Working with a Tiny Closet


*Check out the updated closet makeover here.

Do you have a small closet?  Our home was built in 1952 so my answer is yes.  Mr. Wonderful uses the guest room (also his office) closet and we also utilize dresser drawers for other clothes.  The hallway closet holds all of our coats, I am so happy that I was able to give many away and downsize.  The “DI” in blue rhinestones was a gift from my sweet Nicole many years ago, it makes me happy just to see it.  The photo is my mom in a frame, she is actually hiding the electrical panel, but I like seeing my mom every day, Hi Mom!

I took a day to reorganize my closet and thought I’d share some space sharing tips and how to have fun with a small space.

Use thin uniform hangers

If anything, a little OCD is highly rewarded if you use uniform hangers, it makes things look cleaner.  I used to have pink wood velvet hangers but they wouldn’t fit in this tiny closet so I left them at my townhome.  These thin velvet hangers are by Real Simple (similar).  If I were to do it over again, I’d order the beige color because lighter colors make spaces look bigger. If you want a fun closet, try these hot pink heart hangers – these would be great for a fun gift or special items you want to hang!


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Use a board to make a shelf

I use metal shelf dividers (similar) and found a board leftover from a project and placed it on top to hold more purses.  You can pick one up at Home Depot and they will cut it to size for you.  I am now using all the space overhead that I can.

Do you use dust bags for your purses?  You should, especially if you live in a dusty state like Arizona!  Designer purses always come with one and you should always use them, take care of your investments!


I also use metal shelves – also can be found in the kitchen section of stores and I put my shorts above my folded camisoles.


I decided to fold my scarves on the shelf instead of clipping them to hangers.


Use the space behind the door

Not to waste any space, I use this over the door shoe rack – this one holds more shoes I might need to get it one day.  These are not all my shoes, I actually have a ton in our laundry room which varies depending on the season.

Right now boots are stored away and all my wedges, flats and flip flops which I wear regularly right now are in our mudroom.


Make shelf space if necessary

We have a great handyman named Dennis who does a lot of work for us.  I wanted a built in dresser like area with a shelf.  The basket is holding all necessary travel goodies, travel slippers, pillow, blanket, pills, tons of see-thru zip bags and shoe bags.  I love bags, I should probably get rid of some but I’m a bag hoarder.  If you ever opened up my luggage you would just see everything in bags.


The shelf is great to leave my panama hat undisturbed and a few cute umbrellas.

Install hooks everywhere you can

These petal hooks are from Anthropologie.


See this hidden hook?


Use baskets to store unattractive items

I call tennis shoes unattractive because they don’t fit my lifestyle.  I rarely wear them so I put them in a little basket around the corner away from eyesight.  For things you don’t use that often, it’s OK to put it out of sight.


Have bags + boxes for donations

When I organize my closet I prepare a box ready for a girlfriend to send her some goodies.  I also have to admit – I had those shirts I kept grabbing out of convenience and I hated that I wore so often – so I would just force myself to get rid of it so I couldn’t wear it anymore!  If you have items like that, I support you in self control and releasing it so you aren’t caught dead wearing it ever again!

Other bags are for donations – preferably hospice stores or the Salvation Army.  As much as I enjoy shopping at Goodwill for the bargain, I prefer to send my donations to charitable places so nonprofits can get money to support the good they do.  If you live in Phoenix I recommend the White Dove Thrift Shoppes which belong to the Hospice of the Valley.


Add a fun rug

Just because your closet is small doesn’t mean you can’t fit a 2×3 rug inside just for fun!  You can also place your wedges on top if you want to keep your carpet clean.  We are a no shoe wearing home.

Machine washable leopard print indoor/outdoor rug: Madison at Main (c/o).  It’s the small things that can make you happy even if it’s a small space.

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Choose what gets hung and what is folded

Right now it’s hot and it’s swimsuit season so my swimwear is hung.

I choose to fold:

  • Tees, camis, leggings
  • Non fashionable items (basics)
  • Sweatshirts

I choose to hang:

  • Lovelier things that make me want to grab them.
  • Jeans. I used to fold them but after I visited Seven for All Mankind at Kierland Commons, I liked the way they were displayed in the store that I rushed home to hang mine by their belt loops.  You can see them behind my swimsuits.

I know if I see my closet full of pretty things – my eyes go straight to my hangers, I’ll feel better about what’s in my closet and not feel as though my wardrobe is boring.


Label your shelves

When you see where things are, it is kind of a “no duh” of what it is.  But, I read in a magazine that just having labels will help you sort things faster – and help your husband know where things go.  I also can look at a shelf and say to myself, OK, that’s enough basic tees, or that’s enough camisoles.  My OCD side loves the labels!


Store out of season items

Because my closet is small, I prefer to switch out my seasons.  It also works well because every time I pack up or unpack a season I can look at every piece of clothing and ask myself if it’s something that should go back into my closet or be donated.  I keep my out of season things in plastic bins under the bed and my boots are stacked in the hallway closet.  I also purged many boots after realizing I was a boot hoarder.

I hope this inspires you to clear out your closet, donate or sell items, have a garage sale, or bless a friend who needs your things more than you do!  I think of a tiny closet as a tiny purse, don’t overload it!

See this closet makeover – a complete makeover with wallpaper and more space here.

Diana Elizabeth will now probably go back through her closet and thin it out even more.  The feeling of being lighter is always good and the 20/80 rule applies – you probably wear 20 percent of your closet 80 percent of the time.

Diana Elizabeth is an author, photographer, and obsessive thrift shopper. You can typically find her in the garden wrist deep in dirt, at a local estate sale or planning her next epic party. She continues to blog weekly.



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