Simple Ways to Create Space in a Small Closet

Jon Fesmire |

Having a large closet is great, as it allows you to put everything you want out of sight in one convenient place. However, sometimes you have to make due with a small closet, which may leave you wondering how to fit everything you’d like to in it.

We’re going to cover the basics of making the most of your closet space. There are a lot of ideas out there on closet organization, so many that you could easily stuff your closet with all the organizational possibilities. So, let’s keep this simple and make the most of your small closet.

Neat and Organized

To make the most out of your closet space, you’ll need to keep it organized. It can be tempting to just shove things in there to get them out of the way. Messy and jumbled items take up more room than well organized items. When you fold your towels, they fit together better. Stacked boxes can fit neatly in a space, while boxes placed haphazardly will seem to always be in your way.


Most closets come with a top shelf with a bar underneath for hanging clothes. What if you have a lot of seasonal clothes, such as dress shirts and slacks, or blouses and skirts, and they won’t all fit in your small closet?

You can solve this dilemma by using more of the vertical space. One way to do that is to stack hangers. Hook a chain with strong, wide links from to the closet bar, then hang the hangers from the chain in lower links. You can then hang separate clothing items from each hanger, essentially stacking them. Another option is is to attach a shower curtain hook to the bottom bar of one hanger, and to hook the next hanger into the ring beneath it.

This won’t double your space, as you are still stacking your clothing, albeit in a staggered manner, but it will allow you to hang more clothes than with a single row of hangers.

Add a Bar

How deep is your closet? If it’s deep enough, you can add a second closet rod behind the first. Just make sure that you can easily get to the clothing there.

You could also attach a closet bar lower down. This could allow you to hang shirts and blouses from the top bar, and pants and skirts from the lower bar.


Adding shelves to a closet that doesn’t have them can increase your storage space. Shelves are great for storing folded clothing, towels, and washcloths. They’re also ideal for storing boxed items.

There are various ways to install shelves. If you own your home, you can install them however you want to. If not, you may need the owner’s permission.

One apartment renter-friendly option is to use cinder blocks. This involves placing two cinder blocks on the floor inside the closet, one on either side against the wall. You would then place a sturdy board, cut to fit the width of the closet, on top of them, making the first shelf. Place two more blocks, one on each end of the shelf, and place the second board on top of that, and so on. In no time, you’ll have multiplied your usable closet space, and you can put your folded clothes and boxes away.

Shelf Dividers

Want a handy way to keep your shirts separated from your socks? You may need shelf dividers. There are a variety of types, so pick what will fit your shelves and work best for you. Basically, these stand up on your shelves between items, creating handy walls of separation.

Closet Door

Let’s say you now have a curtain bar with stacked hangers, and behind your hanging clothes, shelves for boxes with favorite games, some foldable clothing, and craft items. Can you make any more space?

Maybe! Of course, it will depend on your closet, but the next place to use is the inside of your closet door.

Over the door shoe racks are kind of amazing in how well they utilize space you may not even have considered. These hang from the top of the door and have compartments for your shoes. Of course, you don’t have to store shoes in them. If you’re an artist, and especially if this is your art supply closet, you might want to keep your brushes, paints, and other items there in the hanging shoe rack. If this is a bathroom linen closet, you could keep various bath items, like shampoo and spare toothbrushes, in the shoe rack.

Self Storage

If you’ve done all this and your clothes still won’t fit, perhaps you need a place to put your off-season clothes. In that case, a small self storage unit can work great as a summer or winter wardrobe closet. Even a unit with climate control (which we highly recommend, especially for clothing) will rent for less per square foot than any space in your home. When you have clothing, or other items, like Christmas decorations, that you use only during one part of the year and that take up much-needed space, a self storage unit is a handy solution.

We hope these ideas help you create that extra closet space you need. For more storage and organizational tips, feel free to peruse the other articles in our blog.