Creating a Closet That Works

Wooden Hangers

Closet design articles often seem to be written only for the serious clotheshorse—someone with enough designer shoes and handbags to fill a small shop. If you take the time to read through these sorts of articles and discard about half the information, you can come up with some useful suggestions that work for people with more normal closet needs. Luckily, we’ve done some of that reading for you!

These authors have consensus on a few key tips:

Take inventory. Set aside clothes that you no longer wear or bought on a mistaken whim, as these are perfect for donation, consignment, or friendly swaps. Toss anything worn or broken that can’t be mended. An inventory also helps you understand how much of the space should be devoted to longer or shorter hanging items.

Keep the things you wear most within arms reach and at eye level. Everything else should be accessible but stored higher or lower so it isn’t distracting or in the way.

Many companies offer boxes,trays, bins, and other sorts of storage systems, and it is worth investing in them for off-season clothing and linens, small accessories, and shoes. Basically, things that create the most clutter and/or don’t stack well need to be corralled by other means.

Choosing one system of hangers (rather than a hodgepodge of Fred Meyer specials and wire hangers from the dry cleaners!) cuts down the visual clutter.

A custom closet system is expensive but, if well-designed, may reduce your need for bulky storage furniture like bureaus or armoires.

Keeping items off the floor will make the whole space look neater and it will definitely be easier to clean.