If you have a closet with less space than you need then you probably wish you could get double your closet space to let you fit everything in. You may even be considering getting a second closet to hold all your clothes. Before you spend money and floor space on an extra closet you should take a look at your existing closet storage and see if you can stretch it a bit further. Here are ten tips that will help you maximize your closet’s storage capacity.
- Use double hangers. Most of your hanger space is probably empty air. You can double the value of this space by buying double hangers that let you hang two items in place of one. If you don’t want to spend money and have plenty of hangers to spare then you can place a soda can tab or similar item around the hook in the top hanger and hang a second hanger from that.
- Use door hooks. If items like belts, ties, and scarves are taking up space on your hanging rack then get some hooks that you can screw into the inside of the closet door and hang them from there instead. For belts and other frequently used items that are less inclined to accumulate dust you might even want to put the hooks on the outside of the door. Obviously this isn’t a good idea on a sliding door.
Image: HAUTE OFF THE RACK
- Use storage containers for closet floor items. Most people have items strewn over the floor of their closet in an inefficient mess. Get some plastic storage containers that will fit in your closet and some adhesive backed labels and organize your loose items into those storage containers placed onto the floor of the closet. Use the labels or a marker pen to label the containers so you don’t have to guess what’s in them when you are looking for something.
- Put shoes under your bed. If you have spare shoes taking up space on the floor of the closet then consider removing them and placing them under your bed instead. This makes the shoes you commonly wear quicker to get at when you need them. For shoes you use less frequently get a storage container that fits under the bed to store them in. You might want to place individual shoes into cloth bags if there is a risk of them becoming scuffed in the container.
- Put hooks on the side walls. The brackets on the hanging rail may not let you slide hangers all the way to the side, so there may be some empty space there that you can take advantage of. Get some hooks and screw them into the side walls at strategic points where you can hang items from the hooks.
- Put shelves in unused space where you can anchor them. If you’ve got space in the closet that isn’t being used then look at whether you can put some shelves there to make better use of it. The space above the main hanger rail and below the hanging clothes is probably worth investigating for this purpose.
- Add hooks for hangers at the back of the closet. There’s likely some free space between the hanging clothes and the back wall of your closet. Get some hooks and screw them into the back wall at a height suitable for hanging clothes from. You can then place hangers on those hooks and hang clothes at a right angle to the clothes on the main hanger rail.
Image credit: IKEA
- Get an over-the-door rack. You can buy cheap over-the-door racks that hook over the top of the closet door and let you store items against the door. These are best for hinged doors. You can also buy two of these and use one on the inside of the door and one on the outside, but be careful that you don’t place too much weight on the door hinges and damage them in the process.
- Use the space on top of the closet. If your closet is a stand-alone rather than a built-in design then the top of the closet is prime real estate for storing less frequently used items. Get some plastic containers that will fit on top of the closet and move appropriate items into those containers. The containers will keep the dust off the stored items and will also let you organize them. Get a marker pen or some adhesive backed labels and label the containers so that you know what’s in them.
- Toss out items you never use. An unused item is just wasted space. Take inventory of all the items in your closet and ask yourself if you have used a given item recently and if you think you are likely to use it in the future. If the answer is no then that item may be better off finding a new owner at the local charity store. At the very least consider moving it into separate storage where it won’t be adding to the clutter in your closet.
If your closet has more air in it than clothing and you are running out of storage then you need to make more efficient use of the space you have. A bit of clever thinking and some Tetris skills will let you double your closet value with a small amount of work and give you the storage you need to cram all that clothing in. And if you still don’t have enough space then it might be time to take a more frugal approach and dump some clothes you don’t need.
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