Ideas for Small Walk-in Closets


All your items will fit into a small walk-in closet with the proper layout and design. The traditional setup of a closet, with a long clothes rack and a few shelves, leaves a pile of clothing and other items with no home. Step out of the traditional design box to alleviate this issue. Before redesigning your small walk-in closet, always go through your items carefully and discard items you do not use or wear any longer. The largest of closets cannot hold every item you have ever purchased, so stay realistic in your expectations.

Over and Under

  • Maximize the usage of a small walk-in closet by adding slide-under bins. Begin by removing all shelving and hanging rods from the closet. Measure and build or hire a carpenter to build wooden flip-top bins to fit along the bottom of the two short or opposite walls in the closet. Make the bins 2 feet to 3 feet in height, but narrow enough that the bin can be pulled out and opened. Do not attach the bins to the walls. Build shelving directly over the bins leaving only enough space for the bin to slide out. Install shelving all the way up each wall, leaving only a small space at the ceiling large enough for small items to fit. The shelves are built as wide as the bins. Store seasonal clothing and items not used frequently, such as formal shoes, in the bins, leaving more space on the shelves for easy access. On the remaining closet wall, place two clothes racks, one above the other. Space the racks to accommodate the hanging of shirts on the top rack without touching the bottom rack. If there is room, add a shelf over the top of the higher clothes rack.

Pegs and Boards

  • Add adaptability to your small walk-in closet with pegboard. Remove all the traditional pieces of your closet and install pegboard to all the walls. Assure the board is anchored well to support the weight that will be applied. Reinstall a traditional clothes bar along one wall as close to the bottom of the closet as possible without long-tailed shirts touching the floor. Hooks, pegs or shelves can be added, removed or just moved as needed. For example, during the winter, attach sturdy hooks to the pegboard higher up to hang long coats or arrange the hooks to accommodate shorter thick jackets. Add shelves to hold sweaters. When summer comes, replace the coat pegs with additional shelves for shorts and add a bath style wall bar, designed to hang towels, to the pegboard to hang sundresses.

Divide It Up

  • Add additional space to your small walk-in closet by dividing it in half. Along one wall, use only shelving; on the opposite wall, install two varying height clothes racks. Divide the space of the last wall into half shelves and half hanging areas. Use shorter spacing between the shelves and clothing racks for smaller items and clothes.

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