Sunday, September 7, 2008
You don't have to have a huge luxury closet to have one that works well, as long as the space is well-used. Here are three approaches you can take - after you've decluttered, so you're only storing the things worth saving.
1. Use closet accessories.
There's a wide range of products to help use closet space wisely. Most of these are available in many styles, from many sources; I'll show (and link to) just one example.
Double hanging closet rods.
Organizers that hang from the closet rods.
The KangaRoom Complete Closet - which sort of combines the two items mentioned above, and comes in four different colors.
Overdoor organizers, for shoes and more.
Shoe racks, cubbies and such that can use the floor space under a rod. Freestanding elfa drawer systems can be used this way, too. [photo from ClosetOrganizerSource.com]
Shoe boxes and other storage boxes, clear or otherwise, to go on the shelves (or nicely stacked on the floor). Baskets or buckets could also be used, but don't have the advantage of being stackable.
And for goodness sake, if you can't easily reach everything on the shelves, have a stepstool close at hand. A closet hook might be handy, too.
2. Get a do-it-yourself closet system.
Some of the major brands here are elfa (shown above), Rubbermaid Configurations and Schulte freedomRail. The stores selling these systems will usually provide design assistance. Both elfa and Rubbermaid got good ratings from Consumer Reports back in July 2006.
When doing the layout, consider how much space different types of clothes usually take.
3. Hire a custom closet design company.
There are a huge number of companies to choose from, both local independent companies and franchises of larger companies. Here are some points to consider.
Is the system adjustable? In general, avoid any system that isn’t; your needs may change over time.
Does the company provide only standard-size components, or will they make components to match your closet's exact dimensions?
What kind of warranty is offered?
How long has the company been in business under the same owner?
Are the installers employees or independent contractors?
Does the company take any steps to minimize the impact of its products and operations on the environment?
How thick are the melamine panels? Some sources suggest you are better off with 3/4 inch panels (with a span no greater than 36 inches).
For more suggested questions, see the advice from organizer Lorie Marrero.
Up next: Closet dividers for the clothes on the rods
6 options for storing your purses
A Personal Uniform Isn't For Everyone (for the shoe box photo)
[lead photo by Carmyarmyofme / Carmen]