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“But where am I supposed to put my clothes?” asked every person in history with a barely there/nonexistent bedroom closet. A freestanding wardrobe would likely hold all your stuff, but valuable floor space would be lost in the process. The most practical solution is the least obvious: Stop trying to hide your attire. 

When YouTube star Alexandra Gater was tasked with overhauling a student’s tiny bedroom for her Make My Space Work series (a collaboration with Shopify Studios and Kin Community Canada), she immediately got rid of the bulky wood bureau. Then she left it all out on the line, literally. The pro DIY-er hung a rod from the ceiling and placed a tiny, four-drawer dresser below it. Magically, that was all the storage the student needed. 

While Gater purchased a $112 clothing rack from Kroft for her latest project, she crafted a similar system from scratch in the past. We asked her and Domino associate style editor Julia Stevens, who also made one for her own bedroom, to break down the how-to. (PS: It’s super-easy to pull off.) Read on for the step-by-step, plus some inspiration along the way.

The Supplies

Step 1: Anchor the Brackets

Triple-check that your ceiling can support the weight of a heavy object by using a stud finder to locate the joist beams. Make your mark for the bracket holes using a pencil. (If your ceiling happens to be hollow drywall, purchase anchors for your screws—it will help redistribute the weight.)

If you’d rather, you can use C-shape hooks that have a screw mount already attached on one end, as Stevens did. They go directly into the beams, making them incredibly secure when they’re fastened tightly. 

Step 2: Tie It Off

Cut two strands of rope to the length that you want the rail to hang, adding approximately 12 inches of excess material. This way, you have plenty of leeway to tie a few simple knots around the dowel and the bracket. You don’t have to limit your material choices either. If you’re feeling really creative, try a copper pipe and leather straps. 

Step 3: Set Up Shop

Before you whip out your hangers, make sure you know how much weight your brackets support. Most options, like the loops by Rejuvenation, hold 30 pounds each, so you should be able to fill it up. Getting dressed in the morning just got a whole lot quicker.