That feather boa from New Year’s Eve 2016? Chances are it’s shoved in there somewhere!

But before you go all Marie Kondo and start throwing things in the bin, take a deep breath and ask yourself if you really need each object, or if it’s something you just kind of want. Can it reasonably be stored anywhere else other than the closet? This part of the process can be painful and require a disinterested third party to help you make more objective decisions about what to toss. But cheer up! Just think about how good your closet will feel without all that clutter.

Finishing Touches

Now that the hard part is (mostly) over, it’s time to start filling that closet. Below are just a few tips about finishing touches and anything else we may have missed.

Shelving

We haven’t talked much about shelving here, but there are some clever ways you can utilize available shelf space in your closet. If you have the room, wall-mounted shelves are a great way to store items like craft supplies, linens, or towels. This handy wall-mounted shelf is ideal for closets that have limited hanger space.

Shoes

You may not have the space to store shoes in your closet, but if you do (again, lucky!), you’ll be glad you chose these space savers. An over-the-door hanger is an ideal solution to save even more space, and this organizer keeps your kicks neat and ready to go.

Holiday Decorations

Holiday decorations are a wild card that those of us without a basement or attic unfortunately have to keep in our closets. The trick here is to keep everything as organized as possible (aka not jammed willy-nilly in a large shopping bag — guilty!). Luckily, there are many options available to store your holiday gear, including the handy clear storage containers mentioned above. If you’re super-duper organized, you may even prefer something more like this.

Whatever the size of your closet, it could probably benefit from a little TLC in the form of a good clean-out. To make the most of any closet, always be sure to plan, organize, and maximize its storage potential. This hold true for all closets, from the teeny tiniest to large and in charge and everything in between. Get started today to create the closet you’ve always dreamed of!

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