13 closet organization ideas to squeeze as much storage as possible out of your space

Our closet organization ideas and storage tips will transform even the tiniest of closets into something Marie Kondo herself would be proud of

closet organization ideas
(Image credit: Ikea)

Is there anything more satisfying than scrolling through closet organization ideas? Picture after picture of clothes in color order and everything folded perfectly and oh, the shoes, shoes lined up so neatly you can actually pick a pair without having to dive into a mound of sneakers, sliders and slippers. And you can be living this dream closet life too, all you need is a few tips and tricks to get everything in order and easily accessible (can you tell we have been re-watching The Home Edit?).

Keep scrolling for loads of really easy, low-cost, closet organizing ideas, and for more clothes storage ideas head over to our equally satisfying gallery. 

1. Get the design of your closet spot on 

closet organization ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

'Initially, you need to look at the design of your closet in comparison to the clothes you own. For example, does your closet house your long dresses and have enough rails for your collection of blouses? If not and if the design is wrong it may need tweaking because you are potentially fighting a losing battle. In addition to this have a look at if you are simply trying to fit too much into the space - are you trying to fit too much into the space?' says professional organizer Vicky Silverthorn.

'Try and use every inch of space your wardrobe has and add shelves where needed if there is any dead space. Be methodical in your clothes positioning. Put seasonal clothing up high in harder to reach areas or at the back of shelves. Make sure the clothes you are currently wearing are in the easiest to reach places.'

2. Organize a closet based on what you wear most  

Small closet with clothes rail and shelving

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you really want to get serious about organizing your closet, unfortunately, you are going to have to pull everything out and start from scratch. To make the most of your space and to make it work for you, you need to first think about what you reach for most and least so you can come up with a plan for where everything will go. 

'The easiest to reach spaces should house the clothes you wear most/ daily. I like to hang in category ie short sleeves together, long-sleeved, jackets etc… you can always put them in color order within these categories. Some people prefer to hang jeans and others fold - this really has to depend on the room you have and your preference. There are only guidelines and never set rules.' advises Vicky. 

3. Double space in a closet with hanging storage

closet organization ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

If your closet has plenty of space for hangers but you're squeezed for space for items like t-shirts, jumpers and jeans adding some hanging storage is an easy solution. This SKUBB hanger from Ikea is just $6.99 – check out the rest of the range too as there are some great cheap pieces for closet storage. 

4. Add a cute clothing rack 

Danielle and Andy Lisle transformed her old teenage home in Gateshead so it was perfect for modern family life

(Image credit: Katie Lee)

A great option for smaller closets, clothing racks can store plenty but don't take up anywhere near as much room as built-in units. Plus you can get some really stylish options too that can become a feature of your closet as well as storage. And because you can actually see all your clothes you are one, more likely to get wear out of them all and two, more likely to keep them organized. 

5. Store your clothes properly

closet organization ideas

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you do opt for open storage, like a clothes rail, you may need to consider how you store your clothes, especially if you get a lot of natural light in your closet space. Bright colors will fade if they are constantly stored in a space that fills with direct sunlight so be sure to store anything bright either out of the sun or in a clothes bag. 

Choose good hangers for your clothes too. Sounds basic, but choosing cheap, flimsy hangers can misshape and stretch your clothes. A simple wooden hanger is your best option, and match all your hangers, obviously this looks nicer but will save you space too. 

6. Add extra storage and get small items organized with pegboards

Pegboard from Ikea in a closet

(Image credit: Ikea)

Ah, we love pegboard. We have sung the praises of pegboard many a time and they can add plenty of extra storage to your closet by fixing a few boards to the back of your closet or wardrobe door. They are really handy for keeping the smaller items, like, jewelry, shoes, glasses and bags organized and easily accessible. 

7. Or opt for bins and baskets

Ikea sale best picks

(Image credit: Ikea)

Another closet organization idea that will help keep your space free of clutter is plenty of boxes and baskets. They are perfect for making us of those higher up shelves, so you can just pull down the whole box rather than blinding reaching around for a single item. Just be sure to label them so you know where everything is. 

8. Re-organize your closet with the seasons

storage boxes in a walk in wardrobe

(Image credit: Orthex)

Because you don't need a whole closet of sandals and summer dresses in the middle of winter. Switch out your wardrobe every few months to keep it clutter-free and filled with clothes you are actually going to wear. 

'The less you have in your closet the easier it is to keep organized so ensure you clear out regularly and pass on any items you don’t want. Pull out holiday wear and put in a separate box or space because this isn’t something you use daily. Also, do this with seasonal clothing - again to give you less to look at visually and deal with mentally. The magic answer is always have less and it’s easier to control!' says Vicky.

So pop whatever clothes you aren't wearing into clear plastic boxes under the bed, or in the loft and, again, label them so you know what you get out as the seasons change. 

9. Hang accessories on rails 

Accessories stored on rails in a closet

(Image credit: Ikea)

The key to good closet organization is having as much as possible visible and accessible. You don't want to be rooting around at the back of drawers for belts or constantly detangling jewelry, get your accessories out and on show by hanging them from rails. You could add small hanging baskets too for things like sunglasses and hair accessories. 

Again, this is a closet storage idea that looks lovely too, plus it's perfect for small closets as it takes up zero floor space. 

If you are after more jewelry storage ideas we have a whole gallery to give you inspiration. 

10. Don't forget to make space for shoes

Closet storage with hanging shoe organizer

(Image credit: Ikea)

Need closet storage for your ever-growing shoe collection? The best way, and one that takes up as little space as possible, is shoe organizers you can hang on the back of doors or organizers that can hang from a rail. Both take up zero floor space but provide an ample amount of shoe storage, plus every pair is accessible too. 

11. Use this Ikea hack to store your jeans

Ikea hack using shelf brackets to store jeans

(Image credit: Ikea)

How fab is this Ikea hack? It can be so tricky to know how to store jeans and pants, but having them hung like this keeps them crease-free and means you can store way more than if they were folded into drawers. This set closet organization idea has been created using shelf brackets and hanging clips – very nifty!

12. Add a dressing table to your closet

Jenny Weston loft: the dressing room is pink with a patterned dresser and open rails

(Image credit: Rachael Smith © Future)

If you have got the space, adding a dressing table to your closet will provide you with plenty of room for keeping small stuff safe and out of the way. You'll instantly give your closet more of a dressing room feel, plus if you hang a mirror and add a stool you have a place to get ready for the day, away from the main bedroom. 

13. Got a large closet? Add a storage ottoman 

Ikea clothes storage

(Image credit: Ikea)

If you have been blessed with a larger walk-in closet adding an ottoman to the center of the room with not only help you get more organized but make the space feel more stylish rather than just a place to store your never-ending denim collection. You can keep bulkier clothes like coats or jumpers in there so they are are of the way but still easily accessible. For more dressing room ideas head over to our gallery. 

Psstt... if you don't have a walk-in closet an ottoman works just as well at the end of a bed and will give you more room to work within your closet.

What is the best way to organize clothes in a closet? 

The best way to organize clothes in a closet is to start by getting everything out. Go through each item and have a declutter, getting rid of anything that Marie Kondo wouldn't approve of. Then organize your clothes by category – tops, jumpers, dresses, bottoms. That's the simplest way to sort them, but you will then want to consider clothes you reach for the most and make sure they are easily accessible. You might also want to put away clothes that are suitable for the season so they aren't just taking up room in your closet. 

How can you organize a small closet?

If you have been blessed with a small closet the best way to organize your space is firstly to make sure everything you are putting in there is something you wear and want to keep. Yep, sorry more decluttering. 

Then when it comes to designing your closet, opt for as much wall storage as possible. Wall-mounted shelving, a clothes rail, hooks and organizers that hang off the backs of doors are all going to be your friend. Double up where you can too, so hang cubby organizers from your clothes rails if you need more storage for pieces that don't need to be hung. You can maximize shelving space with bins and baskets too, and of course, make use of all the clothes folding hacks that exist to keep everything as compact as possible. 

How can you organize a closet cheaply?

'I never advise any gimmicky sections to a wardrobe. Simple rails and shelving are perfect. I am a huge fan of Ikea as you can always add more shelves and sections once you’ve put it together at home so you don’t have to get it perfect first time.' advises Vicky Silverthorn. 

'Do a declutter before you buy/ design your wardrobe so you aren’t just guessing what you need. You need to see visually how many shorter items and longer you own so you don’t end up with extra unwanted or dead space.'

'ALWAYS get enough shelving and allow for shoes. This is the biggest mistake people make. I love a floor to ceiling section with shelves that are adjustable as shoes are all different heights. Keep the design simple and practical and to suit what you have.'

Hebe Hatton
Hebe Hatton

Hebe joined the Real Homes team in early 2018 as Staff Writer. As a renter, she is always looking for creative ways to make her flat feel like home. She loves boho and 70's style and is a big fan of Instagram as a source of interiors inspiration.