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Small Closet? Increase Storage without Using Extra Space

It started innocently enough – a few friends were coming over unexpectedly, so you stuffed some clutter in your closet. Then, you piled on the boots. And the sweaters. And the unfolded laundry. Before long, your “innocent” clutter-fix turned into a genuine closet disaster, and you now need a headlamp and provisions to find anything in the mess. If you’re jonesing for more storage space, but don’t have extra room in your closet (or your budget), try one these tricks. You’ll be able to increase your storage without taking up extra square footage.

1. Toss the junk. We’re talking about those garage-sale impulse buys and empty shoe boxes. Even if there isn’t much junk in your closet, there are probably a few items that you don’t use anymore. Organize your closet’s contents and decide what you should keep and what you should toss.

2. Use the door. Think of your closet door as unused, golden real estate. Look into purchasing plastic bins that hang on the back of your door, and fill them with shoes, jewelry, underwear, socks, watches and anything else that takes up space. If you’re really short on square footage, use the front of the door by installing hooks for coats or a bathrobe.

3. Identify other storage spaces. You don’t need to keep everything in your closet. If you have stacks of movies and books in there, consider relocating them to your living room. If scarves take up a lot of space, tack them on your wall and let them double as art. Put heavy coats on a coat rack in the hallway and jewelry in bowls on your dresser.

4. Add some furniture. Furniture can be bulky, so it feels counterintuitive, but you’ll be amazed by how much space you can free up by putting an old dresser in the closet. Fill it with items you’d hang up otherwise, and then put the rack-space to better use!

5. Add a level. If your closet only has one hanging rod, consider purchased a second, adjustable one. Depending on the layout of your closet, hang the second rod either above or behind your current rod. Most people only wear 20 percent of their wardrobe consistently, so pinpoint your favorites and place them on the front rod. The second- and third-string outfits can go on the second rod.

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