How to maximize the space in a small closet with clothing organizers

Closet shelf tote bins

AkroBins®. Source: Container Store

If you’ve recently done a closet season switch, or are planning to do one soon, you may decide to reorganize your closet a bit.  Even if you don’t have built-in shelving and drawers you can still have an efficient and organized closet with the help of a few inexpensive closet organizers.

Here are a few organizing tips on how you can maximize your closet space with inexpensive closet organizers:


over the door shoe organizer organize closet  Shoes: There are a variety of ways to over the door shoe organizer organize closetorganize shoes, including multi-level standing shoe racks and revolving shoe organizers. An over-the-door shoe organizer is one of my favorite space saving closet organizers, since it uses a generally underutilized area. Another great option is a hanging pocket shoe organizer that simply hangs onto your closet rod, similar to the sweater organizer shown next. Photo credit:


hanging sweater organizer


Tops & Sweaters: Sweaters and tops should ideally be folded and placed inside a drawer. However, if you don’t have enough drawer space, consider a hanging sweater organizer. Similar to the pocket shoe organizer, the sweater hanger has several cubbies and hangs onto your existing closet rod. Or use open tote bins and label clearly so that you know what’s inside. Line up the tote bins on the shelf above the rod. Photo credit:

skirt hanger organizeit


Skirts & Trousers/Pants: Maximize your hanging space with a 3-tiered skirt hanger or 5-tiered slack hanger. You can also find double hanging rods which hang onto your existing closet rod, creating another row of hanging space below – no tools required!
Photo credit:




suit hanger organize closetSuits: For suits, it’s best to keep the jacket and skirt/pant together to save time getting dressed in the morning, so use either a hanger with clips or a hanger with a built-in hook designed to hold another hanger for the skirt or pant. Photo credit:


drawer dividers organize closetSocks & Lingerie: Ideally, socks and lingerie should be stored inside a chest, bureau or dresser. If your space is too tight for a chest, purchase an inexpensive rolling cart with drawers and store below your shorter hanging clothes inside the closet. Other options include over the door hanging pockets, or hanging pockets with optional drawers that you can purchase separately.  Photo credit: Linens ‘n Things


scarf hanger organize closetAccessories:  Do you struggle with your small accessories? Hanging or over-the-door pocket organizers are also ideal to organize handbags and small accessories. You can also find specialty hangers for scarves and belts at most specialty stores that sell closet organizers. Hats are best stored in a hat box or inside a clear container. If you have space to hang items on the wall, install wall hooks to hang hats, jewelry and frequently used handbags etc. Photo credit: IKEA (scarf organizer).

Whenever possible, avoid storing items inside your closet that are not related to clothing, e.g. linens and papers, unless your home has very limited closet space. Store your off-season clothing in containers or specialty storage bags that can fit under the bed, or store them in another area of your home. Include mini cedar blocks to avoid moth damage.

If you need help, where it’s in-person or by phone (virtualcontact me at CastAway the Clutter!  With the right organizing products on hand, most small closets can be decluttered and organized in 1-2 days.  Happy closet organizing!

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About Jacquie

Jacquie Ross is a professional organizer, a Certified Life and Family Coach and award winning owner of CastAway the Clutter! A busy person's expert, Jacquie works with professionals, seniors, empty nesters and families to develop strategies to reach their goals, identify any road blocks, and find more meaning in their lives. Learn more about Jacquie’s life coaching and parent/youth/family coaching here at the CastAway the Clutter Blog, and for organizing services, visit CastAway the Clutter! Jacquie can also be found on Facebook
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33 Responses to How to maximize the space in a small closet with clothing organizers

  1. Ana Cláudia says:

    oh, this is a good idea

    • Simran says:

      Okay well a description of my clseot is as goes.One side is his and one side is hers . Her side starts on the left, all the clothing items are organized first by fancy, then semi-fancy, then casual and by color darkest to lightest. Everything on the left side is long, starting with long dresses, short dresses, skirts, pants, and tops. All organized according to the above. His Is still organized by the over rules..(fancy, semi-fancy, casual and darkest to lightest)On his left side starts with tops, then pants, then into his work pants, then work tops, then work coveralls.Shoes have a rack under each of our sections and the are organized the same way only the fancy ones are put into a large container that we slide under our bed.Now all this will change because we will be expanding our clseot soon but thats how it is now.Hope this helped!

  2. Jo says:

    I had problems organizing my clothes before until I manage to sort them similar to those photos. Kudos for compiling them.

    • Sudarmanto says:

      One great thing to use is one or two of those under-the-bed storage cases. They’re long and about 1.5 feet acorss but not very tall so they can fit under you’re bed great for storing junk!Also, shelves and bookcases work wonders for knick-knacks.If you have a dresser keep the clothes folded as nicely as possible b/c it expands the space and you can find things better. Coat racks or on the wall hangers work great for storing things. I’d also go through all your stuff sometime this summer and make 3 piles while you’re doing it. 1-stuff to keep where you can get it. 2-stuff to put away (like in the attic or store in boxes under your bed or something) 3-stuff to give away or throw away. Try to not be a packrat either because that REALLY cuts down on space. Just keep the things you really use and want and need. Hope I helped! = )

  3. Kayce says:

    Wow! this is indeed a very helpful tips! I really need to organize all our socks, lingerie, shoes and lots of clothes here. Now I know how to maximize the space in a small closet using these closet organizers. 🙂

  4. Kristie Betts says:

    I’m a mother of 3 a space is limited very limited, this is such a great idea Thanks so much

    • Ahmad says:

      I put t rods in my closet i hang my pants on the kiddy haengrs and my shirts on the top it dosnt give much room for my dresses but that s not a biggy if you dont have many .

  5. Katherine G says:

    These are great tips.
    Katherine G recently posted..Frosted mini Wheats: Touch Of Fruit In The MiddleMy Profile

  6. Rebecca Sinclair says:

    Wow great tips! This has given me some ideas to spruce up my girl’s closets!

    • Brian says:

      If you have work clothes and caausl clothes the first thing to do is to separate them into two piles. Next, put seasonal items together within those two categories, starting with heavy sweaters on one end of the rack and working your way down to light-weight t-shirts. Finally, arrange your items by color so you will be able to find what you need at-a-glance.Of course, the best way to organize any cluttered space is to declutter. If you have too many clothes than what will comfortably fit into your closet you might want to consider purging the clothing that you no longer wear.Here is a great way to test yourself. When you organize your closet, put all of the hangers on the rod so that the hooks are facing toward the back of the closet.As you wear an item and then return it to the closet, turn the hanger so that the hook is facing toward the front of the closet.After six months, any hangers with hooks still facing toward the back will indicate clothing you have not worn in six months. If you don’t wear it in six months, get rid of it it is just cluttering up your closet.

  7. Cindy says:

    Thanks for sharing!
    Cindy recently posted..OOTD: Quick Walmart Run!My Profile

  8. bianca roman says:

    the containers for wallets and such is an awesome idea. i just have my purses laying in a thirty-one utility tote along with my wallets, which is not very organized at all 🙁

  9. Shani says:

    I was actually looking for a similiar idea.I really need a room for just my clothes and shoes Lol! Thsoe tips are great!:)

    • Wichanee says:

      I own a small company on Savannah, GA caleld Atlantic Coast Closets. I was looking for a spot just like this so people would realize I am not the only one crazed about helping people with functional storage thanks! Gordon Whitlock

  10. Richard Hicks says:

    Great tips. I bought a shoe organizer that hangs in the closet and was able to free up space. Probably should have got the one for the door!

  11. Misses Giveaways says:

    I am always looking for ways to save space! With a new baby in the house I feel that I have no room for anything anymore.

  12. christal c w says:

    I love to be organized and clean. I love your ideas for (containers ) for organizing. Never a disappointment

  13. soha molina says:

    great idea.

  14. Denise Donaldson says:

    I love those clear totes, I use them in my closet. 🙂

  15. terri carney says:

    i live in a dbl wide closets are a joke, we took a unused dinning room and it is now a large walk in closet for my daughter and i
    where theres a will theres a way,lol

  16. Darlene Ysaguirre says:

    My shoes take up so much space and so do my pursers so my closet needs a transformation

  17. Sarah Taylor says:

    These are all great tips, I wish I had these at home.

  18. I need some of these!
    Lana Bradstream recently posted..Terrific Dessert Tuesday *BLACKBERRY COFFEE CAKE*My Profile

  19. L. says:

    This is a great article. I have a long closet in my room that I don’t use right now. I want to redo it and put in shelving and drawers so I can better use my space.

  20. shirley zolenski says:

    Thanks for the tips. I was actually just thinking of what to do with our closet to put more stuff in there.

  21. Angela Cash says:

    My closet definitely needs some attention. I am planning to switch out my summer clothes for my warmer gear this weekend. It will be the perfect time to incorporate some of these great ideas for organization. Thanks!

  22. Jennifer Mae Hiles says:

    Great tips, I need to get some of those 3-tiered skirt hangers. That would clear some space for me!

  23. Jacquie says:

    Thanks for all of your kind comments. Have fun organizing your closets!
    Jacquie recently posted..4 Storage and organizing ideas to maximize a small spaceMy Profile

  24. Stiawan says:

    Organize your tops on the hanging rod by color in my clsoet, I organize by lightest (whites) to darkest (blacks). Next section is skirts, organized the same way. Then pants, organized the same way. Then dresses this way your clothes hang from shortest to longest. I organize my shoes by season and color. Have fun!

  25. Chrystal D says:

    You’ve given me some very helpful ideas! Thanks for sharing!

  26. veronica lee says:

    These are really helpful tips! We have very limited space in our 1208 sq ft condo and thanks to you, I now have some great ideas for maximizing the space in a small closet.
    veronica lee recently posted..The Chicken ChickMy Profile

  27. Lisa Arrance says:

    Modern closets can be built into the walls of the house during construction so that they take up no apparent space in the bedroom, or they can be a large, free-standing piece of furniture designed for clothing storage, in which case they are often called a wardrobe or armoire. Closets are often built under stairs, thereby using awkward space that would otherwise go unused.*

    Until next time

  28. margaret peg m says:

    we have older small closets…so i like the idea of hanging scarfs on a ‘scarf hanger’ and utilizing the pull out bins that stack. thanks for the ideas.