Small Closet Organization Ideas

Even the smallest closet in your home can be turned into a functional, organized space with these simple storage solutions.

Closet Maid Tween Close Up

Closet Maid Tween Close Up

Photo by: Atlas


By: Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Related To:

It happens in every home or apartment: Time and time again you open the sliding closet doors to a small closet space and think, "What am I really going to put in there?"

While it may be a tough task, organizing a small closet is a possibility. In fact, by utilizing every inch of vertical space, you can create a closet that is not only mess-free, but functional.

Budget-friendly, simple-to-install wire racks are perfect for lining the walls from top to bottom. Store everyday items, like shoes or towels on the bottom, and items that are not used as often, like out-of-season clothing or large appliances on the top shelves. Clothing rods, wall hooks and baskets that slide easily onto shelves are also useful for keeping items off the closet floor. Use floor space to organize a shoe rack or store a vacuum cleaner.

10 Stylish Reach-In Closets

See All Photos

Make it Your Own

Not all storage options have to match. This closet features a wooden storage system and white shelves that frame the space, giving the design an eclectic look with lots of personality. Photo courtesy of California Closets.

Rustic and Organized

A rustic barn door that slides along a top track offers a nice design detail for this space. Let your imagination be creative with door options that add character to your well-organized space. Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

Keep Style in Mind

While it's especially important to make smart use of space, don't leave out your sense of style. This closet uses higher shelves to store seasonal clothing in bright red canvas baskets that pop against the wall color. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Photo By: ClosetMaid

His Closet

A masculine approach mixes functional with a classic color palette. Hanging storage in smaller sections tend to stay neater and are ideal for shirts and pants. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Hard-Working Foyer Closet

There is storage space for everyone in the family in this foyer closet. A variety of shelves and rods provide an easy grab-and-go approach in this ClosetMaid system. Creating a place for every item eliminates clutter.

Decorative Display

Getting ready in this space is nothing less than enjoyable. Shoes are neatly displayed in a vertical row alongside custom shelves, which feature a place for perfume and small items. When the doors are open you can easily locate all of your belongings. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Curtain Doors Add Character

Folding closet doors can pinch little fingers. To keep a child's closet easily accessible with great style, consider replacing the doors with curtains that complement the space. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

The Teenage Boy

This closet design is sure to keep his clothes off the floor. Wire systems are functional and work well with a teenage wardrobe. From guitars to board games, this design provides a space to showcase all of his personal belongings. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Lighting with Ease

Good lighting can make a huge impact by illuminating your closet design and wardrobe. For convenience, use a closet light that switches on and off automatically. Photo courtesy of California Closets.

Modern Style

Pocket glass doors are a great option for a space with modern style. The green, black and white color palette can be found in every design element, from storage bins to the wire closet system. Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

If you want to store clothes in a small closet, make sure you have the correct closet rod support to hold your items safely. Closet rod brackets are perfect for this, and super-easy to install. All you need is a screwdriver. Adjustable rods make it easy to fit your small storage area. Also consider round or oval closet rods — you can hang more in less space.

How HGTV Stars Stay Organized at Home

See All Photos

Hair Accessories

“This over-the-door styling rack is perfect for keeping my bathroom counter clear of my hair dryer, curling iron, and brushes, and the cords stay tangle-free.” —Sabrina Soto, The High Low Project. Geometric 9"H x 9"-diameter over-the-door styling rack, $18,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“I hate sloppy piles of shoes in the closet, so I store them in these windowed boxes that let me see what’s what.”—Casey Noble, Design on a Dime. Firenze 15"W x 8"D x 5?1/4"H fabric drop-front shoe box, $15,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“Slip computer cords through this weighted gizmo and they won’t get tangled or fall off your desk.”—Chris Grundy, Blog Cabin. Cordies in pink, $10,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“Buy two of these filing cabinets, and you can use them as the bases for a snazzy desk with a glass top—proof that you can store in style!”—Sarah Richardson, Sarah 101. West 18th 16"W x 20"D x 24"H powder-coated steel file in white and pool blue, $200,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“A magnet bar is one of my favorite ways to stay organized. I use it for heavy shop tools, like wrenches and hammers, and for lighter kitchen items, like knives and scissors.”—Chip Wade, Elbow Room. Magnetic tool rack 24"-long steel holder, $33 for a set of 2,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“Caboodles were originally made for cosmetics, but those expandable trays proved so versatile that I started using them to store my design supplies, like markers and scissors.”—Tiffany Brooks, HGTV Star winner. Caboodles Ultimate 12"W x 8"D x 9"H aluminum organizer, $45,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“This is a lifesaver—it takes up almost no space and keeps scarves from getting wrinkled. I like that you can see them all at once, too. It’s great for pulling an outfit together.”—Taniya Nayak, HGTV Urban Oasis. Classico 8-loop nickel-plated steel wire scarf hanger, $7,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D


“I don’t like belt organizers that hang on a rod—too wobbly. This one gets mounted to the closet wall so it doesn’t budge and belts don’t fall.”—Jonathan Scott, Property Brothers. Sliding 15"-long tie and belt rack, $9.50,

Photo By: J. Muckle/Studio D


“Rather than tack sticky notes around the house, hang this sleek dry-erase board in the kitchen, and use it as a family message center. It’s a thousand times neater!”—John Colaneri, Cousins Undercover. Channel 18" x 18" dry-erase panel and planner in bamboo, $80,

Photo By: Philip Friedman/Studio D

If you feel like your small closet is useless for storing items, then consider turning it into an extension of the room in which it is located. For example, many people have removed the doors from their bedroom closets and turned it into an office nook by adding a desk, chair and small floor lamp. Not only does this option provide you with a "room" you never thought you had but it adds dimension to the space, helping it to appear bigger.

Clever Organizers

See All Videos
Keep Reading

Next Up

Closet Organization Accessories: Ideas and Options

Your closet doesn't have to be a cluttered source of frustration. Get the most from your space with these suggestions for helpful closet accessories.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.