Clothes Storage Ideas with No Dresser

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Originally published August 16, 2021 and updated September 12, 2022.

More than 70 clothes storage ideas with no dresser for every situation. Whether you’re in college, your first apartment or a small home, these clothes storage ideas and products will keep everything neat and tidy.

woman placing folded clothes on shelves with text reading Clothes Storage Ideas without a Dresser.

I’ve lived in over 25 different homes thanks to the military. I’ve lived in all types of homes and situations. There are many reasons you may not have a dresser for your clothes. But whatever the reason, these clothes storage ideas will work for you when you don’t have a dresser.

What Can I Use Instead of a Dresser?

Whatever the situation, there are reasonable alternatives you can use for clothes storage when you don’t have a dresser.

  • Shelving unit
  • Cube shelf unit
  • Under bed bins
  • Trunk
  • Suitcases, vintage or even your current ones
  • Shoe racks can be used for clothes, too
woman leaning on rack of hanging clothes.

Clothes Storage Ideas with no Dresser

Often when you don’t have a dresser, it’s because you’re living in a small space. Whether you have closet space or not, these tips are useful for a small bedroom or studio apartment.

Expert Tips for clothes storage not using a dresser

  • Declutter so you only have to find space for clothing you actually wear and enjoy.
    • Organizing and storing fewer clothes allows you to access your items more easily and gives you more peace in the morning when you’re getting dressed.
  • Look for flexible solutions you can repurpose if and when you do add a dresser to your home.
  • Look for a solution that works for you and your lifestyle. There’s not one right answer. The right answer is what you will find useful.
  • Take advantage of all available space for creating dresser alternatives and that often means being creative.
  • Look for otherwise unused areas to add storage
    • Under the bed
    • Back of door or on wall behind the door
    • Pull your bed or other furniture 2-3 feet away from the wall and store shelves or tubs there.
    • Shelf added over the door for out of season clothing.
  • Because you can’t change the amount of floor space you have, take advantage of the vertical space on walls to add shelves or floor-to-ceiling shelving units. Always choose the tallest shelving unit you can to maximize and create usable space.
  • Fold clothing items and stack them neatly to make the most of space.
woman looking at clothes hanging on rack.
  • Hang items you’d usually store in a regular dresser drawer.
    • Tank tops
    • Scarves
    • Belts
    • Ties
    • Jewelry
  • Rotate seasonal clothing so that only the current season’s clothing is in your prime real estate storage, which is the easiest to reach areas.
  • Fully utilize the closet shelf you already have. Use shelf risers and shelf dividers to give you plenty of space to use as a clothes storage area.

All images below are clickable Amazon product links.

Shelving Units

Shelving units are the obvious choice because it’s a flexible clothing storage option that is cost effective and can be moved when you relocate. You can fold and stack larger clothing items on the shelves. Place smaller items in bins or baskets on the shelf to keep them neatly contained.

Open shelves or a small closet unit with a door are both a perfect storage solution.

A storage unit, such as locker style units, are a great option, too.

wood shelf and hanging clothes storage.
compartment shelving unit for clothes.
black wire shelving unit.

You can often stack shorter shelving units on top of each other to utilize more of the vertical space, create more shelf space and create extra storage space.

4 plastic stackable storage shelves.
wood and wire shelving unit.
white cubbie storage unit.

Take advantage of the vertical space in your room or closet. Look for extra tall shelves or shelving units designed to go all the way to the ceiling.

floor to ceiling storage shelves.
industrial look wall mounted shelves.
tall black shelving unit.

If you’re even a little bit handy, you can create the middle shelving unit yourself with plumbing parts and wood shelves.

Clothing Rack

If you have enough room and simply prefer not to use a dresser, you can take advantage of different styles of clothes racks. They come in both rolling garment racks and stationary versions.

black and silver rolling clothes rack.
silver and white 2 rod clothes rack on wheels.
black and silver 2 parallel rod clothes rack.

You can also add an additional clothes rod to your closet to double the hanging space.

silver hanging rod extender with clothes.
2 silver hanging rod extensions.
2 rows of clothes  on hangers, one row below the other.

Closet hanging shelves

These hanging shelves are made to hang from the closet rod, but can also be hung from coat hooks or attached to a wall. They work well for both bulky sweaters and also small items like baby clothes or underwear.

closet rod hanging fabric shelf unit.
2  grey fabric hanging shelf unit.
cream fabric hanging shelving and drawer unit for closet rod.

Under-the-bed clothes storage products

The space under the bed is perfect for storing clothes. I prefer an option with a lid to keep clothing from getting dusty, but if you’re accessing the clothing each day, an open rolling drawer can work well.

If your bedframe is not tall enough to accommodate bed storage containers, you can raise the bed height with simple bed risers.

2 fabric under-the-bed storage containers.
4 clear plastic under-the-bed storage containers with wheels.
wood under-the-bed storage drawer with wheels.

You can store any clothing that can be folded, shoes and even bedding and towels under the bed.

long, shallow wire basket with handle.
2 black fabric shirt storage bins for under the bed.
2 grey fabric shoe storage bins for under the bed.

Back-of-the-Door Storage Solutions

Hang items on the back of the door or on the wall behind the door. In some cases you can do both, if there’s enough space for shallow shelves or hooks hung at different levels, so they can clear each other when the door is open. Consider using both the closet door and the door into the room. This is a great place to add additional clothing storage.

black metal over-the-door storage shelf.
grey fabric over-the-door hanging bins.
black fabric over-the-door hanging bins.
black over-the-door clothes rod with clothes hanging.
silver rod perpendicular to the wall with clothes on hangers.
silver over-the-door rack with hooks.

DIY Clothes Storage Hacks

A quick trip to the thrift store or checking your local yard sales or online resale groups will often result in great solutions to replace a traditional dresser.

  • Bookshelf – use a book shelf you already have or a thrifted one.
  • Add wall shelves from the floor to the ceiling. You can customize the space to meet your exact needs.
  • Repurpose old trunks and old suitcases (or even your current suitcases). These can be stacked with the out of season clothes on the bottom and the in season clothes in the container on top where it’s easily accessed.
  • Repurpose clean sturdy boxes. These can also be stacked or placed under the bed for storage. Cover the box with wrapping paper or adhesive shelf paper for a DIY clothes storage box that matches your décor.
cardboard box covered in patterned paper holding folded sweaters.
  • Hook a hanger over the top frame of a window or door and hang folded clothing, scarves or belts over the hanger.
  • Hang an inexpensive peg board on the wall and hang jewelry and scarves as decorative wall art and for storage.
  • Frame corkboard and hang jewelry.
  • Stack free wood wine crates, inexpensive wood crates or wooden boxes to create floor to ceiling shelves.
  • Add towel rods or thick molding to the wall to hang hangers holding folded shirts, sweatshirts and sweaters. It’s important to know how to fold and hang sweaters so they don’t stretch out on the hanger.
industrial style black rod with dress shirts on hangers.
  • Place wood shelves on steps of an A frame ladder to create a shelving unit.
  • Hang a wood ladder on the wall and add wood cut to fit the space between the steps to create shelves.
  • Use hanging wire baskets, the type for fruit or root vegetables, hung from the ceiling for small items.
  • Use rope and a standard shelf from a big box store to create a hanging shelf. You can hang it from the wall or ceiling.
  • Place a shelf unit or trunk at the foot of your bed for additional storage.

Looking for more clothes storage ideas?

Other storage ideas you might have missed

  • Storage for Small Spaces – Whether you’re down-sizing or just starting out, living in a small home can be cozy & organized with these tips & products for storage for small spaces.
  • Colored Pencil Storage Ideas – More than 25 colored pencil storage ideas and tips for children, adults and artists. Includes both DIY ideas and a wide variety of products.
  • Playroom Storage Ideas – 100 playroom storage ideas, tips, products & DIYs for all situations and budgets from a mom of 3, parent educator and professional organizer
  • Clever Thread Storage Ideas – 55+ tips for organizing threads, flosses and bobbins with thread storage ideas, including products and budget-friendly hacks.

Be sure to pin for later so you can always find these clothes storages for no dresser.

See my favorite clothes organizing tips, hacks, favorite products and more in the table below. You can scroll through the table and click on an idea that interests you or use the magnifying glass in the upper right corner to search for a specific topic.

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  1. Those hanging fabric shelves work so well if you have a lot of rod space. We got some for my daughter and she keeps sweaters inside. They are perfect because sweaters are large, and don’t stack particularly well1

  2. These are all excellent tips. Cabinets can also go in the closet to provide a storage option that will keep clothing and other items dust-free and behind closed doors.

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