Sunday, March 24, 2013

Closet Storage Solutions

My half of our tiny closet

When you're living in a home with a limited amount of closet space (and who isn't these days) you really have to maximize every bit of storage that you have.  My husband and I live in a two bedroom townhouse, which is plenty big enough for the two of us and our three kitties, except for the extremely lacking amount of closet space.  I would estimate our shared "walk-in" closet is about 4 feet by 6 feet.  (The OCD in me required that I measure after typing that.  The official dimensions are 4'2" by 6'10".  I'm so good!)  In addition, I have one chest of drawers in our bedroom, which mostly holds socks, tights, under shirts, and gym/lounging around the house clothes.  After five years of living in this house and no signs of the housing market in this part of Florida improving any time soon, I've gotten quite good at finding creative ways to use every bit of space in our closet and our bedroom.  (Side note: I know that I could store clothes and accessories in our second bedroom.  However, since we live 900 miles away from our family, they come to visit fairly often and stay in that bedroom.  It's not an ideal situation to keep my wardrobe staples or hubby's wardrobe staples in a room where someone else might be sleeping.  That may be an easier, more eye appealing option for other people but I'm just sharing what works for me.)

Since I'm just sitting around in my pajamas today on Spring Break (YEEEA!), I thought instead of sharing an outfit that I could share some of my inexpensive ideas for storing some of my clothes and accessories in a small space.

My Problem: No skirt hangers
My Solution: binder clips, $2.49

I like to hang my skirts because a lot of them are fabrics that wrinkle easily and I don't have the time or energy to spend ironing folds out of my clothes.  I have a few skirt hangers from stores and a few of these left over from college when all my clothes were on hangers.  But these soft touch clips can be fairly expensive when you have to buy a lot of them (think, two per skirt) so I wanted a really affordable alternative.  After talking to my one of my smart friends, we came up with a solution that's super affordable.  She told me that when she was younger, her parents used to use clothespins pinned onto wire hangers to hold skirts.  I didn't have any wire hangers and clothespins were too small for my cheapo plastic hangers, but as teachers, we brainstormed in my classroom and decided that medium size binder clips would work just the same!

I bought a few boxes of these 1 1/4" binder clips from Walgreens for $2.49 for a pack of twelve.  Each pack is enough to hold six skirts.  Then I just clipped two binder clips onto a plastic hanger that I already had.  Instant skirt hanger!  Just leave the metal clip at the top and pinch together to put the skirt on or take it off the hanger.  Now all of my skirts can be hung up in my closet without breaking the bank.

Wide Belts
My Problem: not enough room to store big, wide belts
My Solution: shoe organizer, $14.99

Remember my I Heart Belts post?  Well I was not kidding when I said I love belts!  And after seeing what they can do to totally transform an outfit, I went out and bought even more.  I may have gone a little overboard when wide belts were on sale at two different stores (Rue21 and Body Central) for $1, $2, or $4 a few weeks ago.  So then I had a ton of belts and not enough room to store them.  With my closet already full, I needed an alternative.  Then I randomly had a stroke of brilliance when searching the Bed Bath and Beyond website the other day.  Why couldn't I use this amazing over the door clear shoe rack for my belts?  At only $14.99, this was right in my price range.  And I had a sneaking suspicion that it would be the perfect size for wide belts and you would still allow you to easily see each one.  I could hang it on the back of my bedroom door (or closet door if I didn't already have stuff there) without taking up any precious hanging or drawer space.  And they're kind of like my own happy door art!  I just like looking at them.

In this photo, I actually have my skinny belts in there too but I've since moved them so that I still have room to grow.  The BB&B website says this has twenty-four pockets but in actuality there are two horizontal pockets at the top too so you get twenty-six pockets!  I put a belt in the top right horizontal pocket so you could see what I mean.

Skinny Belts
My Problem: Not enough room to store belts
My Solution: Switch up where items are stored ($0 for me, other similar items $5-$15)

As I said, I ended up moving my skinny belts back to where all of the belts started out, which is on a hanger like this one from Target.  (I got mine for about $5 at Ross a few years ago so you might want to check there too!)

I felt like with the skinnier belts rolled up, it was hard to see which was which in the shoe rack so I went back to the hanger, which displays these belts nicely.  Again, not having a full rack means I have room to grow if I decide I want to eventually add more to my collection.  These are hanging in a corner of the room next to my necklaces and my makeup area. 

My Problem: too many necklaces, not enough room
My Solution: tie and belt rack, around $8

And before the belts were on that little hanger, guess who used to live there?  My necklaces!  That is, until they also outgrew the small hanger and needed a larger home.  So I ordered this tie and belt rack from  I believe it has twenty-seven pegs but honestly, it's another item where I still have room to grow.  It holds all of my necklaces and displays them so I can actually see each one.  And at around $8, it's kind of tempting me to buy a few more.  I'm sure I could find a use for some more to organize hubby's tie collection (which puts my accessory collection to shame).

My Problem: too many shoes, not enough space
My Solution: rearrange the shoes, $0!

All shoes facing front: fits 19-20 pairs of shoes
I've owned this shoe rack since Brian and I got our first apartment almost seven years ago. The original construction was pretty shoddy but Brian got all crazy and glued the whole thing together so now it holds pretty well.  It's nice because it fits in my closet underneath of my clothes (see top photo) but I outgrew this shoe rack after about one year of having "real job" paychecks.  But I can't fit anything much bigger in my tiny closet so I have to make do.  One way that I was trying to utilize the space was by turning each pair of shoes in a different direction.  When all of the shoes are not facing front, you can fit more on.  This is because shoes are larger in the front than the back.

Turn each pair of shoes a different direction:
Fits 20-21 pairs of shoes
But this really only made room for about one or two more pairs of shoes.  While every bit of space counts, I still really wanted more room for more shoes without having to take up more precious closet space or get rid of any of my shoe loves.  Then I saw this pin - OH. MY. GOD.  Genius!  Why didn't I ever think of this?

Turn each shoe a different direction:
Fits 22-23 pairs of shoes

Now this may not look as pretty as having all your shoes facing front, but I'd rather have my feet pretty in different shoes than have my closet pretty!  It's really not ideal for heels, which are a little harder to remove from the rack when turned, but as a teacher, I wear my heels so seldom that it doesn't really matter to me if they are turned.  And now I have room to expand without having to get rid of any shoes or move any to an alternate location.  And it didn't cost me a dime!  If you're wondering, I store my boots and tennis shoes somewhere else.  Boots don't fit on this rack and I wear my tennis shoes very rarely.

Do you have any inexpensive secrets to keep your closet and accessories organized?  I'd love to hear your ideas too!

1 comment:

  1. There are many ways to go about organizing your closet. Different methods make more sense depending on your space and what you’re storing. No matter which method you choose, these closet storage solutions  definitely helps you to reduce the space usage. Once again great post man! Cheers!