So you’ve cleaned out your closet (part 1), taken inventory and brainstormed your layout (part 2), now it’s time for the fun part…. time to organize. Stop groaning & rolling your eyes, it’s fun, for real…
If you’re closet needs a complete makeover, don’t despair, you’ve got several options. The most expensive (but worth every penny) option is to have a custom closet built and installed specifically for your needs. We’ve all seen drool worthy closets built by California Closets in magazines and now they’ve opened a location on Oahu. On the Valley Isle, we have The Maui Closet Company. They’ve been in business for 20 years, including building my system for one side of my new construction walk in (6 x 11). The first step is to meet with one of their designers who will work with you to sketch out the closet of your dreams . Their carpenters and installers will then take care of your buildout. A custom system can be designed for a walk in, reach in or an open system.
Another option is to buy a pre fab or component system. You do your own design, purchase a starter kit and other components. You then install yourself or hire a carpenter/handyman to do it for you. I absolutely loved this pre fab Allen Roth set from Lowes which is made of gorgeous solid wood but it didn’t quite meet my needs.
Both Lowes (Rubbermaid) and Home Depot (Martha Stewart) carry systems which are sold by components so you can customize to your needs. The sites for Rubbermaid and Martha Stewart Closets also have interactive online tools for planning. The Container Store sells the Elfa system which goes on sale twice a year.
If a custom closet isn’t in your budget, there is a ton you can do with an existing closet. You can add a double hanging rod for separates, stack wooden or plastic cubes on the top shelf or on the floor for sweaters, jeans or accessories. Hooks or over the door organizers for shoes, belts or jewelry. Stacking pretty boxes on your top shelf will let you use every inch of vertical space. Baskets are great to hold canvas tote bags or jeans. You could put in an extra shelf or two (or hire a handyman if you’re tool challenged like me). On the non custom side of my walk in, I have handbags, jewelry trays, tennis gear and yoga mats on a chrome industrial shelf . I also have my shoe organizers from City Mill, which were reasonably priced and I was able to put them together myself with just a drill (but a screwdriver would’ve worked too).
Are you still finding your reach in just isn’t big enough or you don’t have a closet? You could consider putting a closet system along one side of your bedroom either leaving it open or installing curtains via a ceiling track. Or if you have an extra room, you could turn it into a dressing room. I had a two bedroom rental for just little ole me and my stuff but the rooms were tiny. So in one bedroom I had just my bed and nightstands because nothing else would fit (it even took some clever maneuvering to get the nightstands in). In the 2nd bedroom, I placed my dresser, shoe organizers and cube shelving around the perimeter leaving the center open to pump up the air mattress for guests (super comfy by the way, I’ve had to sleep on one for months on more than one occasion and have no complaints). Blogger lovemaegan turned an extra room into a muli use space as both her office and dressing room. If you’re handy you can even build your own open closet as Ana White did.
You could also search for opportunities to store some of the excess and give your closet a breather, think outside the box, literally. A rolling rack or a rack made out of industrial piping could hold pieces you love to look at. If you have a studio space, you could use an armoire or wardrobe cabinets as a room divider (Ikea makes some great ones…sigh, I wish they’d expand to Hawaii). A floating shelf placed above your bedroom door could hold handbags. Got a credenza in the dining room which gets no use? It would be a wonderful place to store jewelry trays, handbags and sunglasses. Just put a pretty mirror on the wall and make it your last stop before leaving the house. I’ve also seen someone turn a hallway and stairway to nowhere into a storage opportunity for shoes and accessories. How does a hallway or stairway to nowhere happen? When a house has been divided into several residences.
With a little streamlining, planning and an open mind, you can find your own organized closet bliss…
Click here to see Dina’s entire awesome dressing room at her blog Honey & Fitz. Ana White’s site includes plans for her $200 custom self built open closet. You’ll love one of my favorite office & closet spaces, LoveMaegan’s office/closet.