While a large walk-in closet has a lot of space, often including shelves, drawers, shoe racks, and other accessories and organizers, small closets like linen closets and hallway closets often seem more difficult to keep in order. These spaces tend to hold a lot of items but there isn’t a lot of room, so your belongings might end up stuffed in too tightly or piled up too high. Thankfully, there are ways that you can get your small closet in order and keep it nice and neat. Read on for tips on getting these small storage areas better organized.
How Do I Start Organizing a Small Closet?
Whether you are dealing with a linen closet, a hall closet, or your entryway closet, the fastest first step toward getting it organized is to remove everything and start from scratch. This can seem very intimidating, especially if your closet is packed to the gills with various items and you have nowhere else to put them. An alternative method is to take everything off of one shelf at a time and to go through it before putting items away. The disadvantage of that method is that even after you work through each shelf, you will probably have some organizing left to do because room on other shelves has opened up. Decide which method would work best for you.
Next, set yourself up with four containers: a garbage bag for trash, a box for items to give away, a laundry basket for items that belong in other areas of the home, and a place to temporarily keep the items that will be staying in the closet. As you take each item out of the closet, quickly assign it to one of these receptacles. Some of it will be intuitive. For example, if you are taking toiletries out of a linen closet and you find sunscreen that expired three years ago, it will obviously go in the garbage bag. If, however, you find four new bottles of sunscreen, you might or might not want to keep them all, depending on whether you and your family will use them up before they expire. Try to make decisions quickly.
What Types of Organizers Should I Consider in a Small Closet?
Once you have everything out of the closet, you can assess what types of organizers you need. In an entryway closet where you hang jackets, for example, you probably already have a hanging rod across the top of the closet to place hangers on. While this seems like the most common way to organize an entryway closet, it might not be the best way for you. If you only have a few pieces of outerwear and some of them belong to young children, you might consider eliminating the hanging rod and putting sturdy hooks on the side walls. If you place some of them low, that will allow your children to hang their own jackets and sweatshirts, minimizing the mess and the amount of work you need to do.
Think carefully about how you might want to organize your items in a small closet. Would pull-out shelves make sense in a linen closet to help you reach items more easily? Maybe you’d like a set of drawers in your small closet to make organization a breeze. Hooks, bins, baskets, shelves, drawers, and closet cabinets are all accessories worth considering even in a small closet.
What About Organizing Kids’ Closets?
If your children’s closets are messy, you are not alone. Kids’ bedrooms often have small closets with just a hanging rod and a shelf along the top. If your child is not the same size as an adult, then it might be difficult or impossible for him or her to reach that bar to hang items up properly.
One solution is to install the bar lower at a more kid-friendly height. Adding a bar is usually the best way to accomplish this; that way, you can store out-of-season clothing or clothes that you have for your child to grow into on the top bar. Another good solution is to forget about hanging clothing for now and put in a set of drawers, shelving, or cubbies. These are more child-friendly than trying to wrestle clothes on and off of hangers. Hooks on the wall are another option to think about.
The key to organizing your child’s closet is to make it appealing. Choosing a finish in his or her favorite color, adding decals of favorite characters, and saving room for some treasured items (such as baseball caps or shiny hair accessories) might inspire your child to keep his or her closet neat.
How Can I Keep the Closet Organized?
Getting the closet in good condition is only the first step. Once the task is done, you can’t forget about it and expect it to stay that way! Weekly (or, in the case of a child’s closet, daily) checkups are necessary to keep a small closet neat. Because the space is tiny, even a couple of items placed incorrectly can begin the cycle of clutter all over again, so stay on top of it. Go through the area regularly to purge and straighten items as needed.
Also, don’t forget that your closet is a work in progress. You can always add accessories or take something out that just isn’t working at the moment. If you decide that towels would be easier to reach if they were on a different shelf, go ahead and move them. Now that the space is cleared out and it is easy to see everything, this will be a task that takes minutes, not hours.
At Bayou Closets, we work with New Orleans homeowners to create customized storage solutions in both large and small closets. We can help you organize your entryway closet, hall closet, linen closet, child’s closet, or even your master bedroom walk-in closet. Contact us to schedule your free in-home consultation so we can show you our products and create a free closet design just for you and your space. There’s no cost or obligation, so get in touch with us today!