I’m one of those girls who stands in front of the closet every morning looking for something to wear in a closet full of clothes. I’m definitely a shopper (clearance and sale items, of course) and these items swell to epic proportions, which necessitates the reason to purge. A plethora of “stuff” fills my bedroom closet including a file cabinet for the bills, my wedding dress from long ago, a few favorite books, and a clothes basket. I’d love to have one of those beautiful closets like I see on TV, but I’m on a limited budget—so I challenged myself to free up space in my closet without spending a dime!

We all know that purging frees up needed space, so I completed this first. My second step was to remove the items that don’t belong in my closet, such as the filing cabinet, clothes basket and books. Then I began to look for ways to streamline my closet, decrease the clutter of what belongs in the closet, and get everything off of the floor!

1. Find hidden storage opportunities

I recently bought two pieces of luggage, which was quite a treat for myself because I never splurge! My old set fit nicely together and only took up a corner in my closet, but my new set doesn’t fit together. Luckily, I came up with a creative solution—I store my extra pillows and bed linens for company in my luggage. This frees up a lot of space in my linen closet and keeps everything hidden.

2. Combine smaller items with larger items

I have small, medium and large purses. I like to place wallets, crossover bags and mini totes in my larger work and weekend bags. If you want to take greater advantage of storage, pair like season items together: spring colors, fall, etc. Another great idea is to pair slip-ons and sandals together in one larger shoe box and throw the extra boxes away.

3. Determine primary storage spaces

During my purge this weekend, I found a pair of tights stored in a closet drawer that contains all of my extra bath and body items. No wonder I could never find them! By storing all “like” items together, you can open up space for other items (and you can actually locate what you need more easily!). I ended up using a spare basket to store all of my tights, which made more room in the drawer for my hygiene stuff.

4. Double up outfits

Who made the rule that each item needs its own hanger? That takes up excess space, so I decided to double up outfits. I hung a skirt or pair of slacks over the hanger, then added the cardigan that matched. Reducing storage space and coordinating outfits for easy accessibility will also save me time when I’m getting ready in the morning.

Bonus tip: Drink can pull tabs work great to double up hangers like in the example below.

5. Pair accessories with outfits

Put your gloves in the coat pockets, lace scarves around the hanger of your favorite outfit, and put wool scarves with your coats. Loop your belt over the hanger of the skirt/pants. Stuff your athletic shoes with your socks for added storage.

6. Get those shoes off the floor

This is my favorite tip of the season! Take your skirt hanger and hang your boots from them just like a skirt. This will get your boots off the floor, keep them within reach without digging through boxes, and keeps in focus what you actually own!