Regardless of anyone's current wardrobe situation, not having enough closet space seems to be a universal woe. Between seasonal pieces, footwear options aplenty, and an abundance of accessories, it's no wonder we all want bigger, better closets. But the truth is, the more space we have, the more we tend to fill it with.
Limited space isn't the issue here—it's what we do with the space we have that requires a bit of revaluating. You'd be surprised what a few smarter storage solutions and organization tips from an expert could do for your current closet situation, like using slim hangers, not forgetting about your doors, and maximizing vertical space. Ahead, 10 ways to work with what you have, because what you have is more than enough.
Meet the Expert
Jimmy Seifert is a Dallas, Texas-based closet and laundry buyer at The Container Store. He has been with the company for 7 years. Currently, he is one of the product development and sourcing leads on The Container Store x KonMari collaboration with Marie Kondo.
Evaluate Your Needs
The first step in maximizing your closet space is to evaluate your current situation and determine your organization goals for the items in your closet.
"No matter what size your closet is, you'll discover a lot more space when you figure out the best way to get it organized," Seifert explains. "Explore solutions such as using stacking containers that maximize vertical space or finding ways to make use of the floor and doors."
No matter what size your closet is, you'll discover a lot more space when you figure out the best way to get it organized
Use Slim Hangers
If you have clothes bursting through your closet doors, Seifert tells us, "space-saving velvet hangers are a go-to if you need to maximize your space." And honestly, the uniform look alone instantly elevates the look of your closet.
If you prefer wooden hangers, you know they can be bulky and take up too much room. The good news is The Container Store just launched brand new, first-to-market slim wood hangers in six different finishes—and they're made from sustainable materials, to boot.
Don't Forget Your Doors
Your closet doors can do much more than hide the clutter looming behind. Do yourself a favor and use the empty space on the backside to your advantage. Whether you need more storage for shoes, hats, or accessories, Seifert recommends considering over-the-door storage for additional organization.
You'd be surprised how much vertical space is hanging overhead and up your walls. "You can maximize the vertical space using hanging compartments and shelves," Seifert tells us.
He also recommends hooks and hanging drawers, which are a great way to take advantage of unused vertical space. Every square inch is another opportunity to create storage.
Have a Daily Shoe Drop
If you're the type to switch your shoes out daily, they can pile up by the end of the week. Seifert says the first step is to determine if you are a "kicker" or a "placer." If you are a kicker, he suggests a cubby system.
"If you love to kick your shoes off at the end of a long day—and leave them where they landed—you need a cubby system, as it allows you to kick your shoes off right into a storage solution." If you are a placer, he recommends taking your shoes off and placing them onto a shoe rack or shelf.
If you know you're prone to kicking your shoes off at the end of the day, embrace that quality and make adjustments to keep you organized over time.
Think Long Term
Your more special shoe styles require long-term storage solutions that will protect them from dust and help keep their shape. Seifert recommends investing in clear drop-front shoe boxes.
"Whether you're organizing just a few pairs of flats in the corner of a closet or have an entire room dedicated to sneakers, they're the best way to keep your shoes in perfect condition," he says.
Reimagine Existing Storage Solutions
When maximizing your closet space, it's often a good idea to think outside the product label. For instance, something made to organize shoes can easily be reimagined to house your favorite accessories.
"Because of their smaller size, many clutches are ideal for storing in a hanging shoe bag," Seifert tells us. Get creative with your organization and you'll be surprised how much more you can fit inside even the tiniest closets.
Mind Your Fold
The way you fold your clothes dictates your access to your items and how much space you take up. Having a system for folding and storing items in drawers will make getting ready more efficient.
Seifert tells us to consider the KonMari Folding Method, which allows you to make the most of your drawers and see all items immediately versus your clothes being stacked on top of each other.
Stacking your items one on top of another can make accessing the pieces you need difficult. Instead, line them up with the fold facing upward.
Roll, Don't Fold Bulky Items
Seifert tells us that "rolling towels or linens is a great hack," and all we can think is rolling bulky items like scarves and sweaters. Folding them isn't always the answer, because they tend to topple over when stacking them. And while he confesses the 10-compartment hanging shoe bag is a commonly used hack to store paper towels, this seems like the perfect place to store said scarves and sweaters.
Think Outside the Closet
When your closet is overflowing with items that you won't wear for months to come, all they do is take up valuable real estate. Instead, Seifert tells us it's best to keep out-of-season or special occasion pieces further out of reach.
"Try using the farmhouse under bed box," he says, "it's a great solution for storing and organizing seasonal items in a place other than your closet." Use them to pack away coats in the summer and beach accessories in the winter.