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7 Quick Ways to Organize a Small Walk-in Closet

Is your closet small? Or maybe it’s messy, cluttered, and unorganized? Learn 7 quick ways to organize a small walk-in closet.

I gave my husband’s small crowded closet a complete makeover.

And when I say “I” it really means “we”.

Because I couldn’t have done it without his help.

So thanks, Chris!

The first thing we did was remove the old wire shelving and install a new DIY closet system with parts that we pieced together to create a semi-custom space.

Closet makeovers can be pretty costly.

But not this one!

I shared all the details of his new master bedroom closet in this post!

The best thing about this transformation was the price.

It was less than $250!

Yup…that’s it!!

So, go check it out if you want to replace your builder’s grade closet shelving on the cheap.

Now for the fun part!


Styling Chris’s new closet was so much fun!

I love when everything finally comes together at the end of a DIY project and your vision comes to life.

But first let’s back up and take a look at the closet before we built his new storage system.

Before Closet Makeover

inside of walkin closet with hanging clothes on walls and folded clothes on shelf above. clothes laying on floor next to laundry hamper

Wow…it really was such a mess before!

But it’s probably a good example of what many of our closets look like, right?

Lots of wasted space…



That sums up my closet right now.

What about yours?

How to Organize a Small Walk-in Closet

diy walk in closet system with two rows of hanging storage on back wall and bookcases for folded clothes storage on side wall with shoe rack and two coat racks between bookcase towers

The closet is now stylish thanks to the black painted walls and white DIY closet system.

And it’s now super organized!

I just love it.

Doesn’t it look amazing?

It turned out way better than I had imagined.

Now I can’t wait to do mine!!

1. How to Arrange Hanging Clothes

interior view of closet with upper shelf and hanging clothes rod on back and side walls with woven baskets on top of shelves and clothes hanging from rods. lower hanging clothes rod filled with clothes and a wicker hamper on floor

Hanging clothes storage is probaby the number one need in closet organization.

The trick is to create enough space for all of your hanging clothes without it being overcrowded.

Chris likes to hang his t-shirts in addition, to dress shirts, pants, and jackets.

So,, we had to be sure to create enough space for everything he wanted to hang in his new closet.

We included both an upper and lower hanging rod on the back wall to accommodate his t-shirt collection.

On the left side wall, we added another upper hanging rod for dress shirts and suit jackets.

2. Where to Store Folded Clothes

clothes and baskets on two slim tower shelves with shoe storage and two rows of hooks between shelving units

It’s also important when customizing your closet to think about how you like to store your clothing.

Do you hang all of your clothing in your closet or do you need space for folded pieces as well?

Chris was using the top shelves of his old closet for sweatshirts and pants.

Including shelving for those items was at the top of the list when designing his new closet.

Two narrow tall bookcases work perfectly in the space for extra storage.

And since the shelves only allow a certain number of sweatshirts or pants on each, it keeps his folded clothing looking neat & organized.

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3. Easy Shoe Storage System

diy built in closet storage with two bookcases on either side of shoe storage rack and hanging coat racks above

I found a shoe storage rack that fit perfectly between the two bookcases.

How lucky is that!?

Most of Chris’s everyday shoes and sneakers are kept in the garage, but he needed space for his dress shoes.

The metal and wood style of the shoe rack adds some different texture to the monochromatic closet.

4. How to Use Baskets to Organize a Closet

Baskets are probably one of my favorite ways to organize.

They come in so many pretty shapes and styles.

I use baskets to organize everywhere around my home to help keep me organized!

So, when looking for ways to organize the closet… it was definitely baskets for the win!

And I just love how the color and texture of the baskets really warm up his small walk-in closet.

small wicker and wood basket with kindle and watch in it on top of shoe storage rack in closet

A small basket on top of the shoe rack is great place for storing items that may easily get misplaced.

This cute wicker and wood basket is perfect for holding a watch, keys, loose change, etc.

seagrass basket on shelf with socks in it

This budget-friendly seagrass basket was the absolute perfect size for the bookcase shelves.

It’s almost like it was made for it!

A basket on each bookcase tower visually breaks up the middle of the shelves that store all his folded clothing.

One basket holds dress socks and the other stores belts.

flushmount light fixture with hanging clothes and baskets on shelf in closet

Larger baskets on the top shelf are great for storing things you don’t need to have access to all of the time.

Out of season clothing, extra shoes & hats or even linens can be arranged in large baskets.

5. Where to Contain Dirty Clothes

wicker hamper with clothing in it on floor in closet

A wicker hamper fits on the floor on the left side of the closet under the upper hanging clothes rod.

Now, Chris has a stylish place to put his dirty clothes, instead of the ugly mesh pop-up hamper he used to have.

It’s the little things, ya know! LOL

6. Decorative Hanging Coat Racks

Having hooks in a closet is great for organizing clothes, jackets, hats and more.

Chris has quite an impressive collection of baseball caps.

So, hanging a few of his favorite hats on these decorative coat racks not only looks great but also adds functional storage.

The rest of his hats are stored in one of those large baskets on the top shelf.

7. A Small Detail for a Beautifully Displayed Space

hanging clothes on rod with matching wood hangers

One of the easiest things you can do to create a beautifully arranged walk-in closet is to purchase matching hangers.

I found wood and black hangers from Target that coordinate with the new DIY master bedroom closet.

Hanging all your clothes on the same hangers, no matter what kind of hanger you choose, creates a cohesive and organized look in your closet.

Do you have any other ways to organize a small walk-in closet?

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Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

What color is the walls in the closet


Tuesday 22nd of November 2022

Hi Crystal - The walls are painted Black Satin by Benjamin Moore in a matte finish. Here is the link to all the details of how we did the closet: Thanks so much for reading our blog!


Saturday 27th of August 2022

My issue is I have my luggage on the top shelf, below them is my rack to hang my tops on. I have a lower rack for hanging pants over hangers. I have a rack for hanging dresses or long sweaters this is on one side. I rolled my dresser into the closet opposite side of the long hanging rack. On the side of my pocket door entry I have shelves that were supposed to be for folded pants but instead I have my jewelry boxes, purses and bed sheets. So if I try to make my closet look like yours, I would not have room for luggage, jewelry, purses or sheets.

I go in and clean it out twice a year thinning out what I haven't worn for awhile but it never looks as nice as yours.


Monday 29th of August 2022

Sounds like you have a great storage system for your closet. Women have more to organize and store in our closets so I don't think mine would look as nice as my husband's either. LOL! He does keep luggage on the top shelf above his suits. But he doesn't have the jewelry, purses and other items we girls have to keep organized. Cleaning out twice a year is a great tip to keep your closet organized. Thanks for sharing!

Shammy P

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

I liked that you shared the idea of purchasing matching hangers in order to create a beautiful closet. My husband and I will surely take note of this because we want to makeover our closet. We are also thinking of shopping for a rolling garment rack with a basket to easily separate our clothing based on type.


Wednesday 18th of May 2022

That's a great idea! Having a hamper right in the closet helps keep everything clean and organized.


Tuesday 15th of February 2022

This is an awesome transformation! Could you tell me the dimensions of his closet?


Thursday 17th of February 2022

Hi Amy - Thanks so much for the compliment. The closet functions so much better now. It's an odd shape (kind of an L with a bump in the middle...LOL). Here are the dimensions: 74" from door to back wall 58" from door to bump out where the shelving is on the right side of closet 70" across the closet at it's widest point 48" across from wall behind door to wall behind shelves/shoe rack Hope this helps...its not a big closet we just tried to make the best of the awkward bump outs.

Janine Waite

Tuesday 11th of January 2022

What a fantastic transformation!


Wednesday 12th of January 2022

Thank you so much! It was so fun doing this round up with you.