How to Make the Most of a Small Closet

I always have total closet envy over huge walk-in closets, but there’s also something nice about having a certain containment to our belongings. As someone who has lived in plenty of homes with small closets, I've learned a few tips to maximize your space and make your closet work for you. 
By Amy Voloshin
August 2021
How to Make the Most of a Small Closet
How to Make the Most of a Small Closet

When you have a small closet, making sure that your wardrobe suits how you spend your time is a great way to make the most of the space. I always have total closet envy over huge walk-in closets, but there’s also something nice about having a certain containment to our belongings. It forces a certain level of healthy austerity that can help calm the feelings of want beyond our actual needs.

It’s possible to make beautiful wardrobe choices with carefully curated pieces given a little bit of time and love for the clothes we already have. Having a small closet requires us to organize, group, and choose wisely, which can be a very therapeutic practice. Here are some of my best tips for making the most of your small closet.

Amy’s 10 Tips for Making the Most of a Small Closet

1. Know what you have

It’s impossible to find a place for everything without first knowing what you have. Take inventory of your closet and clear out anything you don’t use. Then, make a plan for what items should be together and where they should live. 

2. Group similar items together 

If all of your dresses, shirts, and pants are next to each other it will be easier to put together an outfit. You can even sort items by color or occasion. Having your dresses go from more formal to more casual or your pants hanging in order from ripped jeans to dressy trousers will help you find what you’re looking for more easily. 

3. Make use of the space under your hanging clothes

If you have a single clothing rod, most of your clothes probably don’t hang to the floor. Make use of this space by adding a small dresser or a second clothing rod.

4. Bins, Baskets and Bags  

Not everything needs to be on a hanger. Add space to your closet by using bins or baskets to organize foldable items or accessories on the floor of the closet or on a shelf above your rod. Shelf dividers are also helpful for keeping items in their place. And don’t forget about the space behind your closet door (if you have one). Shoe holders are great to hang over a door and can be used for storing just about anything (think scarves, socks, or small accessories).

5. Brighten your closet with LED lighting 

Another way to make the space easier to utilize is to add some light to your closet. There are some inexpensive battery-powered LED lights that can be installed using adhesive or screws. While it won’t actually make your closet bigger, it will help you to easily identify items, even when they are tucked away on the floor.

How to Make the Most of a Small Closet
How to Make the Most of a Small Closet

6. Reorganize seasonally

Each season, move pieces you won’t wear anytime soon to harder to reach areas and keep the current season’s clothes together in the front. Trust us, this will make your closet much easier to navigate and will save time when getting dressed each day.

7. Build outfits ahead of time

Take an hour every month or so to build outfits. This activity can help you realize just how much versatility you have even with the limited number of items your small closet can hold. Carve out an hour and think about the weather, the events you have coming up, and what you might like to wear. Then, brainstorm outfits around some of your most beloved pieces. 

8. Take pictures of yourself in your clothes 

When you’re putting together outfits, you can take pictures of yourself wearing them. These photos can serve as a reminder of the outfits you built so you are less tempted to bring something new into your small closet space. Keep the photos nearby to make getting dressed easy and efficient, even on those mornings when you are pressed for time.

9. Remove duplicates to create more space 

Once you have grouped like items together, you want to make sure you don’t have too many duplicates. When I took the time to organize my clothes by garment type and color, I realized I had quite a few duplicates. As a person that doesn’t wear white button-downs, I’m unsure how I ended up with 10!  I also realized I had four pairs of Birkenstocks. This was an excellent reminder that I need to be more discerning when I pick up something new. 

10. Keep a shopping list (or wishlist)

Maintaining your organization system is easier when you aren’t bringing in unnecessary items. Keep a running list of pieces you’d like to invest in (a note on your phone works well for this so it’s always with you when you’re shopping). By committing to only bringing in items you need, you’ll keep your small closet organized and filled with high-quality pieces you’ll love for years to come.

One item you will always want to have in your closet (or dresser) is a set or two of Printfresh pajamas. No matter how small your space is, our pajamas will fit perfectly. When choosing the right print and style, consider what you like to sleep in and your favorite color palette. I am loving the rich purples in our Papaya Paradise and Eat Your Asparagus

What are your small closet must-haves? Tell us about them in the comments.

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PF MAG: Founder Amy Voloshin is passionate about creating a space that speaks to our brand, shares unique perspectives from pattern enthusiasts and finds ways to promote more sustainable living. Our blog PF Mag covers creative topics on all things lifestyle - including behind the scenes looks, fashion, design, travel, and home decor, as well as interviews with some of the people who inspire us most. 


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