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Five Steps For Organizing Your Closet Space Part 3

Updated on September 22, 2009

Expand Your Space

After paring down your needs, inventorying your essentials and measuring your closet, you may find that the space is still too small to fit everything. Don't panic, plan. See if space within the closet itself be expanded.

If the closet is deep enough to enter, consider forfeiting its walk-in capacity by rearranging rod storage so you can install one rod behind the other. It's better to have two rods, so your clothes can hang at reasonable intervals, than to have everything on one rack, squeezed tightly and inaccessibly together. Everyday articles go on the front rack. Equally important but less frequently used articles go on the rear rack.

Is there dead space directly above the closet, or in the attic, that you can appropriate? Opening the closet upward might give you the space you need to store items that may be essential but do not get frequent use.

Is there adjacent space you could "borrow" to add lateral storage? You can't cut into structural walls, of course, but investigation might uncover a pocket of space that you've been unaware of. If the closet in your bedroom abuts a guest-room closet, loss of space in one closet might prove a welcome bonus in another. Depending on what lies behind the closet, you might be able to carve a niche into the lower portion of the back wall; a carpenter or contractor may be needed, unless you're particularly handy.
By all means don't try any Do It Yourself projects unless you have experience in the various disciplines such as carpentry and electrical. It is never as easy as it looks on those DIY shows. Those people on TV have the benefit of years of professional experience and a TV crew that allows them to set up shots and reshoot things that mess up. You don't!

If the layout of your home is favorable and structural supports don't get in the way, creating a shallow storage niche might not compromise adjoining space. A shallow niche could provide additional shelf storage for dress shoes, winter boots, a pileup of old bank or tax records you have no room for elsewhere, or an assortment of items too clumsy for desk or dresser drawers.

Seek Alternative Storage

If you have nowhere to go within the closet for additional storage and your needs still exceed capacity, consider deconstructing your closet.

Perhaps there is space in another room for a clothing, linen or shoe armoire to store some of the items that have been absorbing precious closet space.

Seasonal clothes could be stored flat in under-bed containers and sealed tight. Cedar blocks will keep clothing fresh and moth-free. A handsome new or old trunk placed at the foot of the bed could be a decorative addition, if you have room, and also a handy spot for stashing blankets, pillows, bed linens, even fitness gear and winter clothes. Basement or attic sites are suitable for off-season clothing storage only if protected from dampness. Dehumidifiers and ventilating fans can help prevent humidity and mildew build-up.

Hall closets, if properly organized, can be subdivided. Keep one part free for guest use, the other part for family belongings, which can be tucked out of sight in zippered bags.

In consideration of visitor safety and in sustaining a welcoming spirit, be sure to store hockey sticks, fishing poles and bowling balls elsewhere.

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