Design Your Closet for the Real World
By building your closet based only on how much hanging space you need, even a small bedroom can retain a feeling of spaciousness, with room for a large bed, a desk and maybe more. You can also end up spending less than half the money you would if you opted for a full-wall closet.
Tip: Hang the top rod high enough so you have enough space between the bottom of the hanging clothes and the second rod underneath.
Positioning shelves above the hanging space is a smart move ergonomically, and making your shelves just 14 inches deep ensures you won’t lose things at the back. Space the shelves only 10 inches apart and things won’t migrate to the never-never. You can stack right to the top of the shelf because there’s no need to reach to the back. Do it this way and you’ll hardly ever need to reorganize your wardrobe — things have nowhere to go.
Tip: Shelf widths at 12-inch increments are best because folded clothes average 12 inches across and 14 inches deep.
In my son’s room, seen here, we have deep drawers under the bed for shoes and sports gear. This is great because he can just dump them in and then open the drawers and see them easily when he needs them (although apparently not as easily as he can see them on the floor!). This is a much better option than storing the items at the bottom of a closet or under the bed.
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Whether you choose regular shelves, slide-out shelves or drawers, there’s no need to give shoes too much room to move — they’re usually only 12 inches deep and will fit into some pretty tight places.
This drawer method allows you to use the full depth of the closet, and makes shoes easy to see and access.
What does work well are racks for belts, ties and scarves, which slide in and out. Or if you don’t mind things flapping on the back of a hinged door, you can install racks there.
A shelving system such as this stores just as much as a standard built-in closet and for a fraction of the price. I installed something similar to this in my laundry rather than putting a built-in closet into a temporary bedroom for my daughter. Now that my daughter has left home, I have excellent versatile storage in the laundry room. The system is easily adjustable, so I can use it for anything and add shelves if needed.