Condo Living - Tips for Organizing a Small Closet

Young, trendy, and living in a condo?  If the answer to my question was 'yes!",  then you understand the struggles associated with living in a small space.  While condo living has its advantages, one of the biggest disadvantages is the lack of space and overall storage space.  Personally, trying to fit all of my stuff into 700 sq ft. is a puzzle that I have yet to master.  To top it all of, my condo has little, if no, storage space at all.  As a result, I've had to become creative and learn how to utilize the space.  My condo living series is designed to explore all of the different ways in which you can maximize the limited space in your loft or condo unit.  

Naturally, lets start with the closet! 

If your closest looks anything like mine... then it's smaller than a shoe box.  No, really... my closet is the size of a shoebox!   The closet space was a glaring negative for me when I was selecting a condo, but my unit had a number of other advantages, so I was willing to over look the lack of closet & storage space. In learning to work with what I had, I've developed an ingenious way to ensure that everything fit.    As a stylist/ fashion blogger, fashion is my passion; so, you can imagine that I have a lot of clothing and shoes that I needed to cram into a small space.  Quite possibly, fitting the amount of shoes I have into one closet was a bigger challenge than completing law school!

Here are the 6 tips I learned for maximizing the space in my small closet: 

1. Downsize. Purge. Get rid of. I got rid of all of the items of clothing that I no longer wanted, or needed, before I moved.  It's always best to declutter before you move, but even after you move you should clean out your closets every few months.  There are a number of great charities and shelters that are aways accepting donations of gently used clothing all year-round.  For as long as I can remember, my family has donated used clothing to the Diabetes Association of Canada.  If you know of a shelter or local thrift store, take some time to donate these gently used items.

2. Invest in a quality armoire or dresser. If your room has enough space, I suggest investing in a large dresser or armoire that will maximize the storage in your bedroom. I have a large 8 drawer dresser that I purchased from Urban Barn.  Dressers are create options for hosing casual wear, tat can be folded, and undergarments. 

3. Choose your hangers wisely. Sounds strange, eh?! I think it's important that when you have limited space to hang your clothing you should use hangers that are flat.  I really like wood hangers, but they often take up so much space in you closet, depending on their size and shape.  Recently, I started to use a mix of wood and plastic hangers to increase the number of items that could be hung in the closet.  If you're looking for recommendations, Ikea has a great selection of plastic hangers that are sturdy, but take up limited space.  

Here's a tip: to maximize your pace, only hang delicate priority items.  Priority items include, blouses, dresses, skirts or suits, etc... think along the lines of items that wrinkle easily.  The majority of my business attire and formal wear is hung.  Everything else goes into that dresser! 

4. Storage Containers. I have a lot of shoes and I needed to find a creative way to stack all of my shoes so that they would fit in my closet.  Instead of using a shoe rack, I came across some amazing plastic shoeboxes that can be purchased at the dollar store or Canadian Tire, ranging in price from $2.99 - $5.99 per box.  These shoes boxes are a great way display your shoes while keeping them organized by season or colour.  You can even label each box, so based on your description you can pull the perfect shoe to complete your outfit. 

Vacuum bags, larger/ flat storage containers are excellent ways to hide larger items that you can't fit into your closet.  I use vaccum bags and store them under my bed for my linens and duvets. 

If plastic containers don't appeal to your aesthetic,  there are number of decorative storage containers that look great and serve the same purpose. For example, I also have a decorative ottoman in my bedroom that opens up and provides extra storage for towels and more linens.  There are number storage ottomans, in a variety of shapes and sizes, that are decorative and provide additional storage for your space.

5. Wall knobs. Last summer, I bought some really cool wall knobs from EQ3 and I was really impressed with their functionality.  Wall knobs are great for smaller, lighter items that you have no clue what to do with.  I hang my belts, scarves or purses on the wall knobs.  

6. Shelving.  Adding shelves (something I've yet to do, but will be doing later this month) is a great way to add additional storage for the miscellaneous items in your closet.  Grab some affordable shelving from Ikea and a few decorate boxes.  Earlier this year I picked up some decorative boxes from Home Sense (on sale!) and kept them kicking around until I purchase the shelving.  In my closet there's an exposed wall that gives me ample space to hang as many or as few sleeves that I would like.  I plan on adding three shelves that can fit 2 decorative boxes per shelf.  This DIY project will instantly give me 6 storage boxes all within my closet. (... Stay tuned for a future update on how this project goes... I plan on creating a separate blog post for this project).

I hope this blog helped you conceptualize how you plan to make the most out of your limited closet space.  I would love to hear from you! Comment below and let me know some of the design challenges in your condo!