Apartment Advice

5 Proven Ways to Maximize Small Closet Organization

The following is a guest contribution by Cassie Avery, the business manager at Incline at Anthem.

Let’s face it: Unless you have a ton of space in your fabulous new apartment, making room for all of your belongings can be tricky.

Not all of us are lucky enough to own a walk-in closet. If your closet is small, storing all of your clothing and accessories becomes all the more challenging.

You may be trying to stuff a bunch of stuff here and there, but then it all ends up as a heap on your floor.

That isn’t going to work. You have to find a smarter solution.

Fortunately, we can help with that!

We’ve got solutions that will keep you from tearing your hair out over donating half of your clothing collection.

Use these five small closet organization ideas instead to squeeze a little more storage out of your tiny closet.

You can thank us later.


1. Search for Closet Storage Solutions

Small closet storage

Before you dive into effectively pushing everything into your closet, you should look for a few new ways to store your belongings.

Your goal should be to develop a system that will work long term so that you don’t have to redo everything again later.

First, measure your closet space so you can have a better idea of what furniture or cubbies will fit best.

Based on your measurements, take a look around your apartment. See if you already own a few items that would work as additional storage.

Or, you can purchase storage solutions based on the measurements you took. Here are a few apartment organization accessories that may work:

Ask yourself if any of these items fit or work in your closet and whether what you select is the right organization technique for you.


2. Closet Storage Underneath Racks

Making use of a small closet is also all about utilizing the storage underneath your clothing.

Here are a few ideas on how you can take advantage of that storage:
  • Putting a small dresser underneath the clothing
  • Use either a shoe rack beneath hanging clothes or hanging shoe holder

If you have a small dresser that fits under your clothing and still leaves some space on top, you can utilize that for storage as well.

Try stacking a few hat boxes on the dresser for tidy storage.

If you don’t have that much room, you can put small items like jewelry on a plate. Putting accessories like hats or jewelry on top of your dresser makes them easily accessible, and you’ll be more likely to rotate your collection.

If you’re clever with your space, you’ll soon find that everything is coming together nicely.

Related: your comprehensive first apartment checklist


3. Double Your Hanging Space

You might be thinking, “How am I going to double my hanging space when I hardly have any room as it is?”

That’s a valid concern, but if there’s a will, there’s a way.

Have you heard of the double closet hanging rod?

Well, it’s rather incredible because a double hang can quickly increase storage capacity.

Depending on how small your closet is and what kind of storage works best, creating more hanging space might be a better solution.

For many people, adding more hanging space is more efficient than adding a dresser, or more shelving space. The hanging technique is ideal if you have more clothing than accessories.

Hanging clothing on coat hangers also eliminates having to fold your clothes — unless you have so many you’ll have to fold and put some away anyway!

If you can’t decide between the two, try the hang. You can always change your layout later.


4. Take Advantage of the Closet Door (+ Wall Space)

Before you start organizing and assembling the storage solutions you chose, take stock of what you could hang on your closet door to make the most of that extra vertical space.

If you don’t have room for your shoes on the inside of your closet or in other places in your apartment, you can stash them in a hanging shoe organizer.

A hanging shoe organizer is easy to hang over the door.

If you don’t have a lot of shoes, a hanging shoe organizer will still work for other accessories such as rolled-up leggings, sunglasses, and similar items.

If you have a lot of purses, you could also put a few s-hooks over the door. They make expandable over-the-door multi-hooks that would work perfectly.

Hang multiple purses and bags on the hooks to free up more storage space inside your closet.

Keep in mind that you still need to be able to shut your closet door, so don’t put too many things on the inside – or even the outside – of your door.

If you end up storing too many things on it, you may have to keep the door open. Keep that in mind when you’re purchasing over the door solutions.

Only keep the door open though, if seeing everything within your closet won’t bug you. If you organize it well enough, perhaps it’ll look amazing!

Of course, having your closet too jam-packed will defeat the purpose of making use of the space.

The idea is not to overflow it with so many items that you can’t find where anything is.


5. Re-Evaluate

If you’ve tried some of these ideas and still don’t have enough room for all of your clothing and accessories, it may be time to get rid of some things.

Go through your clothing and separate the items you haven’t worn in the last couple of months.

Unless they’re seasonal clothing (which explains why you haven’t worn them in a while), you may consider giving them away or selling them.

If you can’t bring yourself to sell some things, look for other places in your apartment where you can store bulkier items such as sweaters or jeans.

Don’t get stuck trying to make everything fit. If a few of your favorite jeans don’t fit in your closet, don’t sweat it.

You may need to think outside the closet.

For instance,  you can put some clothes underneath the bed in storage bins. Better yet, put seasonal clothing under your bed or somewhere else. One great hack is to put sweaters in a storage ottoman in your living room, which will free up some space in your closet.

Try to only keep your favorite and necessary clothes and accessories in your closet.


After reading through these tips you can see that there are solutions to the lack of space in your small closet.

Remember, every little thing doesn’t have to fit in there even if you wished it would.

But at the same time, using clever storage and organization techniques can go a long way when you’re struggling to make it all fit.

Keep working away at creating an organized space that works for you and pretty soon you’ll be a closet organizer pro.

Now take a deep breath and start organizing those belongings!

Products Mentioned
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Velvet Hangers
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Top Rated Shoe Racks
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Popular Bookcases
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