How to Maximize Your Closet Storage

Basics of Closet Storage, Getting Rid of Closet Clutter + Closet Organization

So you’re sifting through your closet to find your favorite sweater and you just can’t find it anywhere. That’s because you couldn’t fit it back into your closet when you wore it last week so it’s currently draped over a chair in your living room. This is the first sign you need to maximize your closet storage space.

Here’s the first thing people do when they decide they need more maximize storage space in their closet: they think about buying storage solutions.

But here’s what you should do:...MORE Before you buy or re-purpose closet storage you've got to spend some time decluttering and organizing your clothes, assessing your space, choosing storage options, and finally, installing them into your closet. It’s a process.

A few rules to follow for maximizing your closet storage space:


  • 01 of 08

    Declutter clothes and shoes to create more storage space.

    Maximize closet storage space
    Maximiing your closet storage space. Getty

    Before you begin planning, purchasing, and installing closet storage, it's important to first begin with a clutter-free closet. Never pay to store clothes, shoes and accessories you don't wear.

    7 Ways to Declutter Any Closet

  • 02 of 08

    Make sure the storage solutions fit your closet well.

    How to double your closet space
    How to double your closet space. elfa

    Well, duh, obviously you say. But think about this: you trudge out to The Container Store, but a closet storage solution and then haul it back home. You install it. It doesn’t fit. You try to make it fit. Don't keep anything you have to jam in there to make it fit. Ill-fitting storage solutions will just grate on your nerves and you may end up not using them after a while. They are not worth the money.

  • 03 of 08

    Choose storage products that work well with your wardrobe.

    Boot Rack
    Boot Rack - Rack'em Boot Rack. Photo / David Prince for Real Simple


    Don’t just think about what will fit in your closet, think about what will the best closet storage solutions that will work with your clothing

    If you own tons of clothes that hang, don't buy a closet system that only allows for a few feet of hanging space. Instead, stock up on space saving hangers, consider installing a double hang, and plan to utilize more horizontal place.

    If you have very little hanging clothing, shorten your hanging rod and add in more shelving or drawers. Look for a...MORE closet system that will accommodate more folded clothing.

  • 04 of 08

    Choose durable items that will stand up to heavy use.

    Shoes Storage from California Closets
    Shoes Storage from California Closets. California Closets


    You use your closet every day, so storage solutions need to be sturdy. If you’re installing a closet system, think seriously about investing in an Elfa system—don’t just buy some crap off of Amazon.

    I can’t think of anything worse than spending an entire weekend organizing my closet, installing closet storage solutions, sorting and re-storing all of my clothing, and then coming home the next day to find everything on the floor because I used cheap materials. Take the time to find the best...MORE products for you.


    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Organize clothes, shoes and accessories.

    Maximizing closet storage by decluttering
    Elfa Closet Teen Girls Walk In Closet. Photo / Container Store

    Next step is to organize the closet the way you use it, meaning keep the clothes you wear most often in the easiest-to-reach spots for easier access, hang pants and shirts, fold sweaters and jeans and sort clothes planing like-with-like so you know exactly where to reach to find your favorite skirt, shirt or scarf.

    How do you feel before you organize your closet? Terrible! How do you feel after it's organized? Awesome! Let's get started:
  • 06 of 08

    Plan your closet storage space.

    Learn to maximize your closet storage spaces
    Elfa Large Walk In Closet Ladies Almond. Photo / Container Store

    This is a very important step that people often skip. As I eluded to above, it's important to asses your needs before pulling out the old credit card. triple measure the closet space you are working with, and inventory your wardrobe are the two most important steps in the storage-planning process.

  • 07 of 08

    Purchase & re-purpose closet storage solutions.

    Re-purpose closet storage solutions
    Large Womens Walk In CLoset by Elfa. Photo / Container Store

    Now's the time to start thinking creatively. Do you have anything in your home that can be used or re-purposed for storage? Think about shoe racks, cubbies, drying racks and hooks. See if they fit into your closet storage scheme, or read one of my many guides to purchasing storage solutions:

  • 08 of 08

    Make it easy to maintain.

    Organize your accessories
    Organize your accessories. Getty

    If you own a lot of scarves or just want a place to store your loungewear—the clothing you put on when you get home from work that you wear until bedtime—think about installing items like hooks or towel bars. Similarly, make sure your storage solutions are useful. If you install drawers and they don’t work well, then you won’t use them the way you should. 

    Ready to get started?  Here are the 25 most budget-friendly closet organizers.