Do you struggle with fitting all of your clothes inside a tiny closet? This article will help you maximize your space and show you how to best organize clothes in a small closet.

If you have a small closet, It is so important to organize your clothes efficiently, especially if you have a lot of clothes.

But don’t fear! It’s possible to have a tiny closet and still fit all of your clothes in a tidy way.

As a professional organizer with 20+ years of experience, I’ve dealt with many small closets. I’ve been able to make a system that works well so that every piece of clothing has a place.

Below are the techniques I use to maximize every inch of usable space when organizing a small clothing closet.

My 5 Small Closet Organizing Hacks Are:

  1. Make a fresh start
  2. Fold as much as possible
  3. Sort by type and length
  4. Increase hanging space
  5. Maximize shelf space

While you might need to get rid of a few clothing items in order to create more space, my system doesn’t call for a mass cleansing of clothes. Instead, I teach you how to use practical and affordable items to help assist your small closet. Below I go into detail on each of the steps for organizing a tiny closet in a simple and effective way.

If you prefer to watch my YouTube video on the best way to organize clothes in a small closet, click the video below. Otherwise, keep scrolling to read on!

Step 1: Make a Fresh Start

The first thing to do is to move everything out of your closet, which allows you to get a fresh start.

The main reason you should do this is so that you can review the design of your closet layout.

Once everything is out of the closet, you can review each item.

I recommend that you review each item of clothing using a decluttering method like the KonMari Method by Marie Kondo or following my decluttering strategy for downsizing your home in just 5 days.

Do not use your main clothing closet to store anything you are not wearing on a regular basis like clothes that do not fit or non-clothing items.  

Recommended: Should You Sell or Donate the Things You No Longer Need?

Step 2: Fold as Much as Possible

Don’t underestimate how effective folding clothes can be when maximizing space.

Folding your clothes into drawers vertically takes up less space than hanging your clothes on a hanger in the closet. You can usually find space for a tall dresser, and this is more economical than building another closet.

When selecting a dresser or chest of drawers, get a tall piece with several drawers. A 3-drawer dresser uses as much floor space as a 6 drawer chest of drawers. Again, the plan is to maximize your vertical space.

Recommended: Did Marie Kondo get this one wrong?

Step 3: Sort by Type and Length

The next step is to sort clothes by type and length.

When you sort your clothes by type, you achieve two goals. First, it is more efficient to see what to eliminate when decluttering your clothes. Second, you will make better decisions when you look at categories of clothing because you can see where you have too many of one type of thing in your closet.

If you have more than one wash cycle’s worth of jeans or tee shirts, it is less likely that you will get around to wearing the extras.

An even bigger benefit to hanging your clothes by type and length is that it creates space in your closet for additional hanging and shelf space. By hanging short clothing together, you create space at the bottom of your closet for a shoe rack, dresser, second clothing rod, or cube furniture.

Recommended: Netflix’s Get Organized with The Home Edit

Step 4: Increase Hanging Space

A typical clothing closet comes with one rod and one shelf. You can increase your hanging space without using any tools by adding a double hang clothing rod.

This handy gadget hangs a second rod below your existing clothing rod to provide additional hanging space. See below for my hanging rod recommendations.

You can also increase your hanging space by selecting a thin hanger versus a thick one.

This is how hangers rank from thinnest to thickest:

  • Wire
  • Velvet
  • Plastic
  • Wood
  • Lingerie (padded)

I use clear acrylic hangers in my closet because they do not tangle as easily and they have a swivel head which makes it a no-brainer to hang all my clothes in the same direction. 

Also, I have approximately 60 items on 9 feet of hanging rod, so I can use a thicker hanger without worrying about wasting too much space.

When I’m organizing for clients with small closets or a lot of clothing, I recommend velvet hangers as they maximize space and do not tangle as much as wire hangers. 

For a full review of the best hangers and how to properly use them, check out How to Choose the Best Hangers for Closet Organization.

Step 5: Maximize Shelf Space

Most closets have shelf space at the top of the closet. I recommend that you use the space at the top of your closet for maximum storage.

Investing in a few plastic bins with lids that are able to stack can double or triple the storage space on your shelves.

You can add even more shelving by getting a Rubbermaid, Elfa, or Closet Factory closet system. If you decide to do this, choose a system based on your budget and your level of handiness.  

I hope this helps you figure out how to organize clothes in a small closet. Just because your space is tiny doesn’t mean you can’t fit all of the important items that you wear on a regular basis.

Recommended: How to Organize a Pantry with Deep Shelves


If you’re someone who LOVES organizing, consider starting your own organizing business.

Get a copy of my free guide “Professional Organizer’s Launch Guide” HERE.

There are many things to consider when starting an organizing business including:

  • When will I name my business?
  • Where will I find clients?
  • How do I become an organizer?
  • Do I need to be certified to get started?
  • How will I structure my business?

You have come to the right place!

When you are ready to start your own professional organizing business, check out all my courses on working as a home organizer. My course bundle has the best prices on courses so that you can create and market your organizing business and design a system of organization that will work with all your clients no matter how small or large their volume of clutter is! Check out the course bundle here: Online Boot-Camp for Organizing Bosses

You can also check out my other blogs on how to start a home organizing business:

Happy Organizing!