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 huband’s small crowded closet a complete makeover recently.

And when I say “I” it really means “we”. I couldn’t have done it without his help. So thanks, Chris!

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

I shared all the details of his new master bedroom closet that cost us less than $250 in this post!

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

But today is the fun part!


This is the exciting part of a DIY project when everything comes together.

And styling Chris’s new closet was so fun!

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

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…


and cluttered!

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.

Plus it’s now soooo organized!

I just love it and can’t wait to do mine!

1. How to Organize Hanging Clothes Storage

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. 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 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.

Chris was using the shelves on top of his old closet for sweatshirts and pants so including shelving for those items was at the top of the list when designing the new closet.

The narrow tall bookcases work perfectly in the space.

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

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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.

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 Organize a Small Walk-In Closet with Baskets

Baskets are probably one of my favorite ways to organize.

They come in so many fun 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 baskets for the win!

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

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

This cute wicker and wood basket is the perfect spot to hold small items like 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 breaks up the middle of the shelves that store all the folded clothing. One 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 get to all of the time.

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

5. Where to Put Dirty Clothes When Organizing a Small Walk-In Closet

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.

6. Decorative Hanging Coat Racks

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

Chris has quite a collection of baseball caps.

So hanging his favorite hats on these decorative coat racks looks great but also adds functional storage.

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

7. Small Details that Create an Organized Space

hanging clothes on rod with matching wood hangers

One of the easiest things you can do to organize a small walk-in closet is to buy matching hangers.

Having all the clothes on the same hangers creates a cohesive and orgainzed look in the new closet.

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

There was even a matching tie holder!

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

I’d love to hear your ideas just contact me or leave a comment below!

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2 Comments on 7 Quick Ways to Organize a Small Walk-in Closet

  1. Looks wonderfu! We did my walk in closet many yrs ago which includes four drawers and cubbies like you have! I bought a variety of covered floral boxes with front handles at Tuesday Morning, and varied baskets to add color and protection! Our soiled laundry goes in baskets in our linen & extra hall closets!

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