8 Space-Saving Organization Ideas for When You Don't Have a Walk-in Closet

You don't need a walk-in to have a closet that works for you.

I don’t have a bucket list but if I did, "get a walk-in-closet" would definitely be on there. As someone who has lived in 800 square feet or less for the last 20 years, I’ve still never had a closet to call mine. I see walk-in closets with accessory islands and seating areas, and that’s not what I’m dealing with in my small house. At all.

A Woman's Dressing Space

A Woman's Dressing Space

For those of you who, like me, need to get organized with a reach-in closet (or don’t have a closet at all), here are some tips and tricks that will help you along the way.

Take Off Your Closet Door

Cocoa Reach-In Closet

Cocoa Reach-In Closet

Photo by: EasyClosets


One way to immediately get a bit of extra space is to remove the doors on your reach-in closet. Once the doors are off, you can choose to leave the closet open or add something simple like curtains. Removing the doors will allow you to store bulkier items or add some additional storage furniture that might not fit with closet doors.

If You Do Have Doors, Use Them

Organized Sports Equipment Closet

Organized Sports Equipment Closet

If you're going to keep your closet doors, consider how you might be able to use them to create even more storage space in your closet. Add hooks to keep your jewelry in place, or use an over-the-door organizer to store shoes, scarves or other small items. Even if you have an unusual item to store, think about how you might be able to use the extra space on your doors to grab more real estate.

Add a Dresser

Organized Child's Closet

Organized Child's Closet

Another easy closet upgrade is to add a dresser. The nice thing about this is that you can add a dresser without making any other physical changes to the closet. It’s also a great option if you happen to have a dresser that you don’t love the look of. Dresser drawers are the perfect place to keep folded t-shirts, underwear or other accessories that you don’t want on display.

Don't Be Afraid to Think Outside the Box

Dolls Stored on Shoe Rack

Dolls Stored on Shoe Rack

Photo by: Organized Living

We all have different needs with our closets, and this clever doll storage idea is a great reminder that you shouldn’t be shy about trying to make your space work exactly how you need it to. If you have special storage needs based on your hobbies or collections, try to think through how you might set up your closet to handle them. For example, I really love infinity scarves but I don’t like hanging them on hangers. I cleared out one of the drawers in my dresser and have dedicated it to keeping all my folded scarves.

Try Pre-Fab Custom Solutions

Reach-In Girl's Closet

Reach-In Girl's Closet

Photo by: EasyClosets


There are a number of pre-fab options available that will help you customize your closet in the same way you might if you went for a full-on custom solution.

Hang All of Your Storage Containers

Hanging Closet Storage Systems

Hanging Closet Storage Systems

Photo by: Pottery Barn Teen

Pottery Barn Teen

If you have a limited budget or live in a rental that doesn’t allow you to make any structural changes, consider closet storage solutions that you can hang from the existing clothing rod in your closet. There are solutions for shoe storage, jewelry, scarves, sporting equipment and other accessories.

Decorate Your Room With Items That Can Double as Storage



Photo by: Brian Patrick Flynn

Brian Patrick Flynn

Now that you’ve started customizing the inside of your closet to work with all of your storage needs, think through the rest of your space to ensure you're using all of the available real estate you have. If you have any items or collections that you don’t mind keeping on display, consider decor or art that will allow you to move things out of your closet and onto your bedroom walls.

If You Don't Have a Closet, Create One With Wardrobes

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom


Buying and Selling

If you have a room that doesn’t have any closets at all but does have a bit of extra room, consider creating a faux built-in closet with existing wardrobes and shelves. My favorite tool for achieving this is the Ikea Pax line. By carefully measuring your space and creating the right configuration, you can create a closet that looks completely custom but is actually the opposite. If you want to take it one step further, you can even make the Pax wardrobes look completely built-in with this drywall hack technique.

Reuse Household Items for Closet Organization

See All Photos

Funky Frame for Your Jewels

Ice Cube Tray Organizer

Silverware Tray Displays Your Jewelry

Prop Up Boots With an Old Tabloid

Hang Baubles on Branches

No Closet? No Problem.

Store It in a Planter

Bread Box Shelving

Basket Made From Plastic Bags

Savvy S Hooks

Tag It With Shipping Labels

Tie Rack for Your Jewelry

Sub Out Your Towels for Scarves

The Catchall Basket

Tidy Up the Tuna Can

Woven Tin Wastebasket

Bungee Cords Hold Items

Rolling Pin Coat Rack

Bring Your Wire Flower Box Indoors

Next Up

Closet Organization Ideas

Get the organized closet of your dreams with our strategies for storing clothes, photos and art supplies. Plus, learn how to turn your closet into an office.

10 Clever Storage Ideas for Your Tiny Laundry Room

Stuck with a super tiny laundry room? Make the most of it with these super clever storage ideas.

Get a Dreamy, Organized Closet With These 8 Tips

Could your closet be charged with disorderly conduct? No need to fear! Expert Melanie Charlton provides tips to declutter, maximize storage and reorganize your closet.

5 Quick Tips for Home Office Organization

Is your home office sharing space with the family or living room? Professional organizer Vicki Norris gives tips to help you organize your home office no matter what room it's in.

Decluttering the Entryway

An organized entryway makes life easier and creates a beautiful entrance to your family's home.

Quick Tips for Organizing Bathrooms

Use these seven tips for bathroom organization to make the most of your bathroom, regardless of its size.

Tips for Maintaining an Organized Living Room

These simple tips for organizing your main gathering space will put the family back in your family room.

To-Do List: Organizing the Garage

9 steps to taking the dis out of disorganized

Kids' Rooms Storage Solutions

If your kids' idea of a clean room is everything piled in the corner, it's time for a storage-solution intervention. Check out these designer spaces that use fresh ideas to create clutter-free kid spaces.

Tiny Spring Cleaning: How to De-Junk Your Junk Drawer

We've all got one. Make yours work for you with a few tips on getting organized and staying that way.

Meet the Team

Get to know the talented writers and editors of HGTV's show and design blog. 

Go Behind the Blog

From the Archives

Take a look back at our past posts, from entertaining and design trends to up-and-coming HGTV shows.  

Read All Our Past Posts