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Easy Ways to Expand Your Closet Space

Maximize the space you already have with these space saving closet ideas.

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Closet Nook Shelves

Closet Nook Shelves

Salvage the hidden space at the recessed ends of your closets by adding a set of wire shelves. Wire shelves are available in a variety of widths. Measure the width and depth of the space. Then choose the correct shelving and ask the salesperson to cut the shelves to length for you. Subtract 3/8 in. from the actual width to determine the shelf length. Buy a pair of end mounting brackets and a pair of plastic clips for each shelf. Want more tips on organizing your closet? Check out these 11 clothes storage ideas.

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Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod

Clothes storage ideas for small spaces: Double-decker closet rod

All you need to gain a lot of hanging space in your closet is two metal closet brackets and a length of closet rod. If your existing closet rod is at least 66 in. from the floor, there's enough space to add a second rod below it and still hang shirts and slacks. We placed the top of the rod 35 in. from the floor, which allowed just enough room to hang two levels of pants. Locate studs on the back wall of the closet with a stud finder. Then attach metal brackets to the studs. Use a level to align the brackets along the top. Space the brackets no more than 32 in. apart. Need even more storage? Check out these easy ways to expand your closet space.

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Two-Story Closet Shelves

Two-Story Closet Shelves

There's a lot of space above the shelf in most closets. Even though it's a little hard to reach, it's a great place to store seldom-used items. Make use of this wasted space by adding a second shelf above the existing one. Buy enough closet shelving material to match the length of the existing shelf plus enough for two end supports and middle supports over each bracket. Twelve-inch-wide shelving is available in various lengths and finishes at home centers and lumberyards.

We cut the supports 16 in. long, but you can place the second shelf at whatever height you like. Screw the end supports to the walls at each end. Use drywall anchors if you can't hit a stud. Then mark the position of the middle supports onto the top and bottom shelves with a square and drill 5/32-in. clearance holes through the shelves. Drive 1-5/8-in. screws through the shelf into the supports. You can apply this same concept to garage storage. See how to build double-decker garage storage shelves here.

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Back-of-Door Organizer

Back-of-Door Organizer

The back of a door that opens into a utility room or closet makes a handy hanging space. The trouble is that most doors don't offer a good mounting surface for hardware. The solution is to screw a piece of 3/4-in. plywood to the back of the door. Add construction adhesive for hollow-core doors. Cut the plywood 3 or 4 in. shy of the door edges to avoid conflicts with the doorknob or hinges. Now you can mount as many hooks, magnets and other storage gizmos as you like. Want more behind the door storage? Check out these inside-cabinet door storage ideas.

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S-Hook Hang-Up

S-Hook Hang-Up

Turn any closet into a useful hang-up storage space by adding S-hooks to wire shelving. This provides tidy storage for mops, brooms and other cleaning tools.

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Behind the Door Storage: Tool-Apron StorageFamily Handyman

Behind the Door Storage: Tool-Apron Storage

Tool aprons can be modified to store nearly any household item. Just sew a variety of pocket widths in the aprons, then mount the aprons by screwing a wood strip through the top of each and into a door. For hollow-core doors, use hollow anchor fasteners to hold the screws firmly to the door.

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Behind the Door Storage: Ironing Board StorageFamily Handyman

Behind the Door Storage: Ironing Board Storage

Ordinary coat hooks on the back of a closet door keep your ironing board out of the way but close at hand when you need it. Keep your imagination moving and check out these garage storage ideas.

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Erasable TapeFamily Handyman

Erasable Tape

When you need to continually update labels on items like storage boxes, create an erasable label. Put a piece of clear tape over masking tape and write on it using a dry-erase marker. The ink wipes off easily, so you'll have to be careful not to smear it. If you really want to get storage containers out of the way, try putting storage containers on the garage ceiling.

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Add-On Clothes RodFamily Handyman

Add-On Clothes Rod

Very few people have too much closet space (and if you do, don't brag). This DIY closet rod is an easy way to add space for hanging clothes (or at least clothes that don't require a tall space). Hang a second clothes rod from the upper rod with lightweight chain. Attach the chain to screw eyes directly or use S-hooks or carabiners. Carabiners make adjusting the height of the extra rod a snap. This system works well in kids' closets since they grow quickly (and their clothes grow along with them). It also works well in an adult closet—you can hang pants on one rod and shirts on the other. Check out these 11 other clothes storage ideas.

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Behind the Door Storage: Closet Glove RackFamily Handyman

Behind the Door Storage: Closet Glove Rack

If you don't have radiators, finding a good spot to dry wet hats and mittens can be tough. Tossing them into a plastic bin gets them out of the way, but they never dry and it's no fun putting on damp mittens in the morning. This simple back-of-the-door glove and cap rack allows wet things to dry and keeps easily misplaced items organized. Just string clothespins on aluminum wire (it won't rust) and stretch it between screw eyes on the back of a closet door. This also works great out in the garage for drying garden and work gloves. Make your own mitten drying rack with these inspirational ideas.

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Belt and Other Hang-UpsFamily Handyman

Belt and Other Hang-Ups

Where do you store your belts? How about on this inexpensive and easy-to-make belt holder? All you need is a wooden hanger and some cup hooks. If some of your belts have unusually thick buckles, just widen the cup hook slightly with a needle-nose pliers. This is a great way to hang small handbags, too. We also have tons of storage ideas for the kitchen.