Tips on con­quer­ing your closet

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - LISA EVANS

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.

Match­ing hang­ers

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.

Stor­age Sys­tems

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.

DIY op­tions

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.

Cal­i­for­nia Clos­ets

Max­i­mize your closet space by us­ing a mix of open shelv­ing, draw­ers, poles and shoe racks.

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