How Can I Make The Most Of My Limited Closet Space?

One of the most significant needs of a home is sufficient closet space. When purchasing a new home, more and more potential buyers consider storage space one of the key factors in selecting the right home for their family. 

Older homes, townhomes, semi-attached homes or small ranches, like many located on the Island, usually do not provide enough closet space to neatly store all the "stuff" we buy as consumers.  Many larger families, no matter what size home, need organized and efficient storage. Whether it is the lack of pantry space, or storage for clothing, electronics, and tools, sufficient and adequate storage is always a challenge.

When it comes to a point where your belongings are overflowing, and can no longer fit into your existing closet space, it is time to take action.  Living in a disorganized and cluttered space, creates an unwelcoming feeling and can adversely alter your mood, and even clutter your mind.   

Organizing your closets and storage space, does not only include maximizing your existing space to hold all your stuff, it also includes discarding items that you are no longer using or need. This is not an easy task, and may require the project to be completed in stages. 

Tackle one closet or one room at a time so that you're not overwhelmed.  Prepare a staging area where you can empty your closet out.  Then sift through your "keep" items, "donate" items", "sell" items, "store away" items and most important, the items that just need to be thrown away.  This should reduce the amount of stuff that needs to go back into your closets. 

When setting aside your "keep" items, think of things that you use regularly and that still have a place in your day to day life.  A pair of jeans that is 10 years old and 3 sizes too small, may be better suited in the donate, or sell pile.  Clothing or items of sentimental value, that are not used every day, can be place in the "store away" pile, but should certainly not be in closets that you access daily.

When donating clothing, housewares, electronics, toys or tools, remember to ask for a donation receipt.  When tax time rolls around, these receipts can be used to reduce your tax liability. 

Once you've sifted through all your stuff, and narrowed down the things that have to go back into your closets, check to see if your existing closet configuration is adequate to accommodate everything that you are putting back in.  Also consider how you want to use your closet and what items are most often used, so that they are positioned in an area that is most accessible. 

Closet systems, make organizing your closet and maximizing your storage space easy.  Well planned closet systems provide a neat area to place the items you use regularly, and can make the most of every inch of your closet.  With the custom options on the market today, you can make shelves deeper, add drawers that you never had, and utilize every inch of space vertically.  Valet hooks, double rods, shelf dividers, innovative storage containers, baskets and bins are all great ways to customize and maximize your storage space.

One of the easiest ways to get the most out of your closet is to install a 2nd rod under a single rod closet, especially in children's rooms.  Or if trying to maximize a closet for women or teen girls, try separating an area where you can double hang shirts, pants and skirts to double the hanging area, and then set aside a single rod area to accommodate long dresses and gowns.

There is a closet organization system to fit every budget. Coated wire shelves and rods are typically used in many new home closets, unlike the wood rods and shelves of the past. However, with today's new shelving systems, there is no limit to the creative ways you can maximize every closet in your home.  Even if you don't have a closet, custom closet furniture can be created with no construction or need to hire a contractor.

Closet systems can be professionally installed, or for those that are handy, can be self-installed.  With every closet installation though, it is important to properly anchor the closet system to support the weight of the shelving and the contents that will be placed inside. When removing existing wire or wood shelves, there will be some minor damage to sheetrock. Plan ahead to make sure your walls are repaired and repainted prior to your new closet installation.

Closet systems are available in a wide range of price points.  Custom wood systems can create a boutique look in your closet and can be incorporate to match the interior design of your home, but are most expensive.  Coated wire systems are economical and versatile, and offer a variety of add-ons to store shoes, ties, sweaters, belts, etc., however, may not provide the finished look you desire. Melamine systems, comprised of particle board, and then covered with a laminate, offer a variety of wood grain or solid color finishes, and are an affordable alternative to custom wood systems.

No matter what type of custom closet system you choose, there will be options for shelving depth, hanging and valet rods, drawers, shoe storage, jewelry organizers, tie and belt racks, and hooks. Whether you are going to your local big box store to select a closet system, or you consult with a professional closet organizing company to create the closet of your dreams, maximizing the area of your closet is pivotal in organizing your stuff.

Don't forget that shelving and closet systems are also available for pantry closets, and garage or basement areas.  Don't limit the organization of your home to just your bedroom closets. Maximizing every space of your home will allow you to live clutter free and get more organized.

John DeFrancesco, President      Superior Garage & Home Organizing

(718) 727-7022       www.superiororganizing.com