How to Maximize Closet Space in 6 Stress-Free Steps

Having an Organization Plan Opens Up Space

neat closet

The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

When starting a project to maximize closet space, evaluate everything you need to store. Pull everything out, remove items you no longer need, and sort like items. Before buying storage solutions, ensure they will fit your closet and match your unique needs. Measure carefully before purchasing a closet organizing product.

Here are tricks to increase closet space, especially if you live in an apartment or dorm with minimal space.


When you're going through your closet reorganization project, ask yourself these three key questions as you go along:

  • Do I need this item anymore and why?
  • Is it worth the cost and time to clean, fix, or try to fit into this item?
  • Does this item continue to support my lifestyle and is it still appropriate to wear (to work, to the gym, or out socializing, for example)?

Here are the steps to follow to maximize your closet space.


Click Play to Learn How to Maximize Storage in a Small Closet

  • 01 of 06

    Research Small Closet Storage Solutions

    storage cubes for closet size

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    It's vital to have a plan before you begin buying stuff. Take inventory of what you already own to see what you have to work with. Review how many pants, skirts, and shirts you need to hang; how many shirts, sweaters, and jeans you need to fold and stack; and the number of accessories you need to keep close at hand.

    Then, take your closet's measurements and record them.

    Closet organizers increase space by making creative use of every inch, so be sure to check out hanging cubbies or bags with built-in shelves and drawers, stackable drawers, or small rolling carts. See if you can repurpose things you may already have that can work in your space, such as tiny bookcases, small bureaus, shoe racks, bins, or decorative stackable boxes.


    It may be a tough call but you don't always have to trash items you haven't worn in a year (as many experts suggest). Dedicate one box for those few items you think you may want, need, or be able to honestly fit into soon or you may regret tossing it out.

  • 02 of 06

    Use the Floor of Your Closet

    using the closet floor for storage

    The Spruce / Julieanne Browning

    It makes sense to take the shoes that you don't wear too often and store them inside your closet. Utilize the floor space for a combination of off-season storage, accessories, and shoes. The best shoe storage option for the floor is a low-to-the-ground cubby. Make sure you use one that fits so you can stretch every inch of floor space.

    You can also move your off-season or rarely worn shoes either high up in your closet, on a hanging rack on the closet door, into another storage space like a hall closet, or in the storage space under your bed. Wherever you do store your shoes, remember to properly clean them first so they do not develop mold or mildew.

  • 03 of 06

    Double Your Hanging Space

    closet utilizing a double hang

    Riley JB / Stocksy

    What do you do when your closet is full? Nothing transforms your closet as quickly and dramatically as a double hang. More hanging space is more efficient than shelving space, especially if you have too many clothes and not enough closet space. So if you have to choose between the two, opt to increase your hanging space—then color code your closet for an extra organizational boost. This may mean you have to hang things you would normally fold and stack.

  • 04 of 06

    Go Vertical in Your Closet

    utilizing the top shelf of a closet

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Maximize the space on the shelf above your rod. Store seasonal items as high up the wall and as close to the ceiling as you can and access the area with a good, sturdy step stool. It helps to place items in stackable clear bins so you can remember what you stored that high up. Use smaller lightweight bins with lids so you can retrieve them easily and keep the dust out at the same time.

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Use the Right Hangers for Your Closet Space

    slim hangers allow for more space

    The Spruce / Julieanne Browning

    Hangers can be used for all manner of items in addition to clothing, such as boots, blankets, handbags, scarves, and ties.

    Use your hangers to group similar types of clothing. For example, you'll only have to pull out one hanger to view all of your scarves.

    For the best hangers to use in a small closet, invest in designs that are less bulky and up to an inch thinner than traditional wood hangers. Each sliver of space a thinner hanger saves you will quickly add up to a lot more saved closet space than you thought possible.

  • 06 of 06

    Use Storage Space on the Closet Door

    using the back of a door for storage

    The Spruce / Letícia Almeida

    Closet door shoe racks are the best option here. But, they aren't just for shoes anymore; they’re a super functional way to store all sorts of clothing items and accessories. These over-the-door organizers can hold accessories such as jewelry, scarves, and hats, as well as undergarments and smaller handbags and wallets.

    Use your closet door for the things you wear and grab the most often. For 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.

    Don't forget about all that precious real estate on the outside of your closet door. Add decorative removable Command hooks from which you can neatly hang bags and other grab-and-go items.

Watch Now: Great Tips for Maximizing Storage Space