Sorting out the clutter in your closet not only makes it easier to find your favorite shirt, it can actually create extra storage space as well. Nearly every closet, whether it's located in your bedroom, kitchen or foyer, can benefit from better organization. Extra shelves create more room for boxes, folded clothes or miscellaneous items you're not sure where to put. Use door bags and shoe racks to sort your dress shoes from your sneakers and bring order to the chaotic jumble of ties and belts in your bedroom with the help of a sliding organizer. Use the following questions to focus in on the best ways to streamline and organize each of your closets:
• What items do you plan to store in the closet?
• How can you best maximize space in different types of closets?
• Which type of shelving best suits your needs?
• What space-saving storage devices are best for shoes?
• What features would facilitate organization?
Storage Devices and Organizational 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 storage room for shoes, bags, hats and more. Bedroom closets seem to present the greatest challenges when it comes to efficient 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.
Shelves and Shoe Storage: One of the first decisions you'll need to make is what type of shelves you'd like to install. Wood and other solid shelves provide sturdy, flat surfaces that are ideal for storing small or oddly shaped items. Ventilated wire shelves allow air to pass through so clothes and linens can breathe. Use expandable shelves to customize the amount of storage space your closet provides. Shoes can be stored on shelves or in shoe bags hung on the backside of your closet door. Shoe racks provide ample storage space as well. Look for a slanted platform that displays them all at the same level for easy selection and access.
• Use shelf dividers to keep sweaters, bags and other items neatly in their place
• Choose shelving from a variety of materials, such as wood or wire, for different effects
• 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
• Store shoes in stackable, clear boxes that give you a clear view of the contents while conserving space
Bags, Boxes, Bins and Baskets: You can use boxes to store everything from clothes and towels to books and dishes. In addition to storage, collapsible bins provide the ability to compress to a much smaller size when not needed, making them easy to store in tight quarters. Hampers store dirty clothes, while laundry bags provide another, more portable option for soiled garments. Baskets range from small to oversized and are available in simple designs as well as more ornate and stylish models, depending on your needs and existing dÃ©cor. Use them to hold important papers or assorted odds and ends in your office closet or soaps and lotions in the bathroom.
• Collapsible canvas boxes 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
• Vacuum-sealed bags are ideal for storing linens in smaller closets
• Line baskets with fabric to reduce the chances of snagging clothing and linen
• Decorative boxes add color as well as organization to any storage space
Hanging: Hangers and places to hang them are essential to organizing clothes and accessories. 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 and ensure you can always find the belt that goes with your favorite outfit when you need it.
• Panels with multiple hooks are ideal for use in 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
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 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
Organizational Tips: When you begin your reorganization, select a base piece and add accessories and components from there. Go through your closet and throw away, sell or donate any unneeded items. Be careful when placing hooks to avoid putting them in an area where they can easily snag clothing when you reach into the closet. Stackable bins, boxes and baskets allow you to maximize space in between the shelves and ceiling while providing stability for items that are stored above your head. Shelves that are unattached to the wall on one side leave room for taller items or stacked boxes. Split the closet in half with a series of narrow shelves, and install two rods on one side for hanging shorter items and one rod on the other side for longer items if you're in need of extra space for clothing.
• Use preconfigured shelves and railings to minimize the need for precise measurements
• Use cedar panels or blocks to repel bugs and keep your closet smelling fresh
• Utilize the backside of the closet door for extra space
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 disposing of dirty clothes more fun.
Motorized Organizers: Keep ties organized more easily with a motorized rack, which 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.