In need of a closet makeover? You already know the first step: Take everything out, scrutinize each shirt and pair of shoes, haul bags to the donation bin, and organize what's left after you've decluttered. But then what? Once you've got your perfectly edited wardrobe, how do you create a closet that's both functional and beautiful within a limited space and budget? Especially if you're working with a standard-size reach-in closet with sliding doors, space and visibility can be real challenges.
For small spaces, closet designer Kathleen Jacobson of The Couture Closet says paring and organizing are key for maximum functionality. "We do suggest editing and purging your closet seasonally. Use bins with lids to store items on shelves above. Use shoe racks [...] to organize shoes on the floor if you don't have adjustable shelves. Use the side walls to mount belts and hooks to create additional storage."
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Jacobson's other favorite tip is to organize clothes by category and color, which is both helpful for finding what you need and also pleasing to the eye. "Group all your jackets together, pants, tops, dresses, skirts," Jacobson says. "Then colorize within each category, organizing from light to dark. This creates zones in your closet for easy dressing."
We've gathered tons more closet organization tips and inspo below, so read on for some seriously great ideas to get you started.
20 Bedroom Closet Ideas
1. Keep your wardrobe tightly edited for a curated look.
This is a simple little reach-in style bedroom closet idea, but we love it for its simplicity and order. Instead of jam-packing her space with clothes and a mountain of shoes, Caroline Joy of the blog Un-Fancy keeps it neat and well-curated, with only her favorite hats and boots on display. A wardrobe like this will make picking out a pair of jeans for the day feel like shopping at a boutique rather than digging through a pile of laundry.
2. Go glam with this IKEA bedroom closet hack.
This jewel-toned walk-in looks like a completely custom closet but is, in fact, the result of a genius IKEA hack and some emerald green paint. Want to try something similar? See how Erin Kestenbaum accomplished this feat here (and check out how to give your IKEA system a paint refresh, too).
3. Transform an unused space into a luxe walk-in closet.
This space only looks like a massive walk-in closet: It actually started as an unused loft space in the home belonging to Lauren of Lauren Loves. She fitted it with, yes, IKEA's Pax closet system, added some oversized baskets for out-of-season clothes and items like scarves and bathing suits, then brought in a few luxurious touches — a rug, settee, and side table with beauty essentials — to make it feel more like a dressing room than a closet. If you have an unused space in your house, hang some simple shelves and rails, add a mirror and a place to put on your shoes, and presto: You too can have a glamorous dressing area.
4. Add instant charm with the help of some wallpaper.
Who says the inside of a closet has to be plain white? This small walk-in closet by Sara Ligorria-Tramp shows the wow factor that wallpaper can create in a closet. If you love detailed patterns but worry about making too big a statement in a room, a closet is a perfect place to scratch that itch. (Try peel-and-stick if you really don't want to commit!) And with that bold print, you don't need a ton more to make the closet design feel finished — an understated light fixture, mirror, rug, and painted trim, and you're good to go.
5. Turn a tiny closet into a display for your shoes.
You don't need to have a huge walk-in closet to put your accessories on glamorous display. Case in point? This super-skinny bedroom closet from Hunted Interior, dedicated just to shoe storage. It might seem like a luxury to devote a whole closet to accessories, but really it's a smart way to put a tiny sliver of awkward, unused closet space to use. Just add shelves (slightly tilted, to show your shoes at their best angle). If you think of it as a display rather than closet storage, you'll be more likely to keep it neat, not overflowing. (A wash of jewel-toned paint makes it feel extra glam, too.)
6. Use baskets and bins.
Folded clothing and accessories can easily look messy if they're jammed into a cubby hole, so pop them in a storage basket instead, like Emily Henderson Design did here. You'll find both fabric and wicker options in a variety of stores. Stacked storage bins with lids will help with space saving but won't be as easy to access. So if you go that route, label the front of each to make it easier to find your belongings. For drawers, organize like Marie Kondo with these DIY "hikidashi" boxes.
7. Add a chandelier.
A light source is a necessity in a closet, so why not also make it beautiful? This chandelier choice by West of Main Design is a perfect modern yet feminine statement piece for a luxe closet and dressing room. Seek out your own dreamy fixture, whatever your square footage or budget. The choices are just about endless.
8. Skip the closet doors for a spacious, open look.
A former reach-in closet belonging to Christina from Little Victorian got a lot more luxe with just a few small touches. The standard single rod was replaced with rustic open shelving, a back-to-front rail for jackets, and even a petite set of drawers. Last but not least, the sliding doors were removed, allowing for better visibility. If you're dealing with a tight reach-in closet, try this technique to instantly free up a little more space. (Just be sure to hang onto the doors if you're a renter!)
9. Double your hanging space with soda tabs.
Need more hanging space? Those with small closets can take note of this simple hack that uses the tab from a fizzy drink. As Gina of The Shabby Creek Cottage demonstrates, simply slide a hanger through one end of the canned beverage tab, then attach another hanger to the other side. Clever and budget-friendly.
10. Use dividers to organize purses.
It's easy to stuff your totes into cubbies and forget about them, but open shelving and a few shelf dividers will allow you to keep your bags center stage and sorted. We love the acrylic style used here by The Home Edit, which virtually disappears from view. But any neutral divider would do the job nicely and unobtrusively.
11. Carve out space for a vanity.
By utilizing every inch of vertical space, this organized closet design by Leah Ward of Closet and Storage Concepts is able to accommodate a built-in vanity. Even if you're working with less square footage, you can still create a similar effect by designating a shelf — ideally close to a mirror — for items like jewelry organizers, perfumes, and makeup.
12. Incorporate glass doors to beautifully keep out the dust.
This truly regal dressing room by The Couture Closet feels simultaneously old-world and on-trend. The elegant glass cupboards have the look of an exclusive haberdashery, while also keeping everything in easy to find and dust-free. We appreciate the minimalist approach here, another example of a carefully curated wardrobe. The freestanding vintage dresser provides extra storage for smaller items and other necessities that don't need to be displayed.
13. Add a boutique feel with illuminated shelves.
This shelf lighting by LA Closet Design may seem decadent, and if we're talking about wired lighting, it may well be out of many of our budgets. But considering that closets often lack exterior windows, thoughtful lighting can make a huge difference in terms of functionality. Remarkably, there are tons of wireless, even remote-controlled shelf lighting options out there these days. So depending on your closet setup, boutiquey, decadent shelf lighting may be an accessible option after all.
14. Create a staging area for your next-day outfit.
Designate a space in your closet to hang your clothes for the next day. This could be an empty wall in a walk-in or, if space is tight, just a hook affixed to the wall. It's a simple trick that will cut down on stress in the morning. And we're pretty sure that having your shoes as organized as the stilettos on the open shelf in this closet designed by Elizabeth Roberts would help, too.
15. Use a peg rail to hang purses and scarves.
The number one bedroom closet idea to remember? Hang hooks — lots of them, or in this case, pegs. This closet by Coco Lapine Design shows a minimalist peg rail, but its impact is maximal. A row of hooks or pegs can be endlessly helpful for keeping your wardrobe in order. They can keep oddly shaped items like belts and hats organized, not to mention robes, purses, scarves, jewelry, and countless other items.
16. Nest boxes inside drawers.
Marie Kondo and Caroline from Un-Fancy had it right: Adding small boxes can keep clothing drawers from getting unruly. Designate separate storage boxes for folded T-shirts, tanks, and pajama bottoms to keep clothes organized and neat. You can buy specially designed drawer organizers or make your own using assorted packaging and wrapping paper.
17. Store your shoes down low.
You know that unused space at the bottom of your closet? Make good use of it by storing your shoes there. Install a shoe organizer or low shelf at the bottom of a reach-in or walk-in closet to prevent disorderly piles. Storing them down low will keep any dirt far away from your hanging items, too, so your sweaters and blouses are always pristine. Let Ariel from PMQ for Two show you how it's done.
18. Invest in uniform hangers.
Velvet hangers, wooden hangers, or streamlined metal — you've got options. By upgrading to matching hangers, you'll make your closet look more cohesive and considered. Debi Traub of the blog Simply Beautiful Eating opted for white wood here, which goes perfectly with the white cabinetry and gold rods and accents in her space. Note that the hangers are all facing the same way: The hook part should point in toward the back of the closet for the prettiest view.
19. Play with paint.
This design by Em Gurner is the ultimate goal when it comes to DIY closet organization. To start, there's the enviable space (and shelving!) she has to work with. But more than that, we love her use of color here. Note the industrial pipe rail she used to make hanging rods — and her choice to then paint them a rich terra cotta. This color is then repeated in the archway trim, framing the turquoise room behind.
20. Arrange your closet by color.
A place for everything, and everything in its place. We can't help but think of that saying when viewing a closet designed by The Home Edit. There's something so soothing to the eye about those color-coordinated vignettes. Beyond the aesthetics, however, the practice serves a valuable function. Grouping like items (tops, skirts, shoes), and then sorting them by color makes it infinitely easier to find what you want.