11 Tips to Organize A Small Closet on a Budget

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11 Tips to Organize A Small Closet on a Budget

Living in NYC is great – there is the culture, the nightlife & most importantly the food. The downside to living here is the small living space and the even smaller closet space. My first Brooklyn apartment didn’t even have a bedroom closet so I shoved a clothing rack between my bed and the wall. It worked, but looked crazy messy.

I’m now in another apartment in Brooklyn and even though I have a closet, it is SO SMALL. To stop the clutter, the mess and the weekly closet explosions, I have finally organized all my stuff neatly and in a functional way. Here are my tips so you can do the same!


This post may contain affiliate links. See affiliate disclaimer here.

1.Spring Clean & Donate
I’m the worst with collecting and keeping clothes. I will buy a dress in hopes of losing weight and one day fitting in it (I can’t be the only one guilty of that…right?), hold onto a favorite outfit that you hope will fit again, or keep clothes that even though you haven’t worn it in years, you are sure you will find a use for it again. These three habits lead to an overstocked closet of clothes that I never even wear.

Before even thinking about organizing your closet, you will need to purge. Be honest with yourself:
Have I worn this in the past year?
Does it fit my body right now?

Does this fit in with my current style?
Is it clean? (Stains, rips & whites being no longer white)

If the answer is no (& it’s not something super special like your wedding dress) toss it in the donate pile or if it’s not clean, toss it in the garbage.
You can donate to Goodwill for an end of year tax deduction or most places of worshp will have drop off bins as well.

2. Organize your clothes into seasons
There is no need to keep every piece of clothing you own in the closet or dresser at all times. I organize my clothes, shoes & accessories into winter & summer sections. This allows me to see what I have and keep things clean & organized.

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3. Store out of season clothes
Once organized, I bought these handy, under the bed storage containers. These flat storage containers are great because they can easily fit boots, sweaters & more and they hide right out of sight.

11 Tips to Organize A Small Closet
4. Flat lay storage
OK, I know these are info-mercial stars, but these vacuum storage bags are AMAZING! The bags work with almost any vacuum and a bunch of sweaters and blankets will be flattened into a couple of inches in seconds. It’s perfect if you are super short on storage space.

11 Tips to Organize A Small Closet on a Budget
5. Get your closet ready
Make sure you have all the necessities before you begin organizing or you will just end up frustrated. If you have an idea in mind of how you want your closet to look, make sure you create a checklist of hangers, rods, tools, etc before you start.

6. Clean, clean, clean!
Before building your closet and filling it up, take a few minutes to wipe down the shelves and vacuum the bottom. Once a closet is filled, it rarely gets cleaned (or is that just me?) so take this time to really put some elbow grease in and make it sparkle!

11 Tips to Organize A Small Closet
7. Add extensions without drilling
This is such an easy space saver and there is no drilling required! I love this double rod that I got from Amazon – you literally take it out of the box and hang it on your already existing closet rod and wahla! Double the space for under $20!

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8. Neatly store clothes on shelves
For the longest time I didn’t think shelve dividers were a necessary buy. I’d always start with nicely folded and stacked sweaters, towels & jeans but after a few days it would be completely disorganized and my shelves would be raining clothes. These dividers are a lifesaver – they clip on with ease and give your shelves the organization they SO SO NEED!

11 Tips to Organize A Small Closet
9. Use baskets for accessories
Belts, scarves & other small accessories always seem to get lost in the mess that was my closet. Top of the shelf baskets are a great way to keep everything looking neat and a small label on each keeps it organized!

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10. Double up on shoe storage
I love this rack, it organizes shoes while taking up half the space. I typically keep this on the left hand of my closet then line up my purses right next to it on the other side.

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11. Utilize extra space in your bedroom
My first apartment bedroom fit my bed and little else. If you are lucky enough to have a bedroom with extra space, create an attractive corner to be a functional display of all these pretty in your wardrobe. I think this always looks so chic!

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