How to organize your impossibly tiny apartment closet

Yes, the sequin jumpsuit can stay

Clean and tidy closet with clothes and purse hanging up
(Image credit: Photography: Vivian Johnson for Shira Gill)

Many wonder how Sex and the City’s Carrie Bradshaw managed when it came to organizing her small closet in her New York City apartment. Throw in your statement pieces, shoe collections, handbags, and everyday basics and it's near impossible to keep everything intact in a tiny closet. Organization only gets more challenging if your closet’s storage system isn’t curated to assist you with keeping tabs on what you have and where it was placed.

When it comes to closets, storage space is key. If your closet is small, calculating what’s going into it is a must-do before the organization process. With this stated, there are so many ideas you can play with when organizing a small closet. Organization and cleaning expert Hailey Becnel provided us with her top organizing tips that will assist you with making room for all of your favorite closet items.

How to organize a small closet

Clean and organized closet with shoes, clothes, and purses

Photography: Vivian Johnson for Shira Gill 

(Image credit: Photography: Vivian Johnson for Shira Gill)

Wondering how to organize a tiny closet in an apartment? Becnel has you covered with must-know pointers along with some of the products she utilizes to make this process easier.

Decluttering the space. Are there clothes you no longer wear or shoes that are damaged beyond repair? If so, Becnel believes these items should be donated or thrown in the trash. (And don't convince yourself you still need those things if it's been a year or more since you've worn them!)

Get creative. Utilize every inch of your closet. Becnel loves a good over-the-door hanging organizer. These are perfect for holding smaller items, such as scarves, belts, undergarments, socks, or small purses. Another suggestion is to invest in velvet, multi-tier hangers. Instead of hanging one pair of jeans, you'll have the ability to hang multiple. Finally, if you have wall space in your small closet, buy some inexpensive hooks for hanging up bulky items or bags.

Buy a mini dresser or inexpensive stackable drawers. The possibilities are endless here. Becnel mentioned her daughter's closet is very small and bought a small dresser from a thrift store to use in her closet. The extra drawer space has been a lifesaver.

Invest in vacuum storage bags. Becnel says storage bags are amazing for putting away clothing you may not wear very often, especially seasonal items like puffer coats or your giant collection of summer dresses. These items can be stacked like books and will save your small closet more space by doing so. They're also ideal for storing away extra bedding and blankets.

Add an extra rod. Becnel suggests adding an extra rod to your closet. These are game-changers and can give you extra space for new clothing — a win-win in our book.

A professional organizer's small closet must-haves

Below, you’ll find items chosen by Becnel for decluttering closet space. This is proof that you can have both: personal style and an organized wardrobe.

Aida M. Toro
Freelance Writer

About Me:

Hello! My name is Aida M. Toro and I am a freelance writer that loves cultivating stories about amazing people, fashion, interiors, art, and food. I currently write for Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, The House Magazine, Hobnob Magazine, The C-Word, and Real Homes. I live in West New York, New Jersey, which is literally a 10-minute ferry ride or 20-minute bus ride away from New York City. Although I was born and raised in West New York, I consider NYC my home, as I believe it to be the place where all dreams come to fruition, and of course, spend most of my time in. When I’m not writing, I love perusing the city streets and taking snaps with my iPhone of street art along with random things, scoping out new restaurants as well as their spaces, shopping at some of my favorite stores, spending time with family and friends, walking my cockapoodle Benji, and working out at Lifetime or DOGPOUND, which are some of the top fitness spaces in Manhattan and overall the U.S.