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15 Tips to Organize Your Small Dresser: Expert Explains

For many fashion enthusiasts, an expansive wardrobe is a goal they aspire towards. If you have a small closest, it may seem like you run out of space too quickly. Don’t let lack of storage space cramp your style, though. 

When it comes to organizing a closet with limited space, every square inch is precious. Organizing your closet to be maximally space-efficient requires an intentional and carefully executed plan. Keep reading to learn more about how to store your clothes efficiently, freeing up space to expand your wardrobe in new and exciting directions.

Here are 15 tips for organizing a small closet with a lot of clothes: 

Roll Packing 

If you’re looking for ways to make your clothes take up less space in the closest, rolling some of the more durable items can be helpful. By rolling t-shirts, shorts, and other articles which can be tightly packed without damage, you free up additional space for items that require more delicate keeping. 

Rolling is commonly used by bikers and travelers for space-efficient packing. If you’re rolling your clothes for home storage, rather than keeping them in a suitcase or roll mat, it may be necessary to invest in some additional hardware to store rolled clothes. 

Folding Clothes to Save Space (Complete Guide)
More on folding clothes small here.

A Roll Keeper, available for roughly $20 on Amazon, can help keep rolled items neatly organized while leaving precious space for other articles of clothing and accessories. 

Double Up On Hangers 

Using your hangers to their maximum potential is another way to free up additional space in a small closet. By hanging pants over the bottom bar of the hanger, a shirt on the mainframe, and a jacket or overshirt on top of the first shirt, you can free up other hangers to support more clothes. 

Some hangers, especially cheap plastic ones, may not have a bottom bar to hang pants on. Also, cheap hangers may not be equipped to handle the additional weight of more than one article of clothing. 

How to Hang T-Shirts and NOT DAMAGE Them: A complete guide

Wooden suit hangers are a little more expensive, but they are designed to hold up all the pieces of a suit or tuxedo. Using suit hangers for all your clothes will allow you to condense and free up precious storage space. 

Install Wall Hooks 

The addition of wall hooks or hangers can do a lot to free up space. Filling the back wall of a small closet with evenly spaced hooks will allow for hangable clothes. Articles that would otherwise be folded and stored on the shelves, where they take up space in an inefficient manner, can be stored on top of each other, suspended from hooks on the walls or door. 

Many consumers prefer to use hook racks, such as this one, which can be folded neatly against the wall for space-efficient storage, but also can be brought forward so that the user can browse their wardrobe at leisure.

Cascading Hooks

Cascading hooks are another method of increasing the amount of storage space available in a small closet. The benefit of cascading hooks is that they allow for the articles of clothing to be stored in a compact fashion while still allowing the user to view the entirety of their wardrobe. 

By staggering the clothes on the rack, you can compare and contrast items, draft outfits, or color-coordinate your organization plan to suit your needs and desires.  

Hanging Storage 

As more and more people are acclimating to minimalist living, the use of hanging storage space has become more popular. Hanging hooks or racks, as mentioned above, are only a few of the possibilities presented by hanging storage. Here are some examples of other hanging options to maximize your closet space: 

Soft Cubbies 

Soft cubbies are fabric boxes suspended one on top of the other. Soft cubbies can but hung from the door or wall, providing space for folded clothes to be stored vertically while still remaining accessible and organized. 

Travel Closets

 A travel closet sometimes incorporates soft cubbies into its design. Travel closets are usually designed to hang from a dowel, like a standard hanger, holding up a series of shelves and pockets for easy storage. Unline soft cubbies, travel closets aren’t always fabric. Because they’re designed to hang from a dowel rather than a wall installation, some are made from sturdier, heavier materials. 

Hanging Organizers  

Hanging organizers is a relatively broad term, covering a wide variety of hanging storage solutions. One example of a hanging organizer is a triangular wall mount structure that folds out to provide a bar on which hangers can be stored. The advantage of organizers like these 

Hanging Shoe Pockets

Shoe pockets are an effective way to store a lot of shoes without taking up too much space. Shoe pockets are usually organized on a large piece of canvas or similar material. It can be hung over the door, allowing for shoes to be stored vertically without losing track of pairs. Shoe pockets can take the place of shoes, creating room in the closet for additional high-capacity storage. 

Extender Rods 

Extender rods are yet another method of increasing the storage capacity of your closet. As the name suggests, extender rods are simply additional dowels that can be suspended between walls or door jambs, providing additional room for hanging clothes. 

Extender rods are most useful in closets that have ample vertical space but limited latitudinal room. A secondary hanging rod can provide the space to hang additional clothes without having to fold them, which can lead to permanent creases in the fabric. 

Multifunctional Clothes Racks 

Multifunctional clothing racks and hangers are another way of expanding your closet size without picking up a hammer. Multifunctional hangers and racks can be hung from dowels like standard hangers, suspending a series of racks or compartments for easy storage. 

Multifunctional hangers come in a variety of forms, ranging from simple peg-hangers for pants to complicated formations of shelves, hangers, and pockets capable of storing full outfits. The addition of multifunctional clothes hangers can allow you to hang clothes that otherwise would have taken up precious shelf space. 

Pull-Out Racks 

If you’re trying to fit a large number of clothes into a limited space, you’ve got to think outside--or, rather,  way inside--the box. Pull-out racks provide concealable storage space, which can be a lifesaver if you’re working with limited closet space. Pull-out racks are usually just a skeleton of pegs on which articles of clothing can be hung or stored. 

The advantage of pull-out racks lies in their compatibility. These racks are designed to be stored inconspicuously away in a closet drawer or under the bed, which makes them convenient for long-term storage. 

Pull-out racks can be installed in place of standard wall-drawers as well as other places. Some common places consumers install pull-out racks include under the stairs or in converted dresser drawers. 

Storage Cubes 

Storage cubes are a trendy way to increase the storage space that your closet has to offer. Companies like The Container Store manufacture modern storage options like storage cubes to provide additional space to small closets. 

The advantage of using storage cubes is that it allows clothes to be stacked vertically, increasing the number of clothes that can be conveniently stored in a small amount of floor space. 

Dresser Organizing Tips #shorts

Because each cube is its own unit, this system of organization allows you to access clothes stored at the bottom of the stack without toppling all the clothes on top. Organizing your clothes to allow ease of access saves the closet from becoming a mess, as well as making your getting-dressed routine that much easier. 

Organizational Planning 

When someone’s talking about organizing their closet, you might not think of strategy and careful planning right away. However, an orchestrated plan for how to maximize the space available in your closet is crucial, especially if you intend to continue expanding your wardrobe. 

Before making any purchases of closet storage equipment, it’s a good idea to make a solidified plan for how you’re going to organize your closet. This way, you can make an informed purchase when it’s time to pick out what kind of equipment you want to improve the storage capacity of your closet. 

Here are some helpful points to consider when planning your closet space: 

  • Don’t fold when you can hang — In most cases, folded clothes take up more space than hanging articles. This is especially true when dealing with thick material clothes such as wool sweaters, jackets, hoodies, etc. Hanging articles of clothing that cannot be compactly folded will increase the amount of space left over for must-fold items and storage equipment. Hang accessories as well. Belts, hats, and jackets can all be hung from hooks without presenting the risk of damage. 
  • Organize based on space, not style — for many people, the natural inclination is to group similar items together; i.e., all the sportswear on one side, all the formal clothes on the other. However, this style of organization may not be the most space-efficient. By sorting your clothes based on how much space they take up, you can effectively categorize and position every article of clothing in your wardrobe in the most space-efficient manner possible. 
  • Keep track of what you own — If you have an expansive wardrobe, it can be easy to lose track of everything you own. By maintaining at least a mental inventory of your wardrobe, you can avoid storing duplicates or similar clothes. This will allow even a very small closest to contain a beautifully diverse array of styles and items. 
  • Have a home for everything — This simple rule is one of the most essential elements of a well-organized closet. By creating and strictly adhering to a system of organization, you can optimize the space you have available.

Check out my folding guide here.

Underfloor Storage 

Another crafty way to store more lots of clothes in a small space is to use alternative storage spaces, such as under the floor. Using the space around for clothing storage may require a little construction or remodeling, but it can be worth it.  

Under Bed Storage Solution (DIY)

Creating storage spaces under the floor of the closet or steps can be a helpful tool for less frequently used items. The drawback of underfloor storage spaces is that they are not as convenient to access as other storage methods, such as hangers and organizers. 

Stacking Shelves 

Stackable shelves are another modern innovation to increase the storage capacity of any closet. Stacking shelves, as the name suggests, consist of a series of independent containers stacked vertically on top of each other. Similar to soft cubbies and hanging shelves, the advantage of stacking shelves is that clothes can be stored vertically without reducing the ease of access. 

The benefit that placing stackable shelves over other methods of vertical storage is that these shelves can be drawn out. The ability to draw the storage space forward allows for a multitude of small items, such as accessories or folded socks, to be stored together without taking up too much space. 

Another advantage of stackable shelves is that, because each shelf is an individual unit, they can be stacked as high as the user pleases. This allows for as much storage space as you want or need, which in turn allows you to continue growing your wardrobe even when you think you’ve run out of space.

Vacuum Seal Seasonal Clothes 

Unless you live in a climate that remains static year-round, there are probably clothes taking up space in your closet which you only use for part of the year. Seasonal clothes, especially heavy winter jackets and the like, tend to take up a lot of space, out of proportion with the frequency of their use. 

Some heavy clothes, such as knit sweaters, may become lumpy and misshapen if hung for too long. For this reason, it’s important to find a way to effectively store heavy clothes without damaging the quality or integrity of the article. 

One method which some people use to eliminate this issue is vacuum-sealing seasonal clothes for storage during the off-season. The advantage of vacuum sealing clothes, aside from preserving the integrity of the fabric from moth or climate damage, is that it reduces the space each item takes up. 

Trying Out Different Vacuum Bags (for Travel Primarily)

Vacuum sealed clothing items can be stored in more rugged conditions, such as attics or storage units, without risk of damage. This can be helpful to free up extra space during the majority of the year when those articles serve no purpose other than taking up space. 

Divide Your Shelf Space 

Sometimes visual barriers can make all the difference when it comes to closet organization. The addition of shelf dividers can help you keep track of your personal inventory, as well as assist in the task of allocating space to different clothing categories. 

dresser organized with rolled clothes

Dividing your shelves into cubbies or sections can be simple. All you really need is cardboard or some kind of material that will remain steadily upright. You can also use soft cubbies or other designated closet dividers to organize your storage space. 

I’ll refer you to my folding clothes to save space guide for more details on this.

Suitcase Storage 

If you own your own personal luggage, the problem of where to keep it may have already presented itself. That issue, however, can itself become a solution. By storing seasonal or less-frequently needed clothes inside your luggage, you can increase the capacity for your regular closet, as well as making use of your luggage for all the time that you’re not traveling. 

When it comes to storing your luggage, it’s not a good idea to keep suitcases inside your closet unless you have room to spare. Suitcases are bulky and inefficient spatially, even though they are designed to contain the maximum amount of clothes or belongings. 

Where you keep your luggage is also an opportunity to maximize your storage space. Installing hangers or shelves over the door of the closet or bedroom can provide an out-of-the-way storage spot for luggage, as well as all the articles of clothing you store inside the suitcases. 

Weed Out Unused Clothes 

There are many reasons to hang on to old clothes: nostalgia, sentiment, the lingering hope that someday that style will come back. The advantages of sorting through and getting rid of old clothes that you no longer wear, however, strongly outweigh the benefits of clothes-hoarding. 

Donating clothes you don’t wear or don’t love can free up a lot of space in your closet and dresser. This will allow you to continue exploring your own sense of fashion without worrying about whether or not your closet will burst. 

As well as clearing up space, donating unused and unnecessary clothes is a charitable act. If you have an expansive enough wardrobe to worry about clearing up more space in your closest, it won’t hurt to hand off the clothes you wear least to someone in need. Plus, you can reward your charity with a new outfit to fill the empty spot in your closet.

Throwing Out 2/3 of My Clothes (FULL VIDEO)
I filmed the entire purging process back when I first started this obsession. Check it out for some tips and motivation.

Sometimes visual barriers can make all the difference when it comes to closet organization. The addition of shelf dividers can help you keep track of your personal inventory, as well as assist in the task of allocating space to different clothing categories. 

Dividing your shelves into cubbies or sections can be simple. All you really need is cardboard or some kind of material that will remain steadily upright. You can also use soft cubbies or other designated closet dividers to organize your storage space. 

Alternative Storage Ideas 

How you store clothes, at the end of the day, is up to you. Finding new and innovative ways to store clothing can allow the spatial freedom to explore your fashion style. Visiting stores like The Container Store or even the storage aisle of Target is a good way to get inspired. 

Alternative storage options can allow for some items and clothing articles to be stored outside of the closet, freeing up more room inside for items that require closet storage. 

Standing Hanger Racks 

Standing racks are another way to free up extra space in your closet. The downside of storage equipment like standing racks is that they are not easily concealable. Having a rack of shirts hanging outside the closet may create an in-store aesthetic which many consumers find unappealing.

 However, in terms of utility, the addition of racks to support hangers frees up a good deal of space on the dowel hanger racks in the closet. 

Shelf Storage 

Shelves are an easy addition to any room. Simple cinderblock shelves can be constructed with practically no effort or investment. Hanging shelves or even bookshelves can be converted into clothing and accessory storage space. If you’re willing to store some clothes and accessories outside of the closet, you can free up a lot of additional room for more clothes on the hangers and shelves inside the closet. 

Ladder Storage

Repurposing equipment is all the rage, and ladders lend themselves gladly to providing storage space. Ladders provide a series of cascading levels from which dowels and racks can be suspended. 

The use of ladders as the structural support for an alternative storage system can not only provide extra closet space but build an aesthetic of bohemian reuse that is suitable to the modern trend. 

Accessory Storage 

Accessories, such as hats, belts, ties, and jewelry, have the tendency to take up more space than they truly need. By creating an alternative method of accessory storage, you can free up a good amount of room in your closet for clothes that can be stored in a compact state. 

Additional storage equipment, such as hat racks or coat hangers, can help alleviate the stress of a closet to contain your entire wardrobe. The addition of a coat or hat rack outside of the closet storage context also allows for plain-sight storage, which is a precious commodity when one is living in a limited space. 

Shoe Storage

Shoes can be one of the most space-consuming clothing categories, even though shoes are much smaller than many other clothing articles. Shoes, because of their irregular shape and because they come in pairs, demand extra space as well as proper organization. 

There are many ways in which you can store shoes in pairs without wasting space. Shoe pockets are one solution. Shoe pockets allow shoes to be stored vertically without the risk of separating shoes from their partners. 

Shoe racks can also be helpful for storing large amounts of shoes. Stacking shoes on top of each other without damaging the material is an important element of proper storage. 

Conclusion 

If you’re into clothes, there’s no such thing as too much closet space. Every spare inch of storage room is the opportunity for new innovations and inspirations in style and fashion. Finding new ways to increase the storage capacity can help those with smaller closets to expand their fashion horizons.

More on organizing your clothes in drawers here, or check out the complete guide to folding clothes here.

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