Small walk-in closet ideas

Updated April 17, 2017

Most women -- and some men for that matter -- dream of having a walk-in closet. It is the symbol of comfort and convenience and of having "arrived." However, what do you do when that walk-in closet of your dreams turns out to be the tiny cramped postage stamp of your nightmares? With some creativity, "out of the box" (literally) thinking and a small amount of money, small walk-in closets can be transformed into something workable.


Install shelves with hinges and hooks. Fold the shelves up against the wall and secure them when not in use. Or, install a pegboard along one wall and add movable brackets to it. Place boards or shelves on top of the movable brackets for endless nonpermanent shelving options.


Hooks can go underneath shelves, on the inside of the door or in corners in a walk-in closet. Get large enough hooks to hang clothes comfortably without clothing falling off and down to the floor. At least a good 2 to 3-inch hook is a preferred size. If you don't like hooks making an impression in your clothes, use hangers on the hooks. Hooks also make the clothes on them lie flatter against the wall, instead of the way a rod makes clothes stick out into the closet.

Baskets and Boxes

Lean narrow and flat boxes up against walls or stacked on shelves out of the way. This is a good opportunity to personalise your walk-in closet and make it lively. Go to a hobby store and pick out boxes with colourful or funky patterns. Baskets can be hung on hooks on the ceiling in a walk-in closet, if the space is that small. Nice baskets are easily obtained at the local thrift store.


One of the easiest lighting fixes is to use stick-on lights, preferably LED, which are found in grocery and hardware stores. LEDs last from approximately six to 35 years depending upon usage, as noted by elemental LED. Other plusses are they don't get as hot as regular lights and can be moved. Another fun lighting trick is a strand of battery-operated holiday lights, which can also be LED. String these lights across a shelf, wall, hooks, around the door or wherever you want to put them.

Flat-Pocket Shoe Rack

Hang your shoes in a flat-pocket shoe rack on the door to the closet. This shoe rack can be installed on the wall as well, and generally holds up to 36 pairs of shoes. Use more than one shoe rack, if needed.

Vacuum Sealing

Invest in a clothing vacuum-sealing system. This saves a lot of space in small closets by compacting seasonal clothing, especially bulky items such as jackets and sweaters. The compacted packs of clothes can then be stored on shelves or in flat boxes.

Corner Furniture

Corner shelving does not take up much space, and can hold shoes, purses, wallets and other smaller items that might get lost in a closet. Inexpensive shelving can be found at the thrift store. If the shelving needs a paint touch-up, one can of spray paint in your favourite colour may do the trick.

Colour and Mirrors

The colour of a walk-in closet and a mirror can go a long way to making the space look bigger. Pick a lighter uplifting paint colour, and one that reflects the small amount of light you'll be working with. A slim mirror on the back of the door or on a side of the closet helps a space appear bigger. And who doesn't need a mirror inside of their closet?

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About the Author

Kira Robbins is a freelance writer who has been writing and photographing since a young age. Robbins' articles from high school were published in her local newspaper and earned recognition in competition. She graduated from Pikes Peak Community College with an A.A. degree & hopes to continue her education in photography.