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How to Organize Clothing if You Have a Tiny Closet

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Our bedroom has a tiny closet for two people to share. Love these ideas for how to organize a small closet on a budget (they didn't get a fancy closet system). These ideas should help keep out clothes from exploding everywhere! Haha!

One downside to our new house is that each bedroom only has one tiny reach-in closet. They’re each about the width of a door, that’s it.

Since our last house had much wider reach-in closets, it’s been a bit of a dilemma to figure out how to organize all of our clothing. We really don’t have a lot compared to some people I know, but it’s still a lot more than can comfortably fit in there.

How to Organize Clothing if You Have a Tiny Closet

1. Declutter like you mean it

I don’t want our closets to feel cluttered and crammed full. Since they’re small, that can happen really quickly if we’re not careful.

I declutter our closets regularly to get rid of anything we haven’t worn in the last six months to a year.

I’m very choosy about any extras we keep: I kept my wedding dress. It hardly takes up any room since it’s just a simple satin dress. I also have one fancy black dress for the odd occasion when I need to get snazzy. Austin still has his suit coat and shirt from our wedding, which he has occasionally worn.

It can be frustrating not to have the space to keep everything, but in all honesty, it’s so much easier to get dressed in the morning when the only clothing in your closet is what you actually wear all the time. It’s kind of a blessing in disguise.

organize clothing in a small closet

2. Hanging

Hanging clothes usually don’t take up much space, but with a super tiny closet, it’s not always an option to hang everything.

We hang dress clothes, jeans, sweaters, and that’s about it. We’ve come up with other solutions for the rest of our clothes because there’s not enough room to hang it all.

There are a few things that help us maximize our closet hanging space

  • Skinny Hangers: I love my skinny hangers. They really do take up less space than other versions. The velvety coating is nice because nothing slips off into a puddle on the floor. Plus, matchy-matchy hangers in the closet is a classy look. 🙂
  • Installing Multiple Rods/Shelves: One of the bedroom closets in our house has two hanging rods which doubles the hanging space. It’s just not great if you have long dresses or coats. Various clothing rod and shelving variations can help you better use your space. Our bedroom closet has one hanging rod plus multiple shelves all the way up to the ceiling.

organize clothing in a small closet

3. Dressers

Since there’s no way to fit everything into the tiny closet, we make use of a dresser for all of the little things: socks, undergarments, swim suits…

I’m honestly not a big fan of dressers because they tend to get super messy because we end up digging through everything to find what we want.

I do like that our dresser has multiple smaller drawers so that each drawers can be used for its own category. Austin and I each have our own sock drawer and since that’s the only thing in those drawers, I literally just throw socks in the drawers without worrying about them being folded or stored neatly.

We used to not have a dresser at all and I had baskets for socks and undergarments, so if your room is small and a dresser feels like it takes up too much space, you can definitely do without.

organize clothing in a small closet

4. Shelves

I love using shelves for the rest of our clothes. Sure, shelves can get messy too but unlike with dressers, I can see everything on the shelves.

We use bookshelves to store all of our shirts, pajamas, and comfy clothes (which is most of our clothes).

If your closet is big enough, you can put shelves inside the closet, either as part of a permanent closet system or simply by putting a bookshelf in your closet like we used to do.

Currently, we have two small bookshelves in our room because they wouldn’t fit in the closet. Eventually, I’d like to get a bigger shelf so that everything can be on one piece of furniture instead of two, but we’re using what we’ve got at the moment.

organize clothing in a small closet

5. Extra Storage Helpers

Some other helpful pieces to organize clothing are:

  • Nightstand with Drawers: We have quite a bit of extra storage space in our nightstands because of the drawers.
  • Shoe Shelves: We don’t store shoes in our closet, but I use a shoe shelf for sheets, bags, and a small basket for clothes that need to be hand-washed. It’s a great non-permanent way to utilize the floor of the closet.
  • Baskets: They’re so handy for storing small things like socks, underwear, or accessories.

organize clothing in a small closet

It’s definitely not ideal to have such small closets but we’ve found ways to make it work for us. It’s actually quite normal for this age of houses in our area, so I know many other people have the same dilemma.

The most important step is decluttering, for sure. After that, finding ways to utilize the hanging space well and using dressers, shelves, and other storage solutions can help make it work.

⇒ Do you have small closets? What helps you keep clothing organized?

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