How I Organize My Small Closet

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of my closet on Instagram Stories when I was packing last minute for my trip to Chicago. So many people sent me a message commenting on how organized my closet was and asked me to do a post on my tips and tricks for keeping it so neat. My response to those comments is that I’m lucky because my apartment has a ton of built-in shelving units in my closet which really help me maximize a small closet space. I’ve also always been an organized person—it just comes naturally to me. Since childhood, all my things have had a home, and I’ve always found that when things are out of place, it can really impact my stress levels. I also live in a small studio apartment that’s about 350SF, so it’s just much easier to keep things organized because there’s no place to hide from a mess when you can literally see your whole apartment from the couch!

So, I thought I’d do a quick post today, MTV cribs style—but instead of showing you the inside of my fridge, I’m showing you the inside of my closet. I didn’t stage these photos at all, I literally opened up the doors one Saturday morning and snapped these photos on my iPhone. I keep most of the clothes I fold in my green dresser, but the rest of my clothes, shoes, bags, and outwear are in this closet. I don’t store clothes under my bed, and I’ve cleaned out the clothes I had at my parents house I was never wearing. One of the benefits, I think, of having a small closet is that you have to be really selective about what you want to keep because real estate is scarce. Everything that is in my closet is a piece I truly love—or as Marie Kondo would say, brings me joy—and that makes it a lot easier to get dressed in the morning.

how to organize a small closet

Any of my crossbody bags that have straps, I hang on the backs of my closet doors using over-the-door hangers I’ve had from Bed, Bath & Beyond since college. As you’ll see in later photos, I put my larger bags on the higher shelves in my closet, and I keep my clutches in the colorful striped fabric bin that sits nexts to my stack of sweaters. (I bought the bin years ago at Home Goods, otherwise I’d link to it!)

how to organize a small closet

Can you tell I love neutral and leopard shoes? I’ve had these stackable shelves from Target in my closet since middle school. They are my preferred way to store my shoes since they’re all easy to see at a glance and by stacking up, I get more space than if I just lined them up on the floor. Plus, the shelves kind of remind me of the amazing built-in shoe shelves celebs have, but in a very, very knock-off way.

how to organize a small closet

I’m lucky in that my closet is extremely high—it has vertical space that goes up beyond the doors. That gives me ample space to store two carry-ons, my larger purses, sweaters/sweatshirts, and, of course, the ubiquitous tote bag filled with other tote bags.

how to organize a small closet

If I ever won the lottery, I’d probably upgrade to some really nice hangers, but I’ve always used these plastic ones from Target and have no desire to spend my money on switching them out now. I also have a few swing-arm tiered hangers from Bed, Bath & Beyond for skirts.

On the lefthand side of my closet, on the rack above the bin that stores my clutches and a sweater stack, I have my pants and skits, since they are shorter and don’t take up room from the shelf below. On the middle rack in my closet, I have my blouses, dresses, rompers, and jumpsuits. Then, on the righthand side of my closet, I’ve got blazers, jackets, rain jackets, and winter outerwear. I typically sort by season, sleeve length, and whether or not something is work appropriate.

And that about covers it! Happy to answer any questions about how I keep my small closet organized.

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