I am all about a frugal DIY project. And this one, I am SO excited to share!
Today I’m going to be sharing with you how I got my small, awkward closet under control while downsizing from a dresser + a closet to a closet only. Yes, you heard me right. No, I didn’t get rid of many clothes – I just spent time and effort figuring out ways to organize it and utilize all the space I did have.
Even if you have a small storage space, you CAN make it work if you implement organization strategies that work best for you. From bins to shelving to how you fold, there are many methods you can use to downsize without actually downsizing. I'll explain in more detail some of these methods below :)
For starters, my closet is a standard sized closet with a hanging rod and shelves. The shelving spaces are tall and deep, meaning most of the time I have always had trouble reaching the clothing upwards or backwards, usually both. I knew I wasn’t making the most of this space by just putting clothes within immediate reach. At the same time, I wanted to get rid of my dresser to make some more floor space within my bedroom. I also wanted to move my hampers into the floor space inside the closet to free up some additional floor space outside the closet.
Whether you're looking to reorganize or are selling used items as you go, storing everything effectively is a great habit, and can stretch the amount of space you have by using it wisely.
Essentially, we typically need to store the following:
· Dress Pants
· Out of season clothing
Take some inventory of what you have, what you need to access most often and most easily, and decide where the best spot would be to meet these needs. Do many of your clothes need to be hung up? Can they be folded instead? Do you need access to all of it easily or do you usually wear the same few items and save the rest for occasional wear?
Hamper & Laundry Basket Storage
I quickly decided that not many of my clothes need to be hung on a hanger - which worked out well because it meant I could move my hampers onto the closet floor space without having clothes hanging into them and being cramped. The bottom of my closet became storage for my two hampers and laundry basket.
It was amazing to have these things out of my bedroom space and not have to constantly look at them! When I'm curling into bed at night, the last thing I want to take a glance at is a pile of dirty laundry I need to deal with tomorrow. Like I said, I chose not to hang clothing on the rod due to this, because there wouldn’t be enough room for items to hang down properly. So, I folded everything. And it worked out fantastic!
Low Shelving Clothing Storage
The bottom shelf became storage for undergarments, pajamas, and all pants. The pants are sorted by type (work pants, jeans, sweats). The reason for this is because a pair of pants as pants is typically heavier than a shirt, so I reasoned that it would be easier on a daily basis to reach to a bin higher up to grab a shirt than it would be a pair of pants. Not to mention, when I grab the bin of shirts off of the higher shelf, it is much lighter to bring down to look through than it would be if it was full of pants!
The undergarments I knew I needed to be creative with, as didn't want to add any drawers. I bought two smaller rectangular fabric storage baskets from a dollar store. I rolled any underwear to stand up, and placed bras in the other one. I also bought two wire racks from the dollar store (I found these in the kitchen section, they were dish racks), which fit PERFECTLY over the baskets. This created a little DIY shelf space which I used for storage, and the drawers underneath slide out easily. Not bad for a dollar store hack, right?
High Shelving Clothing Storage
For the higher up shelving, I bought four large fabric storage baskets, again at the dollar store :) I used these for separating most of my tops and accessories.
Accessories (scarves & belts)
Tip: fold all items and stack them sideways rather than in a single pile, so you can see all items when you glance into the basket rather than having to dig.
While its still a reach, I have a little step stool in my closet that allows me to quickly grab the handle of the basket, grab what I need, and put it back. No more messing up stacks of clothing! No more digging through bins to find what I need!
Small Bins = Additional & Versatile Storage
I have two additional, smaller dollar store baskets in front of the storage bins (a perk of having deep shelving) which can be easily moved out of the way when needed: one for socks, and one for t-shirts.
Tip: adding small storage bins in any extra smaller spaces you have can be a helpful way to store smaller items such as:
Out of Reach Shelving
Most closets have a top shelf that can be so out of reach. I'd recommend using this purely for occasional items:
items you don’t need quite yet but will soon as the weather changes
out of season clothing you can't fully part with enough to store in vacuum storage bags (I'll admit, I keep some of my favorite summer tops out all winter just incase I want to wear them before summer comes back!)
items you're wanting to give away/sell
The Benefits of an Effective Closet Space
Having a well organized, easy to navigate closet space makes it much easier to get dressed, plan outfits, and even to put laundry away. Not only that, but you'll be spending less time digging through piles of clothing, knocking over piles of folded clothes, reaching through deep shelves, and trying to reach the top shelf on a daily basis.
The best part of my closet makeover, beyond the dollar store budget, is that I can shut the closet doors and have it all hidden away - no dresser, hamper, or laundry basket to trip over any longer, which is something I was hoping to achieve.
Tall and deep shelves can be hard to work with, but its all about finding an organized setup that works best for you! Happy closet organization!