How to make this closet useful?

katie8422August 9, 2011

This is the closet in what will be a nursery. It's so long and narrow. I have no idea how to make it useable! Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

From Office/Nursery

From Office/Nursery

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mvastian

It IS narrow!!!

Well, I would install shelves on the back wall as far up as I could reach. (You don't give dimensions, but it seems that using a footstool in there regularly, would be a major hassle). The shelves should be spaced just right for the things that you want to keep there (beware of wasted headroom!) and not too deep.

On the long walls I would put up a shallow shelf (like a ledge) all the way across and at the hight I could just reach.

Below it, I would cover the wall with clear shoe organizers (like the over the door type, only without the over the door hooks. I keep all underwear, socks, pajamas and simple clothes for my 2 girls rolled up in shoe organizer pockets - very handy.), ideally going down to waist high, and then just below my waist I'd install hooks.

Don't forget a good light in there!

I believe this is a good way to organize it, taking advantage of every inch, and not too cramped to go in and out to get things or put them away...

Oh! the top shelf on the back wall could be a bit higher and a bit deeper to use once every season (with a footstool) for off season stuff in bags or boxes.

Just my 2 cents!

Maria in Chios, Greece

    Bookmark   August 10, 2011 at 3:40AM
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camlan

What are the dimensions of the closet? What do you need to store in there? Is this the only closet in the room?

Maria did a great job figuring out how to make good use of that space. I think with an oddly shaped closet like that, you have to accept that you can't use every inch of the space for storage, because you need to leave room for you to get in there and get at your stuff.

The only thing I can think of to add is that if you absolutely need a hanging rod, you could switch that out for some of the shelves at the back of the closet. Baby clothes don't need much space below the rod, as they are so tiny, so you might only lose one or two shelves.

If this is the only closet in the room, for the long term, I'd consider getting an armoire for day to day clothing storage, and use the closet for toys or out of season clothing. Only the first couple of feet of that closet are going to be easily accessible, and unless you are very organized, I can see kids just dumping stuff at the front of the closet and burying the stuff at the back.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 2:12PM
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karinl

Use the power of wheels!

I have a storage locker in which I faced the quandary of wanting to make use of every square inch but wanting everything accessible. So I have my storage up the sides, and in the centre is a shelf unit on casters. When I pull that out into the hallway, I can get in and access all my stuff, and of course getting at the stuff on the rolling unit is a piece of cake.

You could use Maria's ideas, and add a narrow rolling unit up the centre. Get really good quality casters to make it work.

This is for a nursery - so your most primary need is for box-bin-drawer storage, or at least mine was at that time. That is what your pull-out unit could consist of.

Your only barrier is that there is a threshold at the door to the closet, but maybe that could be removed, or ramped?

KarinL

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 5:12PM
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mvastian

Yes, Camlan is absolutely right about the rod!

You could also add a bit of ultra accessible storage on the inside of the door itself, with hanging baskets for stuff that you get to every day, but don't want out in the open in the room...

Maria in Chios

    Bookmark   August 11, 2011 at 11:45PM
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lazy_gardens

Make a pullout or two, like a pullout pantry for it.

Have the front of the pullout with enough room for the critical items, and the back can be for less often used items.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 8:41PM
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camlan

Just wanted to say that I toured Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott lived while she wrote Little Women, this past weekend with my goddaughter. In between her parents' room and a small room that they used as a nursery for two grandsons--there was the twin of this closet! The only difference was that there was a window in the back wall.

They had it set up with clothing hung on hangers from the hooks on the side walls and a stack of suitcases and boxes at the back end.

So while this closet may not be the most useful design, it is historically accurate!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2011 at 5:25PM
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mvastian

They had much less stuff back then!!!

Maria

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 11:51AM
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katie8422

Thanks for the ideas! I think a mix of all of your ideas will be most useful for us. I'm also thinking I shouldn't do anything too permanent since my kid's needs will change over the years and a nursery closet will probably be useless to a ten year old... is that accurate? Totally guessing here. We're expecting our first!

It is 30" wide and just over 5' deep. Funny how all of the closets in my house totally suck, when new houses have the most amazing walk-in closets ever. I guess closets were very under-appreciated in 1900! :)

    Bookmark   August 18, 2011 at 12:40PM
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evaf555

Good ideas so far.

As the child gets older, maybe a Z-rack?

Here is a link that might be useful: z rack link

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 5:01PM
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