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Innovative Walk-In Closet Organization Ideas

Organized Closet With Shirts Hanging on Hangers
By:Danielle Hanula| Last Updated:03/28/2024
Time to Read: 6 min

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How to Organize a Walk-In Closet

Have you been wishing your main bedroom closet resembled a boutique you’d love to shop at instead of a hot mess express? After a home organization Netflix binge, you’ve likely evaluated your own walk-in closet organization methods, and they may not measure up.

If your closet seems cluttered and disorganized, a trip to the Container Store isn’t going to fully fix the problem (but keep reading for how it can help). We connected with professional organizers to find the best way to organize clothes in a closet, with plenty of storage ideas to make luxury a reality in your small space.

Empty Walk-In Closet

How to Start Organizing Your Walk-In Closet

1. Clean Out the Closet

The first step towards walk-in closet organization is to completely empty the space, removing every last item. Work from the bottom up to tackle shoes and other clutter that has accumulated over the years first, and finish with the hanging clothes.

Once everything is out of the closet, wipe down all your shelving and vacuum the floors to start with a clean, blank slate.

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“It’s very important to separate your feelings when you are purging your wardrobe. Focus solely on the facts: Does it still fit well? Does it match your current style? Is it still in good condition?”
Sarah Boughan | Organized Living


2. Declutter and Decide What to Purge

As you pull pieces out of your closet, ask yourself three questions:

  • Have I worn it in the past year?
  • Does it fit?
  • Is it damaged?

While you’re sorting through your clothing, you should place each item into one of three piles: keep, donate and throw away. Keep the main staples in your day-to-day wardrobe, donate items in good condition that either don’t fit or that you haven’t worn in a few months, and toss pieces that have seen better days.

Having trouble deciding what to part ways with? We have some expert advice on how to get rid of stuff around the house that can help you get motivated to declutter.

Keep and Donate Piles of Clothing
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“When decluttering a closet, homeowners should ask, ‘does this fit my current lifestyle?’ People often hold onto items that are not representative of the life they lead. For example, if a homeowner is holding onto suits yet has worked in a casual work environment for years, they should pare down. Also, clothing should be in the size that currently fits.”
Barbara Reich | Life Organized


3. Maximize Closet Space

Once you’ve decluttered, consider reworking the layout and storage systems in your closet to make the most of the space you have. More hanging space is always more efficient than shelves and bins, so evaluate what is important to you regarding your closet’s design.

Organized Walk-In Closet With Drawers and Clothing Rods
Walk-in closet organized by Sarah Boughan of Organized Living.
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“Start by defining your vision for your wardrobe – this will guide your decisions and help you keep focused on the big picture. Do you want to get ready faster in the morning, avoid the laundry pile up, or just have a beautiful closet to admire?”
Kristen Ziegler | Minima


Use Your Closet’s Height

Dedicate at least one wall of the closet entirely to clothing rods. By taking advantage of your closet’s height, you’ll make the most of your walk-in closet storage space. Sarah Boughan of Organized Living suggests adding double hang rods to store shirts, jackets and pants. She also recommends considering a space to keep long hang items, such as dresses, coats or robes.

Take Advantage of Prime Real Estate

A top organization idea for small walk-in closets is to hang your most frequently worn clothes in the most prominent spots. To organize clothes in your closet (and make sure it stays that way), Life Organized’s Barbara Reich advises homeowners to “put all like items together. Within each category, organize by color. For example, put all long-sleeve blouses together, then all black long sleeve blouses together.”

Keep Your Storage Accessible

Whether you opt for built-in shelving, decorative baskets or clear storage containers, make sure your accessories are easy to find. Showcase your shoes with a shoe rack or tension rods on the floor of your closet. Keeping your shoe rack underneath hanging clothes is a great way to maximize walk-in closet storage space. If space allows, you can also display your favorite hats, purses and jewelry on open shelves.

Organized Walk-In Closet with Shelving and Baskets
Organized Living utilizes built-in shelving and baskets to organize a client's walk-in closet.

Ready for More Organization Tips?
Learn How to Declutter Your Home Room-by-Room!

7 Walk-In Closet Organization Tips & Storage Ideas

1. Use Hooks to Create Extra Storage for Hanging Items

Hooks are a great addition to add storage to the back of a door or empty walls. You can also tie scarves and belts around a hanger so you have easy access to these accessories, while making the most of your hanger space.

2. Use Old Shoeboxes to Build Compartments Inside Drawers

DIY your drawer organization for a creative and inexpensive storage system. You can use items building up clutter, such as old shoe boxes, to compartmentalize your drawers. Ziegler advises, “Fold clothing in drawers using the ‘file fold’ method where clothing is folded upright like papers in a file cabinet. It’s easier to see everything, and it maximizes space.”

Organized, Folded Clothes in Drawers

3. Store Out-of-Season Clothes in Plastic Containers or Comforter Bags

Keep out-of-season clothes packed away in plastic containers or comforter bags. Store them on a shelf, under hanging clothes, or even under your bed to save valuable closet space.

4. Use Ice Cube Trays to Organize Jewelry

For a cost-effective closet storage hack, use sectionalized household items, such as ice cube trays, to organize your rings and earrings.

5. Repurpose Pool Noodles as Boot Inserts

Another budget-friendly walk-in closet storage idea is to cut pool noodles and insert the halves into boots to help keep their shape. Standing boots help maximize closet space and make your shoe collection look neater.

6. Hang a Mirror to Make Your Closet Appear Bigger

Hanging a mirror is an easy DIY décor upgrade for a small walk-in closet. With endless styles to match your personal taste, the reflection of a mirror makes a small space appear larger and more open. It’s also a practical addition so you can see how you look while you’re getting ready.

7. Store Miscellaneous Accessories in Bins

Your spontaneous trip to the Container Store was not for nothing. Keep gloves, hats and other accessories in bins to add personal style to your closet, while making efficient use of shelf storage space. There are a variety of container types you can choose from, such as cloth, clear plastic, crates and baskets. Adding labels to the bins will help you find exactly what you’re looking for when you need it.

Closet Organized With Bins

Apply These Closet Organizing Tips to the Rest of Your Home

Once you start utilizing a few of these primary bedroom closet organizing tips, getting ready in the morning is sure to “spark joy” once again. And when you’ve tackled all of our walk-in closet organization ideas, you should feel confident about taking on the rest of the house.

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