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Thursday 2 February 2023 Dublin: 8°C
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I'm out of wardrobe space - where do I put the rest of the clothes?
Is your wardrobe is bulging at the seams and about to blow? We’re here to help.

ITEMS LIKE WINTER coats or wedding guest outfits can be hard to store with your everyday stuff. If you don’t have a huge wardrobe, what are some alternative options for overflow?

There’s a two-pronged approach to this dilemma. Primarily, you want to look at what storage options you have once and how you can maximise hanging space. And secondarily, you want to look at packing your rarely worn or off-season clothes as compactly as possible so that they take up less room.

1. Find a bed unit with internal storage 

Divan beds with drawers or internal storage are a great hiding place for clothes you wear regularly, but which are too bulky for the wardrobe. Trundle beds can also be repurposed into storage if you forego the extra mattress – the trundle frame is basically an absolutely massive drawer where you can store loads of folded clothes.

The Ikea Friheten corner sofa bed has a storage compartment intended for bedding, but you could use this to store folded clothes; this would be a great option for a teenager’s room as it doubles as a sleepover bed. For kids’ rooms, there are many bunk bed styles with a wardrobe unit beneath the bed.

2. Install extra rails 

Wardrobes usually come with one rail as standard but it doesn’t have to be this way. You can easily install an additional rail yourself with simple parts from a hardware store, all you need are a rail and some brackets.

You can effectively double up on the hanging space within your existing wardrobe by getting rid of the upper shelf and installing a pull down rail instead, giving you two easy-access rails instead of one.

There are also loads of options for clothing specific wardrobe storage, like trouser rails, which can help you fit more in to the space you have. 

3. Use a standalone rail 

A freestanding rail is a great way to store the things you use most often – if you’re not a fan of the industrial look you can spray paint it to match your décor or look for a natural wood option.

You don’t have to stick with traditional rails either; notched wardrobe rails are usually used in clothes stores, but you can install them at home to create storage space in an unused corner or bare wall. Even a small corner rail can be really useful for the four or five outfits you wear the most.

4. Create a wardrobe ‘Narnia’

Install a good strong hook on the back wall of your wardrobe, and you’ll have space to hang two or three outfits flat against the back behind your everyday clothes, freeing up space on the rail.

If you’re storing occasion wear or suits, these should be hung on good quality padded or shaped hangers. Be sure to protect them within a garment bag, and if you’re going to be storing them for long periods dot a little lavender or cedar oil on the garment bag to repel moths.

5. Keep folded clothes or bulky items like bags outside of the wardrobe

Move bags, hats, and bulky coats or jumpers out of your wardrobe and into their own storage unit or hang them up.

You could make a gallery wall of your hats or handbags, both to display them and also to ensure you use them regularly and don’t forget you have them! These folding hooks are perfect for this as they are unobtrusive when not in use.

Hang bulkier bags like backpacks or weekend bags on their own rail – a clever solution is to install a bath rail to the underside of a strong shelf and hang your bags on it with S-hooks.

6. Fold and store

If you can’t make any extra rail space and still have an overflow issue, try packing clothes away at the end of a season when you know you won’t need them for a while.

The Konmari folding technique is a very clever way to tidy your clothes and maximise space and you will be amazed how much you can fit into a storage container with this method.

You can also use vacuum bags to condense clothes into a nice slim package. Once you’ve packed them up, keep them accessible in a plastic storage tub, preferably with a sealable lid, under a bed. If you want to create additional storage under an existing bed frame, bed risers can give you the few extra inches you need.

More: How do I keep the hallway free of shoes?>

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