21 Small Walk-in Closet Ideas To Optimize Your Bedroom

small walk-in closet ideas

The Spruce / Christopher Lee Foto

Having a small walk-in closet in your bedroom makes it necessary to streamline your belongings and optimize functionality so that you can keep your wardrobe organized and accessible.

What Is a Walk-In Closet?

A walk-in closet is large enough to allow one or more people to open the door and walk into the space to access clothing. A reach-in closet only lets you open the door to reach in to access clothing. Oftentimes both sides of the closet and the far end are filled with rods and storage for clothing and there's a small "walkway" measuring at least a few feet wide that lets you walk into the space.

The key to maximizing a small walk-in closet is to pay attention to layout, tailoring the style and storage elements to your wardrobe and needs. Check out these small walk-in closet ideas that are as stylish as they are functional.

  • 01 of 21

    Keep It Open

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Max Kim-bee

    This small, open walk-in closet is built into the contours of this white-washed bedroom from Leanne Ford Interiors, keeping clothes visible and accessible while creating an effortless and livable feel. Just remember to keep things tidy since the lack of a door leaves clutter with no place to hide.

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  • 02 of 21

    Make It Multifunctional

    small walk-in closet

    From Great Beginnings

    Iryna Federico at From Great Beginnings packed a ton of functionality into this narrow slip of a walk-in closet without skimping on style. Open clothes storage at the far end is complemented by a DIY dressing table on the left wall that's complete with a large mirror, bench seating, and accessible storage for cosmetics, creating a two-for-one walk-in closet and dressing room with a small footprint.

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  • 03 of 21

    Paint It Dark

    small walk-in closet

    Fantastic Frank

    This small walk-in closet from Fantastic Frank is painted in midnight blue that contrasts with the white walls and wide plank hardwood flooring of the Scandinavian-style bedroom. The deep matte color adds depth to the space, making it feel larger by erasing the perception of where the walls begin or end. The closet has room enough for a small dresser that is painted in the same shade to help it blend in.

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  • 04 of 21

    Install Mirrored Doors

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Erin Williamson Design

    Mirrored doors on the closet within this walk-in closet from Erin Williamson Design bounce around the light from the opposite window and help double the space visually.

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  • 05 of 21

    Add a Sliding Glass Door

    small walk-in closet

    Fantastic Frank

    This small Swedish apartment walk-in closet from Fantastic Frank is accessed by a sliding glass door with white panes that helps to make the small space feel more open. The inside of the closet is painted in the same tones as the rest of the space for a cohesive look.

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  • 06 of 21

    Label It

    small walk-in closet

    Finding Lovely

    Finding Lovely multiplied the storage in this small walk-in closet with a combination of hanging rods and open and glass-front shelving, adding labeled storage baskets that hide clutter while keeping everything easy to find.

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  • 07 of 21

    Add Drawers

    small walk-in closet

    Design by Leanne Ford Interiors / Photo by Nicole Franzen

    In this small walk-in closet from Leanne Ford Interiors, an edited selection of clothes is hung from a rod on the shorter far wall, while a slim long chest of drawers with a low profile provides storage for everything else on the right side, maintaining a light and airy feel.

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  • 08 of 21

    Dress the Walls

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Design by Mel Bean Interiors / Photo by Laurey Glenn

    This Tulsa, OK walk-in closet from Mel Bean Interiors has enough room for a narrow dresser that is pushed against the back wall, where a round brass-framed mirror adds light and dimension. Matching upholstered stools provide space for putting on shoes, and gray grasscloth walls and a low pile carpet make it feel tailored.

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  • 09 of 21

    Compartmentalize It

    small walk-in closet

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design created a small walk-in closet for an extensive shoe and handbag collection by installing simple wrap-around shelves that offer maximum storage while leaving just enough room to maneuver in and out.

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  • 10 of 21

    Take Sides

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Design by Studio Peake

    This galley-style dressing room from Studio Peake has a mix of open and closed storage, a top row of woven baskets to hide clutter and a bold use of color from the zigzag runner to the upholstered pouf that unites function and style in the relatively compact space.

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  • 11 of 21

    Have a Seat

    small walk-in closet

    Casa Watkins Living

    Casa Watkins Living turned a small walk-in closet into a mini dressing room by adding a Persian-style runner, a gold-rimmed mirror that reflects natural light from the opposite window, and a thrift store rattan chair for putting on shoes, or closing the door and stealing a little me-time.

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  • 12 of 21

    Use Transparent Accents

    small walk-in closet

    Home Made By Carmona

    Blogger Ursula Carmona of Home Made By Carmona added a transparent glass console table under the window of this small walk-in closet that doesn't take up much visual space and doubles as display space or a dressing table.

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  • 13 of 21

    Hang Removable Wallpaper

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Casa Watkins Living

    Casa Watkins Living gave this small walk-in closet an inexpensive makeover by hanging stacked bracketed laminate shelving and hanging rods that are tailored to fit a kid-sized wardrobe. Removable wallpaper in a vibrant orange and pink Ikat pattern adds color that complements the pink walls of the bedroom.

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  • 14 of 21

    Optimize Every Inch

    small walk-in closet

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    Whether you're freestyling it or hiring a professional to build a custom storage system, be sure to maximize every last nook and cranny of your small walk-in closet, like this one from Laura Cattano Organizational Design.

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  • 15 of 21

    Leave the Doors Off

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Design by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design / Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp

    Emily Henderson Design left the doors off this small walk-in closet to maximize storage inside and create room just outside for a dresser and bench seating.

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  • 16 of 21

    Add a Mirror

    small walk-in closet

    Design by Becca Interiors

    A large wall-mounted mirror doubles the perception of space in this small walk-in closet from Becca Interiors by providing sightlines to adjacent rooms.

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  • 17 of 21

    Be Transparent

    small walk-in closet

    Design by Maite Granda

    Interior designer Maite Granda used transparent glass doors on this jewel box accessories closet that shows off the floor-to-ceiling open shelving for bags, shoes, and jewelry that's lit like a boutique display.

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  • 18 of 21

    Make It Easy

    small walk-in closet

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    If you are a renter who wants to optimize your small walk-in closet without installing permanent infrastructure, take a cue from Laura Cattano Organizational Design and set up an Ikea Pax wardrobe system that you can disassemble before moving out.

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  • 19 of 21

    Go Vertical

    small walk-in closet ideas

    Fantastic Frank

    Hardwood floors and minimalist, all-white drawers, shelving, and hanging space make this small but tall Stockholm walk-in closet from Fantastic Frank feel bigger than it is by drawing the eye upward and using every inch of available space.

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  • 20 of 21

    Add a Peel and Stick Border

    small walk-in closet

    Casa Watkins Living

    Casa Watkins Living decorated this small kids' walk-in closet with peel-and-stick wallpaper borders, an easy DIY that makes stepping into the pint-sized space colorful and fun.

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  • 21 of 21

    Use Transparent Storage Boxes

    small walk-in closet

    Laura Cattano Organizational Design

    Keep your clothes and accessories dust-free but visible by using stacks of identical transparent-front storage boxes like this small walk-in closet from Laura Cattano Organizational Design.

  • How can you make the most of the space in a small walk-in closet?

    There are several ways to maximize the space in a small walk-in closet, such as adding an extra rod for hanging clothes, using bins on the top shelf, and thinner clothes hangers. Cubbies for shoes and folded clothes are great for extra storage, too.

  • How can you save room in your walk-in closet?

    Take those out-of-season clothes out of the closet and store them in storage bins that fit under the bed.

  • How often should you declutter your closet?

    Go through your clothes and shoes twice a year and donate ones that don't fit or you don't wear any longer. Throw out ones that are unfit for donating, such as clothes that have holes or are stretched out.