Although daydreams of a room-sized closet space are an all-too-common fantasy for many residents of smaller homes and apartments, there are some effective, practical ways to deal with too little storage space.
If you fear opening the door to your closet because you find it difficult to face the chaos within, try the following ways to expand your storage capacity and organize your belongings:
Take a lesson from retailers, and stack — don’t hang — when possible. Sweaters, shirts, jeans and casual clothes can all be folded and stacked, either in cubbies or in open baskets turned sideways. Hang long clothes, tailored coats and jackets, suits and formal wear. Utilize double hangers and those that hook together to group related items. They require minimal space. Or, purchase a closet doubling rod to multiply lineal footage.
Shop your local bed and bath store to find creative solutions for organizing small, or odd, items. There are belt, tie and scarf hangers, baseball cap racks, clear-pocketed jewelry and accessory hangers, and over-the-door shoe racks that not only add space, but allow you to select individual items quickly and easily. Think outside the box, but find creative containers to corral your belongings.
If you have sufficient height, consider installing a high rod for “second season clothing.” Then, each season, sort and organize appropriately. Alternatively, you could install one or two extra shelves to hold containers or luggage. Just be sure to keep the items you use daily down below. Install hooks on walls to hold hats and bags. Narrow shelves also can be handy for small items such as belts, bags and accessories.
Stack and Store
If your closet already has shelves or cubbies, you have a head start on organization. Your goal is to find containers which will allow you to spot what you need quickly. Open baskets and boxes, clear plastic containers or labeled storage bins all work well. Keep function in mind. Stackable containers are perfect if you have the vertical space.
Watch Your Step
Shoes do not have to be kept on the floor. Try stacking some shoes in clear plastic boxes on shelves, or install an over the door shoe bag. Hang a plastic rack for running shoes and slippers, or find a multi-level rack with bars or rods. By freeing some floor space for closed storage containers, you maximize your closet’s potential.
If you have a walk-in closet, add a storage cube or a small chest of drawers to hold some convenience items, perhaps a lint remover, shoeshine equipment, refresher spray, a steamer or a repair kit.
Apply the same principles to any closet in your home. If you have open shelving in your laundry room, invest in colorful plastic totes or canvas bins to match your home decor. Brighten up the space while you stylishly stow the utility items and cleaning supplies that you use often.
In your pantry, decorative baskets and plastic organizers can help you group such things as baking supplies, cooking oils, canned goods, and after-school snacks for the kids.
Hooks on the walls, either with or without pegboard, are invaluable in helping to create an organized garage. You’ll be amazed how easy it becomes to keep it neat, as well.
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+Paul Reichman is the founder of BedBathStore. Using decades of experience in home fashion, Paul offers quality storage solutions, bath and home furnishings at affordable prices through www.bedbathstore.com.