12 Closet Space Mistakes to Avoid


Facing a mess of accessories every time you open your closet? Or searching high and low for that one pair of shoes? You’re not alone.

Whether you’re renting or owning, living in a big house or a small apartment, most of us feel the same: our bedroom closets are just too small. But even the smallest closets can hold more than you think, especially if you use the space wisely.

Here are 12 common mistakes you might be making with your closet space, along with tips for more efficient closet organization.

Click here to read our post about 10 DIY Hacks to Revamp Your Closet on a Budget.

Table of Contents

Shoe Overwhelms

Understandable, as one can never truly have enough shoes. However, issues arise when your closet becomes a dumping ground for pairs that are either painful, outdated, irreparably damaged, worn out, or just not in sync with your current life phase. By parting with those unused pairs, you’ll instantly free up significant closet real estate.

Excess Clothing Overwhelms

In most closets, there hide several items, sometimes even more, that remain untouched. Whether they’ve fallen out of fashion, no longer fit, or simply aren’t favored, these garments consume precious space. Prioritize and declutter, creating room for the attire you truly cherish. Box up the unused pieces and consider donating them to a charitable organization like Goodwill. This not only frees up space but also benefits others.

wardrobe in a mess

Misuse as a Household Storage Dump

As time goes by, you might turn your bedroom closet into a storage haven for golf clubs, ironing boards, or holiday decoration boxes. However, this approach can needlessly consume valuable closet space better suited for clothing, shoes, and accessories.

Instead, consider relocating these items to more appropriate storage spaces like the garage, attic, basement, or another room. Keep your bedroom closet focused on its primary role – housing your wearable essentials. If necessary, reserve a small section for discreetly stashing important documents or valuable items you’d rather keep hidden from prying eyes.

Ignoring Shelf Divider

While it’s common knowledge that bulky knits shouldn’t dangle from hangers—lest they acquire unwanted shoulder stretches and bothersome hanger marks—piling them on closet shelves isn’t faultless either. They wobble, fall, and take up unnecessary space.

Enter the solution: shelf dividers. Simply clip them onto your shelves and watch as even high sweater stacks maintain their tidy alignment, ensuring every piece remains within easy reach.

shelf dividers

Ignoring Seasonal Clothing Rotation

If you find yourself sweating in summer while digging past a bulky winter jacket to get to your shorts, it’s time to simplify things. Save space in your closet by putting away winter clothes when spring arrives and stashing summer attire when fall rolls in. 

You can use regular storage boxes under the bed or simple vacuum-sealed bags to keep off-season clothes until they’re needed again. This easy adjustment can help declutter your closet and ensure your clothing matches the current season.

Single-Rod Limitation

Relying on a lone rod restricts your storage capabilities. If your collection isn’t dominated by lengthy apparel like dresses or skirts, consider integrating a second rod. This addition effectively doubles your hanging capacity for trousers, blouses, and coats, showcasing optimal space utilization.

Ignoring the Swinging Closet Door

back of Swinging Closet Door

Many overlook a key storage asset in their homes: the backside of the swinging bedroom closet door. Unlike its folding or sliding counterparts, this space presents an invaluable opportunity. When equipped with a tailored hanging organizer, this area can efficiently house an array of items such as scarves, jewelry, gloves, belts, and even pairs of flat shoes.

For a harmonious blend of style and functionality, it’s recommended to choose a soft organizer featuring clear pockets. This design not only provides easy visibility but also eliminates the bulkiness often associated with sturdier, wire-based alternatives, ensuring a smooth door operation each time.

Ignoring Vertical Potential

Many bedroom closets feature a lone shelf above the hanging rod, yet this barely scratches the surface of available vertical space. Consider the area above: room often exists for an additional shelf, and in walk-in designs, space above the door is frequently underutilized.

Maximize these areas for less-frequently accessed items such as seldom-worn accessories, shoes, or clothing. Employ clear plastic containers on these higher shelves, ensuring contents remain clean and easily identifiable.

Ignoring the Closet Floor Chaos

Closet Floor mess

An untidy closet floor, littered with mismatched shoes and discarded clothing, signifies missed storage potential. Streamline this space using a shoe organizer, ensuring every pair finds its rightful place. Introduce a compact laundry basket to gather worn attire, and you’ll transform your closet floor from chaotic to systematically organized.

Inefficient Use of Hanging Space

While hanging rods accommodate the majority of your attire, they aren’t always suited for every item. Accessories like purses, folded knitwear, hats, and boots often pose a hanging challenge. A hanging cubby organizer serves as an effective remedy, providing distinct compartments for these items. Additionally, they can be a game-changer for busy mornings, especially with kids. By designating each cubby for a day’s outfit, you reduce morning stress, ensuring smoother, tear-free starts to the day.

Ignoring Recessed Spaces

closet corner space

Numerous closets feature a tucked-away corner or side that’s often neglected due to its inaccessibility or lack of a hanging rod. Such areas are untapped storage goldmines. By placing a tall organizer, such as a slender shelving unit, into this niche, you can seamlessly introduce additional storage tiers. These shelves can efficiently accommodate boxed accessories, shoes, folded garments, and handbags, maximizing your closet’s potential.

Lack of Lights

Though lighting doesn’t directly augment space, it certainly enhances perception and functionality. A well-lit closet simplifies the task of locating items. Yet, many bedroom closets come without built-in lighting.

Fortunately, there’s no need for an electrical overhaul. Opt for a battery-operated, motion-sensor LED light. These lights activate upon opening the closet and auto-shut after a short duration. Several affordable models, often under $20, are readily available at home improvement stores.

closet lights

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