Here's How To Organize a Small Closet With Lots of Clothes - Home & Texture
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Here's How To Organize a Small Closet With Lots of Clothes

Not enough closet space? We feel your pain. Here's what to do about it.

January 7, 2024 at 9:57 AM PST

Is your small closet bursting at the seams with a mountain of clothes? Do you find yourself struggling to locate your favorite shirt or pair of shoes underneath all your stuff that’s claimed every inch of spare closet space? It’s easy to let it get out of hand, especially when you can just shut the door and pretend the mess on the other side doesn’t exist. But it makes getting ready for the day or night complicated, and it always feels like you can never find that one sweater you always want. If your closet is on the smaller side, there are a few ways you can make it work. Here’s how you can keep things organized for good.

Assess and declutter.

This is the least fun part but almost always leads to some unexpected findings—it’s time to declutter and take stock of what’s in your closet. Start by pulling everything out. Yes, everything! Lay it all out in front of you, and take a moment of silence for that daunting task.

Then, ask yourself, “Do I wear this regularly?” If the answer is no or a hesitant maybe, it’s time to consider parting ways. Be ruthless, but if you come across something sentimental, give yourself that grace too—just be mindful of what you keep and decide if you really need that old spring break T-shirt from your dancing-on-the-bar era.

Clothing on hangers
Photo Credit: Karolina Grabowska

Categorize and prioritize.

Once you’ve sorted through your clothes, it’s time to categorize them. Divide them into categories like shirts, pants, dresses, and accessories. This step makes it easier to find what you need and helps you visualize your wardrobe better.

Next, prioritize your clothing items based on how frequently you wear them. Your most-worn items should be readily accessible, while special occasion pieces or seasonal items can be tucked away toward the back or on higher shelves. If you really can’t decide if you should keep something or not, keep it, and after six months or a year, if you haven’t touched it, it’s time to let it go.

Get some clever storage solutions.

Small closets require creative storage solutions to maximize space. Try these.

  • Slimline Hangers: Swap bulky hangers for slimline ones. These take up less space, allowing you to fit more clothes on your closet rod.
  • Shoe Racks: Utilize the back of your closet door or invest in a shoe rack to keep your footwear organized and easily accessible.
  • Drawer Dividers: For small items like socks and underwear, drawer dividers can work wonders in maintaining order.
  • Shelving Units: Install additional shelves above or below your clothing rod for extra storage space.

Use that vertical space.

When dealing with a small closet, don’t forget about the often-neglected vertical space!

  • Hooks and Pegs: Install hooks or pegs on the inside of your closet door or on the walls to hang accessories, bags, or scarves.
  • Stackable Bins: Use stackable bins or storage cubes to make the most of the closet’s height, perfect for storing folded clothes or seasonal items.
Messy closet
Photo Credit: Ron Lach

Rotate seasonally.

To maintain a clutter-free closet year-round, consider rotating your wardrobe seasonally. Store off-season items in labeled bins or vacuum-sealed bags under your bed or in another storage area. This frees up space while making sure that your current season’s wardrobe is front and center.

Maintain regularly.

Lastly, remember that closet organization is an ongoing process. Take a few minutes each week to check that everything is in its designated place. This habit will save you time and frustration in the long run.


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