Designing Storage Space in Your Closet

  1. Organize by levels. In your closet, you should generally put items that you use on a regular or daily basis at eye level. This will include things such as shirts, skirts, dresses and coats. Items that are used less frequently (like seasonal pairs of shoes) should go below eye level and items that are rarely used (like extra bedding or blankets or sporting equipment) should be stored above eye level.
  • Before you install shelving, you should decide where you plan to put certain items in the closet. You will probably want your clothes to be at eye level whereas less essential items can go above or below your clothes.
  • Remove all of the items from your closet again. If you have anything in the closet, but sure to take it out before you install rods or shelves. The items could get in your way of making accurate measurements of your closet.
  1. Improve your shelving situation. Most closets need some sort of shelving. At the very minimum, you will need a rod to hang your clothes on. Many closets come with these items already installed but you may need to add some additional pieces depending on your needs.
  2. Take measurements of your closet. Before you install shelves, rods or drawers, you should know the dimensions of your closet. Measure the height and width of each wall, along with the dimensions of the door frame. This will determine the size of your storage options.
  • Using a tape measure, extend the tape across the length of the wall. Hold it level (or ask for assistance in holding it straight). Once the tape reaches the end of the wall, note the dimension in inches and centimeters (and write it down so you will remember).
  1. Install rods for different lengths. In your closet, you will generally need space for a “long hang” to accommodate items such as dresses, coats, dress pants and then a “short hang” for shorter items like shirts, skirts, and shorts.[8]
  • Install the rods according to the instructions on the package. Most rods can be purchased at a local hardware or home goods store. They are sometimes adjustable in length, but you should check the description on the item to make sure they are.
  • You will most likely need a drill, screws, and a level to make sure you are hanging your rod straight. Consult the instructions on your rod for the specific instruments you will need.
  1. Add extra shelves. Shelves can be a great addition to your closet. You can use them to hold shoes, extra bedding, or storage containers for seasonal clothes and decorations.
  • The method for installing shelves is similar to installing rods. You should be able to buy them at your local hardware or lumber store. Know the dimensions of the wall you intend to hang them on so that they will fit. You will also need a drill, screws and a level to make sure they hang straight and sturdy.
  • If you are hanging multiple shelves vertically, make sure you have enough room between them to hold bulky items, such as comforters or storage bins. Consider 18-24 inches for large items.
  1. Add drawers for foldable items, like slacks, shorts, sweaters, etc. Depending on the size of your closet, you can add stacked drawers to your storage options. This can be especially helpful if you do not have a chest of drawers in your bedroom.
  • You can often buy drawers with the parts pre-assembled. Check department stores or home good stores that offer organizational or storage options for their customers.
  • Consider buying a drawer unit that has wheels on it so you can move it in or out of our closet if you would like to have some flexibility with the layout of the space.
  1. Incorporate storage bins. Your closet will look its best when items are put into a bin and out of sight. Keep these on the upper shelves near the ceiling.
  • You can buy storage bins in a variety of materials. Some come in a plain, durable plastic any cost between $10-$15. But you can also buy bins or baskets in linen, cedar or leather materials.
  • Which ever storage option you choose, try to buy them all in the same type. This will give a clean, uniform sense of harmony to your closet.
  • You can use the bins to store items you don’t use on a regular basis, such as extra bedding, seasonal clothing, seasonal decorations, etc.
  1. Restock your closet. Once your shelves, rods and storage bins are ready to go, you can put your newly pared down items back into the closet.
  • Consider organizing your clothes by length, with long items like coats and dresses at the right side of the closet and then gradually moving to shorter items like shirts and skirts on the left end of the closet. This will naturally draw the eye upward in a pleasing way.
  • You can also organize you closet by color, grouping dark and light colors together so your closet resembles a rainbow.
  1. Keep floor space clear. The point of a walk-in closet is so you can actually walk into it! If you can, try to keep shoes off of the floor or against the wall and out of the main path as these can frequently trip you up.

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