Get creative to maximize space in smaller closets
By Kathleen Ostrander (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Posted Jul 24, 2009 @ 12:00 AM
Shelves, dividing up how things are hung up and using a critical eye to look at space are ways to get the most out of an ordinary closet. Homeowners dealing with small closets and an abundance of items look to the professionals for a little bit of help.
Bill Rodgers from Closet Designs and Brooke Peterson from The Closet Guy both say modern builders put a closet in the plans, but still go with one shelf and one rod for hanging clothes.
“Builders don’t allow enough room for the average person’s clothes. Most of the closet interiors are just sort of an afterthought. Most are just one rod and one shelf, and that just doesn’t do it anymore,” Rodgers said.
Both Rodgers and Peterson will come to a home, look at the closets and do some measuring to see what space is available and then do a quick personality-type profile of who is going to be using the closet.
“An instant way of getting more room in a standard 8-foot reach-in closet is doubling up on the hanging space. That works even if you’ve got a professional that needs space for suits, because the pants and suit coats will work out that way,” Peterson said.
Rodgers adds that a woman professional who prefers dresses over suits might need a different type of hanging arrangement, and then wall space can be used with pullout hanging areas. “And then there are shoes,” Rodgers adds with a laugh. “Most people have too many shoes, but we can make a place for them.”
Larger closets, like those called “linen closets” by builders, can benefit by better shelving, Peterson said. “You can increase your space and options by doing two sets of shelves. So a 36-inch-wide closet can have four or five shelves, or two sets of 18-inch shelves.”
He said the 18-inch shelves can be better customized and used like shelving in a refrigerator where the height of the shelves can be varied for a number of different storage options.
Of course, all bets are off for improving storage if the closet has a bi-fold door that works like an accordion. That severely limits shelving and options for using the back of a door to increase room.
Both said walk-in closets allow for a wide diversity of shelving and hanging options as well as drawer setups for accessories as well as jewelry.
“You can put shoes, sweaters and jeans on shelves and have lots more room,” said Peterson.
Rodgers said a child’s closet can be customized nicely, too. “You put the really nice clothes that Mom or Dad would need to get down on the top rod and the lower rod is accessible to a child and the everyday clothes can hang there.”
There is still plenty of room for bins for toys or large toys, such as dollhouses, to be slid into the closet, Rodgers said.
The two companies charge per job and after talking to the homeowner, have an estimate ready for the job as well as the time it will take. Usually within two weeks after the initial appointment, the job is finished, they said.
Kathleen Ostrander can be reached at 747-1296.