6 Quick Fixes to Eke Out More Closet Space

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You don’t need a custom-designed closet to make the most out of your storage space.

Just because your closet is on the smaller side—or even downright tiny—doesn't mean that it can't be efficient and rearranged to hold more than you originally thought possible. Below, we go through some tips, tricks, and hacks to show that it is possible to maximize storage and minimize wasted space without splurging on a custom closet solution.

1. Make Your Hangers Multitask

A specialty hanging system was created for a long, narrow closet.

A specialty hanging system was created for a long, narrow closet.

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Whether you need to hang multiple ties, several pairs of pants, or a handful of belts, specialty hangers are created for specific items in your closet, so you can hang multiple pieces in the space of a typical shirt hanger. Often, these hangers will have a cascading arrangement that helps to store items efficiently and visibly, so it’s easier to see something in the back of the closet and grab it. 


2. Double Up on Hanging Rods 

6 Quick Fixes to Eke Out More Closet Space - Photo 2 of 6 -
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Most closets are organized so that the hanging rod is raised high enough off the floor to accommodate longer pieces of clothing like dresses, pants, and skirts, with some room below for shoes. However, some have the hanging rod high enough to allow you to add a second, lower rod, creating double the storage. If you’re not the handy type, you may want to look into purchasing a closet rod that hangs directly off your top rod—no elbow grease or hardware required! First, however, you should make sure that the upper rod can support the extra weight. 


3. Take Advantage of the Closet Door

A set of hooks installed on the back of a closet door can provide much-needed extra storage space.

A set of hooks installed on the back of a closet door can provide much-needed extra storage space.

People often hang objects like mirrors or bathrobes off the backs of closet doors, but the inside face of a closet door has the space to hold much more. By adding a few hooks or a shoe organizer, you might find that you’ve suddenly found the perfect place to store all of your shoes, purses, jewelry, or other items that just couldn’t find a convenient, easily visible home in the closet. 

4. Install a Light Fixture

The apartment's built-in closets are deep and have mirrors on one side. Spotlights set flush overhead provide light and also allow the maximum amount of storage, all the way to the ceiling. 

The apartment's built-in closets are deep and have mirrors on one side. Spotlights set flush overhead provide light and also allow the maximum amount of storage, all the way to the ceiling. 

While installing a light fixture doesn't actually add any square footage of storage space, it does help to make a small, deep, or oddly-shaped closet more visible and accessible. Having proper lighting in any space can help you see it better, and there are few spaces that are more poorly lit than a closet, where you want to see everything, even if it's in the far back corner. Installing a light fixture will help you find the nooks and crannies that you might otherwise forget about or not use.


5. Stack Anything That's Stackable

Shelves of shoes are stacked on top of one another for easy display and access while not damaging or crushing the shoes.

Shelves of shoes are stacked on top of one another for easy display and access while not damaging or crushing the shoes.

Items like shoes can take up a lot of space in a closet because they can't really be hung, and need to be resting on some type of surface (unless you bring in a hanging organizer, as noted above). However, this also means that they can easily be stacked on top of each other, so long as a stackable shoe rack has been considered. This will allow you to free up floor space while still keeping all of your shoes in sight.

6. Combine Shelving and Hanging Space

Wardrobe closets display the exposed ply edges which create a unique outline within the millwork. Inside, a combination of shelving and hanging rods can be found.

Wardrobe closets display the exposed ply edges which create a unique outline within the millwork. Inside, a combination of shelving and hanging rods can be found.

Not all items, especially clothing, have the same storage needs. You'll ideally want to have a balance between hanging space for items that you don't want to get wrinkled, and shelves or drawers for items that are folded. This will help organize your closet, and also maximize storage space and visibility; for example, 15 t-shirts take up less room when stacked up together on a single shelf than hung on a rod, but jewelry probably takes up less space when hung on a jewelry organizer than kept in a large jewelry box.

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