The Best Budget IKEA Buys When You Have Little or No Closet Space

published May 25, 2017
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(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Did you catch this tour in which Shelbie and her roommates not only make a four-bedroom apartment look refreshing and cohesive, but also add a bunch of clever (and affordable!) storage solutions to their no-closet bedrooms? They all agree that lack of storage is one of the biggest challenges in their San Francisco apartment, but they make it look effortless and orderly using easily accessible products. Their entire home is worth a look for the inspiration, but the makeshift closets featured in each space show that with some planning and creativity, tackling storage dilemmas is totally achievable.

Shelbie & Blake’s Make-Shift “Dressing Room” Closet

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Shelbie is an up-and-coming interior designer, so she loves coming up with solutions for her clients and unconventional spaces. When tackling her bedroom’s storage options, her approach was no different. “Planning how the area would look and function was fun because I really like the challenge of space planning,” she says.

Pictured above, Shelbie took affordable BILLY bookcases from IKEA and put her extensive shoe collection on the shelves. This allows her to see all of her shoe options at once, as opposed to picking through them in a dark closet.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

At one end of the bedroom, which she shares with her boyfriend, Blake, she mounted a couple of MULIG clothes bars to hold her essentials: button-downs, t-shirts, light coats, and a basket full of scarves. “I like that it’s an unusual feature to have so openly exposed in a bedroom,” Shelbie says. “Everything is easily accessible and not hidden in a dark closet, which is nice.”

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

To complete the couple’s makeshift closet, Shelbie and Blake placed a RIGGA clothes rack (pictured above, at right) to create a nook for the couple to change in front of the mirror (bonus points to Shelbie and Blake for placing the mirror directly across from a window). To keep the space from looking too cluttered, a BRIMNES unit from IKEA holds Shelbie’s pant and jumpsuit collection (she says it’s pretty big).

Item Roundup for Shelbie & Blake’s Closet:

TOTAL COST — $273.79

Myles’ Open & Accessible Hanging Closet

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Myles’ bedroom is the smallest of the rooms we toured in the apartment, but his space shows off the most clever storage solutions of the bunch. “With having a small room, I had to have certain furniture in specific areas and trying to get my ‘closet’ into the corner without it feeling tight or cluttered was a real struggle,” he says. Using a wooden dowel and twine from Home Depot, he built a DIY garment rack that looks stylish, organic, and goes well with all of the natural textures in his space.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

Though Myles’ clothing storage options are sufficient for the time being, he placed another hanging shelf high in the corner, practically away from sight. It now holds a few of his potted plants, but it can just as well hold a pile of neatly folder t-shirts or shoes. To build this floating rack, he used thin rope, a ceiling hook, and a slab of wood he painted white. “What I like about my current closet set-up is how open and easily accessible it is,” he says. And because each rack hangs from the ceiling, it preserves the much-needed bedroom square footage.

Item Roundup for Myles’ Closet:

TOTAL COST — $119.2

MJ’s Minimal & Natural Open Closet

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

When MJ saw the IVAR unit at IKEA, it was displayed as a kitchen pantry fixture, but she got the idea to add a wooden dowel to it so she could hang her clothes from it. She says the unit is perfect for her space, and it now stores her clothes, shoes and small record collection. “There was a challenge of having everything fit, but that just allowed me to simplify my wardrobe,” she says. Luckily, the IVAR modular system can be adjusted, so MJ can add to it if she needs more storage down the line. The raw pine finish also adds a natural and minimal look to the space, which she loves.

Item Roundup for MJ’s Closet:

Total Cost — $168.37

See more of Shelbie, Blake, Myles, and MJ’s San Francisco apartment in their house tour!