Interior Storage

This Is Where to Store Your Stuff When You Run Out of Closet Space

Closet bursting at the seams? Give it some relief—and improved organization—with these ideas for alternative storage solutions.

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The Crammed Closet

Closets keep our shoes and clothes (and that box of random electrical cables you’ve been carrying from house to house for a decade) out of sight and out of mind. But if you’ve stuffed your closet to the max or if your closets are particularly tiny, you may be desperate for some extra storage. Here are 16 ideas for places to stash your stuff when your closet space has run dry.

Related: 10 Closet Cures That Cost Less Than $100

Capitalize on Corners

Have an awkward unused corner in your bedroom? Mount a bar on the wall to hold blouses, jackets, scarves, or other accessories that your closet can no longer contain. Bonus: The hardware will give your bedroom a chic industrial look. For maximum space-saving benefits, consider installing a hanging bar designed especially for corners (like this available one on Amazon).  

Use Dividers in Drawers

Get more into your dresser drawers by using space-efficient organizers (like these drawer dividers, available on Amazon) to section off the real estate. Not only will you be able to move items from your crowded closet into your newly tidy dresser, but you’ll also feel like Marie Kondo every time you pull open a drawer.

Hang Your Hat

A collection of stylish hats can take your outfit to the next level, but it can also take up a lot of space in your closet. Instead of stuffing your hats on a closet shelf where they’ll get mangled, creased, and ignored, install a series of hooks, or even simple nails, and display your hats on the wall.

Behind-the-Door Storage

Your closet door can do much more than just keep your clothing out of sight—it can also increase your closet’s storage capacity. There are behind-the-door storage solutions, both DIY and store-bought, for hanging extra clothes (like this one, available on Amazon), as well as storage units designed for holding shoes, keeping jewelry neat, and more. 

Store Where You Sleep

A headboard doesn’t have to be purely decorative—it can also double as storage. A headboard specially made with shelves or compartments can hold books, boxes of photos, magazines, and other small items.

Stow Under the Bed

Remember how you used to shove all your toys under the bed when your mom told you to clean your room? Build on that concept by purchasing a proper grown-up storage box to hide your stuff discreetly beneath your bed, or create your own using repurposed dresser drawers and some casters. If you prefer a more streamlined look, opt for a bed frame with built-in drawers for tucking clothes, books, or other items out of sight.

Related: Underbed Storage: 8 Helpers to Buy or DIY

Take Storage Up a Peg

Long relegated to the garage or craft room, a pegboard can be the perfect storage solution for jewelry, hats, purses, scarves, and other accessories. You can even transform this lowly storage solution into a bedroom-worthy statement piece with a punch of color, or even artwork. 

Related: 9 Ways to Get on Board with Pegboard

Peg It Up

Sometimes you just need a way to get things off the floor of your closet, which is where a set of peg hooks really come in handy. Use them to hang bags, backpacks, hats, jackets, and anything else that needs a place to live. 

Stow (and Sit) Pretty

One of the best ways to squeeze out a little extra storage in a room is to buy pieces that serve several functions. For instance, stash blankets, sweaters, or scarves in an end-of-the-bed storage bench that will not only add a dash of style, color, or pattern to your room, but also provide you with a great place to tie your shoes or read a book.

Go Big with Your Nightstand

Who says nightstands have to be tiny? If you have enough room, let a small dresser serve as your nightstand, then make use of its generous storage space to clear out some clutter from your closet.

Specialty Shoe Storage

If you have to duck an avalanche of shoes every time you open your closet door, it may be time to invest in some specialty shoe storage. For instance, this low-profile IKEA shoe storage cabinet (view at fastens to the wall, saving valuable floor space, and the narrow ledge on top is just perfect for holding a jewelry box or a few books. 

Related: 8 Smart Shoe Racks You Can Make Today

Divide and Conquer

Although you may think your closet is too small for all your stuff, the problem could be that you’re simply not making the most of the space you have. For starters, if your closet has a long horizontal shelf, try adding some shelf dividers (like this one available on Amazon) or organizers to neatly arrange bulky sweaters, extra linens, and anything else that tumbles out of the closet every time you open the door.

Over-the-Door Shelving

Rarely do we think about the wall space above a door, which can be a surprisingly useful and attractive spot for a shelf, as the bloggers at A Beautiful Mess discovered. Because you’ll probably need a stepladder to reach it, use this shelf for items that you require only occasionally or seasonally, such as gloves, old photos, hats, or bathing suits.

Cart Your Stuff Around

Utility carts are having a design moment right now, and they’re far from the bulky, unattractive storage units they once were. Tuck a nice-looking utility cart (like this one, available on in an underused corner, or even inside a closet, to store shoes, accessories, or off-season clothing.

Create a Shoe Wall

Why hide your gorgeous shoes in the closet when you can show them off like the works of art they are? You can open up space in your closet and keep your shoes easily accessible with a variety of DIY shoe racks, including one made out of crown molding.

Line the Perimeter

When you’re looking to add more storage to a room, don’t forget to look up. The section of wall near the ceiling is more often than not just dead space, so take advantage of it by lining the upper perimeter of your room with floating shelves to store books, purses, shoes, and anything else you need to get out of your closet.

Related: 10 Insanely Creative Shelves You Can DIY

Sneaky Storage Solutions

Whether you have small closets or no closets at all, there is always more space for storage—you just have to know where to look.