Tips on conquering your closet
An overflowing closet can make getting ready in the morning an unpleasant task. But it’s not all your fault. The fact is, most closets are simply designed poorly. An organization system can help maximize closet space, but before investing in rods and drawers, take these factors into account:
Know your stuff
During consultations, California Closets, a customcloset design company, counts every item of clothing and divides them into categories (business, sports and weekend wear, for example). They then remove items that are out of season, worn infrequently, or not at all.
“Many of us have fat clothes and skinny clothes. Take out of your space what you’re not wearing this season right now,” says Lianne Levy of California Closets. You’ll be surprised how much space you have when your closet is full of the things you actually wear.
Make it adjustable
The ability to change pole heights is essential to maximizing space during seasonal transitions.
“I wear a lot of dresses in the summertime, but I never wear dresses in the winter, so when I shift my closet from winter to summer, I change my dress pole height,” says Levy.
If your closet contains a mismatch of wire, plastic and wooden hangers, making them uniform can transform your closet from messy looking to streamlined and give the illusion of space.
Replace sliding doors
“If you have sliding closet doors, over half of your closet is inaccessible to you,” says professional organizer Robin Bailey, owner of Ottawa’s Emerging Order. Bifold doors provide greater visual and physical access to the entire closet.
Also, proper lighting can make even a small closet appear large. Bailey recommends battery-operated, motion-sensing LED lights that turn on when the closet door is opened.
Closet organization systems run the gamut from custom to inexpensive premade components.
California Closets’ storage design experts use a CAD system to design closet layouts tailored to individual client needs, taking into account space limitations and how you use your clothing.
“You will end up thinking about your clothes and how to put them away in a way that you wouldn’t have without us. When we leave you’ve really got a system that’s going to work for you and for your life,” says Levy.
The sky’s the limit on custom closets and can include built-in drawers, open shelving with built-in LED lights and even built-in televisions.
Because each closet is made to order, prices vary widely. Levy has done closets from $2,200 to $30,000.
Those with a limited budget may opt for pre-built, cus- tomizable closet-organization components. Ikea’s Stolmen two-piece system with height-adjustable steel rods, four drawers and two top shelves is $611 and perfect for a standard double closet.
Home Depot’s closet organization selection includes the Martha Stewart Living collection. The ultimate closet kit provides up to 12 feet of hanging space and 14 feet of shelf space as well as four drawers for about $403.
A wire kit such as ClosetMaid’s ShelfTrack six- to eight-foot closet organizer kit will cost you $139 and includes a three-foot shoe shelf, 11 feet of hanging space and 15 feet of shelf space.
You can also supplement a small closet with a standalone unit like the Ikea Pax system, which provides a number of storage designs, perfect for older homes with tiny closets.
Maximize your closet space by using a mix of open shelving, drawers, poles and shoe racks.