After recently sharing how I store seasonal clothes & shoes in our small home, I received several questions about our general approach to small space storage. Having lived in our ~850 sq ft condo for several years longer than we initially anticipated, I’ve been using a few favorite tips and gadgets over the years, and hope you guys will find them helpful too! This post was getting long, so there will have to be a Part 2 involving shoes and some other tips.
1. Store behind the door
Literally every single one of our closet doors has something either hanging or mounted on the back! I LOVE these over-the-door hooks, which can hang quite a few items on just one hook. It has grooves for 6 hangers so they’re not all just clumped together, and is also perfect for longer items like jumpsuits and maxi dresses which are otherwise too long to hang on my closet bars.
These hooks can also help create a small dedicated space for hanging “in between” items that have been worn but don’t need to go into the laundry hamper just yet. Or, a space to plan out a day or two’s outfits in advance. Just be sure to measure your door thickness to make sure the hooks will fit properly (if your door is thinner, you could pad it with something to fit snugly), also depending on your closet it can make the door a little hard to close all the way.
2. Under the Bed = Storage Gold
A good chunk of my wardrobe is stored underneath our bed! I always recommending storing sweaters folded and NOT on hangers which can stretch them out over time, so I keep mine in these drawers with little cedar packets to hopefully ward off pests. My denim collection is also kept under the bed, rolled up in a similar manner with the tags facing up for easy identification. In the summer, I rotate in shorts and other warm-weather pieces and store away heavier clothing.
There’s a few different options for maximizing or creating an under-the-bed space:
Bed frame with built in storage
If you’re furnishing a new space or in the market for a new bed, consider options that include drawers underneath. Mine is the Ikea Malm – we did not use the tall headboard that comes with the bed, instead put in a shorter board against the wall and then stacked this tufted headboard on top (the tufted headboard by itself wouldn’t be this high). Here are a few alternative options all with built-in drawers:
- Atlantic Furniture solid wood bed with no headboard (perfect for adding your own)
- Everleigh tufted storage bed
- Pottery Barn storage bed (25% off with SAVEMORE)
- West Elm upholstered storage bed (25% off with SAVEMORE)
Some of you may instinctively picture hideous plastic cones from college days, but bed risers have come a long way! If you already own a post-style bed frame, these will add several inches of height and allow more space for storage bins to fit underneath. I would probably get a comforter and duvet in a bigger size so it’s long enough to drape over the extra height added and conceal the bed risers.
- White: Stackable round wood bed risers (also in a walnut color)
- Brown: Pottery Barn square risers
- Maple: Bed riser cubes in maple wood (also in a cherry color)
- Dark Espresso: Bed riser cubes
- Black or Medium Brown: Round furniture risers
Storage bins that slide under your raised bed
In this blog post on seasonal storage, I shared these durable and stackable clear Iris storage bins (also at Wayfair and Walmart). I use these bins above my closet shelves, but they have slider pads on the bottom and would work perfectly under a raised bed. This same brand has several other size bins available at Target, Wayfair, and Home Depot.
3. Divide & conquer inside drawers
Dividers are a great way to keep the inside of your drawers from becoming one messy heap, and make it much easier to quickly locate an item. I’ve tried a couple different styles (i.e. spring loaded versus “slide and lock” mechanisms) and brands, and don’t have a strong preference for any particular one.
Though, I will note that if you have a less heavy duty drawer (ie. if it’s particle board from IKEA instead of solid wood), non-tension dividers may be the safer option to avoid damaging or warping the back of the drawer. The most important thing is to make sure you get the right height and length for your drawer size!
- Spring loaded divders: 4.5″ high spring loaded dividers in a 2 pack, 13-18″ long. I have these but in a longer sold out size.
- Shorter slide & lock dividers: 4″ high slide and lock dividers in a 6 pack, 11-17″ long. I use these inside my smaller, more shallow drawers. A tip to get a snug fit with slide and lock dividers is to use both hands and pull the divider as wide as possible in place within the drawer, then pushing the lock button down using one finger (while still stretching the divider out using both hands).
- Longer slide & lock dividers avail. in different heights: 2.5″ to 5″ high slide and lock dividers in a 3 or 4 pack. Expands from 13 – 22″ long – looks like the best currently available longer option that I could find.
4. Maximize the # of items per hanger
To save space, I always clip on several skirts per hanger, and use multi-pant hangers for pants (mine are old but here’s some similar, affordable multi-pant hanger options):
5. Find “slim” versions of larger household items
We use this very lightweight slim clothing hamper – I liked it enough to get one for light clothes, one for dark clothes, and one for Nick. Even though we have several of these, each one is compact enough for me to tuck away in small spaces like the inside corners of my closet, or wedged into a corner by a dresser. It also has little wheels with a handle, and a clear panel so that you can kinda see what’s inside – helpful when you’re looking for a particular item and can’t remember if it’s clean or dirty!