Be flexible on where you store things. It makes sense to keep extra linens and handyman items like lightbulbs or a toolset in the hall closet, but be willing to move overflow. High kitchen cabinets that aren’t filled with dishes, equipment, or dry goods can store general household items as well.
Size your shelves to what you plan to store. Many closets have shelves above their hanging rack, which may or may not be enough to meet your needs. If you’ve got a large number of small items that don’t stack well, consider having additional shelves installed. On the other hand, if you’ve got large items to store – camping and hiking supplies, for example – and several close-spaced shelves, you may want to have some removed.
Install hooks in your entryway to hang coats. This serves a few functions – it lets guests and household members feel at home as soon as they walk in the door, it lets coats air-dry after you come in from the rain, and it frees up space in your closet. You can opt for the utilitarian hooks found at any hardware or housewares store, or opt for designer wall hooks that double as quirky decorative elements.
Shoe racks in the hall. Similarly, consider having guests and members of the household leave their shoes on shoe racks in the entryway. Not only will this keep shoes from filling up your closet, but much less dirt will get tracked into your home.
Perhaps a bookshelf. If you’re not storing a lot of coats in your closet, or if it’s deep enough to store items behind hanging coats, move a bookshelf in. Bookshelves are a simple and often inexpensive solution for storage, and are much easier to move or remove if your storage needs or closet use changes.
Use unconventional storage. Baskets which hang from the undersides of shelves, cork board placed on the inside of the door to hold papers and reminders, and over-door hanging baskets and coat hooks all perform single functions, but they can be used to customize your storage space to the things you actually store.
Make things stackable. Don’t keep a lot of small items sitting around loose: gather like items into bins or boxes, and have one especially for the odds and ends that never seem to stay organized. Keeping these from spilling here and there not only makes finding them when you need them much easier, but it helps you use more of your storage area by letting you place bins on top of each other.