A Closet That Fits Your Needs

Decide what you need from your closet and how you want the space to fit your lifestyle
Abundant Closet Shelving

Closet With Lots of Shelving

Photo courtesy of California Closets

Photo courtesy of California Closets
By: Jeannie Matteucci

Once you have determined what you need to store, you can turn attention to the kind of storage that works best for your type of closet. Like people, no two closets are created equal, but similar-themed closets do share something in common: They require specific storage solutions. What works for organizing clothing items isn't the ideal solution for storing supplies in the kitchen pantry. And since each person has a different lifestyle. One might wear ties to work every day, while another wears them only for special occasions. Customizing storage options is definitely the way to go.

Choices in a Woman's Closet

"A velvet-lined jewelry drawers, divided into specific compartments for necklaces, earrings and bracelets, keep your favorite accessories organized and within reach," says Chris McKenry, owner of GetItTogether LA!.

  • A tie rack can display long necklaces and keep them from tangling.
  • Shallow drawers are a great storage solution for delicate undergarments, but also consider deeper drawers for storing packages of new pantyhose.
  • Sleek, long dresses work well on a pant hanger. This keeps the dress from stretching out and saves you vertical space.
  • Shelves with adjustable dividers or cubbies work for many different kinds of purses.

For one client, Chris took photos of all his client's handbags, laminated them, punched a hole in each photo and attached the images to the purse's protective cloth bag and laid the bags on their side. This way his client could maximize storage space, keep her purses safe from dust and quickly access the purse of her choice.

What Women Want In a Closet

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Needs for a Man's Closet

A man's closet needs efficiency. For example, you can double storage space by folding their pants over a hanger (instead of hanging them long).

Shelves are great for keeping men's shoes off the floor. Tie and belt racks make it easy to find accessories on busy work mornings. Drawers with dividers also work for both tie and sock storage, and you can use clips, hooks or top shelves to store sports caps.

A collection of caps can actually create a nice decorative feature for your closet. Slide-out baskets are a great tool to store items for dry cleaning. And a cube organizer can hold folded sweat pants, athletic shoes and sports accessories.

Things to Consider When Sharing a Closet

Since space is at a premium in most homes, you may need to share a closet with your significant other. Creating a harmonious closet not only keeps your house tidy, it may help maintain peace in your relationship. Deciding what you have to store is especially important for shared closets, and designating specific areas for each person is essential.

A tall cabinet of drawers can provide storage but can also serve as an important divider between the two his-and-hers zones of the closet. Baskets on each side of the closet are handy storage tools for casual flip flops or other personal items that don't need their own space on a shelf.

Closets for Kids

Since kids grow quickly and their needs and sizes change often, the experts say creating a flexible closet is the way to go. "Adjustable rods and poles allow a closet to evolve as a baby becomes a toddler, then a grade-schooler and eventually a teen with a trendy wardrobe," says Ginny Snook Scott, chief organization officer for California Closets.

A Closet that Grows with Your Little Girl

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Help your child establish good organizing and storage habits early by installing rods low where they can reach clothes and help pick out outfits. Using different-colored bins for storing toys really helps kids visualize where things need to go. A combination of baskets and cubbies provides lots of flexibility and storage options for kids of all ages.

A Boy's Closet for Every Age

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Laundry Storage

Closet Maid Laundry System

Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Hard-Working Laundry Rooms

When planning a laundry room closet, keep in mind products that you want to store and tasks that need to be completed in the space. A closet with heavy-duty upper shelves for large containers of detergent and bleach not only gives you sturdy storage, it will also keep young children and pets away from the items.

You can add hooks in the closet for brooms and mops and use baskets or bins to store sponges, household gloves and boxes of fabric softener. The inside of a laundry room closet door is a great place to add a bulletin board for reminders about picking up dry cleaning and regular household duties (like changing batteries in the smoke detector) or a place to attach pull-down shelves where you can fold clothes.

Wire Sliding Pantry Baskets

Sliding Pantry Storage Baskets

Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

The Kitchen Pantry

Multiple storage options are a great idea for a kitchen pantry closet. Sliding shelf organizers give you access to food items and help you avoid repeat spending at the supermarket. Pull-out baskets are wonderful for potatoes and onions, while wire racks are perfect for storing your favorite teas.

Also include a variety of depths in your pantry: Use shallow shelves for storing canned fruit and soups and deep shelves for paper towels and portable kitchen appliances. Shallow drawers are also a good option for both cans and spices. Transparent glass or plastic bins and containers on pull-out adjustable shelves offer easy-access to cereal, chips and pasta, so space-hogging bags and packages don't end up dominating your closet.

Garage Modular System

Garage Storage

Photo courtesy of California Closets

Photo courtesy of California Closets

Getting the Most from Your Garage

Depending on your climate, steel, wood-grain and melamine-laminate particle board closets and cabinet systems give you the closed storage you need for items you want kept away from the elements. A garage closet with a lock allows you to store pesticides and chemicals safely behind closed doors and away from children and pets. You can also create a simple "closet" under stairs to keep garbage and recycling bins out of the way.

And for ClosetMaid representative, Lisa Engel created a "mini" mudroom for her kids by attaching three vertical storage closets together with hooks for jackets and gym bags. This gives each child specific storage for balls, gloves and skates, and helps them learn to keep track of their belongings.

Next Up

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Shoe Storage and Organization Ideas

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Specialty Closet Accessories

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Go Shopping

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