Closet Storage and Organization
Whether you have walk-in, reach-in, large or small closets, sorting out the clutter in your closet will not only make it easier to find your favorite shirt, but create extra storage space as well. Nearly every closet, whether it's located in your bedroom, kitchen or foyer, can benefit from better closet storage and organization. To start:
• Extra shelves in varying lengths can create more room for boxes, folded clothes or miscellaneous items.
• Storage bags and shoe racks will help keep your dress shoes, sneakers and flip-flops in order.
• A sliding organizer can bring order to the jumble of ties and belts you store.
Use the following questions to help determine the best ways to streamline and organize your closets:
• What items do you plan to store in the closet?
• Do you have walk-in or reach-in closets?
• Which type of shelving best suits your needs?
• What space-saving shoe storage options are best?
Closet Types, Organization Ideas and Tips
Revamping your closet space doesn't have to be an expensive process. A few simple additions can turn a crowded clothes closet into a spacious area that allows you to easily access your shirts and pants while providing space for boxes, bags, hats and more.
Bedroom closets seem to present the greatest challenge when it comes to organization. Fortunately, there are plenty of space-saving options to choose from for both walk-in and reach-in closets. By finding the right pieces and following a few simple organizational strategies, you can achieve greater efficiency regardless of which room the closet is in or what you store in it.
Walk-in closets are popular because of the amount of space they offer and their convenience. If the space is unorganized and cluttered with clothes and accessories scattered everywhere, however, walk-ins can be an unsightly and confusing mess.
The first thing to keep in mind when organizing a walk-in closet is to maximize space. Make sure you take advantage of the square footage all the way from the floor to the ceiling.
If you have a flat shelf with hanging rods underneath, store stackable items like boxes, clear plastic storage bins, cubes, totes and baskets on top of the shelf.
Using a corner carousel is a great way to get added space out of the corner of your closet for hanging dresses, pants, suits or lingerie.
Also take advantage of vertical wall space with adjustable shelves. Not every item you store is the same height, so install a closet organization system where the shelves adjust to accommodate items of varying sizes.
Consider smaller shelf lengths to get more overall storage space. If you have a shelf that is 96 inches wide, you may be wasting space. Two 48-inch or three 32-inch shelves that adjust to different heights allow for more overall storage space: One shelf can house shorter items while the others can house taller items.
For added convenience, consider retractable shelves that you can pull toward you and push back when done. Also consider a rolling ladder so you can reach items you store out of arm’s reach.
• Collapsible canvas cubbies provide both style and storage utility.
• Stackable boxes maximize space all the way up to the ceiling.
• Mesh hampers and laundry bags allow clothes to breathe.
• Line baskets with fabric to reduce the chances of snagging clothing and linens.
If your reach-in closet has standard wood shelves or wire shelving configurations, you may not be taking advantage of all your space. There are many reach-in closet organization systems designed for a range of closet sizes, meaning the system can be adjusted to your closet dimensions ranging from 3 feet to 12 feet wide.
These systems have shelving and storage bins that utilize all available vertical space, up to 8 feet high. They also contain a mix of baskets, bins, garment racks and hooks to get the most mileage out of your closet.
• Use shelf dividers to keep sweaters, bags and other items neatly in place.
• Choose shelving from a variety of materials, such as wood closet organizers or wire closet organizers, for a different look.
• Vacuum-sealed bags are ideal for storing linens in smaller closets.
• Decorative boxes add color as well as organization to closets of any size.
Hangers and places to hang them are essential to organizing clothes and accessories in both walk-in and reach-in closets.
Install one rod toward the top of the closet and another in the middle to provide two levels of hanging space for shirts, sweaters and other shorter garments. Use wood or padded hangers to ensure garments retain their shape.
Add a tie and belt organizer to your closet to reduce the tangled mass of ties draped over hangers. That way, you’ll always find the belt that goes with your favorite outfit when you need it.
• Panels with multiple hooks are ideal for coat closets.
• Hangers can be used in conjunction with wire shelves.
• Use a valet hook to store dry cleaning or prepare an outfit for the next day.
Shoes can be stored on shelves, underneath a shelf on the floor, or in bags and on racks that hang on the back of the closet door.
If you have a walk-in closet, a slanted platform shelf with a buffer that catches and holds the heel of the shoe in place makes for an organized shoe area – and a great display. If you don’t have the space for a slanted shelf, a wire door rack is a useful alternative.
• Shoe bags maximize space by using the back of the closet door and can hold as many as a dozen or more pairs of shoes.
• Shoe racks can be placed on the floor or installed on the back of a closet door to free up floor space.
• Stackable, clear boxes give you a clear view of your shoes while conserving space.
Item to Store
Benefits and Points to Consider
|Clothes and Linens||• Bags
|• Wood and padded hangers help clothes retain shape
• Hampers and bags are ideal for dirty clothes
• Wire shelves let linens breathe
|Miscellaneous Items||• Baskets
|• Solid shelves are ideal for storing a wide range of items
• Collapsible boxes and bins save space when not in use
• Use small baskets for items such as accessories, keys and batteries
|Shoes||• Door bags
|• Door bags maximize space
• Platforms allow shoes to be displayed
• Avoid placing shoes on wire shelves above clothing to prevent soiling
Additional Features and Accessories
Flexibility: Expandable rods and shelves give you the ability to reconfigure your closet as your storage needs change. Some shelves can also be moved up and down, further increasing versatility.
Children's hampers: If you're having a hard time getting your kids to pick up their clothes, look for hampers that feature animals or cartoon characters to make putting away dirty clothes more fun.
Motorized organizers: Keep ties organized more easily with a motorized rack. It rotates ties with the flip of a switch to ensure that the ones buried in the back of the closet get used as frequently as the ones up front.