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Organizing Your First Apartment: Closet Storage

How to turn small spaces into big wins

by Brad

Unless you're a character in a '90s romantic comedy--such as a ridiculously-attractive high-powered attorney who's unlucky in love--it's highly unlikely that your first apartment will have a huge closet. (This is especially true if you live in Manhattan.) Ergo, it's important to make the most of whatever size closet you have by maximizing every inch of space.

In addition to reducing your wardrobe down to the essentials (you can find out more about how to do that here and here), it's also important to have the right organization solution. Many apartment closets have only one upper shelf and closet rod, so here are a few customizable starter kits to help supplement them...

Small Closet Solution with Natural Accessories

Our Small Closet Solution with Natural Accessories is a great starting space for a small master closet. In the event that you don't have dresser drawers--or if you just need extra space for folded clothing--it includes a 6-Compartment Canvas Hanging Sweater Bag with two drawers. To keep shoes from cluttering the floor, the 2-Tier Bamboo Shoe Shelf and two Linen Drop-Front Shoe Boxes are a must-have. It also features a Zen Bamboo Bin (very handy for storing out-of-season clothes) and a Poppin Linen Laundry Hamper. Overall, a great start and a great deal!

Small Closet Solution with Grey Accessories

If you're working with a bit more space, the Small Closet Solution with Grey Accessories is a terrific option. The crown jewel of this collection is the Platinum Elfa Mesh Start-A-Stack, an incredibly sturdy and versatile option for folded clothing that works equally-well in the closet or the bedroom. Also included is an assortment of Drop-Front Shoe Boxes (both Small and Large), Drop-Front Shirt Boxes, and a Large Montauk Bin (a smart choice for handbags and out-of-season clothing alike). There is also a 3-Compartment Hanging Sweater Bag with drawer in case you need to convert some of your hanging space into a small cubby area.

The Home Edit Closet Storage Solution

If you've got most of the basics covered but still need a little help, the ladies of The Home Edit have come to the rescue! Their Closet Storage Solution features staples from their exclusive product line, including S-Hooks (for handbag or accessory storage), Stackable Drawers (for folded clothing), and a Shelf Divider to keep everything neat and tidy. Made from exceptionally durable clear PET plastic, these products are not only sturdy, but also allow you to find what you need in an instant!

Elfa Utility Shoe Storage Door & Wall Rack

The closet door is an often-neglected source of valuable storage space, so making use of it in an apartment is especially important. To help you maximize it, we've put together the Elfa Utility Shoe Storage Door & Wall Rack. Constructed of strong epoxy-bonded steel, it's designed to fit a standard 80" to 84" tall residential door and can hold up to 8 pairs of shoes. Commercial Overdoor Hooks are also available if your door is thicker (loft or dorm room). The kit also features two mesh baskets at the bottom that are perfect for small handbags or pocketbooks, ballet flats, children's shoes, or any number of other things. Plus, our Elfa Door & Wall Racks are adjustable and customizable, so you can add or remove components as your needs change, making it an exceptional long-term solution.

Drawer Organization

Whether they reside in your closet or bedroom, dresser drawers are an excellent way to store socks, undergarments, sweaters, and other folded clothes since they keep them out of sight and dust-free. However, drawers can quickly become an annoying mess without a proper organization strategy, so we recommend measuring the interior dimensions of your drawers to help find the proper dividers. Once you have that information, our drawers kits such as the 28" x 14" Grey Drawer Organization Solution or 35" x 14" Linen Drawer Organization Solution are great ways to get started. (And, of course, if your drawers are those exact sizes, you can customize those kits on the product pages to get the items that work best for you.)

We hope these customizable starter kits are helpful when it's time to organize your apartment. And for even more suggestions and advice, be sure to check out our other starter kits and helpful tips!