Before heading off to IKEA to buy a new PAX wardrobe take a look at the tips below to see whether there’s a quick and cheaper way to create more space in your existing wardrobe. Just trying one of the tips when you are organising your wardrobe will increase your wardrobe storage - which one will you choose?
1) Storing clothes you don't wear takes up valuable space - always declutter first!
When was the last time you had a really good look at all the clothes in your wardrobe... I mean getting all the clothes out of your cupboard and onto your bed so you can see everything in one go? If it was more than 6 months ago then I recommend trying this before you do anything else as it can make a huge difference. Storing clothes that you don't like or that don't fit takes up valuable wardrobe space.
Taking out all of your tops, dresses and knitwear and gathering them together in one place allows you to see the volume of clothes you own and identify any duplication - this makes it easier to decide what stays and goes.
It will help you confront difficult, often guilt-driven, decisions about expensive clothes you’ve kept but don’t like or clothes that no longer fit.
My advice: If it was uncomfortable or didn’t ‘feel’ right the last time it was worn then you probably won’t wear it again. Take a look at my guide on turning unwanted clothes into cash, it will help you pass on your unwanted items so you can reinvest in something that you love.
Top Tip: No one needs to be reminded every morning that they don't fit into their favourite dress! Create space in your wardrobe in seconds by removing clothes that don’t fit (or sentimental items you never wear) and storing them elsewhere.
Need a hand getting started on decluttering your wardrobe? Take a look at these wardrobe decluttering tips for a step-by-step guide to help you decide what to keep and discard so you can easily clear a bit more space in your wardrobe.
2) Increase your wardrobe hanging space and storage by upgrading your hangers
Having lots of spare hangers hung in your wardrobe makes it harder to get the clothes out that you want to wear – especially if you’ve got a wardrobe full of mismatched wire, plastic and wooden hangers.
Create space straight away by removing the empty hangers and storing them in a basket at the bottom of your wardrobe.
Go one step further by changing to a matching set of hangers. Your clothes will hang better, there’ll be more space and no more battling with tangled hangers every morning.
A set of traditional wooden hangers looks lovely but they take up a lot of space hanging rails. I recommend using space-saving hangers and have recently discovered these fabulous slimline wooden hangers from The Hanger Store.
I'm also a fan of space-saving velvet hangers which allow you to hang more clothes in small wardrobes. To shop both types of hangers take a look at my wardrobe favourites in my Amazon store.
3) Clear out the bottom of the wardrobe and make use of the space
The bottom of wardrobes can be a dumping ground for shoes, handbags and miscellaneous bits and pieces ‘tidied’ into plastic bags. Storing things in plastic bags is a home organisation no no! You can't see what's in the bags so the contents can easily become forgotten - so start by emptying everything out and sorting through it to make sure you only keep what’s needed.
Increase the usable space in your wardrobe) by inserting either a shoe rack or shelving rack as I've done with this simple IKEA hack in this video below.
I used a LACK TV shelf from IKEA but shoe racks can work equally well in this area. STUK storage baskets on the shelves to provide drawer-like storage for underwear, tops and accessories. This will prevent clutter from building up in the future.
4) Make the top shelf of your wardrobe more accessible
The deep shelves at the top of wardrobes are less accessible and can become spaces where things disappear and are forgotten about.
Using a long wardrobe organiser is a great way to make use of the full space and have easy access to the items at the back of the cupboard.
IKEA STUK boxes are my go-to wardrobe organisers – they are great for clothes and accessories and can keep a previously messy space tidy.
5) Change the layout inside your fitted wardrobe
Reconfiguring your wardrobe fittings is a DIY job that can make a huge difference to the usable space especially if, like my client, you have big gaps above clothes rails or poorly planned shelving.
I chose the ELFA storage system to upgrade my clients wardrobe as it had the best options for inserts like pull out shoe storage and basket shelves. IKEA offer a similar concept with their BOAXEL range at a cheaper price point with fewer insert options.
You’ll need to accurately measure your available space and plan the interior before ripping out what you currently have but there’s plenty of online support to help you do this and it’s definitely worth the investment if you are lacking in space. We sourced this ELFA wardrobe system from A Place For Everything,
6) Don't hang all your clothes - folding takes up less space
One easy way to free up space in your wardrobe is to not hang everything up. I’m not talking about leaving a pile on the chair in the corner of the room, just suggesting that you only hang things that ‘need’ to hang like jackets, shirts, dresses and skirts.
Everything else (tops, knitwear, jeans etc) can be folded as this takes up much less space as shown in the chest of drawers below. Removing jeans and sweatshirts from your hanging rails frees up lots of space and once they are folded and stored vertically they are much easier to see and grab than they would be in an overflowing wardrobe.
Let me know below if you found this post useful. If you're ready to start decluttering your wardrobe take a look at these posts for some inspiration:
Blog updated: 14/01/24
Are you ready to start living A Life More Organised?
I’m Sue, a professional home organiser and KonMari Consultant based in Hampshire.
I trained with Marie Kondo & the KonMari team to help busy people declutter, organise & simplify their homes so they can get on with the important job of enjoying life.
m: 07740 782575