Closets & Closet Accessories; Shelves & Shelving
Every home has a variety of
that serve a variety of purposes. Closets are found in
kitchens, entry halls, bedrooms, family rooms,
closet varies in size and shape, and should be the first place you turn when looking to organize your home. There are several options available to help organize closets and each one should be individually considered based on its purpose. As you contemplate the organizational needs within your home, develop a strategy to maximize the use of closet space and establish order where there was once chaos.
Establish a Plan
Start closet organization by first developing a plan. Prior to buying any
closet organizational accessories, it is critical to establish a plan. Determine the function of the closet and what it should hold. Will a bedroom closet need to house more than
clothes? Does a kitchen pantry need to hold more than
food? Creating a set plan keeps the needs focused and determines what closet accessories maximize the available space.
Determine What Stays
Most likely, the closet you are looking to organize already has items in it. Grab some
large plastic bins and start clearing everything out. Starting with a blank canvas helps you look outside the usual space and create a fuller functioning closet. It also allows you to discover everything that is inside and initiate the de-cluttering process. Label individual plastic bins with a “keep”, “get rid of”, and “donate” tag. As you pull out each item, determine if it stays, goes or needs to be donated. After completing this process, the “keep” bins are the only items that need a home back in the closet. The contents of the “get rid of” bin are thrown away and the “donate” bin is taken to a
local charity organization.
Sort What Remains
Sort each remaining item in the “keep” bins by category. Create a separate pile for each type of
games, etc. Each category represents a separate element of organization in the closet. This determines whether more shelves than rods are needed. Should drawers and cabinets be included? Every closet structure is unique and dependent on what it needs to include. Use this sorting exercise to help map out the design and function of the closet.
Now that you know what needs to go back into the closet, design a layout that allows for maximum storage and easy access. There are a variety of options and tools that can be utilized based on individual needs. Before purchasing any organizational tools, learn what options are available and create a design sketch of the anticipated structure. Take measurements to ensure enough room is accounted for based on the amount of items that need to be stored. Bring the design shopping with you as organizational tools are available in a wide array of sizes. Talk with a specialist at the
home improvement store or
closet specialty store for assistance in purchasing what you need.
A traditional closet has one bar that runs the length of the closet. Today’s organized closets include several bars at varying lengths and heights to maximize the number of hanging items it can hold. Adjustable rods make installation easy, often doubling or tripling the amount of space available for clothing.
A wide variety of shelving options are available to support
scarves, etc. Shelving heights and widths can be custom created to hold a variety of items, in varying sizes. Larger shelving in a
kitchen pantry supports bulk food items or larger syrup bottles. Smaller shelves with special design features allow for foods to be sorted or rotated for quicker and easier use. Consider installing shelving all the way to the ceiling, taking advantage of normally wasted space. Storing a step stool inside the closet provides easier access to the shelves.
Custom-designed drawers create room for
jewelry. Drawers can be made to fit any length or width based on your needs. They also hide the contents making the closet look elegant and less cluttered.
For items used less often, consider sealing them in
storage containers and placing them on top shelves. The storage containers keep them together while eliminating clutter. Purchasing see-through containers lets you see immediately what is inside. This is ideal for seasonal items such as gloves, scarves, or bathing suits.
Storage bins in pantries can hold sauce packets, measuring spoons, or cookie cutters.
Make finding a pair of shoes much easier by including one or several
shoe racks. A variety of styles are available based on the space available and personal design preference. Each style offers a different location to place the racks such as behind the door, hanging from rods or sitting on the floor.
Wire or wicker
baskets provide the advantages of a drawer without the custom installation. Wire baskets allow the contents to be readily seen while wicker baskets hide them to create a cleaner look.
Hooks and Hangers:
Well placed hooks provide storage solutions for bulkier items or easier access to most used items. Bathrobes and pajamas are easily accessed while bulkier and blazers are out of the way, taking up less
closet space .
Hooks can also be used for holding belts, ties, purses, umbrellas or aprons in a pantry.
The type of
hanger used makes a considerable difference in the organization of a closet. Wire hangers misshape clothing and have a hard time holding certain garments. Clothing with straps slide off the sides and fall to the floor. Keep these garments hanging by purchasing plastic or wooden hangers with notches to hold straps and specialty sleeves. Hang all hangers in the same direction to create a uniform design and provide easy access to clothing.
Hire a Closet Organizer
If designing your own closet is more than you want to tackle or you would like some organizational help, consider hiring a closet organizer. Professional closet organizers can help design a functional closet based on your storage needs. To find one in your area, visit the
Closet & Closet Accessories heading at
home improvement centers typically have staff on hand or can recommend a quality closet organizer.