top of page
  • anlitsch

5 Closet Design Ideas for Small Spaces: Maximizing Storage in Tight Quarters

Have a small closet that you want to maximize the space? This is the blog post for you!

As a closet designer who started in professional organizing - I have seen many small spaces and how the right custom design (with accessories) can easily double the amount of easy accessible storage.

1. Utilize vertical and wall space

Go up as high as it makes sense for the closet. If it is a reach in closet that means you would want the top shelf around height of the door frame or slightly below depending on what you want to store on the top shelf.

reach in kids closet white
Reach in closet with top shelf at door height

ivory guest room small closet
Reach in closet with top shelf below door frame

The reason for top shelf height of door frame- if the top shelf is too much past the top of door frame your hanging clothes will hit the door frame as you take them off the poles.

Keep in mind- when the top shelf is in line with top of door frame- if the depth of closet is 24" then you are not going to be storing bulky boxes on the top because the space from shelf to opposite closet wall will not allow for it. In the photo directly above it shows a dropped top shelf so you use storage above for bulkier items

If it is a walk in closet you can decide if you want the to go to ceiling or you want to leave space on the top shelf for storage. When I say leave space- I am thinking anywhere from 8-12inches that you could line the top with shoes or bags. A lot of time builders grade closets leave way too much space on top which forces stacking of items or just wasted space.

dallas walk in closet
Walk in closet with top shelf open storage

dallas closet design maximize storage
Walk in closet all the way to ceiling

In narrow closets that can't have shelving on both sides- use hooks, wall organizers or hat storage to maximize the space.

maximize space in narrow closet
Narrow closet accessories to max space

tag hardware symphony wall organizer
Closet wall organizers used to jewelry and ties

2. Keep the holes in the side panels of a custom closet

“The holes in a closet are what allow for adjustability and flexibility for what goes into the closet sections.”

Keeping the holes means at any point you can change the height and spacing of shelves or hanging poles to accommodate different items and maximize storage within each section. This is also a great bonus for resale - new homeowners can adjust the closets to their wardrobe needs.

custom closet adjustability
Holes in side panels mean to can easily adjust shelves or reconfigure interior of section

custom closet design dallas walk in closet
For full adjustability of closet and resale- keeping holes makes interior of sections flewxible

3. Keep small spaces light and bright

If the space is small, sticking to a lighter finish helps to keeps the space feeling open. If you wanted to add a darker pop- changing the hanging poles/handles is an option or painting the walls. If the dark is your vibe- consider adding lighting in the closet to brighten it up.

bright reach in closet
white bright reach in closet with chrome hardware

walk in closet lighting
white closet with lighting

walk in closet dark color with lighting
dark finish closet with lighting

inset drawers and lighting in closet
wardrobe and shoe lighting in darker finish closet

4. Use the back of closet door

If space is tight don't discount the back of the door!

You can hang a mirror like this one.

The Elfa back door system from The Container Store is amazing!!

I originally purchased one to use on the back of door for gift wrap but when I moved I changed it to hold laundry products.

Hooks are also a great way to store hats, scarves, jackets, purses etc. on the back of closet door. In my current closet I put 1 hook and added my vision boards.

5. Incorporate pull-out accessories

Pull-out accessories like:

“valet rods, belt or tie racks can be installed in closets to create additional storage that is tucked away but easily accessible

Accessories can be added into connecting sections, side panels or open wall space.

closet accessories pull out valet rod
Valet Rod

closet accessories pull out tie rack
Tie Rack

closet accessory pull out belt rack
Belt Rack

There are my 5 tips to help maximize space in a small closet.

Thank you for stopping by!

If you have any questions or would like more info on how I can help you create a custom closet click here.


bottom of page