8 Storage Solutions for Small Closets

Always out of storage space for clothes and personal belongings? You’re not alone. Trying to fit professional attire, workout wear and casual clothes into a small space can be a challenge, to say the least. Small closets can quickly become a nightmare as things clutter but never quite fit inside this essential space. While decluttering is a good start, it can’t solve the lack of storage that comes with small closet space.

To help, here are eight strategies to enhance the design and better utilize the storage in small closets.

#1: Add dedicated storage

When adding dedicated storage, consider any space in your closet that is under-utilized. For example, add a small drawer below your hanging shirts. Quite often, the space underneath your shirts is wasted space. By adding a drawer, you can store small clothing items — such as ties, underwear or socks — and create a shelf above for storing baskets or small boxes for accessories such as jewellery, scarves and cufflinks.

#2: Create a home for shoes

If you have a hanging bar in the lower section of your closet, consider adding a shoe rail — two bars that allow you to hang and store all your shoes in a neat, orderly fashion. Adding a shoe rack helps repurpose wasted space and enables you to coordinate your outfits since you can see your wardrobe and your footwear in one area.

#3: Storage baskets

If you struggle to organize socks, underwear or accessories, and you can’t add dedicated storage, consider sorting and organizing these smaller items using storage baskets. With or without lids, storage baskets can control the clutter of everything from undergarments to t-shirts to nightwear.

#4: Hang those accessories

Since the space to hang clothes on the clothing rail is often at a premium, consider hanging other accessories in the wasted vertical space in your closet. Use hooks and rails on the back of closet doors and installed on the inside walls of your closet, to create dedicated space to hang purses, bags, ties, belts and other accessories. 

#5: Purpose-built add-ons

Don’t be afraid to purchase purpose-built storage solutions. For example, attachments that hold hair dryers, curling irons and sunglasses can help decrease the on-closet shelves and in-closet drawers. These add-ons also give you the ability to sort and organize the items you use most and least. For instance, if you only use your hair dryer once per month, but use the flattening iron every day, then you can set up and add the special attachments based on ease of accessibility.

Even if you can’t find the right holder for each personal grooming tool or accessory, don’t underestimate the efficiency of attaching generic wire baskets. Plus, a few hanging racks attached to closet doors can help harness your hat collection, your purse obsession, or any other clothing or accessory item that doesn’t have a proper home in your current closet.

#6: Add more shelves

Another thing to consider is adding more shelves inside the closet. Adding new shelves could be as simple as buying pegs or it may require a bit more work like drilling holes before adding new shelves. Still, the addition of shelves can help create dedicated space that allows you to sort, organize and establish a home for each item in your wardrobe.

#7: Get shelf dividers

Whether adding new shelves or creating more customized space in current shelves, the use of shelf dividers can help separate and organize your closet. Use this dedicated space to sort and organize everything from purses to journals, to books, t-shirts and jeans.

#8: Add a mirror to the outside

Mirrors are integral to any good closet system, but taking up valuable vertical storage space inside the closet isn’t ideal. Instead, consider adding a mirror to the outside of the closet door (or doors). These mirrors can be simple, off-the-shelf options or they can be elaborate custom-order options from your local hardware or design center. Either way, adding a mirror to the outside of your closet frees up the back of your closet doors for additional storage solutions — and this can go a long way to creating a more systematized closet.

Final thoughts

Whether you just want to create a more organized space, or you need to tame the clutter of your small closet, the good news is there are great design and storage tricks that can help you squeeze every inch out of a small closet. Use and adapt any of these strategies or talk to your local home hardware professional to develop the best plan for your small closet space, and pretty soon you’ll feel like your wardrobe has twice the space.