7 ways to organize clothes if you don't have closet space

Clothes on clothes rack
Clothes on clothes rack (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you're working with limited closet space, or simply have no space for a closet in your apartment, organizing and storing all of your garments can be a real challenge. When attempting to make the most of the storage in your home, the first port of call is always to declutter your closet, but if you've done this and still find yourself short on space, you might need to think about alternative ways to organize clothes — without a closet.

Luckily, there are some creative, ‘non-closet’ solutions to either hang or store clothing neatly. What’s more, these won’t take up a great amount of floor space, and can be incredibly cost-effective. 

So before you start stuffing your items into an overfilled closet, check out these 7 ways to organize clothes if you don't have closet space.

1. Create an open closet 

Clothes hanging on rails

Clothes hanging in open closet (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Creating an open closet is great for those with limited, bedroom spaces. These simply consist of installing rails/hanging rods inside alcoves, or fitting floating shelves to store things neatly. Providing your walls are sturdy and in good condition, you could even fit DIY shelving above hanging rods to create vertical storage and free up space.

Open closets are also great for rooms with awkward walls or corner spaces which would typically call for a custom closet. By opening up the space, you can tailor your storage to the room so that everything fits the space neatly.

2. Rolling clothes rack 

Clothes on clothes rack

Clothes on clothes rack (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to keep it simple, a clothes rail or rack on wheels can come in handy and provide extra storage if you don’t have a closet. These often come with adjustable rails to suit your storage needs, and can be easily moved anywhere in the home with its rotating wheels. 

For added space, you can invest in a double rod clothing garment rack on wheels like this Double Rod Clothing Garment Rack ($29, Amazon), that will offer plenty of storage. What’s more, clothing racks can give your room a stylish, boutique shop feel.  

3. Display on a bookcase 

Handbags on bookshelf

 Handbags on bookshelf  (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you lack closet space, why not display items on a bookcase instead? Bookshelves or cubbies are a great way to maximize space and add character to a room.

For instance, you can curate and display folded clothes, shoes or even handbags into bookshelves or cube units. These come in various sizes and heights to suit your room like this Furinno Luder Bookcase ($35, Amazon), ideal for compact spaces. What’s more, not only will garments be accessible to just grab-and-go, but will make an eye-catching wall feature.

PACHIRA US 6 Cube Storage Shelf: now $115 @ Amazon

PACHIRA US 6 Cube Storage Shelf: now $115 @ Amazon
This wooden cube storage organizer is ideal for small spaces. It has six cubbies and the bookshelves come with back pieces to prevent any wobbling or falling apart. Each cube is 13"x13"x15", and can hold up to 11 pounds. While the table top can hold up to 50 pounds, for extra storage.

4. Repurpose a coat rack 

Coat rack next to large mirror

Coat rack next to large mirror (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Freestanding coat racks shouldn’t just be limited to hanging outdoor wear. You can repurpose a coat rack or stand to organize excess clothes. These are usually adjustable to your preferred height, and go from 6 up to 16 hooks, like this Kertnic Metal Coat Rack ($89, Amazon), that provides plenty of hanging room. 

And since these have a smaller footprint, they can be placed in compact rooms, making ideal space-savers.

5. Hang clothing on a ladder 

Wooden clothing ladder next to mirror

Wooden clothing ladder next to mirror (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Another clever way to organize clothing is by hanging on a blanket ladder. These simply lean up against the wall, and are often used to hang throws, small blankets or scarves. 

However, if you have excess clothing, there’s no harm in hanging and storing these on a ladder. Generally these come in different heights and go up to 5ft, giving you maximum storage. Plus, they add an eye-catching, decorative  feature to any room, like this Honest Rustic Blanket Ladder Shelf Stand ($49, Amazon), that is practical, yet stylish. 

6. Hang on wall hooks

Handbags on a wall

Handbags on a wall (Image credit: Shutterstock)

Depending on your space, you can simply install wall hooks to hang your favorite items and keep them organized. This is also a great way to decorate a blank wall and turn some of your prized accessories into decor. 

We would recommend placing items at different height levels to create intrigue with your layout. Just ensure they’re all kept neatly, and not too bunched together to avoid looking cluttered. 

7. Reuse wooden crates 

White wooden crates with shoes

White wooden crates with shoes (Image credit: Shutterstock)

If you want to go eco-friendly, wooden crates are a great storage solution if you don’t have closet space. Similar to cube storage, these can be used to store and display folded garments or footwear neatly.

Plus, these won’t take up much space either, and you can find them in your preferred size. Similarly, stylish woven or wire baskets make handy storage, and they can be placed anywhere in the home. 

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Cynthia Lawrence
Content Editor, Homes

As the Homes Content Editor, Cynthia Lawrence covers all things homes, interior decorating, and garden-related. She has a wealth of editorial experience testing the latest, ‘must-have’ home appliances, writing buying guides and the handy ‘how to’ features. 

Her work has been published in various titles including, T3, Top Ten Reviews, Ideal Home, Real Homes, Livingetc. and House Beautiful, amongst many.

With a rather unhealthy obsession for all things homes and interiors, she also has an interior design blog for style inspiration and savvy storage solutions (get rid of that clutter!). When she’s not testing cool products, she’ll be searching online for more decor ideas to spruce up her family home or looking for a great bargain!