A Closet That Fits Your Needs

Decide what you need from your closet and how you want the space to fit your lifestyle
Closet With Lots of 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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Make the Space Your Own

Create a place dedicated to getting ready. Unused attic space is a great option for a dressing room. Special design features in this area provides a comfortable environment, equiped with a plush dressing chair and custom shelving for personal items. Photo courtesy of California Closets

Must-Have Shoe Storage

For the fashionista who has more shoes than clothes, it's wise to consider how these favorite items are showcased. ClosetMaid has created the perfect system for pumps, boots and flats to take center stage.

Unique Uses for Organizing

Organization doesn't always have to require conventional uses of shelves and drawers. Think outside the box to capitalize on space. This tie rack displays long necklaces and keeps them from tangling. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

A Place for Every Piece

From designer sunglasses to bangle bracelets, a warm pair of gloves to your favorite leather belt, designate a place for everything. Clear dividers keep drawers tidy and items easy to find. Photo courtesy of California Closets

Photo By: John Granen

An Island Escape

Providing a space to layout clothes or extra drawers for delicates and small items, islands are popular for walk-in closets. This island pilaster is decorated with gold leaf accents for an extra touch of customization. Photo courtesy of Studio Becker

Valet Poles

A valet pole is handy if you want to plan your outfit for the next day, hang dry cleaning, or pack for a trip. These pull-out poles usually install into a vertical panel in your closet system and come in a variety of colors and finishes. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

High-Design Through Lighting

Recessed lighting creates drama by illuminating the closet design and showcasing personal belongings. A chandelier adds a touch of elegance and complements the deep color palate of this space. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

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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Stylish Solution

Typically made from coated wire or laminated wood, closet systems can add both beauty and function to a girl's room or nursery. A laminate closet system in traditional white by ClosetMaid complements this nursery's pastel color palette. Plus, the shelves and drawers in the center of the closet provide much-needed storage space for diapers, blankets, toys and more.

Adaptable Storage

Economical and easy to install, wire closet systems can be adjusted as your child grows and her storage needs change. Most kits come with shelves and rods that can be easily rearranged and enhanced with accessories, including shoe racks, hooks and baskets. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Smart Use of Space

A typical closet used to consist of a single rod with a shelf above, but new organizers let you customize your closet based on your storage needs. In this girl's closet by Rubbermaid, a double-tiered hanging system offers plenty of room for clothes, while wire shelves accommodate shoes, toys and folded garments.

Colorful Containers

Canvas bins, baskets and other containers can be a practical and aesthetically pleasing way to keep a child's closet organized. Designate containers for toys, games, art supplies and other items so she knows exactly where things belong. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Storage Within Reach

Keeping toys and personal belongings within reach is the objective as your young one begins choosing her outfits and learning to clean up. Adjustable shelving is a great storage solution for a child's closet, because it allows for flexibility as your needs change. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Style Meets Function

Closet storage can be both functional and decorative. Look for bins, baskets and other containers that coordinate with the color scheme of the bedroom. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Photo By: Atlas

Systematic Storage

Closet organization systems can help you designate separate areas for shirts, pants, skirts, shoes and toys. Creating zones in the closet makes clean-up easier and teaches your child how to stay organized. Photo courtesy of Rubbermaid

Closet Door Alternative

Folding closet doors can pinch little fingers. To keep a child's closet easily accessible but concealed when not in use, consider replacing the doors with an attractive curtain. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Thinking Vertically

In a narrow closet, it's especially important to make smart use of space. Save lower shelves for favorite clothes and toys, and use higher shelves to store out-of-season clothes and other infrequently used items. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

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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A Practical Pick

Ideal for kids' closets, wire racks are affordable, durable and easy to rearrange as your children grow. Rubbermaid offers closet systems with expanding shelves and telescoping rods to fit practically any space.

Stylish Solution

While more expensive than wire racks, laminate or wood closet organizers are aesthetically pleasing and available in a variety of finishes. In this boy's nursery by ClosetMaid, white laminate shelves and drawers complement the room's color scheme and provide plenty of storage space for diapers, bottles and other necessities.

Space Planning

Kids' rooms often have shallow reach-in closets, so it's important to configure your closet system to make the most of the space. A double-tiered hanging system paired with drawers and shelves is a great way to maximize space in a boy's closet. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Room for Toys

While clothing storage is the main function of an adult's closet, kids' closets also need space for toys, sporting equipment, art supplies and more. In this boy's closet by ClosetMaid, cubby-style shelves are perfect for storing soccer balls, football helmets and other gear.

Extra Storage

Wire drawers are a versatile addition to a boy's closet, useful for storing socks, folded garments or toys. ClosetMaid's hanging baskets can also be attached to wire shelves with no extra hardware.

Closet Accessories

Additional hooks and rods can be added to most closet systems to keep belts, hats, ties and other accessories organized. Photo courtesy of ClosetMaid

Grown-Up Design

With the right materials, a boy's closet can be just as mature as an adult's closet. Designed by Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., this maple shelving system with a sienna stain adds a sophisticated touch to a boy's bedroom. Wooden cubbies provide an attractive way to store shoes and hats.

Closet Maid Laundry System

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.

Sliding Pantry Storage 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 Storage

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.

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