Did you ever wish that small reach-in closet in your bedroom had more storage or was a big walk-in? Conversely, have you ever considered using that big walk-in as a much-needed home office or spare bedroom? But then where do you put your clothes? Luckily, bedroom closets can be flexible spaces if you know a few tricks of the trade.

The Fundamentals of Bedroom Closets

There are three basic types of bedroom closets including walk-in, reach-in (also known as wall closets), or wardrobes. Each has distinct advantages and disadvantages. But one thing they have in common is their potential to increase your overall storage or serve a dual function. All you need are the right organizers to get started.

    Types of Bedroom Closets

  1. Reach-in Closets

    Reach-in closet with built-in desk
    Example of a reach-in bedroom closet for a teen girl. The closet has been organized into sections with double hang and shelves to make room for a desk with drawers in the center.

    Reach-in closets are the most common type of closet found in modern homes. They originally came about as a replacement to the wardrobe closet because builders found that it was cheaper and more cost-effective to construct the closet with the drywall as part of the room. This is why a reach-in closet will often abut another similar closet that opens to a room on the other side of the wall. They are often referred to as “wall closets” because they are set into the bedroom wall and actually form the wall of the room.

    For Maximum Versatility, Make a Plan

    Reach-in closets are approximately 24-inches deep give or take an inch or two. That is the minimum depth needed to hang clothes freely on a standard clothes hanger. It’s not deep enough to walk into like a room. You just reach inside to get what you need, hence the name. The width can be any amount up to the entire length of a wall. However, most are smaller, and many people are dissatisfied with the size and storage of this type of closet. That’s because they haven’t tried custom closet organizers.

    Reach-in Closet Dimensions

    Storage can be doubled with the right organization plan. Double hang your rods and add plenty of shelves to increase storage. Additional closet accessories can help to organize and save space as well. Make sure to use all available height in the closet. Arrange the rods, shelves, and drawers so that there is room to add a built-in desk in front of the closet door. The addition of this desk will make your closet do double duty as a home office. This arrangement keeps the workspace separate from the sleeping/relaxing space without having to increase square footage in the home.

  2. Walk-in Closets

    Walk-in closet with built-in vanity table
    Example of a walk-in bedroom closet with a built-in vanity table. Although the closet is small by walk-in standards, this feature transforms the space into a full dressing room. The owner can use this table to put on make-up, style hair, check jewelry, and more. Even better, the built-in nature ensures that this home improvement will add value at resale.

    Walk-in closets are the type of storage that everyone envies. After all, owning a separate room just for your clothes exudes a feeling of luxury, no matter what size the closet. Walk-ins also have the most options for organizers and accessories. Features like big closet islands that function as built-in dressers will add functionality, glamour, and extra storage to a closet. They are the only style of a closet with a corner big enough to install the 360 Organizer rotating closet system for shoes and more.

    Walk-In Closet Sizes

    Walk-in closets come in many sizes, but a walk-in for a bedroom must have either a depth or width that measures at least five-feet so that you can get in a 24-inch hanging space with 36-inches of empty walking space in front of it. Most walk-in bedroom closets will be considerably larger than this.

    Flexible and Versatile

    A large bedroom closet can serve more purposes than just simple storage. It is quite common for walk-ins to be used as complete dressing rooms with built-in seating and/or vanity table in addition to the hanging space and shelves/drawers. Exercise rooms, home offices, and nurseries are also quite popular uses of the refurbished walk-in closet. The downside to using your closet as another bedroom or office is that you lose storage. Most people simply don’t want to have their clothes hanging in the same room as their workspace or baby’s room. The solution to this is the wardrobe closet.

  3. Wardrobe Closets

    Wardrobe closet for bedroom
    Example of a large built-in wardrobe bedroom closet with a smaller reach-in closet in the background. The addition of the wardrobe closet definitely adds a lot of storage to this bedroom.

    In the first part of the 20th century and earlier, wardrobes were the only type of closet that existed. Building walls to section off part of the bedroom for clothing storage was unheard of. (Possibly because people didn’t have very many clothes back then). All closets were basically big cabinets with drawers, shelves, and hooks to store clothing. These “cabinet closets” are still in use today. They now include rods for hanging clothes on hangers as well.

    Types of Wardrobe Closets

    A wardrobe closet can be either free-standing or built-in. If free-standing, it is considered to be a piece of furniture and is labeled an “armoire.” A built-in wardrobe, on the other hand, is attached to the wall like your kitchen cabinets. Like all built-ins, it adds value to a home because you must leave it behind when you move. The built-in wardrobe closet is sometimes referred to as a wall unit. But no matter what you call it, the function remains the same. it’s a place to store clothes.

    Uses and Popularity

    Wardrobes are a popular addition in vintage homes because even if the older home has an existing bedroom closet, it is usually very small. A new wardrobe closet has many benefits. It can be easily constructed in a style that blends in with the era of the home while providing the needed storage. A built-in wardrobe is often easier to add to an older home because it can be custom sized to fit along any wall or odd corner.

    This type of closet is also commonplace in modern homes. Square footage is expensive. For this reason, many builders skimp on closet space in order to allocate more space to living areas. Additionally, the popularity of loft spaces and open floor plans often means fewer closets overall in the home. A wardrobe is often the best solution to supplement insufficient storage in the home. Even homes with big walk-in closets find the wardrobe closet to be useful. If the owner decides to convert an existing walk-in closet into an office or nursery, they will need a new place to store their clothes. The wardrobe is often the best answer. Huge wardrobe closets that span an entire wall or bedrooms that feature multiple built-in wardrobes are becoming more and more common.


    Wardrobe closets are also very versatile. They are often used for more than just clothing storage. The center section can be left open to house a television in the bedroom. Custom features, like hidden pull-out tables, allow the closet to be used as a desk for working from home.

    Wardrobe closet for bedroom with TV and hidden desk
    Example of a versatile built-in wardrobe closet for the bedroom that also includes space for a TV. Most of the cabinets and drawers are used to store clothing. But this one also has a cabinet with a pull-out table used as a hidden office.

Still Looking for Bedroom Closet Ideas?

No matter what type of home or bedroom closet you currently have, there is no reason it has to remain as is. The possibilities for your new closet are limited only by your imagination. Walk-in, reach-in, or wardrobe. It’s up to you. Any of the three types of bedroom closes can be configured to meet your needs, no matter how varied. If you’re still stumped, let us help you to design your own custom bedroom closet.

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