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If you feel like your closet is a jumbled mess the majority of the time, a closet kit is an easy and often affordable way to get organized. Usually designed with a selection of shelves and bars for hanging items, each kit turns an empty space into a stylish and functional one—even if it wasn't a closet to begin with. Some kits are suitable for small spaces, and others transform as you and your needs do.
By putting one in your home, you just might rid your floor of piles of assorted clothing for good or feel like you have enough space for your favorite jeans, sweaters, and shoes. “A closet organizing system can help maximize vertical space, create clear zones, and make it exponentially easier to keep things looking tidy,” explains Shira Gill, home organizing expert and author of Minimalista. As you shop for one, you’ll want to consider what items you’re planning to store and what features will work best for your needs.
Gill notes that adjustable shelves are a great solution for folded sweaters and jeans. “I love shoe cubbies or shelves to display shoes and boots, lots of hooks for handbags, robes, hats, and even necklaces," she says. "Lined drawers are lovely for storing scarves and jewelry." Other important factors to take into account include the size of the kit, how it must be installed, and whether it's customizable to your individual space. We tested several of these kits ourselves to see how they measure up and whether they meet the mark.
Here are the best closet kits to help organize your home and belongings.
Best Overall: Elfa Classic 4' White Reach-In Clothes Closet
Dimensions: 84 x 48 x 16 inches | Material: Epoxy-bonded steel | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 7 | Number of Rods: 1
Doesn't require much planning
Easy to install and customize
Durable design and materials
Doesn’t look high-end
Noisy and moves around, especially during assembly
The Elfa Classic Reach-In Clothes Closet is an ideal solution for midsize storage spaces in your home. This closet kit is 4 feet wide and 7 feet high and comes with a variety of features—including shelves, a garment rod, and even several sliding mesh drawers. It’s designed to be used in closets 51 inches wide (or larger) and made from epoxy-bonded steel that's very durable.
Our tester was able to install this closet system herself in a few hours, and she really liked the layout of the system. Shelves are on one side, while drawers are on the other. A 4-foot garment rod runs across the upper portion of the system. However, keep in mind that the rod is only designed for short-hanging clothes and not long items like pants or dresses. In addition, this pick doesn't look very high-end and is rather noisy during assembly, but it will not require much pre-planning on your part.
"The drawers and shelves are at an optimal height that makes it easy for me to see and access everything. Since everything is slightly lifted off the ground, I feel like the closet floor space is maximized."—Deanna McCormack, Product Tester
Best Budget: Rubbermaid Configurations Closet Kits
Dimensions: 48.3 x 36 x 12.5 inches | Material: Metal | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 3 | Number of Rods: 3
Can expand to fit your space
Multiple configuration options
Additional accessories available
Sometimes requires additional mounting hardware
Shelves can bow
Many closet systems can be quite pricey, but the Rubbermaid Configurations Classic Closet Kit won’t break the bank and is a great value. It's quite versatile, as you can set it up in numerous ways, and it is a good fit for closets between 3 and 6 feet wide. There are also additional accessories you can buy, giving you the option to add more shelves to your new and improved closet setup.
Now, the downside to the customizable design is you must dream up the organizational layout yourself for the most part. Our tester noted that they could've used some more instructional diagrams. Plus, the closet kit can sometimes require additional mounting hardware, adding time to the installation process. However, once you've installed the necessary rails, adding the shelving and rods is fairly simple.
"If you ignore the wall anchors, everything else about this kit is as versatile as possible. The top rail can expand to fit anywhere from 4 to 8 feet and it comes with plenty of upright extensions and extender pieces so you can install shelving from top to bottom if you want."—Stacey L. Nash, Product Tester
Best Splurge: Martha Stewart California Closets Double Hanging & Shoe Storage Closet System
Dimensions: 72.75 x 87.25 x 20 inches | Material: Metal, manufactured wood | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 6 | Number of Rods: 3
Adjustable and expandable
For a durable and attractive closet kit, you can’t go wrong with the Martha Stewart California Closets Double Hanging & Shoe Closet System. This high-end system has all the features you could ever want, including three garment rods, three drawers, and both open and enclosed shelves. Not to mention the whole kit has a contemporary finish that’s available in three colors and would look good in any room.
The closet system is made from a powder-coated steel frame, allowing you to stack all your clothes on it without worrying about durability. It’s designed for self-installation. Its components are fully adjustable, allowing you to reconfigure the system as needed to fit your individual space. The closet kit has sleek metal accents, as well as a tall mesh cabinet and soft-close drawers, and you can expand it down the line with additional pieces from the collection. Just know you're going to spend more for all of this organizational bliss.
Best Freestanding: IKEA PAX Wardrobe
Dimensions: 79.25 x 68.88 x 22.88 inches | Material: Particle board | Mount Type: Freestanding | Number of Shelves: 6 | Number of Rods: 2
Made from particle board
Two people required for assembly
A freestanding closet, such as the IKEA PAX Wardrobe, is ideal for renters as well as anyone who’s not comfortable mounting a full closet system on their wall. This standalone closet system is very spacious, giving you ample room for your clothing and accessories. Plus, you can easily adjust the configuration of its interior to suit your needs.
The PAX Wardrobe includes several shelves, two garment rods, and three drawers. And IKEA offers a number of other accessories for the system as well. However, as you’d likely expect from this brand, the closet must be assembled by hand, and it’s definitely a two-person job. Additionally, the system is made mostly from particle board, which isn’t the most durable option in the long term. You might need to make use of the 10-year warranty.
Best for Walk-Ins: Closet Evolution Ultimate Wood Closet Corner System
Dimensions: 72 x 115 x 14 inches | Material: Laminate | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 18 | Number of Rods: 5
Has 18 shelves
Limited lifetime warranty
Instructions aren't very clear
You can totally transform your walk-in closet with the Closet Evolution Ultimate Closet Corner System—an L-shape system that can be used in spaces between 3.5 and 5.5 feet on the short wall and 6.5 and 9.5 feet on the long wall. This wall-mounted kit offers an impressive 49 feet of storage space across 18 shelves (including corner shelving), as well as 14 feet of hanging space on five garment rods. It even has three drawers for concealed storage.
To use it, you'll need to mount it on durable steel rails and also add the shelves, which are finished with a scratch-resistant laminate. Almost all the necessary hardware for installation is included. (You might want to order some extra screws, as the ones they provide can be rather cheap.) But you’ll need an extra set of hands and a can-do attitude to get this large system set up.
Best Tower: Dotted Line Grid System
Dimensions: 84 x 96 x 14 inches | Material: Manufactured wood | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 3 | Number of Rods: 4
Isn't very intrusive
Can be set up in different configurations
Has a sturdy design
Difficult to set up
Drawers don’t glide easily
Particle board is a cheaper material
Tower-style closet systems, such as the Dotted Line System, feature a stack of drawers or shelves in the middle of their design. There are usually garment rods on either side, so you have space for hanging and folded items. We tested this particular tower closet kit that features four drawers and three open shelves. Our tester liked that the unit maximizes space without feeling intrusive, feels secure, and can be set up in different configurations with the purchase of extra pieces.
Notably, it can also be adjusted between 48 and 96 inches wide, allowing it to be used in many closets of different sizes, too. It has four garment rods where you can hang clothing. However, our tester found that it was quite confusing to assemble and install. She ended up hiring a professional to complete this part of the process.
"This versatility makes the organizational system shine. You can mix and match the pieces to create something that works for your space and storage needs."—Lindsay Boyers, Product Tester
Best Custom: California Closets Reach-In Closet System
Dimensions: Custom | Material: Composite wood | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: Custom | Number of Rods: Custom
Several design tiers at different price points
Includes professional installation
Limited lifetime guarantee
More expensive than off-the-shelf units
Long lead time
California Closets offers fully customized closet systems that are perfectly tailored to fit your space. The brand services more than 2,000 locations in North America, and during your free design consultation, you’ll work with a consultant to create the closet of your dreams. You can include hanging areas, adjustable shelves, drawers, specialized racks, and more. And the company also offers both on or off the floor designs.
One of the best things about California Closets is there are several design tiers to suit every budget. For instance, Level 1 is the most affordable and typically features a wall-mounted, off-the-floor construction that exposes the wall behind. On the other end of the scale is Level 4, which offers premium finishes and construction, integrated lighting, and luxury inserts. Professional installation is included; however, there is a long lead time.
Best for Small Spaces: ClosetMaid 2087 ShelfTrack Adjustable Closet Organizer Kit
Dimensions: 49.3 x 48.3 x 13.9 inches | Material: Vinyl-coated steel | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 2 | Number of Rods: 2
Easy to install
Rods must be cut to size
Shelves aren't super strong
The ClosetMaid ShelfTrack Adjustable Closet Organizer Kit is ideal for those awkwardly small closets in your house. The unit is designed to fit in closets between 2 and 4 feet wide and can be set up in a number of configurations to optimize your storage space. You get one 4-foot shelf and one 2-foot shelf with your purchase, each of which has a hanging closet rod below it. The whole system is also made from durable, vinyl-coated steel.
While simple, this closet system is extremely affordable and easy to install on your wall. The only thing to note is the rods themselves aren’t adjustable—if you need one to be shorter, you’ll have to cut it down to length with a hacksaw or pipe cutter. These tools should only be used by a professional or someone who has experience with them.
Best for Kids: Little Seeds Grow with Me Closet System
Dimensions: 76.63 x 95.5 x 15.7 inches | Material: Laminated particle board | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 5 | Number of Rods: 5
Fairly easy to install
Made of laminated particle board
Bins not included
The Little Seeds Grow with Me Closet System is designed specifically for children. Its adjustable width can be used in closets between 68.7 and 95.5 inches wide, and it has a tower-style design with several cubbies, shelves, and a drawer in the central unit. It comes with five adjustable rods that can attach to either side of the organizer and is ultimately very flexible and versatile.
Our tester liked that this unit only took a few hours to assemble and has child-height cubbies. This can make it easy for kids to put their toys and clothing away—not to mention the rod height can be adjusted to accommodate your child’s clothing as they get older. Keep in mind: The unit features bins in many of its product photos, but our tester notes that these accessories are actually sold separately.
"Five adjustable hanging rods make this a perfect closet system for children's clothes. As my child grows, I can remove some of the hanging rods to allow for longer items."—Katie Begley, Product Tester
Best for Kitchens: Elfa Décor Birch & White Reach-In Pantry
Dimensions: 84 x 48 x 16 inches | Material: Epoxy-bonded steel | Mount Type: Wall-mounted | Number of Shelves: 10 | Number of Rods: Not applicable
Designed for pantry storage
Attractive wood accents
Includes ventilated shelf liners
Kitchen cart sold separately
You can easily organize your kitchen storage space with the Elfa Décor Birch & White Reach-In Pantry. It’s designed to be used in closets at least 51 inches wide, and it features 10 shelves and three slide-out drawers where you can store food, small appliances, and other kitchen essentials. Plus, the system has attractive birch wood accents, giving it a more high-end appearance.
This closet kit is designed to be mounted to the wall through its horizontal top track and features a nice frame made from durable steel. The three drawers have integrated wheels that slide in and out easily. It even comes with ventilated shelf liners to ensure nothing slips down through the cracks. You'll just want to be aware of the price tag and the fact that the kitchen cart is sold separately.
When it comes to closet kits, the Elfa Classic Reach-In Clothes Closet is one of the best options for organizing your items in your space, as this wall-mounted system includes shelves, a garment rod, and slide-out drawers. It’s easy to install, and it can even be customized to fit your space. If you are shopping on a budget, the Rubbermaid Configurations Classic Closet Kit (view at Amazon) is a good value for a 3- to 6-foot wide closet and offers three shelves and rods for all your storage needs.
What to Look for in a Closet Kit
There are several styles of closet kits to consider for your home, and one of the main distinctions is whether the unit is freestanding or wall-mounted. Freestanding units are ideal for apartments and spaces you aren’t able to put holes in the wall, while wall-mounted units offer a more integrated look and are often elevated off the floor. There are also reach-in and walk-in systems—the former is designed for smaller closets, while the latter should be used in walk-in closets.
It’s important to consider your handiness level while shopping for a closet kit, as installation can be fairly complex. Freestanding kits are typically the easiest to install on your own, as they don’t need to be mounted to the wall. With wall-mounted units, you’ll need to be able to locate wall studs or, if they’re not accessible, install heavy-duty wall anchors. Some wall-mounted kits also need to be cut to size, which typically requires a hacksaw or pipe cutter—both tools you shouldn't use if you don't have experience with them or aren't a professional. If you’re hoping to install a wall-mounted closet system but aren’t very handy, shop through a retailer that offers professional installation. This will ensure the job is done properly and safely.
Most closet kits offer a combination of garment rods, shelving, and drawers where you can store your clothing and other belongings. To figure out what system will work best for you, consider what items you plan to store in the closet. For instance, if you want to hang dresses, make sure there’s a garment rod with ample clearance underneath. If you have a lot of shoes, look for a unit with a shoe rack that'll keep your boots, sneakers, and more nice and tidy.
Some closet systems can only be configured in one way, while others can be assembled in several different arrangements. If you’re not sure what type of configuration will work best in your home—or want your product to be suitable in different spaces in the future—consider choosing a closet kit that offers more versatility. This will let you try out various designs and find the best option for your needs now and later on.
Additionally, some closet organization brands sell add-on components for their systems, allowing you to add more drawers, baskets, shelves, and accessories down the line. This is handy if you are installing the kit in a kid's closet that will likely change and expand from one year to the next.
If you want a closet kit with drawers, you might want to look for soft-closing fixtures, especially if you’re planning to put your unit in a bedroom closet. Soft-close drawers and doors automatically catch themselves as they’re shut to prevent slamming. This will ensure you don’t wake up other occupants as you get dressed.
If you have a sizable shoe collection, consider a closet system with some type of shoe storage, so you don't have to line your shoes up in a hallway or keep them in their boxes. Having this storage will also appear stylish and could make getting ready a bit easier. “Display shoes on open shelving, shoe racks, or cubbies so you can see what you've got,” recommends Gill.
Some closet systems are expandable. You can make them larger by adding additional sections with drawers, shelves, rods, or racks if desired. Growth-friendly systems are most ideal for children, who typically need more space as they get older, as well as anyone planning to expand their closet down the line. They offer versatility and flexibility that make them worth the price.
Can you install a closet system or kit yourself?
Most closet systems are DIY-friendly, as long as you have a set of basic tools. For wall-mounted units, you typically need to find the studs in your wall, and you might also need to cut pieces down to size using a hacksaw. It’s typically easier to install these systems with two people, especially if the kit is large or complex. However, if you don't have experience using these tools, you should hire a professional to help you install your closet kit.
How do you plan a closet organization system?
The first thing you’ll want to do when planning a closet organization system is measure your space. With measurements in hand, you’ll be able to figure out what features you have room for and how they can be arranged. Go through your wardrobe, and determine what you have the most of. For example, if you have a surplus of dress shirts, you might want a closet organizer with a two-tier garment rod. Or if you need to store several handbags, a tower unit with shelving in the middle would be the most effective.
Having these notes written down will make you a more prepared shopper. “Avoid purchasing new organizing products without a clear plan,” notes Gill. “It’s much more efficient to edit and organize your wardrobe first, and then fill in the gaps with items you need such as hangers, bins, and baskets.”
How do you build a closet in a room without a closet?
There are several ways you can create storage in a room without a closet, the easiest being with a freestanding closet system. Similar to a wardrobe or armoire, these units can be arranged against the wall, and they typically have drawers, shelves, and garment rods inside. Alternatively, some people choose to install wall-mounted closet systems, creating the look and feel of a walk-in closet. Just keep in mind that you’ll have to hang curtains or install some type of partition if you want to hide the system.
Why Trust The Spruce?
Camryn Rabideau is a freelance writer and product tester who’s been writing for The Spruce since 2017. For this piece, she evaluated each product based on its size, features, material, customization options, and overall value. To get an idea of closet organization best practices and what to look for in a closet system, she interviewed Shira Gill, a home organization expert and author of Minimalista. She also consulted detailed reviews from our product testers, who got their hands on several of the closet kits and tested the installation process, organization options, and additional features.