If you’re not privileged to have a huge walk-in closet with enough space to accommodate your massive shoe collection and designer dubs, you might let out a pitiful scream each time you open your closet door. Lack of adequate closet space is a common complaint, especially among people who live in apartments and small homes. Having more stuff than space can turn your closet into a walk-in nightmare, and facing clutter on a day-to-day basis might make you consider other living arrangements. But before you rent a U-Haul and grab the real estate listings, here are seven simple and practical ways to maximize your closet space.
Maybe the problem isn’t too little space, but too much stuff. If you’re constantly adding to your wardrobe, but never get rid of older items, expect a closet explosion. Regardless of its size, a closet can only take so much. Embark on a de-cluttering campaign and remove all items from your closet. Next, separate your belongings into different piles. For example, you can have a single pile for jeans, sweaters, or separate clothes by season. Once your closet is completely empty, sift through each pile of clothes to determine what you can give away. Be honest with yourself. If there’s an item that you haven’t worn or used in one or two years, give it away. This applies to all belongings, including shoes, purses and any other accessory. The less you own, the more space you’ll have in your closet.
Rather than have a single rod extending the entire length of your closet, install two rods, one above the other. Since most items fold on a hanger, double hangers maximize your closet space, letting you store more items inside. Keep a single rod hanger in a small section of your closet to accommodate longer items, such as dresses.
Shoes can take up a lot of space inside a closet, especially if they’re kept on the floor. To maximize your space, remove shoes from the floor and hang a shoe organizer on the back of your closet door. This practical, inexpensive fix can accommodate between 15 to 20 pairs of shoes. For any remaining shoes, keep them in a shoebox and store the boxes under your bed or beneath the lowest hanging rod inside your closet. And since many shoe organizers are made from linen or another soft fabric, your shoes are protected from dust and scratches.
Wasted space can contribute to your closet dilemma. The majority of closets have an 8-foot ceiling. Therefore, you might have about 2 feet of usable space above the highest hanging rod. Build a shelf above this hanging rod and you’ll create additional space to store purses or perhaps out of season clothes. Take advantage of any other usable wall space inside your closet and build up.
Do you keep suitcases or other travel bags inside your closet? If so, take advantage of the empty space inside your suitcases and store some of your clothes. This is the perfect solution for out of season items. Rather than keep these items hanging in your closet or folded on shelves, neatly store them inside the suitcase and then tuck the suitcase away. This creates additional space for your immediate attire. And with your clothes inside a suitcase as opposed to a storage unit, there’s a lower risk of exposure to water, dirt and rodents. Want to further increase your closet space? Move the suitcases to another location – perhaps the closet in a spare bedroom.
Too many bulky items inside your closet can take up usable space. Rethink the items that you keep inside your closet. For example, you might remove bulky winter coats from your bedroom closet and keep these items in a coat closet near the front door. If you don’t have a coat closet, keep a coat rack by the front door. This also applies to large, bulky sweaters. Consider under-bed storage and purchase plastic bins or roller drawers for underneath your bed. This is a practical storage solution for bulky items that take up too much of your closet space, plus you can store out of season clothes in these drawers.
Some people store all or most of their clothes inside their closets, and many keep dresser drawers inside their closets. If your closet is on the verge of explosion, buy bedroom furniture to create storage space outside of your closet. Options might include a second dresser, an armoire or a chest. These furniture pieces are ideal for blankets, pillows, sweaters, shirts, jackets, lingerie, accessories and any other clothing item. This will not only maximize the space in your closet, but keep your closet and clothes organized.