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20 Open Closet Ideas

You enter your home, shedding your jacket and hat, then dumping them on the floor, or tossing them into some overcrowded hooks. Making a beeline for your bedroom, you quickly change out of your work clothes into some comfy sweatpants you scrounge out of a chest or dig out of an overfilled dresser. You don't have a closet in either of these rooms, and the solution is an open closet. Try these Open Closet Ideas to get you organized.


1) Bins

If you're on a budget or have limited time, you've probably thought about getting cheap cubbies or shelves from IKEA or Amazon. If you want to go this route, the biggest drawback is that the clothes won't be covered to prevent dust, and small items can easily fall off of open shelves. Try using bins or baskets like the ones in this picture like dresser drawers to organize and contain your clothes and small items.

2) DIY Pipe Shelves

Your open closet will need shelving, drawers, and a rack to hang clothes on. While you can have generic-looking shelves, there are a few different ways to get creative. One of the neatest ways to install fascinating shelves without losing shelf space is to get industrial-style pipe shelves like these ones from Amazon. They look exciting and attractive, and they're minimalist, so the shape and design of the frame won't make it harder to use. They come in a kit, so you'll have to install them once they arrive.

3) DIY Rustic Shelf With Hooks

If your room or house has a theme, you'll want to make sure your open closet matches it. Try building your own shelves, hooks, and clothing racks to fit the style you want in your room. You can watch this video by Dan the Maker Man to learn how to make a rustic shelf with hooks and use similar methods to create industrial or country themes open closets. Instead of using hammer heads, try repurposing other wood items to make shelves and hooks that work for you.

4) Totes

If your open closet has shelves and cubbies, but no closed cabinets, you'll want to find something that will keep dust off of seldom-used items. While you can buy or build expensive cabinets, you can also stash things in clear plastic totes like the ones in the picture. This will help keep not only dust, but animal fur and other debris off, and the transparent walls of the tote let you see what's inside without opening the totes. Use as few or as many as fit your closet design.

5) Free-Standing

An open closet can still be built into your walls, but if you want to have more options, consider getting a freestanding closet like this one from Amazon. With a closet like this, you can relocate it as often as you want, and if you change your mind about wanting an open closet, you can remove it completely without damaging walls, since it's not permanent. Try getting a simple rack like this with a few shelves and clothing rods, or build or buy a larger, more complete one.

6) DIY Ladder

If you want to take advantage of a tall area of a loft bedroom, an attic bedroom, or any room with vaulted ceilings, you may find that the space near the top is wasted because you simply aren't tall enough. This can even be an issue in a regular bedroom if you want to use every inch of space. Instead of folding a step-stool in a corner or under a bed, try building a ladder-like this one into your closet design. You'll have to modify it for your room, of course, but this video is a good start.

7) Customize It

Closed closets have a finite amount of space, meaning that once you've used up all the room in the closet, you have no more. With an open closet, you can almost always change the shape or move it around to give yourself more room to play with. You can design a closet like Mandi Johnson from A Beautiful Mess did, building around windows or other permanent fixtures to make the most room you can get. Follow her closet build to see how you can customize the closet to fit around your room's landscape and to fit your clothes.

8) Complete Wood Closet System

If you want a massive open closet, but don't want to go through the hassle of designing it, or aren't confident in your design abilities, try getting a complete closet system like this one from The Home Depot. It's made from sturdy wood, and it has plenty of room for hanging, along with drawers and cubbies. The system comes with everything you need to install it, making it an easy way to install your own wall-mounted closet system.

9) Built-In Shelves and Drawers

If you have a small room, you might as well turn an entire wall into an open closet. This will narrow the room a little, but you'll have enough closet space, and it won't poke out into the rest of the room very much. Try making built-in shelves and drawers like this along one wall. You can also turn the closet into part of your other furniture, like the designer of the room in this photo did by having nightstands underneath the closet that stuck out further than the rest of the closet drawers.

10) Hang From Ceiling

It's time to try something unique. There are many wall-mounted systems and freestanding closet racks, but you can also hang your open closet from the ceiling. All you need to do is attach anchors to the ceiling and hang ropes down, then attach the closet bars to the ropes, as the designer of the room in this photo by Deborah Hopper did. These hanging bars are different from a typical open closet, and you can try hanging other things to make a fascinating hanging closet design.

11) DIY Partition Wall

If you wanted an open closet, you probably don't want to close off your closet area; however, if you're considering an open closet because you don't have a closet in your room right now, think about adding a partition wall. Even for an open closet, it can help define the space and keep the closet from taking over the entire room. While building a barrier like this may seem like a complicated task, seejanedrill does an excellent job explaining how to do so in this video.

12) Recessed Shelves Between Studs

Just because you don't have a regular closet doesn't mean your entire open closet has to stick out into your room and take up extra space. Consider adding small recessed areas in between studs, like the ones in this picture. While the shelves or hanging rods will be fairly narrow, you can add as many shelves as you want between each set of studs. This won't work on an exterior wall, but it's a great way to get extra space elsewhere.

13) Rolling Closet Organizer

Your open closet may be dedicated to one room, and stay in the same place for as long as you have it, but if there's a chance you'll want to rearrange the closet in the future, you'll want to make it as easy as possible to move the closet shelves and rods around. Try getting a rolling organizer like this one from Amazon to make it easy to redesign the space as often as you need to, and to make it possible to transfer the closet to another room if needed.

14) Keep It Simple

What do you need in your closet? Do you need 15 slots for shoes, or do you only own a pair of work boots and a pair of sandals? In this article by Choozo, the author describes the process they went through redesigning their closet to make it fit their needs since it wasn't serving them well before. Make sure to have the right amount of clothing rods, cubbies, and drawers. Think about what you've disliked in past closets, and ensure that you don't recreate those same issues in your new open closet.

15) DIY Floating Shelves

To get a clean look for an industrial or modern open closet, you'll want open shelves. They're a great space-saving tool for any theme, so think about using this video to make floating shelves. This way, you won't be able to see any supports, and the lack of external supports means you won't be blocked from storing as much as you need to on the shelves. Try using the video by DIY PETE to build the shelves, but customize them to fit your theme and the available room.

16) Shoe Rack or Shoe Cabinet

Do you have a lot of shoes? These can be the hardest thing to figure out how to store in an open closet since they take up floor space, but you typically don't want to put them in a drawer, since shoes can be dirty. Try making your open closet with a lot of cubbies for shoes, as Jen Woodhouse did when she made the cubbies in this article. Follow her instructions to make an open closet with plenty of space for shoes and similar small items.

17) Wire Closet System

If you want the most straightforward open closet system out there, you'll want to try a wire closet system like this one from Amazon. The closet has rods to hang things from, along with several shelves, but no drawers. If you want drawers, think about adding baskets to the shelves, or add totes for enclosed drawers that keep dust off. The rack is adjustable, so you can hang the bars and shelves where it's most convenient for you, too.

18) DIY Organizer/Bench Combination

A lot of open closets are attached to walls, but any high-quality closet should have seating space nearby to let you put on shoes and other clothes as needed or to give you a place to store clothes as you pick them out. Try building a shoe organizer, and a bench like the one Kirsten Dunn shows you how to make in this article. This will give you plenty of space to store shoes or anything else you need more room for, and the bench will be convenient.

19) Fun Shapes

What shape is your closet? Most of them are rectangular since enclosed closets, and closet doors tend to be rectangles. Since you're designing an open closet, though, you don't need to make a space-saving rectangular closet. Instead, buy closet racks and organizers of any shape you like, such as this Z-frame organizer from Walmart. This cool-looking frame has shelves and clothing rods, but it has a unique shape that wouldn't fit well in a traditional closet, making it perfect for an open closet.

20) Curtain Divider

While your closet will be open most of the time, there will probably be times when you'll want to cover it up or separate it from other parts of the room. One way to create some visual separation is to add a curtain divider like this one from Amazon. This is also great if your room doesn't have a closet, and you can't afford to build on, since the divider is much cheaper than a construction project.


What ideas did you like? Are you using any of these in your closet? Let us know in the comments below!


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