Creating Storage in Homes Without Closets


Old homes often have a unique charm that’s hard to find elsewhere. From their design to their detailed construction, they give us a glimpse into a time when people owned fewer items. So, if you’ve recently moved into an old house and noticed it lacks storage, don’t get disheartened. Here’s a list of 10 ways to make the most of what you have and live comfortably in a home that might not have built-in closets.

Related: 12 Closet Space Mistakes to Avoid

Table of Contents

Choose Classic Furnishings Like Armoires

brown classic armoire

Adding a touch of the past to an older home can enhance its timeless charm. Consider incorporating traditional storage solutions such as armoires, chests, and chifferobes. Not only do they offer the practicality of added storage, but they also serve as a focus that elevate the room’s aesthetics. While wardrobes can be quite sizable, it’s best to reserve them for more spacious areas in your home.

Use Hooks as Much as Possible

Hooks are a simple and cost-effective solution for hanging a variety of items. In older homes, entryways might not offer much storage. By placing a stylish row of hooks above a bench, and pairing it with a shoe rack below, you can quickly turn a cluttered entrance into a tidy and inviting area. Their adaptability means hooks can be added to many places, such as door backs or inside cabinets.

Build a Closet

For those who enjoy DIY tasks, carving out a weekend to build a closet can be rewarding. Find an overlooked nook or an unused corner and get to work. For an even sleeker design, consider making it partially or fully embedded within a wall. Utilizing the space inside a wall’s studs or beneath stairs can be a smart approach to gain storage without taking up too much room.

DIY closet

Freestanding Wardrobes

For an immediate closet solution, consider freestanding wardrobes. Much like cabinets, they arrive pre-sawed and finished. They come in various sizes, with smaller ones spanning just a couple of feet in width.

However, for those needing more space, multiple units can be aligned next to each other. Typically, they stand between six and eight feet tall, but for those seeking something unique, custom-sized units can be created to be even taller.

Built-In Wardrobes

Built-in wardrobes offer a lasting storage solution. They can be constructed as large cabinet structures, frame built, or set behind sliding doors. While they often optimize the available space better than their freestanding counterparts, they come with a higher price tag.

Arranging multiple built-ins either side by side or at strategic angles can enhance storage. When placed at right angles, it’s essential to design thoughtfully to utilize corner spaces optimally.

Open Closets

Open closets utilize organizing components without the confinement of walls or doors. They’re popular choices for spaces like garages, craft areas, playrooms, media centers, home offices, and bathrooms. The materials for these organizing systems vary, with options ranging from coated wire and melamine-coated fiberboard to solid wood. 

Creating an open closet doesn’t need to break the bank. Simple solutions like a pole suspended from hooks, a rack on the back of a door, or even a clothes tree can effectively function as open closets.

Transform a Room

Older homes often feature plenty of small rooms, many of which may not align with modern-day needs. Instead of letting an ambiguous room become a catch-all storage spot, think about giving it a new role as a closet space. With the help of adaptable closet systems, converting a room into a tailored walk-in closet or dressing area can be quite straightforward.

Utilize a Wall for Storage

Metal Closet Shelf System

For those comfortable with their belongings being visible, a wall can be transformed into a functional storage area. By fitting a modular or wire track system to one side of a room, you effectively create an open closet. These freestanding systems are not only budget-friendly but also simple to set up.

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.

Find Hidden Storage Opportunities

Make the most of every nook and cranny. Stash shoes and seasonal attire in containers beneath your bed or sofa. Add storage baskets atop cabinets and bookshelves. Take advantage of under-stair alcoves by adding shelves or cabinets. And consider furniture that does double duty, such as sofas, side tables, and ottomans with built-in storage compartments.


Store Seasonal Items Outside

If you switch out your wardrobe based on the seasons and struggle with space constraints, think about placing off-season attire in bins located in other parts of your property, like the garage or a weatherproof shed. It’s essential to opt for top-tier storage containers that offer protection from moisture and critters, ensuring your clothes remain in prime condition until it’s their time to shine again.

Choose a Portable Closet

If you’re a renter or homeowner looking for a short-term place to store your clothes, a portable closet is a simple and affordable choice. These closets are straightforward to set up and take down. Plus, many can fit a lot of clothes and shoes. The best part? If you ever need to change the setup of your room, these closets are easy to move around.

portable closet

Optimize the Closet Space You Have

Every bit of closet space in your home, even if it’s minimal, is valuable. So, it’s essential to utilize every inch effectively. Boost your storage potential by adding an extra rod for increased hanging space. Attach a wire organizer behind the door for shoes and other accessories. And don’t forget to tap into the vertical space: fit shelves above the main rod or even over the door to store even more.

Limit Your Belongings

Modern living in an old house without closets can be challenging, but remember: space has its limits. To maintain a tidy and spacious environment, it’s crucial to routinely clear out unnecessary items. Regularly sort through your belongings, parting ways with unused or excess items. This not only maximizes your available space but also keeps your home clutter-free.

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