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Making the most of a small closet

Making the most of a small closet

By Clare Kumar, Streamlife

If your storage space is under pressure, it’s necessary to make every cubic inch count. Designing a closet around what you own with a flexible closet system, instead of trying to fit your possessions into an existing closet layout will almost always lead to a more effective and efficient use of space.

Clothes closets have a standard depth of 23-24”. This allows a hanging bar to be placed about 12” from the back wall so clothes freely clear the wall at the back and the closet doors in front. The adjustable nature of the Rubbermaid Configurations system means that it’s easy to go wall-to-wall with the track and add the right mix of hanging, shelf space and drawers for you.

You’ll also want to think about taking full advantage of the vertical space in the closet. Install the track as high as necessary to take advantage of the interior height of the closet.

Step by step
Empty Closet

Adding shelves will help make use of the often cavernous upper reaches inside. Be sure to measure the narrowest access point (often between the top of the closet door and a shelf) and choose items to store on upper shelves accordingly. Ideal candidates are lightweight items such as pillows or extra bedding. Shoe boxes can be used to contain smaller items, and are right sized for manoeuvering in and out of place. Avoid heavy or breakable items that can be awkward to manage or which could hurt you if they fall from high shelves.

Group clothing by length so that you can double up hanging space by hanging shorter items in two rows, one over the other. A closet you use every day has to be comfortable to access so set your upper bar at a height you can reach easily. Avoid having clothing from the top row hide or tangle with hangers on the bottom row.

Full Closet

Use the Configurations upright extensions to continue the system further down the wall so you can add bars, shelves and accessories at lower levels. Using the pant rack as an alternative to folding pants over traditional hangers will save you several vertical inches normally lost to the neck of regular hangers. It might not seem like much, but it may allow you to keep several more pairs of shoes!

If you have taken care of all the items to be hung or stored in drawers or on shelves, consider using remaining space from the floor up to add a laundry hamper, container for dry cleaning, or stackable cubbies or bins.

Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, Clare Kumar has inspired thousands of people to live an organized lifestyle since 2005. Simply put, Clare creates ‘flow’. Perhaps you’ve seen Clare in her favourite role - sharing tips and tricks as an organizing expert on TV.