Arrange everyday clothing in a child's closet on a low-hanging rod.

How to Redesign a Closet

by Mary Cockrill

Transform any ordinary closet into a space that works hard for you. Redesign a closet to maximize the available space for your specific storage needs. The size and type of a particular closet, as well as its designated purpose, has a significant impact on the best design. For example, a layout for your child's closet is vastly different for your home office closet. Opt for closet organizational tools that fit your design budget and accommodate your predetermined storage needs.

Planning the Redesign

The first step in any closet redesign is to remove everything and sort the items into three piles: keep, donate and rubbish. Divide the "keep" pile into smaller groups by stacking like items together to give you an idea of the type and quantity of organizers you need to include in your redesign. Next, measure the space inside the closet to create a computer-generated or pencil-and-paper sketch, which can help you develop a functional layout. If you're drawing your sketch on paper, use graph paper with 1/2-inch squares, making the sides of each square equal to 12 actual inches. Pencil in the framework for your desired redesign, such as shelves, cabinets, hanging rods, drawers and storage cubicles. For a computer sketch, many closet organizer companies offer free online virtual planners that allow you to insert your closet's dimensions and play with a variety of closet organizing design features.

Master Bedroom

Plan your master bedroom closet around the items you intend to store. If you share the closet with another person, think about his storage needs as well. Hang two pole rods -- an upper and lower -- to double the space for hanging shirts, skirts, blouses, trousers and shorts. Install a third pole rod for longer clothing items, such as dresses and sport coats. Use matching wood hangers for an organized, cohesive look. Add a vertical shelving unit for folded T-shirts and workout attire. Store dressy hats in decorative boxes on the upper shelves and stash seasonal clothing -- mittens, gloves, scarves, sweaters -- in labeled plastic bins on the top shelves. Stash shoes in clear plastic containers stacked on the vertical shelves for easy identification and to keep them dust-free. Add a small fold-down ironing board, tie-and-belt rack and jewelry chest if you need them.

Home Office

Convert a plain closet in a home office into an efficient storage area for work-related supplies. Redesign the closet to include cabinets with hinged doors to hide bulky office supplies or equipment, such as label makers, extension cords and computer-related accessories. Install open shelves to hold reams of printer paper, notebooks, legal pads and binders. Stash small office supplies -- boxes of paper clips, rubber bands, pens, pencils, tape -- in attractive woven baskets and slide them onto the shelves. Add a vertical file cabinet in the closet to house old files and records you're required to keep.

Kid's Room

Get your kid's messy room under control with a new closet design. Add a low- hanging rod filled with his everyday clothing that he can reach by himself. Install an upper rod for dressy clothing, such as slacks or suit jackets. Place a low-profile chest inside the closet to store underclothing, socks and pajamas, and attach a picture or word label to the front of each drawer to show your child where everything goes. Place a tiered shoe rack on the floor underneath a low-hanging rod so your youngster can put away his own shoes. Affix hooks to the back of the closet door for him to hang his coat and jacket. Attach the hooks low enough for him to reach without adult help.

About the Author

Mary Cockrill's education and certifications in interior design and home staging have allowed her to author numerous home-related articles. Cockrill has been a top design consultant for a renowned home store and is the owner of Starwood Home & Gifts, LLC, an interior design, decorating and home staging business. She holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education with a comprehensive major in office administration.

Photo Credits

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