Small Walk In Closet Organization Ideas

We’re over the hump in our organizational challenge! I’d love to hear about your wins over the last few weeks. Week four of the Clutter Free Challenge is all about closets, clothes, and linens. This actually has been the trickiest week of all for me because our home lacks any sort of significant closet/storage space. I say that because we do not have a hall closet, a linen closet, or even a coat closet. We do, however, have three bedrooms with walk-in closets that are unused because they lack any functionality. Having a small walk in closet can feel challenging to keep your wardrobe organized and easy to find. It’s been so great to finally get this small walk in closet organized. I’m sharing some great small walk in closet ideas that you should definitely consider if you are doing a closet makeover with an ikea closet.

small walk in closet IKEA custom closet

Our main bedroom closet is a small walk in closet that is a really awkward size and shape. When we first moved in we had several wire shelves that were oddly placed and really didn’t serve our needs whatsoever. Closets are sometimes one area of home improvement that gets forgotten but once they’ve been updated it’s like breathing in the fresh air. You don’t realize how bad it was until it’s great. You don’t have to pay big bucks to have custom closets. You can easily create a custom closet using IKEA’s pax system or Algot system by purchasing the pax frame and adding pull-outs, closet rods, and shelves.

How we organized our small walk in cloest

Small Walk in Closet Organization Ideas

Once we decided we needed to update our closet – we knew there wasn’t much we could do about the walk in closet design. We had to work with the shape we’d been given. Without any cabinet storage or dresser drawers, we knew we’d be using up all of the wall space we could reach. To get a good look at the space without it being jammed with stuff, we pulled everything out and remove the awful wire shelving. Matt patched all the holes and then painted the closet white (the same white we’ve used all around the house – we’ve been systematically painting our random nooks and crannies white as we make them over). Once we surveyed the space we had, we were able to brainstorm exactly how we would use the small walk in closet.

IKEA closet system for small walk in closet

What I love about the IKEA closet Systems

I’ve now used two of IKEA’s closet systems and I’ve been so pleased with the execution of both systems. They provide an abundance of functional storage from clothes storage to shoe storage and more. There’s literally a pull out drawer or hanging for everything you can imagine. We used IKEA’s pax closet system in our kid’s closet and it was clutch for organizing all of these clothes and accessories.

Adding an IKEA Algot Organization System

We then began installing our new closet system from IKEA. For this closet, we decided on the IKEA ALGOT system. I love how slim all the pieces of this organizer can be. IKEA recently discontinued the ALGOT system and replaced it with a similar organizational system called BOAXEL. We considered a similar system to what we have in the girls’ closet but we have a very small and awkward-shaped space so having a larger closet system would take a significant amount of space away from the closet and we need every square inch.

While we didn’t use the IKEA Pax Units in our small walk in closet, we didn’t create a cool IKEA closet hack with the IKEA pax wardrobes in my girls’ small closet and it works really well for their small space.

DIY IKEA custom small walk in closet

Small walk in closet design tips 

Make some plans

It’s a good idea to draw up your closet plans before purchasing anything. Imagine how you’d like to use your space. Will it be a dressing room or a closet just for clothes storage? Is this a kid’s space or an adult’s space?

Gather closet inspiration

Gather some inspiration for exactly the type of closet you’d like to have. Having an idea of what you’d like to see in your own closet is really helpful when you start designing the build-out of your closet.

Measure everything

You want to get really good measurements of your current closet. Check the width and depth of the entire space and then check the measurement of the built in units that you plan to purchase. Getting a good idea of spacing and measurements will help you tremendously when you go to IKEA to purchase supplies.

Small walk in closet organization with an IKEA closet system

Use all the vertical space you can for maximum small walk in closet organization

It’s really important when you have a small walk-in closet to use as much vertical space as possible. We have pretty tall ceilings in our closet and much of that wall space wasn’t being used in the previous closet design. We opted to place our clothing rods as high as comfortably possible so that we could fit the maximum amount of clothing.

Use baskets to store items in small walk in closets

In the previous closet design, my handbags were stacked on the top of the wire shelves or on the floor hidden behind clothing. We added some ALGOT baskets for additional storage space for things like belts and accessories. I also placed baskets overhead for handbags and Matt’s military gear. You can also use things like small bowls, bins, and trays to store smaller trinkets or jewelry.

Use all of the closet’s wall space

We added a shoe rack to one of the walls that previously was unused. Having the shoes on a shoe rack instead of on the floor makes a huge impact in making the space feel more organized.

small ikea walk in closet organization ideas

You can see how tiny the space is from this photo above but we literally use every inch of the space, easily keeping things organized.

Tips for organizing a small walk in closet
small walk in closet organization IKEA

With two rows of clothing rods, we have more hanging space for hangers filled with clothes.

Closet shelf as clothes storage in small walk in closet IKEA

Add some shelving for folded clothing items

We also added shelving to keep folded clothing like jeans, shorts, and leggings. These are my most worn bottoms so having them visible and easily accessible is very helpful. We found that in this small space, hanging pants get lost in the cramped closet. Having them folded and stacked keeps them more organized.

Round mirror with a reflection of closet clothes hanging up in the background. Jewelry organizer and trinket boxes in the foreground. Small walk in closet IKEA custom closet ideas

My favorite feature of our small walk in closet is this little dressing area. I keep my jewelry here. You might remember this DIY jewelry organizer from years ago, I still used it daily.

I think the closet organization, especially small walk in closet organization, can be tricky but with some creativity in the closet design, you can definitely have a closet that works for you. You don’t need a massive walk-in to keep your clothing organized and you don’t need to hire an interior designer to get the most out of your space. Your small closet can be functional and dare I say beautiful by simply installing a great organized system. 

I’d love to hear about your closet wins this week or what closet problems you are having that we can work through together! Let me know in the comments.

This post is a part of the Clutter Free Challenge series.

More organizing ideas below:

Things to Declutter in Your Living Room

How to Organize a Craft Cabinet

How to Keep Kids Clothes Organized

DIY Small Closet System

Pin the image below to save on Pinterest.

Closet wall with mirror, jewelry organizer, sunglasses and trinket boxes. White text box with blue text that says: How to Organize a Small Walk-in Closet IKEA

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  1. I went through my closet this last weekend. I started on Friday night and by Sunday morning, I had 3 Costco boxes (the banana boxes) completely full of stuff. I knew I had a lot of pants but I didn’t really know how many I really had until I started putting them in the boxes. I rolled the pants up and was able to put 2 levels in each box. That’s two rows on the bottom two rows high (I know a lot of pants). I also went through the chest of drawers I have in the closet and reorganized all 5 drawers. I had 15 brand new packages of panty hose. Really, I haven’t worn panty hose in at least 10 years if not more. It felt really good when I was done. I gave the boxes to a women’s shelter who were super excited about the clothes. that made me feel even better.

  2. Pingback: 30 Things You Can Organize in 30 Minutes or Less - Making Home Base
  3. I love the redo! I definitely agree with ripping out the closet systems that are included by contractors. I don’t think they’re a good use of space.

  4. We are hopefully going to be moving in to our new house by the end of the year. I am getting a REALLY small closet, so I figured I’d look around somewhere for tips. This blog definitely gave me some pointers. Thanks!