Looking for clothing closet help

gardenwebberOctober 30, 2008

I have a built in closet in our bedroom that is shaped like this:

Is it just me, or is this awkward? Rebuilding it is not really an option due to its location in the home, so we are trying to revamp the inside of it.

We were using it for general storage but would like to converet it to hold our (DH and I) clothes. It seems a bit small, but in addition to this closet we will each have a dresser.

I am having a hard time figuring out where to put a hanging bar and shelving, and in what direction it all should go, how many shelves/bars we should have and how high it/they should be.

DH and I don't own much formal wear. He has a "business casual" wardrobe, and I own 2 dresses and am an "at home" mom, so my wardrobe is also pretty casual. (In other words, we don't need a whole lot of full length hanging space) We would like to store our tops in there, our shoes, belts, maybe some extra space for boxes or added storage would be helpful if possible. We are both tall, so I am not sure if we can stack bars on top of eachother without the shirtsleeves dragging on the floor.

Any suggestions or at least starter points on how I might organize this closet? Right now it is barren, so I can put whatever shelving/racks/bars I want inside of it.

Thanks a lot!

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My closet is almost the same dimensions as your, except I have an 8 1/2' tall ceiling. I don't have pictures, but I will try to explain how I have it organized. I hope you can visualize it.

There is 5' long hanging bar up high along the back of the closet for dresses, jackets and shirts. Then, there is a 39" hanging bar down low on the left wall for pants.

Above the 5' long bar, I have shelves for shoes. On the shelf, I put cardboard cubbies made specifically for shoes.

Below the 5' clothes on the bar, I have a shelf. Short boots fit below the shelf and tall boots stand on the shelf. I cut cardboard rolls from a fabric store into 12" lengths and insert them in the tall boots to keep them upright. The cardboard from paper towel rolls work, too.

I have a shelf above the 39" bar to hold a jewelry box. I hang my belts on hooks on the wall above the shelf. Above the belts, I installed shelves for purses and, yes, more shoes.

On the wall next to the door, I installed some picture frames with perforated metal to hold earrings. The frames are on drawer slides and slide into the door opening. This way, I can reach the backs of the earrings on posts. Belts and ties could go in this space, too.

When you walk into the door and look at the wall to the right, there are hooks to hold necklaces and scarves.

On the back of the door, I installed one of those canvas shoe holders with pockets to store socks.

I'm short, so I leave a 2' step ladder in the middle of the closet to reach the tall spaces. I'm constantly moving it out of my way, so I will probably get one on wheels.

I designed this closet specifically for my clothes, accessories and ...um...rather large shoe collection. I hope this helps you with ideas for yours.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   October 31, 2008 at 11:20PM
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I'll have to measure dh's closet in the section that double stacks, some of his shirts are touching the floor, I make sure it's clean.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 6:38AM
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Thanks, guys!

ljwrar - thank you SO much for your help. I think that is something I can work with. I was drooling while reading your post because I would LOVE to able to hog this whole closet, however - DH and I will have to share it. So, it is likely that he will get the short bar w/extra shelving above it, and I will get the taller, 5' long bar. I am probably going to use your "design" almost exactly as it sounds like a very workable plan. Do your bars cross at the one corner, and if so, how do you use that area? I am thinking the 5' of space on the longer bar would get cut short on the side where the shorter bar comes into play.

I would love to see pics of your closet - I know that is a lot to ask!!

Mitch - thank you. I would love to hear your measurement results - then I'd have a "maximum" I could use.

This closet is wallpaper over plaster w/carpet on the floor (not very pretty). Is it worth the work to remove the wallpaper, paint the plaster, and remove the carpet and paint the floor? Or, is carpet on the floor a good thing?

    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:21AM
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Happy to help. I will try to get pics up later this week. The next few days are pretty crazy. We're bidding out a lot of electrical work in our house and have to get the scope and drawings ready by Wednesday.

I did use both bars from wall to wall. In the corner, it worked like a double bar. On the 5' bar, I put all of my long clothes to the right and only short pieces to the left. That way, the clothes in the corner on the lower bar were not blocked by long hanging clothes on the upper bar. I'm using the past tense because I just got rid of a lot of clothes and now don't need that portion of the lower bar. We'll just see how long that luxury lasts :)


    Bookmark   November 2, 2008 at 9:35PM
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Lisa - good luck with all that you're doing, and I'll be looking for pics later this week. Your advice has been very helpful. I am definitly using your "design" and I will need to figure out some specific measurements. While I am waiting for your pics, I think I will have DH drywall the inside of the closet. I tried stripping the wallpaper yesterday and it was pulling hunks of plaster off the walls. Easier (and cheaper, if you figure in all my time!) to just drywall it!

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 8:11AM
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About your carpet question..I always think that a carpeted closet is better, because carpet holds the dust until you vacuum it, but a hard surface just lets it whoosh around, and then you have dusty corners and shoes...

    Bookmark   November 3, 2008 at 12:05PM
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Hi gardenwebber,

I took photos of my closet and loaded them into photobucket.

A couple things to note:

My closet is the reverse of yours. The door is on the left and the low rod is on the right. In my written description a few days ago, I reversed everything to work for your closet.

The photos ended up being loaded backwards. You should start with the last photo and work your way towards the first one. I added a description to each one so you know what your are viewing.

Also, I agree with bronwynsmom about the carpet. I have hardwood flooring and ended up putting a bathroom rug in there. It helps with the dust and keeps my toes warm in the morning!

Let me know if you have any questions.


P.S. How is the drywall going?

Here is a link that might be useful: my closet

    Bookmark   November 6, 2008 at 11:49PM
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To remain flexible, it can work to put in your high bar along as much length as you can, and then use one of those hanging bar adapters to create 2 tiers of hanging space in just one area, when you aren't sure you want 2 permanent tiers or exactly how much long/short space you need. Various closet and container stores carry not only the standard 30' or so hanging bars, but also (more expensive) adjustable hanging bars that telescope down to a foot or so. You can also then purchase various organizer things that hang from the high bar to store shoes or purses or whatever and take advantage of the full length of space. All of those can add up in cost and not look as polished as a neat-o custom closet installation, and don't make quite as good use of space as when you create just the niches needed for each known item, but are good when you think your clothing items and needs (and who gets what) might change over time--and they're becoming more mainstream-available so the prices are coming down.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 2:37PM
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Do you have a link to one of the adjustable hanging bars that telescope down? That may resolve an issue I have in my laundry room.


    Bookmark   November 7, 2008 at 3:37PM
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I bought chains and hung bars from bars, making an upper, middle and lower hanging arrangement. The top bar was DH and I hung it just high enough that I could ...juuuust....hang up clothes, but did not want to use it repeatedly, since I'm short. The lower sections were mine. On the narrow end left of your door, I made 1 bar for long items with shoe shelves (Wal-Mart) stacked under them.

Also I added those battery powered lights any and everywhere I could to be able to see the lower levels....it worked great!

    Bookmark   November 12, 2008 at 8:32PM
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No, but you can check the Container Store.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2008 at 3:33PM
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This is a teensy hijack. Ljwrar, suggests 12" cardboard tubes to help tall boots keep their shape. Here is an alternate suggestion. Bend a wire hanger into a U-shape. (You can cut or break off the hook or bend it into the U.) Then insert it into the boot. Other than opening car doors, this is probably one of the best things one can do with a wire hanger.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 12:45PM
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frankie, thank you. I did see them at the Container Store.

debsan, if you use coat hangers, you don't have to clean up the mess from sawing the cardboard tubes. It's a great idea!


    Bookmark   November 17, 2008 at 10:19PM
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