Start with a basic framework of shelves, poles, and drawers. These homeowners chose the Elfa Decor system with walnut accents, available at The Container Store, to help them get organized. To begin, gather your closet's measurements and an estimate of your belongings. Trained Elfa planners will help you choose the right components.
Here, the wife owned only a few long dresses and had hung them in a hall closet. She chose double hanging bars to create more room for tops, skirts, and pants. Shelves along the back wall keep handbags within easy reach. Out-of-season clothes are stowed in drawers at the front of the closet, and shoes were moved onto shelves and built-in racks.
TIP: Place a trash can in your closet to conveniently toss out price tags and dry-cleaner bags.
With no dresser in the bedroom, the husband had to store all of his clothes in the closet. Double hanging bars accommodate dress shirts and pants, while shelves are perfect for stacking T-shirts and sweaters. A hanging hat rack organizes his baseball caps.
Storage Containers can be pretty as well as functional. Decorative bandboxes, such as these from Prairie Primitives, are perfect for tucking away hats, scarves, and other accessories. Made of dense, brightly colored foam, the EVA Storage Stool can serve as a small hamper or store blankets and sweaters.
Ties and belts fit neatly into an Elfa shelf basket customized with walnut dividers. Roll ties to help prevent creasing or wrinkles. Platinum Shelf Baskets, Decor Walnut Shelf Basket Dividers.
Plastic shoe boxes are ideal for storing off-season shoes or special-occasion pairs that get minimal wear. Shoes stay dust-free, and the clear plastic makes it a snap to find the pair you're searching for.
Drawer frames from Elfa's Decor line allow for flexible storage; choose any combination of drawer depths to suit your needs. Drawers glide open on integrated wheels, and wire frames make it easy to see the contents. Add plastic drawer liners to prevent small items from slipping through the cracks.
TIP: Think vertically. Don't let those few extra feet between your closet's top shelf and the ceiling go to waste. Install floor-to-ceiling shelving and store rarely used items up there. For instant access, get a handy folding step stool, such as the lightweight Step 90 Stepladder (momastore.org).
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Reprinted with permission of Hearst Communications, Inc.