I used some put-them-together cubes in the top shelf of the closet. I use them as open face bins, one with clothes too big for each child. When an older sibling outgrows something, it goes in the "too big for" bin for the next child who might wear it.
Yeah, containers would probably be the best. I used to get long narrow ones that I could slid under there beds so they would be out of the way.
Back when my kids were little, before there was all these nice plastic containers, I just made sure they were clean and fold them and stored them in cardboard boxes. Some of the fancier dresses, I left hanging in their closet. There wasn't a lot of fancy dresses.
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