The following is a guest post from Dane O’Leary of Modernize.com. Dane is a full-time freelance writer and design blogger. He has degrees in psychology and anthropology with additional study in journalism, graphic design, and public relations. Dane is currently working on his debut novel.
While many of us are looking to shop less and downsize our wardrobes, we still need to consider how to best use the closet space in our homes. The ideas in this post can work for both homeowners and renters alike. I hope you’ll find some inspiration here that you can to make your closets work better for you.
When shopping for a new home or even a new rental, most people have a list of criteria that must be met. The new abode must have a certain number of bedrooms and bathrooms, the preferred type of kitchen, some prefer a separate dining space or to have a formal entryway, and the list goes on. While the details may vary from person to person, there’s one thing that’s usually on everybody’s lists: closet space.
Homes that lack sufficient closet space require some creativity in order to maximize what storage space is available. The good news is that there are a number of ways to maximize or enhance the efficiency and storage capability of your closet space. In fact, even those with plenty of closet space can benefit from these creative storage solutions, as they can help you to be more organized and keep the contents of your closets in order.
Do-It-Yourself Closet Mods
Whether your closet is small or large, one of the best ways to enhance your existing storage space is by rolling your sleeves up and creating things like built-ins, shelves, and extra rods for hanging. The standard closet usually has a single rod at the top for hanging clothes and sometimes a shelf above, but that doesn’t give you much in terms of storage and organization. In fact, the large space beneath your hanging clothes can easily become an indistinguishable heap. However, this blank slate is an opportunity to incorporate creative solutions that will turn your closet into the organized, efficient closet that you need.
The simplest do-it-yourself closet project would be to install additional rods for hanging clothes. Even if it’s just one additional rod about midway between the top rod and your closet floor, this will double your closet’s hanging space and prevent you from having to cram and stuff clothes into a single rod, which could break or fall down due to the weight of too much clothing.
Installing an additional rod is pretty inexpensive—all you’ll need is the rod and something to attach it to the walls in your closet, perhaps like what you’d use for a shower curtain, both of which can be purchased at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot—and simple enough to do yourself in minimal time.
An alternative to installing extra hanging rods would be to incorporate shelving into your closet. Depending on how you feel about shelves or how much shelving you’d need, you could go small and simply put together a small ready-to-assemble shelving unit to sit on the floor of your closet, or you could build your own wall-to-wall shelving units, giving you an organized way of storing your shoes, hats, accessories, and so on. Larger shelving units can be more of an investment, but it’s still not all that expensive in the grand scheme of things.
Additionally, if you opt for a larger shelving system, you might want to measure your closet and sit down to create a blueprint for them before just jumping right into it. Don’t be intimidated; shelves are one of the simplest and most straightforward do-it-yourself projects you could possible do. There a number of tutorials across the web (like this one, this one, and this one, for starters) and on YouTube if you need guidance or design inspiration.
If you’re not a handyman or handywoman, or if you simply don’t trust yourself with a hammer, there are a variety of ways you can “hack” your closet to enhance existing space. For example, have you ever thought about putting a chest-of-drawers into your closet? Instead of building shelves of drawers, you can achieve a similar effect by putting a dresser or chest-of-drawers into your closet.
You can find these pieces at yard sales or thrift stores for very low cost. Although giving the chest-of-drawers a face-lift is optional since it’ll be hidden in your closet, it might be fun to paint it a unique or fun color. This is also an opportunity to try something bold, something you wouldn’t normally do. You could decoupage maps or newspaper clippings on the drawers or try your hand at stenciling. As an alternative, laying lace over this piece of furniture and spray-painting over it can be both fun and elegant.
You could also install a single floating shelf on brackets—the type of shelves you can find at your local general store that come in a box with everything you need to install except a hammer—in your closet, then use those shelves to hold baskets or some other types of containers. You could “stack” smaller shelves vertically to create a column of storage containers, or put up a single wide shelf lower in your closet to hold containers.
For more tips and tricks, head to Modernize.com. Modernize is where you can go to get inspired, see what’s possible, and connect with professionals who can help make your dream home a reality. (NOTE: This was not a sponsored post.)
I’ll be back next week with my June accountability post and an update on my “Love It, Wear It” Challenge (LIWI – see previous posts here). I wish you all a wonderful weekend – and for those in the United States, I wish you a Happy Independence Day (ironically, I got married on that very day 14 years ago…).