10 Genius Ways to Double Your Closet Space and Get Ready Faster
Turn Towel Bars into Scarf Storage
When her collection of colorful scarves grew, Jennifer Bridgman, the blogger behind The Chronicles of Home, had to devise a new system to contain it. Her DIY solution: repurpose a wooden towel bar as a scarf holder. Once the bar was attached to a small blank closet wall, each scarf was looped on. To get the look in your own closet, simply pair a blank wall with an affordable towel bar.
- CB2 24" Brass Towel Bar
- If you're looking for an organizer that's as stylish as the scarves it holds, opt for this chic brass bar. Add a couple matching brass hooks to hold totes and handbags.
- To buy: $25; cb2.com.
Divide and Conquer Drawers
If drawers aren't equipped with dividers, they easily become a mishmash of belts, socks, and undergarments to hunt through every morning. "When everything has its place, you'll spend less time pawing through your clothes and accessories looking for what you want. An organized closet makes getting dressed and packing for trips a breeze!" says designer Annie Selke. Invest the time now to get your closet clutter under control, and you'll save minutes every single morning. The first step: take inventory of what you own. "Be honest about the number of items you want to store," she recommends, and then plan your storage system accordingly. Once these organizers are in place, you can kiss the formerly messy sock drawer adieu.
Keep Off-Season Clothing Out of Sight
When Joy Cho of Oh Joy! asked the organizing gurus at Bneato Bar for help wrangling her closet, she learned a valuable lesson: Don't display out-of-season clothing. Instead, she used storage boxes to hide seasonal gear that could be stashed out of the way. While this wouldn't be a smart spot to store items you reach for every day, it's an ideal place to tuck clothing you won't wear for several months. Label each bin with a word, number, or color that will help you remember what's stored inside.
- Smock Boxes
- For beautifully printed paper boxes made in Syracuse, New York, shop Smock Paper's stunning selection.
- To buy: From $8; smockpaper.com.
Put Your Jewelry On Display
When Brighton Keller of Brighton the Day designed her dream walk-in closet, she decided to leave nothing to the imagination. "It was really important to me that I be able to see everything that I have. That way, it would be easier to put together outfits," she explains. To make sure her jewelry was right where she could find it, Keller put a small blank wall to use. Once a couple transparent organizers were installed, she draped them with statement necklaces. Rather than take up valuable drawer space, these pretty accessories are now put on display, where they can double as decor.
Hang Pants Single File
If you typically fold your pants over the bar of a shirt hanger or hide them inside a drawer, then you're not storing them in the most space-efficient way possible. Instead, Stephanie Mark, one of the co-founders of Coveteur, recommends hanging pants on ultra-thin skirt hangers. When folded over a shirt hanger, pants are bulkier, but when clipped at the top, you can store twice as many on the same bar. Most importantly, this storage method fits with Mark's motto: "If you can't see it, you won't wear it." When organized single file, each pair is easily found, shaving minutes off your morning routine.
Give Every Purse a Place
If your purse collection rivals your shoe collection, you may want to take a tip from Melissa George of Polished Habitat and buy or DIY some purse dividers. She crafted her wall-hanging acrylic clutch holders (find the full how-to here) over the course of a few afternoons. She also inserted custom-cut acrylic sheets into one compartment of the closet to give a separate slot for each purse. "Acrylic was the perfect material to keep things tidy, but still visible," she explains. To get the look in your own closet, you can DIY acrylic dividers, or keep an eye out for transparent organizers, like our pick below.
Raise the Bar(s)
When Victoria Smith, editor of the interior design blog sfgirlbybay, finally got the walk-in closet of her dreams, she realized the space-saving potential of a two-tier design. By raising the top closet bar up near the ceiling, Smith was able to fit in a second row of hanging clothes below, doubling the space's storage potential. Another bar attached to the wall holds bags, scarves, and necklaces suspended from s-hooks. To implement this system in your own closet, install an extra closet rod or a sturdy tension rod, then use a towel bar to hang accessories.
- InterDesign Cameo Tension Rod
- If you don't want to install a permanent closet rod, use this bronze tension rod to store lightweight tops or skirts.
- To buy: $15; amazon.com.
Don't Forget the Back of the Door
The back of your closet door is a wide open surface, just waiting to be put to work storing shoes or sorting scarves. Attach the right organizer and you'll feel as though you just gained a few extra feet of closet space. This vinyl, over-the-door rack not only holds up to 10 pairs of shoes, but the transparent design makes each one easy to locate. Now all you'll have to figure out is what to do with all of that open floor space that once held your shoe collection.
Over the Door Vinyl Shoe Rack
To buy: $24; PBteen.com.
Buy an Under-Shelf Basket
Below each shelf in your closet, there's likely a few inches of unused space. To put that underutilized area to work, Melissa George of Polished Habitat decided to hang a couple under-shelf baskets. These shallow wire containers clip onto the edge of a standard shelf, without screws or hardware, and can hold everything from socks to spare toiletries. Once you add a couple of these floating containers to your closet, you'll wonder why you ever let this area sit unused.
- Lincoln Undershelf Basket
- If you're looking for organizers that are as pretty as they are practical, splurge on this gorgeous copper catchall.
- To buy: $35; jet.com.