How to Build and Organize an Exposed Closet in a Small Bedroom

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how to build and organize an exposed closet in a small bedroom

Exposed closets are the trend these days. And for good reasons.

It is a highly organized clothing storage system that eliminates closet doors, displaying your wardrobe and accessories. Because everything is on display, you become more conscious about the way your closet looks and more aware of what is in your wardrobe. This forces you to be neat with your stuff.

Exposed or open closets are actually great for small bedrooms. The absence of closet doors makes your closet and the room look larger than they really are.

There are lots of ways to build an exposed closet suited to your needs. There are also several ways to keep your exposed closet organized.

To help you get started, here are some tips to keep in mind!

How to build an exposed closet


The only way to make a small closet space work for you is to edit down the clothing and accessories that you have. You should challenge yourself to do a decluttering session.

Look at all your stuff and keep only the ones you love to wear all the time. Donate the rest of your clothes and throw away the ones that can no longer be used.


Do not prioritize their price or sentimental value. If you have not used it for the past 6 months, chances are you will not miss it when it’s gone.

Take out those doors.

If you already have a built-in closet in your bedroom, the first step is to take out the closet doors. Now you have an open space where you can see your entire wardrobe at one glance!

take out doors
Image from Pinterest

This makes planning what to wear the next day easier. Plus, your closet will look larger without its doors.

The more shelves, the better!

To make organization easier, try to have more shelves in your exposed closet. You can do this by installing floating shelves within it. Each shelf can help you sort out your clothes and accessories by category easily.

Mix your storage options.

If you are thinking of doing a DIY built-in exposed closet, do not be afraid to have multiple storages. There are no restrictions when it comes to installing rods, shelves, and drawers. This way, you have options to keep some items hidden from plain sight.

mix storage options
Image from Forbes

Clothing rods at different heights

When installing closet rods, consider putting them at different heights. You can have two rods hanging in one vertical space to accommodate tops and pants. Then another vertical space with one clothing rod for your dresses and coats.

clothing rods at different heights
Image from Bob Vila

Turn a wall into an exposed closet.

If your bedroom does not have a built-in closet, you can create your own by converting a wall in the room into one. All you have to do is use a combination of hanging rods, floating shelves, and dressers.

As you can see from this example, it can be pretty stylish, and you can have full control of the partitions.

turn wall into an exposed closet
Image from Lonny

Use a rack.

If you do not have a built-in closet in your bedroom and can’t do a DIY project on the walls because you are just renting, simply buy a clothes rack.

Clothes racks come in a wide variety of designs these days. For example, this L-shaped clothes rack is a great find because it provides you racks and shelves at the same time. It also has a platform for your shoes and bags.

Make use of storage cubes or shelves.

Another way to create your own exposed closet when your room does not have a built-in one is to use several storage cubes or bookshelves and put them together. As you can see, this creates an open closet space with lots of partitions so that you can group your clothes by category.

make use of storage cubes or shelves
Image from Delightful Order

Use nooks or awkward spaces.

If your bedroom is not the typical square or rectangular shape, then you should set up your exposed closet in the awkward spaces of the room. Just like this example.

The bedroom is in the attic, so the awkward corners under the roof were used to set up an exposed closet.

How to organize an exposed closet

Establish clear zones in your closet.

This means there should be a specific place for a specific item. If everything has its own place, you refrain from just putting things anywhere because you know where each item belongs.

organizing an exposed closet - establish clear zones
Image from Life in Jeneral

Work on your folding skills.

Making sure that everything fits well, and everything is neatly arranged, it helps to perfect your folding skills. There are different ways to fold clothes so find a technique that you are comfortable with.

Now since you have a small and limited space, it will help much if you can fold each piece as small as you can to maximize your closet space.

organizing an exposed closet - work on your folding skills
Image from Wash

Use matching hangers.

When you have an exposed closet, it helps to get matching hangers. Using one type of hanger all throughout will give your closet a more appealing look and it will make your closet look neater too.

Utilize vertical spaces.

When it comes to maximizing any space for storage, it helps to think vertically. If possible, use the space from floor to ceiling.

Install clothing rods on top of one another to double your hanging space. Install floating shelves to have more partitions. Or insert a small dresser below your clothing rods so the space beneath your clothes will not be wasted.

organizing an exposed closet - utilize vertical spaces
Image from Insider

Organize by color.

One technique to make an exposed closet look neater and cleaner is to organize your items by color. You can go with any order like from dark to light, or follow the colors of the rainbow.

It makes everything more pleasing to the eye plus it will be easier for you to find what you are looking for.

organizing an exposed closet - organize by color

Use shelf dividers.

Shelf dividers can keep your folded clothes in place, ensuring that they do not topple over. This gives you a neat look too!

You can also use these to arrange bags and purses.

Corral your items in containers.

Of course, there are items that you would not want to put on display like your underwear and other intimates. You probably do not want to display all your jewelry too!

A great way to solve this is to place these items in containers like baskets, boxes, and bins.

It is also a good idea to keep small items like scarves, handkerchiefs, and tank tops in a container since they can easily topple over.

Label your containers.

When you use containers in your exposed closet, consider using labels. Sure, it is your bedroom, and it is your stuff, so you probably know what each container holds.

But it is helpful when you have a friend or family member who comes over and needs to get something from your closet. He/she doesn’t have to rummage through the entire closet. It’s also easy to return stuff to its rightful place.

organizing an exposed closet - label your containers
Image from Talented Kitchen

Only bring out clothes that are in season.

One way to have fewer items in your closet is to switch your clothes each season. This will make a limited closet space work much better.

organizing an exposed closet - only bring out clothes in season

When it’s summer, only have your summer outfits out in the closet and store the rest somewhere else. You can store the out-of-season clothing in plastic bins or boxes and put it under your bed.

Hang your belts.

Belts are hard to store in drawers or containers because they are made of stiff materials. They could not stay folded or rolled up. If you force it, you can ruin it.

That is why it is best to hang belts on a rod with the help of s-hooks. This allows you to store the belt in good condition, see the belt clearly while choosing, and saves space in your closet too.

organizing an exposed closet - hang your belts
Image from Simply Spaced

Store your shoes somewhere else.

Since you’re working with limited space, it helps to store your shoes somewhere else. This will give you more space for your clothes and other accessories.

This is especially true when you have quite a huge collection of shoes. You can organize your shoes by the door, roll them under the bed, or place them in a bench near the entryway.

You can have fun with your exposed closet, even in a small bedroom!

Small spaces are fun and practical because it challenges you to be creative with storage and it forces you to limit the items you own. But it can pose a major challenge for someone who has a lot of clothes and accessories.

However, with these exposed closet ideas, you do not have to worry much about limited space. You can still have a home for all your clothes and accessories despite having a small bedroom!

Need more tips and ideas on making the most of small spaces? Check these out!

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Eliminate the closet doors and leave your wardrobe on display. Here's how to build an exposed closet and how to keep things organized!

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