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How to Organize a Room Without a Closet

It would be heavenly to have a dream closet like this one, but it's not necessary to stay organized!
It would be heavenly to have a dream closet like this one, but it's not necessary to stay organized!
iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Old houses are wonderful in so many ways. They have authentic architectural details, neat nooks and crannies and lots of wonderful original materials just waiting to be discovered under layers of renovations. But one thing they probably don't have is much closet space. In fact, some rooms may not even have a closet at all. Don't let that deter you, though, because there are many ways to stay just as organized as you would be in a room with a closet.

The main function of a closet in bedrooms is to hold hanging clothes and shoes, so let's start there. One great option is to build the guts of a closet on an open wall without the actual enclosure. Most big box home improvement stores carry white wire closet organizers that offer customizable configurations to fit your needs. You can go with a simple layout that consists of two stacked shelves with a rail for hanging clothes suspended in between or max out your wall with a more sophisticated framework that suits your specific needs.

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If you prefer to keep your clothes hidden from view, you can opt for a freestanding wardrobe in lieu of a closet. Look for stores that cater to organization where you will find many different sizes and options of freestanding closets that fit right up against your wall. Or, if those choices are too contemporary for you, look for old armoires or cupboards that will serve the same purpose at garage sales, flea markets or antique stores.

If you have a fantastic cache of clothes and a limited budget, go for the starlet's dressing room look and get some rolling racks to hang your clothes on. This is a great option for small spaces because the racks can be rolled around to make space as needed. Supplement with hooks for hooded sweaters and a freestanding shelf for shoes.

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This certainly doesn't take up much space.
This certainly doesn't take up much space.
Hemera/Thinkstock

The great thing about a closet is that you can simply close the door to hide the things that you don't keep super organized. The key to organizing a room without a closet is to make use of all the hidden nooks and crannies your room has to offer; or better yet, make your own. If you're using open shelves, it's worth it to make a small investment in purchasing attractive bins and baskets that match. That way, regardless of how unorganized the items in the baskets are, from the outside, the space will always look neat and tidy.

The area under your bed contains a ton of unused space that's perfect for storing bulkier items, like sweaters and linens. And since you can't really see under the bed, you can just buy the cheaper plastic containers. Opt for clear so you can easily see the contents, and it doesn't hurt to list them out line-by-line on a label, too. You can also stash craft supplies, rarely used dishes or pretty much anything that you don't use that often but would like to access quickly when you need it. Wooden chests placed at the end of the bed also provide attractive storage options -- and can be a family heirloom passed down through the generations.

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Another solution that won't break the bank is to get stackable clear containers that fit in the corner, and then hide them behind a room screen that's easy to move aside. You can also line the top of your walls near the ceiling with hanging shelves that will hold inexpensive but colorful cardboard boxes that are great for storing smaller, lightweight items, like socks, lingerie and jewelry. Then, just keep a little fold up stepping stool on hand for easy access.

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Sources

  • "Create a closet where one doesn't exist." Orgjunkie.com. Feb. 5, 2012. http://orgjunkie.com/2010/03/create-a-closet-where-one-doesnt-exist.html
  • Gazeley, Victoria. "Organizing Small Spaces - 5 Ideas for Living without Closets (without Renovating or Spending a Lot). Elvieessentials.com. Feb. 4, 2012. http://www.elviesessentials.com/living-closets-5-ideas-organizational-bliss-renovating-spending-lot/

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