If reaching for your favorite spring clothes has become a source of stress, it may be a sign that your small closet isn’t as organized as you need it to be. But even if you have a small closet and have a lot of clothes, you can still create a closet space that works for you, even on your most harried mornings. Here’s how to organize a small closet with lots of clothes. And trust us, once you experience the joy of a well organized closet, you won’t ever want to go back! 

Purge, donate, create 

The first thing to consider when organizing a small closet with lots of clothes is to really take inventory of what you’re wearing, and what’s been hanging around for a few years without ever seeing the light of day. Purging your closet of unworn, outdated, or worn out items is the first step to getting truly organized. 

Take time to go through your entire closet and be really honest with yourself: Have you been hanging on to that sundress for the past couple of years? Put it in the “donate” pile. Repeat for any clothes you’ve been holding onto “just in case,” and create a “toss” pile for items that are stained or otherwise ruined beyond repair that you’ll throw out. Now, there is one caveat here: Because so much of our lives have been disrupted since 2020 and we lost a full year (longer?! What is time, anyway?) to elastic waist pants, if you really love some items but just haven’t had the occasion to wear them, it’s totally fine to hang on to them. If, by next year, you still haven’t worn that skirt or those pants, it may be time to send them packing. 

Once you have your “donate” and “toss” piles, put everything in a bag to donate to your favorite local charity or consignment shop, and throw the other items away. Now, you can create a specific place for the different categories of your closet. Hanging items can go on the hanging bar, shoes can be put on shoe racks on the floor, or in an organizer that hangs over the door. Invest in some pretty baskets to keep your bags neat and organized. Map out what should go where, and then move on to the next step for organizing your small closet. 

Person folding clothes

Make use of vertical space 

Now that you have your wardrobe whittled down to clothes you’ll actively wear, it’s time to make the most of your vertical space. If you’re lucky enough to have a closet with decent height, consider getting an extender rod. This can create a second hanging rack for shorter items like blouses and jackets, freeing up space for longer items that may feel jammed together on hangers. No room for a second rack? No problem. Consider putting baskets or shoe racks underneath your hanging items to make use of precious floor space that will also help you see clearly what you have on hand.

Invest in a rolling rack 

If you’ve tried the above tricks but you still seem to have too many hanging items, you may want to consider investing in a rolling rack. You can use it for overflow, and even make it a part of your decor. Hang items in complementary colors and patterns to your room decor to make it a functional and aesthetically pleasing organizational tool. 

Utilize your walls and doors 

Depending on the configuration of your small closet, you may have under-utilized wall space. If this is the case, add some hooks to help free up shelving and rod space. Hooks make great hat, scarf, and bag holders. 

Over your doors, you can install organizational systems that hold shoes, jewelry, or bags. These systems have a slim profile that make it easy to close small closet doors, but keep things neat and visible. 

Various clothes

Keep it moving

Lastly, you may want to consider moving some items out of your closet and into other storage solutions. Under- the-bed boxes make great storage for sweaters or other out of season items. You can rotate your clothes by cold and hot seasons to keep your small closet organized. 

No room under the bed? Look around your home. Today’s furniture can be a great addition to keeping your closet organized! Coffee tables and ottomans that open up to reveal hollow storage spaces also work wonders for storing sweaters, pants, even coats and jackets! 

When you take the time to really address the mess in your small closet, you may find you’re setting yourself up for a better day ahead. After all, if you can see all your clothes, you can appreciate and actually wear them–and that not only lessens stress, but makes you feel pretty great about your fashion choices, too!

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