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Home Remodeling: Closet Design

Closets are far more important than most people realize. Essentially, closets act as the primary storage space for everything you own, and if you don’t have enough closet space, your stuff will begin to spill out onto your everyday life. Unfortunately, closets are often an afterthought in designing an area. Here are a few things to think about when designing the closet space of your dreams.

Storage Access

The method of accessing closets can be as important as the closets themselves. Cheap doors, not enough clearances for swinging doors, or poorly installed sliding doors will ruin your experience and make you dread your closets. It doesn’t have to be that way.

First, remember that you need to plan for both the door, and where the door will be when it is open. If you don’t give yourself enough room, you will have a closet that only half opens, making half of the space inside unusable.

Second, remember that the biggest items you can get in are limited not only by the closet size but by the door width. A narrow access space can ruin a closet. Sliding doors are good too, but remember that they will only give you access to half the closet space at a time.

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Useless Depth

A very shallow closet is limiting. Unless used as a pantry or linen closet, you probably realize already that you need a closet with enough depth to fit your belongings. On the other hand, it is common in older buildings to find closets with useless depth. These are typically a result of a poorly thought out remodeling job. For instance, in my current apartment, the primary closet has an 20 inch wide doorway, but is easily 9 feet deep. At those depths, the closet gains a level of uselessness that is hard to avoid. While you can pile your “once in a long, long while” items in there like holiday decorations and sleeping bags, you probably can’t use the closet for your daily activities.

To avoid this problem, add shelves to the back of the closet. Obtain long, narrow storage bins to slide onto each of the shelves. Just doing that will make the back of the closet suddenly come alive with new possibilities. At all costs, avoid creating a “pile” in the back because that “pile” will never be sorted through and will just get in the way. In front of your storage wall, put in hooks on the wall for things you will need frequently, and put on the floor only things that are easy to move like vacuums or shoes. Try to make the back as accessible as possible for more value out of a closet with absurd depth.

Closet Shelves

As I’ve highlighted above, I’m a big believer in closet shelves. They don’t have to look pretty, but they should be sturdy and be placed at good intervals. Think of it this way: a closet with 20 sq. ft of storage becomes a closet with 60 sq feet of storage with just two shelves. a shelf can really improve the accessibility of your items as well.

Final Tips on Outside Storage

Finally, consider clutter reducing storage in your halls and living areas. A filing cabinet, bureau, or other chest of drawers can be an attractive piece of furniture while removing much of your clutter simultaneously. If you don’t have enough closet space, think outside the box. Don’t get caught with clutter just because you couldn’t think creatively about where to hide it!