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While many homeowners have a large walk-in closet, the truth of the matter is that small reach-in closets are also very common, particularly in older homes. If you have a small closet, you might feel like it’s a lost cause. How can you get it organized to the point that you will be able to store everything that you need to?

At Smart Spaces, we work every day with people who need to store their items in smaller spaces than they’d like. The good news is that we can almost always increase the amount of space available in a storage area with not only excellent products, but also organizational tips that really work. Here are some tricks for you to try that will help you maximize the space in your small closet.

  1. Eliminate the extra. Just cleaning the clutter out of your closet can go a long way toward making a lot more room. The average person is only using a fraction of what they own, so why not eliminate the items that no longer fit or that you otherwise don’t use? This doesn’t have to be as overwhelming as you may think: Just take 15 minutes at a time to go through sections of your closet and pull out what you don’t wear anymore. Don’t overthink it: If it’s not a special-occasion outfit or something very nostalgic and you haven’t worn it in a year, then say goodbye! Start a box for the thrift store and try to add to it each weekend until it’s full, then drop it off without looking back.
  2. Think vertical. Putting in an extra hanging rod about three feet under your existing rod will literally double your hanging space for separates. If your clothes are currently smashed together, this is an excellent way to let your clothing air out a bit and avoid damage. You can have a rod installed or simply use a tension rod. If you have dresses to hang, you can still use this method if you run a rod going back to front in the closet; this will give you some space for longer items like trench coats, dresses and pants hung by their hems.
  3. Use a shoe rack. Sometimes the issue is not the clothing, but the shoes cluttering up the floor. You should not have anything laying around on the floor of your closet. Not only can you step on and crush your shoes, but you can also trip and get hurt. Either get a shoe rack that can sit in the corner of the closet or figure out a way to store your shoes elsewhere. An over-the-door rack can work, as can removing the shoes from the closet and storing them in underbed boxes or something similar.
  4. Move your out-of-season clothing. Many people prefer to keep all of their clothing in one place, but if you have a small closet, it might be necessary for you to keep your winter clothing out of the closet during the summer and vice-versa. Of course, you will have some pieces that are appropriate for all seasons; these will stay in your closet year-round. As for the rest, invest in some bins to store them. If you don’t want to take them out of the closet, you can stack the bins overhead on high shelves that you put in the closet; this way, they’ll be in the closet, just out of the way.
  5. Consider folding and stacking. Many times, people hang items that they should actually be folding. These include t-shirts, sweaters, other knits, and jeans. If you don’t have room in your dresser, you can install drawers or shelves right in the closet. Put them toward the floor or up high, where they will not interfere with your clothing rods. T-shirts can also be rolled to save space.
  6. Use the back of your door and your walls. Hanging hooks on the walls lets you store scarves, belts, ties, purses and much more without taking up valuable space on the shelves or the hanging rod. You can do the same on the backside of the door, or you can use an over-the-door rack to hold a variety of items, from hair accessories to jewelry.
  7. Use appropriate organizers. Accessories like belts, ties, jewelry, hair accessories and scarves can take up more space than they should when they’re not stored properly. A variety of organizers can tame these smaller items and keep them contained, rather than letting them loose all over your closet.
  8. Make it look bigger. In some cases, you might not actually need more space, but rather the illusion of more space. If you can actually store everything you need to but you aren’t feeling like you have enough breathing room in the closet, try increasing the lighting in the area, painting the walls a lighter, brighter color, or installing mirrors on one or two of the closet walls. All of these can make the space look bigger (and help you see what you’re looking for, which is just as important for a functional closet).

Finally, consult with a closet organization specialist for excellent tips and products that will help you keep your small closet in line. You might be surprised to learn how affordable it can be to customize a reach-in closet. It can also make a huge difference in the way that your closet functions, which, in turn, can improve your overall organization level in the home. If you are ready to talk to a professional, please call Smart Spaces to schedule a free, no obligation consultation appointment in the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area. We look forward to hearing from you!

If you're in the DMV metro area and need space-saving help for your kitchen, laundry room and more, give T.R. Young Services a call today!

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