Seven quick ways to organize a closet

DIY, Organization, Storage

Every time I move into a new apartment, figuring out how to get the most out of the closet space is always a challenge. And custom closet storage solutions are not really something I want to invest in since I’m renting. So here are 7 of my favorite DIY tricks to squeeze out more storage space from any closet, without spending a fortune or a lot of time:

1) Add an extra shelf: 

This is a really quick way to double your storage at the top of the closet when you only have one shelf. By using removable double sided tape to secure the supports on either side, there’s no need to make holes in the walls and it’s easy to take down when you move out.

Extra shelf top of closet

You can use the same idea to make an extra shelf in a bookshelf or in your kitchen cabinets to store spices, which is something I did in my LA Apartment.


2) Use the back of the door for storage:

In my NYC studio apartment, storage space was at a premium with only one closet for hanging clothes and another smaller closet with shelves. This left me with no room to store my ironing board, so I came up with this really quick and easy way to hang it on the back of my bathroom door using plastic over the door hooks to store my ironing board.

over-the-door-hooks for ironing-board

In my LA apartment, I built an over-the-door organizer using inexpensive 1″x2″ furring strips. I used mine to organize and store my tools but you could use it to organize just about anything.  This video shows how easy it is to make.


You can also make your own over the door hooks –  I had to make some to hang  my tool organizer because the space between the top of the door and the door frame was too thin for the plastic hooks.


Another idea is to make your own custom hanger with a pine board and hooks, which is what I did to hang a ladder on the back of the door of another closet. You could also use a hanger like this to hang folding chairs.


3) Chain Organizer:

Using a chain to maximize hanging space in a closet is quick and easy. You can use it to hang multiple hangers or you can hang hats, purses or bags using some s-hooks.


chain-organizer-for-hangers-s-hook 4) Double Hang Closet Rod:

This is another way to get the most out of your vertical hanging space. You can buy ready-made ones or you can make your own custom hanging rod  using simple materials like a wood dowel, eye screws and some chain.


5) Remove the doors:

This can make it easier to get to your stuff, especially if you have sliding doors. All you need is a tension rod to hang the curtains and you can store the doors under the bed or ask your landlord to store them somewhere else for you. It’s also great for very tiny spaces, like my NYC studio apartment: having a door on the closet would have made it impossible to place my bed where I wanted it but replacing it with a curtain solved the problem.


6) Use a dresser for easy access to things: 

Shelves are great but the deeper they are, the more difficult is is to get to the things in the back. That’s why I prefer using a chest of drawers at the bottom of the closet – it’s especially handy when you’re using a closet to store crafting supplies, paint or tools like I did in this closet that I converted into a mini-workshop.


7) Add lighting:

While this isn’t technically organizing your closet, having a brightly lit closet will make it that much easier to find things. A quick way to add lighting to any closet, without needing to deal with any electrical wiring, is to install battery operated LED lights. Simply stick them to the bottom of the shelf and voila, instant lighting. I did this in my tool closet and used removable double sided tape so they would be easy to take with me when I move.


What are some of the ways that you’ve come up with to organize your closets? Would love to hear about them in the comments below!


  1. popo

    you are a knockout. Are you single?


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