What’s the most important feature of your dream house? For a lot of women – and well-dressed men – it very well could be the closet! But unless you have money in your bank and space in your home to build a legendary closet like Mariah Carey, the Kardashians, or former Filipino presidential wife Imelda Marcos who had more than 3,000 pairs of shoes, you may have to get a little creative. But don’t despair because with some planning and design fore sight, you can turn any changing area – big or small – into your dream closet.
Here are 50 tips to do create your dream closet right at home:
1. For the things you don’t regularly wear like formal attire, seasonal gear, rarely worn shoes, and other items, wrap them in plastic and store them in bins or boxes so they don’t take up valuable space.
2. Organize your clothing by type, so shirts go together, pants go together, etc. You can even put all the jeans together, dress shirts together, and the like. This will help you catalog everything you own.
3. For those organized personality types who want to take it a step further, line everything up by color, including shirts, t-shirts, pants, etc.
4. When hanging things in your closet, start with the shortest items and then gradually go longer. This allows you to see everything at once.
6. Screwing in some hooks to every available wall or the back of your closet door is a fantastic way to find a home for more clothing, hats, or even purses. Just make sure to put your clothes on their on a hanger so the hook doesn’t wear them out.
7. Try to set up your closet with a door that pulls out so you’ll have even more space to walk in and you capture more natural light. A folding door is another option if it doesn’t set up well to have a door open out.
8. When you’re designing your closet and mapping out where shelves will go, keep in mind that a folded stack of clothing usually is about 12” wide. So a shelf that is at least 36” wide can hold three stacks of clothes.
9. And when you’re designing space for your hanging bars, you probably don’t want to go longer than 3.5’ to 4’ each because they weight will start sagging the rod in the middle. They do have re-enforcements if you need to go longer.
10. To keep vertically stacked clothing segregated and from falling into the next stack, insert plastic or wood dividers in between.
12. Add reflective surfaces to the backs and undersides of shelves to echo more natural light. You can even install stick-on LED lights that are battery operated and turn on with one easy push.
13. Just be careful with regular light bulbs because they get too hot for a small space like a closet and could become a fire hazard.
14. You can also add mirrors as decoration and to catch more light. Hang small mirrors under your shelves or as the top surface of a chest of drawers or island. You can even hang a mirror on the ceiling to show all of your nice clothing.
15. Speaking of mirrors, every closet needs a full-length mirror for you to see how good you’re looking, so hang one on the wall. But if you are short on space, you can hang a mirror on the back or even front of the closet door or on the wall right outside your closet, where natural light is more flattering (and accurate).
16. You’ll want to highlight your favorite purses and shoes, so buy a nice rack for them or even pull out drawers.
17. If you don’t have room for that, plastic shoe organizers that hang on the back of the door or on the wall work great. Either way, avoid keeping shoes cluttered on the floor of your closet.
18. By the way, those hanging plastic shoe organizers work great to fill with accessories and even jewelry because everything will be visible and easily accessible.
19. Line up purses upright so they don’t lose form. You can store the ones you’re not using or that are out of season wrapped in plastic in those storage boxes.
20. If your closet is big enough, a fold out ironing board is a nice touch. They had these in the kitchen of a lot of older homes from the 1960’s and earlier.
22. Utilize plenty of deep drawer space by folding your shirts and sweaters and lining them up vertically, instead of stacked on top of each other. Keep them neat with dividers and that way, you’ll be able to still see everything and store much more.
23. Most people stop the shelves as high as they can reach, but maximize space by going higher, all the way to about 12” from the ceiling. You can keep lesser-used items up there and have a fold out stepping stool for you to easily access them.
24. Install a few nice shelves right outside your closet door to display your nicest hats, baskets, purses, and quality items. If the door is open and the mirror is there anyway, it won’t look out of place. You can mix in a few pictures in frames, wine bottles, flower vases, etc. to ease the transition.
25. We’ve heard of people who turn their unused attic space into an open, airy closet! It might be easier and less expensive than you think. Any inconvenience of climbing the attic stairs will easily be outweighed by the feeling of having your own personal closet haven with plenty of space.