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23 Clever & Creative DIY Small Closet Organization Ideas (With Pictures)

Open Closet

If you have a small closet, you know the struggle of trying to fit everything in such a limited space. But don’t despair—there are plenty of ways to optimize a small closet so that it’s both stylish and functional.

Here are a few clever and creative small closet organization ideas to get you started.

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The 23 DIY Small Closet Organization Ideas

1. DIY Clothes Purge by The Well-Dressed life

DIY how to purge clothes
Image Credit: The Well Dressed Life
Materials Trash bags
Tools None
Difficulty Level Easy to Intermediate

Get rid of anything you don’t need or use. This is the first and most important step in any closet organizing project. Be ruthless in your purge—if you haven’t worn it in 6 months (or longer), get rid of it!

2. DIY Clear Container Storage by Family Handyman

DIY storage bins
Image Credit: family handyman
Materials Clear storage containers
Tools None
Difficulty Level Easy

If you can see through it, then it will help you stay more organized. These nifty little containers are perfect for t-shirts, leggings, socks, and underwear. Plus, they come in all different sizes, making it easy to accommodate your small closet space accordingly.

3. DIY Maximizing Space by The Style Index

DIY maximise your small closet
Image Credit: The Style Index
Materials Hangers, containers, boxes, hooks, etc.
Tools None
Difficulty Level Easy to Intermediate

When working with a small closet, it’s important to make use of every square inch of space. Stack shoes on shelves or in bins to make the most of vertical space, and consider adding hooks along the walls to hang purses, belts, or scarves.

If your closet doesn’t have built-in shelving, look for freestanding options that can be tucked into corners or arranged along walls.

4. DIY Hangers by Pretty Designs

DIY hanger ideas
Image Credit: Pretty Designs
Materials Hangers
Tools None
Difficulty Level Easy

One of the most crucial steps to take when you’re planning on how to organize a small closet is to make sure you have high-quality hangers. You don’t want flimsy plastic or wire hangers stretching out your clothes and causing them to fall off and onto the floor. Good, strong hangers will help keep your clothes looking their best and save you time in the long run.

5. DIY Color Code Your Clothes by The Spruce

DIY color code closet
Image Credit: The Spruce
Materials Hangers, clothes
Tools None
Difficulty Level Easy

One of the best ways to organize a small closet is to color code your clothes. This will help you to easily see what you have and where everything is. You can use different colors for different types of clothing, such as red for dresses, blue for jeans, and yellow for shirts.

Or, you can use one color for all of your clothes and another for things like shoes. Whichever way you choose to do it, color coding will make it easier to find what you’re looking for and put away your clothes.

6. DIY Hook Hangers by Better Homes & Gardens

DIY incredible closet makeover
Image Credit: Better Homes and Gardens
Materials Command Hooks, various sizes of hooks
Tools Hammer or drill, nails or screws, level
Difficulty Level Easy

Hooks are a great way to store things like belts, hats, and scarves in a small closet. They take up less space than hangers and make it easy to grab what you need without having to search through everything.

7. Consider a Closet System by Southern Revivals

DIY closet system ikea hack
Image Credit: Southern Revivals
Materials Closet system (Ikea has great options!), bins or baskets, labels
Tools Screwdriver, drill (if mounting shelves or rods), tape measure
Difficulty Level Intermediate

If you have the budget for it, a closet system can be a great way to optimize a small closet. There are many different types of systems available—do some research to find one that would work best for your space and needs.

8. Keep Your Closet Clean and Clutter-Free by Jasper & Willow

DIY closet declutter
Image Credit: Jasper & Willow
Materials Hamper or laundry basket, hangers, storage bins, baskets or boxes, labels and tags (optional)
Tools Measuring tape or ruler, level, drill or screwdriver (if installing shelves or hooks)
Difficulty Level Easy

If your closet is crammed full of clothes, shoes, and accessories, it can be tough to keep it organized. But a little bit of decluttering can go a long way.

Spend some time purging your closet of items you don’t wear, and be sure to keep it clean and free of dust. You can also invest in some organizing tools, like shelves, hooks, and baskets, to help keep everything in its place.

9. Think Vertical by Polished Habitat

DIY small closet storage
Image Credit: Polished Habitat
Materials Shelves, racks, hooks
Tools screwdriver, measuring tape
Difficulty Level Easy

When you’re dealing with a small closet, it’s important to think about ways to make use of all the space available to you, including vertical space. One way to do this is by installing shelves or racks along the top of your closet. This will give you extra room to store items like seasonal clothing, linens, or boxes of shoes.

Another way to utilize vertical space is by hanging a rod from the ceiling. This is especially useful for storing long items like dresses or coats. You can also use hooks to hang bags, hats, or other accessories.

10. Add a Rod Doubler by Growing Up Gabel

DIY fantastic items for organizing your home
Image Credit: Growing Up Gabel
Materials Closet rod, brackets
Tools Drill, screwdriver
Difficulty Level Easy

If you have the space in your closet, adding an additional rod can be a game-changer. This will double the amount of hanging space you have, which means you can fit twice as many clothes in your closet. Plus, it’s a great way to organize your clothes by season or type.

11. Add a DIY Shoe Rack by Kippi at Home by Kippi at Home

DIY wooden shoe rack
Image Credit: kippi at home
Materials 1 x 2 lumber, 1 x 4 lumber, nails, screws, paint or stain (optional)
Tools Drill, saw, hammer
Difficulty Level Easy

Adding a shoe rack to your small closet can really help to maximize space and keep everything more organized. You can either purchase a ready-made shoe rack or easily make one yourself using some simple tools and materials.

12. DIY Plywood Closet Organizer Build Plans by Houseful of Handmade

DIY Plywood Closet Organizer Build Plans from Houseful of Handmade
Image Credit: Houseful of Handmade
Materials: Cabinet-grade plywood, drawer runners, dowels, wood stain, poly-sealer, nails
Tools: Table saw, level, T-square, measuring tape, level, nail gun (optional), hammer, nails, drill & bits, wood glue, clamps, router, sander, sandpaper, paintbrush, safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Moderate

This moderately-difficult small closet organizer is a project for someone with a good knowledge of tools and a decent DIY skill set. The results, however, are superb and will increase the storage space in any closet. They can also be customized to your closet, with a little extra measuring! (Just FYI, the plans and instructions start further down on the webpage.) When finished, your small closet will have much more space to organize your items.

13. Built-In Closet DIY by A Beautiful Mess

Built-In Closet DIY from A Beautiful Mess
Image Credit: A Beautiful Mess
Materials: Various boards and lumber, wood screws, metal paint, semi-gloss paint, latex caulk, closer rod, brackets
Tools: Miter saw, drill & bits, level, stud finder, drywall anchors, paint brushes, safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Sure, you can purchase a closet organizer kit, but if you’re a dedicated fan of DIY projects, why not make one yourself? This project from A Beautiful Mess is straightforward, easy to build, and will convert any small closet into an organized space. Shelves are installed under the hanging clothes and add loads of extra space. Be sure to scroll down the maker’s webpage since the instructions start about 1/3 of the way down.

14. Brilliant Box System DIY Small Closet Organizer by Making It in the Mountains

Brilliant Box System DIY Small Closet Organizer from Making It in the Mountains
Image Credit: Making it in the Mountains
Materials: Cabinet-grade plywood, wood stain, veneer edging, wood dowels, closet rods & brackets
Tools: Table saw, level, T-square, measuring tape, level, nail gun (optional), hammer, nails, drill & bits, wood glue, clamps, router, sander, sandpaper, paintbrush, safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Although this fantastic small closet organization DIY project looks extremely difficult, the beauty is that it’s a few small projects rather than one big one. You’ll construct several wood boxes of different sizes (square and rectangular), and then, when they’re ready, you can arrange them in your small closet the way you like, and the results look amazing! You’ll have cubby holes for all your stuff, with your hanging clothes arranged in the middle! It’s brilliant!

15. DIY Closet Pull Out Drawers by Tatertots and Jello

DIY Closet Pull Out Drawers from Tatertots and Jello
Image Credit: Tatertots and Jello
Materials: Rubbermaid drawer brackets and drawers
Tools: None
Difficulty Level: Easy

OK, this isn’t 100% DIY, but it’s still a fantastic idea and a great way to add extra space to your small closet. It’s a closet system from Rubbermaid and Homefree that you might already have installed in your closet. And if not, it’s easy to install. What’s great about this system is that you can add drawers in an instant, increasing your storage space in mere minutes! No fuss, no mess, and no stress! Check out the post from Tatertots and Jello, and you’ll see what adding these easy drawers can do to organize your small closet.

16. Inexpensive DIY Closet Cubby Shelves by Lovely Etc.

Inexpensive DIY Closet Cubby Shelves from Lovely Etc.
Image Credit: Lovely Etc.
Materials: MDF plywood sheet, pine boards, spackle, caulk, paint, fabric storage cubes
Tools: Miter saw, circular saw, nail gun & nails (optional), hammer, regular nails, stud finder, level, tape measure, wood glue, paintbrushes, safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Easy to moderate

Adding closet cubby hole shelves to your small closet will instantly give you more space and keep your small closet better organized. The plans from Lovely Etc are easy to follow, customizable, and include extra tips to help you organize even better. You can purchase fabric storage cubes at most big box retailers. Even better, the maker includes a link to their DIY fabric storage cubes which we feature here on our list. The instructions for the closet cubes start about ½ way down the webpage, just FYI.

17. DIY Fabric Storage Cubes by Lovely Etc

DIY Fabric Storage Cubes from Lovely Etc
Image Credit: Lovely Etc
Materials: Foam board, fabric, duct tape, spray adhesive
Tools: T-square, measuring tape, craft knife, cutting mat
Difficulty Level: Easy

If you make the DIY closet cubby shelves for your small closet, these DIY fabric storage cubes from Lovely Etc are a must! They’re easy to construct (although slightly time-intensive), and you can create these fabric storage cubes using any color or pattern of fabric you like. They’re lightweight but durable and, when you’re done, will add a lovely touch of color while increasing the storage space by a mile in your small closet! Of course, it helps to have storage space meant for cubes, but you can use these anywhere you wish to add more storage, like a kitchen cabinet or on top of the fridge.

18. DIY Sunglasses Closet Storage Rack by Glitter and Bubbles

DIY Sunglasses Closet Storage Rack from Glitter and Bubbles
Image Credit: Glitter and Bubbles
Materials: Acrylic nail polish rack, wood screws
Tools: Drill & bits
Difficulty Level: Easy

From Glitter and Bubbles comes this fantastic DIY sunglass storage rack idea for your small closet. The maker was fretting about having so many sunglasses (a common problem) and nowhere to organize them. When they saw an acrylic nail polish rack in, of all places, Greece, an idea struck; use the acrylic rack to organize sunglasses! It’s so easy, too! There are several acrylic racks available in different sizes that would work perfectly in any small closet. They could even be used to store other small items like jewelry, watches, cufflinks, etc.

19. Hat and Glove Closet DIY Organizer by Two Twenty One

Hat and Glove Closet DIY Organizer from Two Twenty One
Image Credit: Two Twenty One
Materials: Small dowel rods, curtain rings with alligator clips, wire self-stick hooks, spray paint (optional)
Tools: Measuring tape
Difficulty Level: Easy

Winter hats and gloves can be a real pain to organize in a small closet. Even worse, when you need them the next season, finding all your gloves and hats is even more difficult. Not anymore, though, thanks to this fantastic small closet organization hack from Two Twenty One. It’s easy to install, and you won’t need a single tool for this DIY small closet organization plan. Plus, the materials needed are inexpensive, allowing you to hang all those hats and gloves together and find them fast when the temps start falling!

20. DIY Closet Shoe Trays by Jaime Costiglio

DIY Closet Shoe Trays from Jaime Costiglio
Image Credit: Jaime Costiglio
Materials: Plywood, peg board, wood screws, wood glue, angle brackets, nails, drawer glides (2 sets)
Tools: Table or circular saw, miter saw, pocket hole jig, jig saw, sander, sandpaper, drill & boots, level, tap measure, stud finder, safety glasses, ear protection, nail gun
Difficulty Level: Moderate to difficult

These pull-out shoe trays from maker Jaime Costiglio are just the thing to easily store more shoes in your small closet. Built using drawer rails, they feature peg board bottoms to make them lighter and help your shoes “breathe” while in the closet. It keeps them from getting moldy and mildewy. They come in two sizes for sneakers, sandals, and larger shoes and boots, too. There’s also a PDF with step-by-step plans to help you do it right. Nice!

21. Freestanding DIY Closet Organizer by Ana White

Freestanding DIY Closet Organizer from Ana White
Image By: Ana White
Materials: 1×4 and 2×4 lumber (various sizes), iron pipe (optional), wood dowels, wood stain or paint, wood screws, wood glue
Tools: Tape measure, T-square, drill & bits, circular saw, sander, sandpaper, safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Moderate

So, let’s say you have an entire, empty small closet with no racks, no shelves, and no hanging rods. If that’s your closet, these plans from Ana White to make an entire freestanding DIY closet organizer are perfect! Ms. White shows you exactly how to build this closet organizer, which can be customized to any size closet. Even better, there are several ways to either make it better or keep the costs down by purchasing either wooden dowels or iron pipes as the clothes rods. When you’re done, your small closet will be a big success!

22. Customizable DIY Closet Drawer Dividers by I Heart Organizing

Customizable DIY Closet Drawer Dividers from I Heart Organizing
Image By: I Heart Organizing
Materials: Cord clips, lightweight birch panel
Tools: Table saw, sander, sandpaper, measuring tape, white vinyl (optional), razor knife, safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Easy

Having drawers in your small closet is a plus, but for true organization optimization, those drawers need these easy drawer dividers from I Heart Organizing. Made with lightweight birch paneling, the dividers fit in place using, of all things, cord clips normally used to keep device cords organized. The clips work like a charm for this DIY small closet organization project! Once the dividers are cut to size, putting them in is easy and fast, and you’ll be able to organize everything in your close drawers like a pro!

23. Easy DIY Small Closet Scarf Organizer by The Chronicles of Home

Easy DIY Small Closet Scarf Organizer from The Chronicles of Home
Image By: The Chronicles of Home
Materials: Wooden towel bar set, spray paint
Tools: Level, drill & bits, pencil, wall anchors (optional), safety glasses, ear protection
Difficulty Level: Easy

Organizing scarves in a small closet can be a big hassle unless you make this easy scarf organizer. This DIY small closet organization plan uses a wooden towel bar kit you’ll find at any big box home improvement store. Once it’s in place, which should take a DIY aficionado mere minutes, you’ll have the extra space to store your scarves where you can see them, enjoy them, and, when needed, grab your favorite fast when heading out for a night on the town!

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Small closets can be a pain to organize, but with the right strategy, it is possible to make the most of your space. By thinking vertically and utilizing all of the available space, you can maximize your storage and keep your closet organized.

Implementing some of these handy small closet organization ideas will help you to create a functional and stylish closet that works for you.

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Featured Image Credit: MariaKray, Shutterstock


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