Closet Organization Systems

Step-by-step tips for organizing your closet, once and for all.

Black & White Reach-In Closet

Modern Reach-In Closet

Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

The first step to determining the best storage closet organization system is to inventory what you have and review how you use your closet. The National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) agrees that there are no "cookie cutter" solutions to getting organized and staying organized. Instead it is a process and the right systems, tools and habits can increase calm, even in the most hectic household.

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Approaching a closet with a plan can make it much less daunting. Prepare a staging area and empty your closet, sorting things into whichever piles best suit your family. Some categories that we've found useful are:

  • Keep - Sort this pile into current and seasonal so that you can assess what needs to be within easy reach and what can be stored away. Clothes seldom get better with age and sentimentality has to be balanced with practicality. If you haven't worn it in a year or if you have 10 others just like it throw it in the Donate/Sell pile.
  • Put where it belongs - Closets can become catch-all spaces and toys, tools and party supplies can wind up creating clutter.
  • Donate/Sell - Remember to ask for a donation receipt for when tax time rolls around and consider taking children along. It's a great way to instill the valuable lesson of charity and teaches them to be able to part with things.

Once you've narrowed things down to what you are keeping, measure the closet's space so that you can decide on the best closet organization system for your needs. Consider how you want to use your closet and what items are most often used and then take an inventory of your seasonal clothes, shoes and accessories.

Valet hooks, hangers, rods, double rods, shelf dividers, plastic storage containers, baskets, bags and bins are all great ways to customize closet storage systems to fit each person's needs. Double-hung rods can be a terrific to maximize space in a child's closet and many systems are adjustable enough that they can grow and change as your needs change.

There is a closet organization system to fit every budget. Custom wood systems can create a boutique look in your closet and be a lasting part of your home's design. Coated wire or melamine shelf-and-bracket systems are available in a wide range of price points. They can be professionally installed but most are easy enough to do it yourself.

Coated wire closet organization systems are economical and versatile. The vinyl or epoxy-coated wire systems provide for easy display and allow for air circulation. They are durable if installed properly and can be adjusted as your needs change. Boxes, baskets and bins can increase the versatility of these systems.

Melamine systems use ultra-thin paper that has been saturated with resin and either cold-pressed or thermally fused to particle board. Quality can vary greatly and it is important to install them properly. Melamine systems usually come in white or wood grain finishes.

Next Up

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Specialty Closet Accessories

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