Your closets are the most underutilized, yet precious space in your entire home! From the largest to the smallest home, storage is the number one area that is lacking in home design today. In every closet take an inventory of what is there, what can be discarded, or stored in another location in your home.  You will not be able to utilize your closet to its full potential with excess ‘stuff’.  From the ceiling to the floor, let’s maximize every inch of your small closet.

ANALYZE: Every closet and their owner should approach organization differently. Analyze how much you use your closet and for what purposes. If you have a lot of clothes for every season, then your concentration should be on organization that helps you quickly identify your clothes.  While, if you mostly keep your office products and kid’s school supplies in the closet, your organization will require floor storage that can be stacked and that is heavy.

CLOTHING: For those of you with seasonal clothing, consider using your hanging space strictly for in-season clothing. This way you aren’t looking at clothes that you aren’t going to wear now.  Store out of season clothes in under bed storage bins, or in covered boxes at the top of your closet.  Consider buying closet organization shelving that offers areas for folded, hanging, and accessories. Use vertical space up to the ceiling if possible.  Shoes can be a project in themselves. If you have a large quantity, assess how often you wear them. Only keep your top one’s out.  The others can be stored in stackable clear bins, or opt for a shoe rack over the door.

SUPPLIES: Office supplies like paper and folders can be heavy when stored in bulk.  Consider stacking paper ream boxes and other supplies on the floor, but only to the height that you can access contents easily. Usually two boxes high, you can still hang items above, and open a box without disturbing other areas of the closet. If you are into crafts, scrapbooking, photography, etc… Consider buying organization and storage dollies that fit adjacent to your workspace.  This allows for mobility of your supplies, and frees up your closet. If you need to use the closet for small supplies, use drawers that can be labeled, as well as clear storage bins in various sizes. Check with craft manufacturer’s, they often will specialize in storage solutions appropriate for your hobby.

TAKE PICTURES: Another useful option for small closets is to take pictures of your closet, and measure the space. Take photos and measurements with you to organization stores to accurately buy storage supplies to fir your space. If you are overwhelmed in the store, ask for a take home catalog before you make your purchase.

If you are a small closet owner, when you buy clothes and supplies in the future consider where it will go. Sometimes the best way to cure a small storage problem is to not buy more than you can store. Storage will always be a challenge, although with planning and analyzing, the job might not be so menacing.