Space, the Final Frontier – Making the most of a small home’s closets

In a world of McMansions and tiny houses those of us with average homes yet space challenged have very few resources. When I search for articles on how to make the most of your small kitchen, bath, closet, storage space the articles all start with a palatial sized room.  As if  a 24 by 24 kitchen is a small space. Who are they kidding?  For those of us with serious space issues to overcome we need big help for our little spaces.Ironing board Collage

I hope to write a series of how people were faced with and handled these space challenges.  Not in the we will have a man set foot on the moon by the end of the decade space challenge but in the I will fit this whole wardrobe into this tiny closet kind of a challenge.

First up in this series will be closets. Specifically the space in closets that goes largely unused. Those places behind doors where we defer to bi-fold doors when we might want a solid hinged door.  Bi-fold doors may require less room to swing open and closed but they do waste a lot of storage space that can be utilized on the backs of doors. That back of the door space is where we will focus today. Here are a few ways to make good use of that otherwise wasted space.  If you are space challenged you will appreciate these options.

This includes closets, pantries, laundry rooms, utility rooms and such.  You won’t see photos of walk-in closets and fancy ways to arrange the bench to make additional room for another dresser.  These are truly small spaces we are talking about.

The option in the photo above could be in a bedroom closet or laundry room.  The fold up ironing board in addition to being a great space saver it is a huge time saver.  This is so easy to open and close the ironing board  and put away an iron.  How many times do you leave the board set up simply because it is a pain in the neck to lug out and put away.  You also have to adjust the height.  This over the door fold up iron (with iron storage – separate item) is perfect. It takes up no room, it folds up and close the door to place it out of sight.  No fuss, just pure convenience and handy. If it happens to be set up on your closet door simply hang your ironed shirts immediately away when you’re finished.

closetThe next suggestion involves a bit of improvising.  This is the smallest closet I’ve ever seen.  It may have room for about 20 shirts and a half dozen pair of shoes.  But take a closer look at the photo.  Using the back of the door again, the space is used to hang slacks.  It is not as convenient as the drop down iron because you have to juggle a bit to get to a back pair of pants but you can easily find any pair you need and they fit nicely on the back of the tiny closet’s door.  Because this closet is so small you’ll have a limited wardrobe and probably room for only one season’s worth of clothes.  This gives us is another opportunity to get creative.  Home improvement shops sell the “under the bed” storage containers.  With a few of those containers you can pack away winter/summer clothes to make room for the opposite season.  You’ll be surprised on how much you can stuff beneath the bed and out of site.  there is also less space left to dust under the bed.  You will also have the opportunity each season to review what you wore and didn’t wear and pass the unused items to the thrift store.


Finally we have homes with very limited pantry space.  The backs of closet or cupboard doors will help organize and create additional storage space.  In the cupboards you can put (back of the door) spice racks, they may not give additional space you will be able to find all of your spices when you’re cooking. Check out the back of the door wire shelves for those small broom closets to expand the space in an existing pantry. The racks you get at the home improvement store will make great storage for boxed and canned goods.

I hope you can make use of these suggestions in this introductory article into small space challenges.  There are so many possibilities that won’t evermake the pages of house beautiful or home and garden because this just isn’t glamorous.  I’m sure you’ve thought of a few.  If you want to share your suggestions and ideas of coping with small spaces, please feel free to comment here or drop us an email and we may include it in the next post.




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