How to Maximize Small Closet Storage Space

Small Closet Storage Solutions

II have lived in apartments with small closets, so I've used most of the small closet storage solutions listed below. The trick here is to maximize the space by utilizing small space storage solutions that:

  • Fit perfectly, which means you must measure three times before buying any closet organizing product
  • Are easy to use, meaning you can reach them and easily slide them in and out of the closet; and 
  • Compliment your decor scheme.

Below are the steps getting that small closet in shape. 

  • 01 of 06
    Maximize Small Closet Storage Space
    Csondy/E+/Getty Images

    Get started by surveying what you have to work with:

    1. Think of a department store and inventory your clothes by type. Have a good sense of how many pants, skirts and shirts you need to hang; how many shirts, sweaters and jeans you need to fold and stack; and how many accessories you need to keep close at hand.
    2. Take your closet's measurements and record them on an index card. Keep the index card in your wallet, so you have this information both at home or on the road.
    3. Search your home for...MORE storage solutions you can re-purpose like cubbies, bookcases, shoe racks and shelving. Will any of these work in your space?

    It's vital to have a plan before you begin buying stuff. 

  • 02 of 06
    Badger Basket Three Bin Storage Cubby
    Badger Basket Three Bin Storage Cubby. Photo / Amazon

    It might make sense to move the shoes you don't wear too often outside of your closet and utilize the floor for a combination of off-season storage, accessories and shoes. The best storage option is a low-to-the-ground cubby. 

    Make sure you use one that fits the space so you can maximize every inch of the floor. Follow my guide to the best cubbies for one that fits into your budget and decor scheme: Guide to Cubbies

    (You can move your off-season or not-worn-that-often shoes either very high up...MORE in your closet or another storage space all together like a hall closet or in the storage space under your bed.) 

  • 03 of 06
    Installing a double hang instantly gives you twice the hanging storage space.
    Installing a double hang instantly gives you twice the hanging storage space. Photo / Martha Stewart Omnimedia

    Nothing will transform your closet as quickly and dramatically as a double hang. More hanging space is much more efficient than shelving space, so if you have to choose between the two, choose to hang. Keep in mind this may mean you have to hang things you would normally fold and stack.

  • 04 of 06

    Get a boost and go vertical in your closet

    Lilipad Studio Kids Step Stool
    Lilipad Studio Kids Step Stool. Photo / Lilpad Studio

    There’s really no point in storing things higher up a wall or closer to the ceiling unless you can reach that high. If you’re not 6-feet-plus, a good step stool will help you reach the top of your bedroom closet, and can also be used in the kitchen, attic and garage. Choosing one that compliments your decor and fits your space is a snap with this step stool guide. I’ve featured basic, budget-friendly options and some additional luxury options.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Use the right hangers for your closet space

    Scotts Deluxe Wood Coat Hangers
    Scotts Deluxe Wood Coat Hangers. Photo / Scotts Deluxe

    Hangers aren’t just for suit jackets anymore. You can now hang all manner of accessories and even boots:

    • Blankets
    • Boots
    • Coats
    • Dress shirts
    • Handbags
    • Pants
    • Suits
    • Scarves
    • Ties

    Use your hangers to hold clothes of the same type (examples: scarves together, pants together, ties together) so when you pull a hanger out of the closet, you know what you’re getting.

    My recommendations for the best hangers to use in a small closet are either Huggable or Slimline Hanger. These are less bulky and about 1 inch thinner...MORE than a traditional wood hanger. You may not think this is worth the 1-inch but think about 1-inch multiplied by a 30 inch-wide closet. It adds up.

  • 06 of 06
    Whitmor Over-the-Door 36-Pair Shoe Rack
    Whitmor Over-the-Door 36-Pair Shoe Rack. Photo / Meijer

    Closet door shoe racks are the best option here, as they aren't just for shoes anymore; they’re a super functional way to store all sorts of clothing items and accessories.

    • Belts
    • Gloves
    • Handbags
    • Hats
    • Jewelry
    • Scarves
    • Socks
    • Undergarments

    Use your closet door for the things you wear and grab the most often. Example: If you’re a scarf-wearer, tuck your most-worn scarves at eye level in the shoe rack pockets. In the summer, swap out scarves, gloves, and tights for tank tops.