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Closet Design Ideas

If you have trouble finding items in your closet as you're getting ready, you probably have an organization or storage problem. Here are some ideas for designing a closet to fit your needs.

Clean Your Closet

Woman sorting piles of clothes to keep, throw away and donate

Start by thinking about what isn't working for you now. Not enough hanger space? Too many boxes on the floor? Can't find what you're looking for? Make a list and keep it handy. Next, sort your stuff into three piles: keep, throw away and donate. After sorting, fold and hang clothes neatly. Knits are best folded. Keep folded stacks no more than six inches high.

Move non-clothing items to other storage areas in the home. Move infrequently used items, such as seasonal clothing, to a different closet or store elsewhere in sealed, plastic bins.

Shop Closet Organization

Good to Know

Skinny, velvet hangers save space and keep clothes from slipping. Special belt rack hangers are great for easy access.

Determine Your Closet Needs

Clothing Dimensions Chart

After you've organized your clothing, lay the hanging and stacking items on the floor similar to the way you want them in your closet. Measure the space required by all your items and indicate the requirements on the closet plan.

Refer to the chart to plan your closet’s storage efficiently.

Measure the Space

Measure the top, middle and bottom of your closet wall

Now it's time to draw up a plan. Begin with the closet dimensions: height, width and depth. Since the walls might be out of square, it's best to measure them at three different heights and use the shortest measurement.

Mark windows and doors. Make note of how the doors open. Also mark utilities, access panels and studs.

Identify the Closet Wall Structure

Wall anchors

The type of wall in your closet may require special hardware for anchoring shelving to the walls.

  • Drywall or paneling may require wall anchors for support.
  • Concrete/masonry requires a masonry bit to drill 1/4-inch by 1-inch holes plus #8 x 1-inch screws.
  • Solid wood does not require anchors; use #8 x 1-inch screws.

Educate Yourself on Closet Options

Continuous sliding rod

This is a good time to head to Lowe's. Each store typically has wood and wire systems displayed with different options to visualize what would work best in your space. Also, check manufacturers' brochures and products available at Lowe's or online.

Select Kit or Custom Options

  • Custom units are purchased by the linear foot.
  • Prepackaged kits are purchased by the wall area (5 foot by 8 foot is the most common).
  • Add-ons (drawers, extra shelves, tie and belt racks, hampers, etc.) offer specialized storage as needed.


Wire Shelving

Wire shelving is less expensive, easy to install, and can be cut to your closet measurements. A smooth powder-coated finish protects surfaces and clothing from damage. Look for continuous sliding rods, which allow your hangers to move uninterrupted across the entire bar. For a typical 4-foot by 8-foot closet, you’ll need the following:

  • Horizontal Hang Tracks
  • Vertical Standards and Brackets
  • Shelves
  • Closet Rods
  • End Caps
  • Fasteners and Hardware

Watch the Video: Install Wire Shelving


Laminate Shelving

Laminate shelving is sturdy, cost-effective and attractive. Laminate kits include closet rods, drawers, and other accessories. The installation is slightly more advanced compared to wire systems. For a typical 4-foot by 8-foot closet, you’ll need the following:

  • Tower or Corner Units
  • Shelves
  • Closet Rods
  • Drawers
  • Fasteners and Hardware

Watch the Video: Install a Wood Closet Organizer

Good to Know

If you like features of wood and wire systems, consider using both types.

Determine Space Requirements

Shoe racks and sweater baskets

Hanging Rods

  • Double-hang rods (skirts, shirts, slacks, blouses) double your storage space. The top rod is typically placed near 80 inches and the bottom rod around 40 inches above the floor.
  • Single-hang rods (dresses, coats, robes) are commonly placed 70 inches above the floor.
  • In a child’s closet, the top rod can be used to store out-of-season clothes. Alternately, install a rod that can be adjusted as the child grows or needs additional hanging space.

Shelves
Shorter shelf lengths let you adjust to various heights allowing more storage space. Place at least 12 inches apart vertically for stacked clothes.

Baskets, Cubbies and Drawers
Use baskets for sweaters, cubbies for shoes and purses, and drawers for storing socks and belts. The newer closet kits are adjustable so you can mix it up for your convenience.

Good to Know

Want to get the most space from a corner? For wire shelving, consider using a continuous hanger rod for easy sliding. For wood systems, first run a rod to one wall. Then place a tower or shelves about 24 inches from the adjacent wall. If you want a shelf above, use corner brackets to connect them.