Small closets can be overwhelming and make walking into your closet a very frustrating experience. This post will give you 11 small closet organization ideas.
Are you tired of walking into your small closet and getting totally frustrated by the mess? If so, you are in the right place!
Have you ever walked into your closet to find a specific shirt or skirt and couldn’t find it? Or maybe, you went into your closet and couldn’t find a pair of shoes to go with your outfit. If you are like many people you have been ready to give up on organizing it at all because trying to fit all of your clothes into your small closet seems like an impossible task.
We have all been there!
Keep reading and you will discover 11 new small closet organization ideas that will totally change how you feel about your small closet!
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I have helped more people than I can count get spaces organized. Call me crazy, but I absolutely LOVE organizing and cleaning up cluttered spaces. The feeling of satisfaction when a space is clean, organized and color coordinated in a way that makes sense for how you use it is AMAZING!
Alright, let’s get after it! To start, we will focus on your closet space.
First things first… you are going to want to just sit for a few minutes in or just outside of your closet space. Be sure you can see the whole thing. Take note of the wearables you have in your small closet. For example; shirts, pants, skirts, shoes, scarves, purses, etc. Do you have anything you don’t wear in there?
Write down what you see. This seems silly but, trust me, it will make sense soon!
Clear Out Your Entire Closet:
Yes, the whole thing. It’s going to look like a department store exploded on your bed and the table (or both) you use to empty your closet. There’s a method to the madness though! In order to really see how to best utilize the space you have to empty it completely.
Make piles as you empty your closet of like items.
- Tank Tops
- Long Sleeve Shirts
Don’t sort beyond this no matter how badly you are tempted to do so. First you need to see all that you have. Trust me… if you spend time over sorting in this phase you will end up re-sorting later.
At this point your bedroom will look like a tornado rolled through. That means you are on the right track! Congratulations!
Ok, let’s go ahead and move on to the next step!
Sort and Purge:
If you are anything like me, this process was probably so frustrating that you may be considering getting rid of MOST of your wardrobe. Or, at least saying you will.
I have worked with so many people that didn’t wear 2/3 of their wardrobe. Some of it was a decade or more old! In some cases, you may actually end up getting rid of the bulk of your closet, but this is not the norm.
Stick with me as we go through this process. You will feel SO much better once you do! When considering small closet organization ideas or any size closet organization it is really important to be sure that your closet holds the things you love.
Here’s how you decide what to keep and what to get rid of.
Go through each pile ~ one at a time
Ask yourself these questions…
- Have I worn this during the most recent season when I could
- If no, did I forget I had it? ~ If so, next question…
- Would I have worn it if I DID see it? ~ If not ~ donate it!
- If no, and I didn’t forget it was there… ~ donate it!
- If yes, do I like it or do I need it? ~ If so, keep it!
- Do I have coordinating items for it?
- If no, do you plan to get any? ~ If so, keep it! If not, donate it!
- If yes, do I like it or need it? ~ If so, keep it!
Go through this process with each pile! Remember, don’t overthink it. Trust your gut.
Plan for Maximization of Space:
We have already worked through the frustrations involved in small closet organization ideas. As hard as it may seem, keep your focus on how to make this the very best space possible. This step has two parts.
We are going to break those down here.
Determine What Needs to be In Your Closet
This step is pretty easy. It can also be frustrating if you don’t have the right approach. Things have a way of “ending up” in the closet that really don’t make sense there. Most likely because the closet has a door or curtain to hide it all.
The goal here is to give you a functional closet that looks great too!
The key is to look at everything with fresh eyes. Forget how everything was in your closet before you emptied it out.
As you look at each pile consider the following:
- Do I use it or put it on in my closet?
- Is there function in it being here?
- Do I have anywhere else to put it?
- Would it make more sense somewhere else?
Keep in mind, you won’t get all you can out of the process if you aren’t honest about the answers. Think through your daily routine. What makes sense?
Negative Space for Small Closet Organization Ideas
What exactly is negative space? It is the space you aren’t using for your hanging clothes or where your wardrobe wasn’t filling all of the space.
Now that your closet is empty look at it again. REALLY look at it. Take note of all of the space available.
Does your closet have spaces that are tucked away in a corner? Maybe darker areas in the closet? How much space do you have under where your clothes hang? How much is above?
Keep in mind that you have different types of clothes to hang up. That being said, there are SO many different ways to hang and fold clothes to really maximize space. That’s for another post though. I could truly write a whole a post about this.
We have all had at least one closet that we wished we could change.
Having been a military spouse for 20 years I lived in my fair share of homes with tiny and I mean TINY closets. Don’t even get me started on our first apartment… the closet was basically the size of a broom closet!
Unless you have $20,000 dollars sitting around to reconfigure your space and build a new one it is way less stressful and frustrating to focus on what you can do with the space that you have. Let’s be honest, even people with huge closets want to organize theirs better too.
It’s a universal problem that affects nearly everyone!
Ok, now that you have written down all of the spaces available let’s move on to the next of our small closet organization ideas.
It’s time to get started on the process of making your closet a functional place you enjoying being in.
To do this look at all of the organization supplies that you have stacked up from when you emptied your closet. There may be clear tubs, buckets with or without lids or shoeboxes. You may have some hanging organizers, bins, shoe racks, drawer organizers and of course hangers.
List all of the items that you have on hand.
Next, you should look at all of those closet organizers and determine what you want to use in your closet and what you don’t.
Some things you should ask yourself in this process:
- Do I want everything to match or be color coordinated?
- Do I care if I use all organization supplies from the same line or company?
- Is my priority doing the closet cheap or making it look great?
There are no right or wrong answers here so be honest with yourself.
It is so important for you to consider these things. If you don’t and you aren’t honest with yourself you may not finish and get the full benefit of organizing your closet. You may get really frustrated with the process too.
When deciding what you still need to organize your closet look at your wardrobe piles. Consider whether you care if certain piles or types of clothing are hung or folded.
Most often, to provide quick and easy access to all of your hanging wardrobe you will want to increase the folded items. Don’t worry though, you will fit them in the space! No need to look for “other” places to keep them.
With all of that in mind come up with a list of the items you want to purchase for your small closet organization. You may want to add new hangers (more on that below), organization bins, organization dividers, shoe organizers or more.
Closet Organization Supply List Ideas
Look at these great closet organization options from one of my favorite stores ever. The Container Store is the perfect place to go and find everything you need when it comes to organization.
When picking the organization supplies that you need for your closet keep these things in mind…
- What items can you fold to save hanging space?
- Knit pieces and sweaters are best for folding
- What will fit in your negative space in the closet?
- Do you want clear storage bins for quick easy identification and access.
Specific closet organization recommendations:
SKU# 10071580 Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 8″ h
Great for t-shirts, pants, sweaters and can be used without the hanging organizer!
SKU#: 10066356 Dimensions: 7″ x 13″ x 4″ h
Organize your shoes in these classy drawers! Available for larger shoes also.
Dimensions: 17-1/2″ x 1/4″
These velvet hangers will allow you to hang 3x the amount of clothes in the same space as 1 plastic hanger. Available in different quantities also.
Drawers (first recommendation) fit in these openings. Use some drawers and fold in openings. So many options!
SKU# 10071580 Dimensions: 11 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 8″ h
Have your jewelry accessible and displayed well in these gorgeous storage containers.
The options for organizing your closet are endless. Check out The Container Store for options that work for your space!
Color Coordination or Color Coding
When you walk into many department stores you will notice that everything looks really neat and organized because they are using color coordination or color coding.
Having worked in retail and having run a clothing store I know the importance of making everything look visually appealing. Here’s the thing though, it is more about taking the confusion out of shopping.
What if you could create that same feeling in your own closet? You can and it’s easy!
Imagine walking into your closet and looking for a shirt to wear with a particular skirt or pair of pants. If it is color coded you will be able to quickly hold that skirt or pair of pants up and move it along the line of shirts. It is SO MUCH EASIER to find what you are looking for this way. Sometimes it helps to find things you wouldn’t have considered before too.
Here are a few ideas for you to use when deciding how to color code your closet.
Tip: Remember to put patterns with the most dominant color in the clothing.
Shoes and Accessories
Clear organizers or shelves that are open allow you to see all of your shoes and accessories. When storing these types of items that you don’t use on a daily basis, or rotate, it’s important to be able to see it all. If you can’t, you are much less likely to wear them.
This method works great for purses, clutches, and wallets as well.
Have a little extra space available on a shelf? Try using a clear top or glass jewelry organizer to add even more quick access to accessorize your daily wear.
Refill Your Closet
Now that you have emptied your closet, sorted and purged your clothes, come up with a plan on how to use the negative space in your closet and have picked a color coding option you are ready to get everything back in!
Use creative folding to put your layer tanks, leggings, jeans, pencil skirts (knit), scarves and t-shirts in your organization supplies that you have on hand or purchased. This will give you much more space for your hanging items to breathe!
By folding smaller and making sure that you can SEE everything you are much more likely to wear it all, or find it!
Stay Committed to Your System
By this point you have worked smart and hard to get your closet in tip-top shape! Be sure to stick with it.
On the plus side it is very easy to do when you absolutely love the space you have created!
Don’t be surprised when you find yourself buying less clothes. You can now get to all of the things that you have and love. Accessing all of your wardrobe is a breeze and finding coordinating pieces will be readily available!
Enjoy your new closet and be sure to leave comments with pictures of what you did to your space!
Free Download: Small Closet Organization Cheat-Sheet
Get a free Small Closet Organization Cheat-sheet here. BONUS: Color coding chart included!
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This post was all about small closet organization ideas that will help you love your small closet and your wardrobe!