How to organize a small closet with lots of clothes

How to optimize storage, maxime the use of available space, and create an organized system to make it easier to find and access clothes within the constraints of a small closet.

Only a small percentage of people are organizationally challenged and it just about describes me. And it is a challenge to me to organise my wardrobe into a semblance of order. When this is combined with a small storage space, the result is chaos. So I have always been in need of simple tips and tools to increase wardrobe space – for Organizationally challenged. So I decided to write it myself.

I am like the mad scientist who always has his head in the cloud and never sees the chaos around him. The only thing is I am not a scientist. So what is the excuse?

But only a small percent of people have a wardrobe like this either.


So you may as well read it.

Small space plus disorganization makes Disaster.

Renovating a small cramped wardrobe to one of Hollywood proportions maybe what you dream of but it may not be possible in real life. We all need to get our clothes in place (neat inside a small and cramped wardrobe). Below given are some tips and things you can buy to increase the space inside your wardrobe. 

Storage hacks to increase Wardrobe space 

Get rid of unworn clothes

This is the number one tip. When you have too many clothes in your wardrobe, a lot of them will be things you may never ever wear. It is said that we only wear 20% of our clothes all the time – 80% we never or rarely ever wear.

So practice the 80-20 rule. Get rid of that unused 80% and you now have 20% clothes stored in your 100% wardrobe.

Yes, this is definitely the most important tip of all. You have all the space you always wanted. 

Keep everything in its place

A place for everything and everything in its place. There is a beauty in keeping things this way. Designate a place for everything and remember to keep things there, and there alone. Deciding this itself will clear the morning fog inside our brains when looking inside a wardrobe for something to wear. 


Get storage boxes 

Separate clothes into two piles – which you use daily and which you use not so frequently. You can store non-frequently used clothing inside storage boxes and stack them on the top part of the wardrobe – do not forget to label and write what is inside. If you label them they will be easy to find later.


You can also use stack-able storage boxes to keep small things and similar things tidy. These can be stacked inside the wardrobe. 

If you are really short of space, use big storage boxes for storage and store them under the bed.

Fix rails for hanging clothes

how to get space inside a small wardrobe by fixing railings to hang clothes
Folding clothes is an art – which requires patience, skill and practice in equal measure. If you cannot bother with all of these, opt for hanging clothes.
Fix multiple railings wherever you can. You can hang clothes on simple metal hangers.
Categorize clothing and then hang. It takes only minutes to do it but saves you lots of time looking for things. 
I love to hang clothes on wooden hangers – they are expensive but the clothes hanging down wooden hangers look a class apart. They also have those convenient slots to keep the hangers on clothes to prevent them from slipping down.
slotted wooden hanges


Pro tip I have read: Do not hang t-shirts or sweaters for long – the knit fabric will stretch out of shape


Get a variety of nice hangers 

get more space inside wardrobes with different types of hangers

You can use hanger organizers for more space and to be able to see the clothes properly.

use space saving hangers for scarves and hang inside wardrobes

Get separate hangers with slots for scarves – you can hang multiple scarves this way.

wardrobe hangers with slots to hang more than one garment

Layering hangers can be used for hanging folded clothes like pants scarves etc vertically.

make space inside wardrobes for storing clothes with multi-hangers

You can hang 4-5 pants or jeans on this single hanger. Increases closet space by lots. Just make sure that the railing you hang it is strong enough. 

Get hanging storage shelves

The best way to increase your storage space is to add extra storage inside that will make use of wasted space inside. Shelf dividers can do it as well as prevent the mess of all the clothing mixed up.

If you cannot install shelf dividers inside, hanging storage shelves are the next best thing. They use up the unused vertical space and creates more shelf space. Best thing is you can segregate and store. and everything is open unlike boxes.

You can use hanging organizers with one or two shelves which you can use to store anything from small face towels to underwear. Buy ones with strong wooden top and base so that they hold everything steady. You can fold and arrange clothes neatly inside the shelves.

wardrobe organizers

Or buy the hanging pocket storage that you can hang inside the wardrobe with the help of hangers. This is best to store small things like underwear, gloves, small towels etc. If you get more than one, they hang close to each without taking up much space inside the wardrobe.

Use drawer separators

The mess is usually in the drawers – you try to stack your things inside a drawer and after one or two days, and a frantic search inside and everything is a mess again. 

You should use separators wherever you can, inside a drawer, unless you have cubbies and partitions built-in inside the drawer already.

wardrobe space solutions -separators for storing lingerie efficiently

You get these plastic separators that you can insert inside your small drawer and store umpteen number of underwear. From this mess –

wardroabs with messy clothes

to this.

folded lingerie
Another helpful thing is a storage box with separators- I find these very useful to separately store socks, underwear, scarves etc. You can stack them one on top of the other and contain the mess. The genie in a bottle?

wardrobe storage

Do not forget the door back for storage

Usually the back of the wardrobe door is an unused space – just by installing hooks on wardrobe doors you can hang so many things like belts, hats, scarves. 


You can even store trolleys.


Get versatile storage options

That is, get things you can have multiple uses – Like the  storage cubes – they can be used as a dressing table chair cum storage.

Do not leave a trolley suitcase sitting idle – use it as storage space- you will be using it only during vacations anyway. 

As a homemaker I need to be organised, unlike a scientist who is excused on behalf of his superior intellect. I buy organisational solutions in the hope that a life time of habits and a disorganized brain will correct itself and magically transform my wardrobe. I also hope to add extra space to my limited wardrobe area. Does these simple hacks work? Yes, absolutely. What do you use?

Related posts: How to make your wardrobe smell wonderful; Make rose sachets for your wardrobe; How to fold your shirts properly.

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

4 thoughts on “How to organize a small closet with lots of clothes”

  1. Wow! You have certainly taught this 80 years young “Puppy” some new tricks! Did not know some of these resisted like the honeycomb drawer organizer. This is so helpful since we have to downsize now. Thank you!

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