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When space is limited, it calls for a little creativity. That’s especially true for closet space. If you have a small closet, you know how challenging it can be to organize clothing and all other items. Not to worry, there are plenty of ways to optimize even the smallest of closets. To help get you started, let’s go over some space-saving ideas on organizing and maximizing storage in your small closet.

Remove the Clutter

Our old belongings can pile up and take storage space away from new or more frequently used items. That’s why decluttering should be the first step when starting a project such as this. Of course, getting rid of stuff is often easier said than done. If you struggle letting go of junk, it can be constructive to ask a series of questions. Begin by taking everything out of the closet and sorting it by type or function. Then, go through each item and ask:

• Does this still fit me and my style?
• Have I used this at all over the last year?
• Is it broken, worn or defective? If so, am I actually going to repair it?
• Will I use this in the future?
• Does this item bring back good memories?

Answering no to any of these question should be a clear indicator that it’s time to bid the item farewell. That doesn’t necessarily mean tossing it in the trash, though. Instead, set up boxes for what you think would be good to recycle, donate or possibly sell. Doing so could help reduce your environmental impact and even put a little money back in your pocket.

Work With What You’ve Got

Even after all the junk and clutter has been purged, fitting the items you kept back inside may still be difficult. Capitalizing on the closet’s features is a great way to approach the problem. For instance, consider a suspended drawer system if you have surplus floor-to-ceiling space but no room for a dresser. Available in all sorts of designs, this storage solution utilizes the vertical space from hanging for either closed or open-face drawers. You can use it for tactically rolled t-shirts, bulky sweaters, or shoes. Be sure to measure first and opt for deep drawers.

If, on the other hand, you have no hanging space, there are specially designed hangers to help make the most out of what you’ve got. Shop for hideaway racks, double hangers, accessory organizers, and more. You could even double your hanging space with an adjustable extender rod. Simply install it perpendicular to your existing one and use the right hanging techniques to prevent items from overlapping or looking disorderly.

Don’t Forget the Door

When organizing a small closet, you would be remiss to overlook the potential storage the door can bring to the space. Depending on the type of door, you can add shelving or extra hanging space by investing in a behind-the-door organizer. Whether you opt for a mounted design or one that simply hangs over the top, these organizers can provide extra storage for shoes, clothing, accessories, skincare products and so much more.

Make the Most of Your Floor Space

The floor offers a world of storage opportunities as well. Rather than letting shoes pile up, you can utilize multi-story shoe shelves to maintain order and make it easy to find each pair. Stackable flat storage boxes also keep off-season items out of the way until needed. If space allows, you could utilize a row of fabric bins along the wall for a convenient and visually appealing approach to closet floor storage.

Quick Tips and Ideas

Before you get to work, here are a few final thoughts for you to consider:

• Divide the space into “his-and-her” sides by placing a hutch in the center.
• Use wall hooks for long necklaces, purses and belts.
• Install LED lighting under the shelves for a modern way to illuminate a dim space.
• Reach out to the professionals for your own customized closet system.
• Put in wire hanging baskets under existing shelves for smaller items.
• Measure your closet space’s width, depth, and height before any new purchases.

Author bio: Tim Duren is the President of Chicago Closets, a company specializing in designing, manufacturing, and installing custom closet systems. Duren started this company in his garage and has over 15 years of experience learning the closet business from the ground up.

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