simplify 101 closet hanger“I just bought a wonderful old home. It’s got a lot of charm, but very little closet space. Can you give me tips on living with little closets?”

Little closets certainly are a big challenge! Luckily, there are lots of great products on the market today to help you cope with this one downside of charming, old homes. Here are four ideas to get you started …

1. Utilize the full height of your closet. How much space is between the top shelf of your closet and the closet ceiling? If it’s greater than four feet, you might make better use of your space by adding another shelf above the existing top shelf. Use your new top shelf to store out of season or infrequently used items. Not only will you have more storage space, you’ll also have easier access to items on your lower shelf. (Don’t you hate it when the sweater you want to wear is on the bottom of a stack of ten sweaters?) Consider buying a top shelf narrower than the existing shelf, to make it easy to see and access items on both shelves.

2. Use your door. Add an over-the-door rack for shoes or frequently used accessories. Clear versions make it easy to see contents. Or opt for the canvas variety and sew on labels to identify the contents inside. Another option is to install hooks on the inside of your closet door. Use hooks to hang purses, tote bags, frequently worn items like your robe, or to hang tomorrow’s outfit (and save precious time during the morning rush!)

over the door shoe organizer

If you’ve moved your shoes off the floor, you now have a full length closet to use. Take stock of your wardrobe. Do you have a lot of full length hanging items, or is there precious, unused space between your clothes and the floor? To better utilize the full length of your closet, consider adding a second hanging rod. Or purchase canvas sweater hangers. In the space where you could hang between 6 to 8 sweaters or T-shirts on hangers, you can fold between 16 to 24 in a canvas, hanging shelf. What a great use of space!

3. Move out of season clothing into deep storage. Use space in a guest bedroom, your kids’ rooms, the attic or basement. There are many portable wardrobes on the market today to keep items covered and hung up, out of your bedroom closet.

4. Avoid taking up precious closet space with a dirty clothes basket or hamper. Consider moving your hamper into the bathroom. Another option is to purchase an attractive wicker hamper that complements the decor of your bedroom.

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Aby Garvey is a creative organizing expert and simplify 101’s founder. She has created 14 online organizing classes, which she has been teaching since 2007, helping thousands of people around the world get organized. Aby loves to help people create positive change in their lives through her online classes and coaching program

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