In this article you will learn how to organize a small closet using a few organizing products. You will also learn how to increase the storage capacity of a small and narrow closet and make every essential accessible by just using a few organizing products and a few simple storage tricks. I will share with you the organizing process that I used and the things that I have discovered during the process of transforming my closet into a functional one.
My closet is very narrow and deep and instead of having a long hanging rod just like a typical closet, I have two rows of short hanging rods, one in front and then another in the back. By just looking at the picture, you will immediately see that all the clothes hanging behind the first hanging rods are not visible and definitely not accessible.
For me to access clothes in the back, I need to take out a several of the clothes in front which is not a very functional design. As you can guess, clothes that you do not see lead to not wearing them and can even cause you to forgot that you have them. Honestly, this did not bother me for a while because I have a spare closet in the other bedroom where I can store some of the clothes and we also have a dresser in our bedroom that I use to store my everyday items.
Aside from that, I was busy with other stuff around the house and also busy writing articles for my blog. However, every time I opened my closet, it always reminded me of the work that I need to do to transform my closet into a better more functional space. Finally, I was able to get enough motivation to start the long overdue closet makeover.
Below is the step by step process that I have used in order to gain a valuable amount of storage space. I believe this process is one you can easily follow for yourself.
7 Easy Steps To Organize Your Small Closet Using A Few Organizing Products
1. Get Your Closet’s Dimension
In any makeover project whether small or big, you will need to buy something to help you achieve the transformation that you would like to have. In this case, a simple closet makeover will require you to use some organizing products to help you to organize your small closet. Before buying any organizing products, it is necessary for you to know first the closet dimensions (length X width X height) and the opening width of your closet door. The dimensions of your closet will guide you on what size and the types of products that you need to purchase. So, before you even think of what organizing products to buy, know first your closet’s dimensions.
2. Organize Based On Your Storage Needs
To determine your storage needs is to define your storage problems. As in my case, my storage problems were lack of accessibility, lack of visibility and lack of storage space for my everyday essentials. Therefore my storage needs were to improve accessibility, visibility and have enough storage space for everyday essentials. Once you find out what are your storage needs, you are now ready to do the fun part which is buying organizing products!
3. Look For Organizing Products That Will Provide Your Storage Needs
Now that you already have your closet’s dimensions and you already determine your storage needs, it’s time for you to look for organizing products that will help you to meet your storage needs. Organizing products that offer accessibility, visibility and storage space are usually organizing products with wheels, with handles, with drawers, and products that utilize vertical space such as stackable bins and hanging bags. By doing this, you’re already narrowing down your options which makes shopping much easier because you are now focusing on looking for a specific design. This will save you time and money. See Organizing 101: How To Put Things In Order The Japanese Way, for more storage organization products that help you to get organized.
In my case, I started looking for organizing product that use vertical space, with wheels and of course products that were small enough to fit inside my closet. After a few hours of searching and looking for products that I would like to have, what you see below are the products that I initially wanted to buy:
Double Hanging Rods with 2 Bottom Shelf – This could be a perfect clothing rack because it provides double storage capacity and storage space for shoe boxes. However, the rack is too tall and too long for my closet.
Elfa White Mesh Dresser – I really would like to have this drawer for my closet but even though it is a narrow dresser, it’s still too big for what my closet can handle.
And after spending few hours looking for organizers, I ended up buying the following because they were the only products that could find to fit into my closet.
Storage Organizer Wire Basket with Wheels
Definitely not my first choice but they provided storage solutions that I needed which is accessibility, visibility and storage space for my everyday essentials. The wheels on the clothing rack and wheels on the stackable wire basket allow me to see and access all of the clothes hanging on the inner part of the closet.
4. Use Space Saving Non-Slip and Matching Hangers
Hangers, like any other organizational item, come in a variety of sizes and shapes. But for a small closet, you really have no other option but to use space saving non-slip hangers if you want to organize your space. Do your hangers need to be identical? Not at all. However, there is something therapeutic when looking at all identical hangers. It is really appealing to the eyes especially when they are facing in the same direction.
During the transition of changing your hangers, grab this opportunity to sorting your essentials from clothes that you like to wear or wear often from clothes that you have not been using a for long time as well as clothes beyond repair, not your style or size anymore. This is the great way to make a space for only things that you need. See my article, Small Closet Organization Ideas: How To Make Use Of Every Inch of Your Small Closet, for the 6 essentials steps to organize your small closet.
5. Consider The Storage For Your Out Of Season Clothing
A small closet often times cannot store all of your belongings unless you are living a minimalist lifestyle. Most of the time, to keep your small closet from being crowded, you really need to remove your out of season clothing from your closet and store them in another bedroom, basement, attic or garage. Just make sure, if you do this, they are in well secured in containers and properly labeled for easy content identification and to protect the condition of your clothes.
However, if your closet still has space that can be utilized to store a few out of season clothing items, buy decorative storage bins with lids and with built-in label holders. These decorative storage bins will not only help you to keep your out of season clothing organized, they will help to improve the look of your closet. In my case, I used decorative storage bins with lids and with label holders to store my everyday out-of-season clothing and placed them on the shelf above the hanging rod. While all my winter coats and sweaters are stored in the basement after the winter season or stored in the closet hallway during the season.
When buying storage bins, try to find storage bins with dimensions that will not waste any space. Too big or too small will both end up with poor space utilization. Using just the right size storage bins will help to utilize every inch of your closet space and therefore, will allow you to store more items.
6. Use Your Creativity and Resourcefulness
Do not be afraid to make your own rules when it comes to storing your belongings. Store them based on your needs and what space is available to you. Try to repurpose whatever you have to create a storage space that you need. Below are things that I have done to organize my small closet which are not the standard way of doing things:
- Hang More Than One Item Per Hanger – The standard way of hanging clothes is usually 1 hanger for 1 clothing item. However, due to space limitation, I discovered that I could hang more than one item on each hanger in such a way that I could easily access each item without the need to remove one.
- Use 2 cloth clips and attach them on the two opposite sides of the hanger to hang two drawstring dresses on one hanger. This hanging method is only applicable if the the fabric of your dresses are not stretchable.
- Hang two stretchable dresses together by folding the dresses over the bar of the hanger. The non-slip hanger will prevent these two dresses from moving and falling to the ground. Use the same hanging technique for your flowing long dresses that have a wrinkle free fabric.
- If you have a piece of clothing that you often wear with another piece, hang them together on one hanger. Fold the item that does not easily get wrinkled over the hanger bar and the other item over the hanger. In this way, you can easily access the dress without removing the other item.
- Attach one cloth pin to hanger that contains more that 1 item – The cloth pin will remind you that hanger contains more than item, so when there comes a time that you are looking for a specific item, the pin will trigger you to look closely at the particular hanger.
- Reuse or Repurpose What You Have Already Own – Organizing products are not cheap so whatever chance there is for you to reuse or repurpose what you already have, even though it may not look so good or really does not match with your color scheme but still provides your needs, use it. By doing this, you will not only save money but also help the environment.
- Storage Basket – I repurposed my old storage baskets to store shoes that I wear often. Then I placed them on top of the shoe storage boxes that store the shoes that I only wear for certain occasion. In this, I have easy access to the shoes that I wear often compared to the shoes inside the shoe storage box. All my everyday shoes are stored in the hallway closet.
- Dresser Drawer Organizer in mustard color – I use this to store my everyday leggings, tank tops and shorts, folded them in such a way that I can easily see and access them. Then I place this drawer organizer on top of the stackable wire basket.
- Use Every Vertical Space Available As Possible
- To use the space between the clothing rack base and hanging clothes, I bought shoe storage boxes and attached them on the base of the clothing rack using a glue gun. This not totally secured them but it definitely helped to keep the shoe storage boxes on the base.
- I utilized the top of the storage bins by placing my old storage basket that is holding my scarves while the other is used to store my everyday bags.
7. Allocate The Prime Spot For The Current Season’s Clothing and Everyday Essentials
Designate a prominent place or shelves for your favorite items and everyday apparel while placing your least-worn garments at the back and out-of-season clothing or formal dresses in the closet’s most difficult-to-reach areas.
The Result Of My Simple Closet Makeover
The above table shows the number of items that were stored in my closet before and after the closet makeover. Based on the numbers, you can see that you can increase the storage capacity of your small closet by using just a few of the right organizing products which will help you to maximize the usage of every inch of your small closet space. Space saving and non-slip hangers will definitely help you to gain valuable space in your closet especially if you hang more than one item on each hanger. Using a little bit of your resourcefulness and creativity, full usage of vertical space in your closet is possible. Vertical space when properly utilized will provide a good amount of additional storage space in your small closet.