Friday, January 14, 2011

Closet Organization Tips

Since Christmas, I have spent hours on end trying to organize my closet. I was fortunate to haul a decent amount in around the holidays what with gifts and holiday outfits I purchased. Even with clearing out some old items, I still seem to be squeezing items in. A main predicament for me is the fact that I have limited closet space and pre-hung shelves and rods since I rent. Once I start seriously house shopping, closets will be in the top five of my priority list.
Today I want to share some organizational tips that work for everyone, limited or not. First, it's important to really understand what you have in your closet. Arrange items into categories and determine what needs to stay stored there and what can go elsewhere in your home. For example, I keep my shoes in my shoe cabinet so I shouldn’t have any in my closet.



Next, determine the amount of space you need for each category. How many drawers do you need? Do you have three times as many short hanging clothes as long hanging clothes or seven times as many?

To maximize your storage space, think vertically and horizontally and sort by season. Winter items like gloves and hats can go on a shelf at the top during the summer and on a lower shelf during winter. Use baskets and labeled boxes to keep things in their rightful places.

Now think about your closet and how things need to be to be accessible to you. If you are on the short side, consider hanging the clothes you wear frequently at a lower height so you don’t have to drag out a step stool everyday. Perhaps you are taller and can easily manage two horizontal rods on top of each other. Measure your clothing so that you can ensure nothing will be dragging the ground or getting trapped under hangers on the second row.

Lastly, use your resources. Check out closet builders online or research systems at your local hardware store. And ask someone to help you to keep you motivated.

Check out my closet floorplan below. I have hanging storage on the left and right with shelving floor to ceiling in the back.

Using the Elfa Design Center from The Container Store, I was able to create a custom closet with the Elfa system by entering my closet's dimensions, wall color, and desired system finishes. The I came up with this on the shorter side of my closet...
 ...and this on the longer side of my closet.