maximizing closet space with blind corners

kdw72697May 21, 2012

Hi, Fellow Dwellers-in-Smaller-Homes,

I have a closet problem with which some of you may be able to help.

My master closet is a reach-in (not a walk-in), and it is a generous 11 linear feet wide. This would be fabulous, except that I can only access a maximum of 34" at any given time due to the way it is configured.

I'll try to post pics below, but basically to the right and to the left of the sliding doors is an additional 29" of space on each side that I really can't access without partially climbing into the closet and stretching out in the dark to dig something out.

I would like to maximize my storage space within the opening, but I can';t figure out how to install any kind of organizers without blocking off that 29".

I can take the doors off and go with curtains like I did in my kids rooms, and that would give me a nice 6' wide opening in the middle. But I still can't figure out how to access the 29" blind spots on either side.

This should be a pic of the closet. Behind the walls on either side of the doors (where the hooks are) is the additional closet space:

This is the unreachable 29" on my side:

closet with blind corners Follow-Up Postings:

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

Wow, gardenweb kind of chopped this message up. Below is hopefully a direct link to flickr, since the pics didn't seem to load:

Here is a link that might be useful: closet with blind corners

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

I posted to you on one of your flicker pictures.

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

I know some people will build shelves in there, You'll still have clothes hanging in front of the shelves, but you'll at least have that shelf space that isn't (A) overhead or (B) on the floor under the clothes. It might be a good place for shoes, or purses, or folded sweaters. But I'm thinking you need the hanging room. Short of knocking out the walls on either side and installing a different type of door (triple track slider?) for the new larger opening, you're going to have that black hole.

We have similar closets, and I haven't tried to do anything special with them. About all I do is rotate the clothes in the closet so that the clothes for the current season are right in front of the opening and the out-of-season clothes (and seldom-worn clothes) are the ones in the black hole. I also try to purge regularly to make sure I'm not suffering simply so I can continue to store things I'm never going to wear again. This is a tougher job with DH, actually, who at last count had 73(!) shirts in his closet.

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

That is a tough one kdw. Someone here posted a closet system that wasn't a closet as much as a wall of drawers and full length cabinets. I hope they will post it again as I have forgotten the name of it. That or taking out the closet doors and putting a bigger one in is the only thing I can think of.

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

Marti, I think you are thinking of a wardrobe wall.

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

73 shirts??!!! WOW! I'm pretty sure my husband and I don't have 73 of anything combined! ;)

I do try to purge a minimum of twice a year, and I do rotate hanging clothes into the black hole (well put!) out-of-season. I do like the shelf idea that ShadesOfIdaho posted to my flickr page, though. Maybe I can do shelves on the bottom and hanging clothes over the top? I'm not hanging any ball gowns that require full-height hanging space.

It's certainly not the worst house-related problem to have, that's for sure. But it is just odd that they built them this way in every single bedroom. Black Hole or not, the relatively generous closets are the main reason we are still able to live in our small house (no attic, no basement, no garage).

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

Depends on how you want to store your clothes. Shelves would work if you have a lot of folded items and not as many that are hung. We have double rods in our tiny closets, with just a very high shelf at the top. If you don't have sweaters, etc. to put on the side shelves, I agree that putting the out of season clothes in the "black holes" makes sense. That is what I do in my tiny (3 ft wide) closet. The door is only two feet wide!

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

I have mostly foldable clothes - t-shirts, sweats, shorts. Shelves on at least one side would work for me. i plan to put a shelving unit in my closet for those things. I have about 5' of hanging space at the back ( plus about 1.5' on either side). I probably don't have enough 'hanging' type clothes for that 5' span. my flannel shirts and a skirt rack maybe.

maybe you could put in a double rod for most of the area open to the doorway - with 1' or so (if needed) for longer items.

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

I also posted this on your post in the organizing forum.

We had similar closets in our old home. We turned the narrower ones into mini walk-ins with hanging clothes on either side of the door and nothing in the middle. We did the same with our wider closet, but we were able to put some hanging clothes in the middle. I did a real quick sketch of what our wide closet looked like.

The black lines are the walls and the blue lines are either shelves or hanging rods.

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

That's really cool! Thanks for posting a drawing.
I have to go stand in my closet now and think about this!

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

"I have to go stand in my closet now and think about this!"

LOL LOL LOL I have done exactly the same thing. This is a GREAT idea. Saving it even though I do not need it right now I might later. Would be great for our hallway closet.

Thank you geokid!!!

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

You're welcome! It really worked well.

If you put the shelves at about 42" and 84"' you can easily reach to hang clothes on the top rods. Or just have a small stool handy. Or whoever is taller gets the top rows. :)

The long hanging side we hung at about 6'. There's still some room on the floor underneath for a laundry basket for dirty clothes.

We used wire shelves and the metal wall-mounted rods. You just need to find the stud and attach it all the way up. It's fairly easy. And then you can move shelves as needed and cut the wire shelves and rods to size. It's pretty inexpensive too!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wire Shelving

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

Well this is not my thread but I have been seriously thinking more on this. The wire shelving is a good idea.I have wood shelves in there now. We also have vaulted ceilings so the existing top shelf in the closet can easily be moved up. I AM going to do this with shelves down one side all the way as we do not need long hang in that closet and one row of hanging for the coats.Shelves under or above that. Top shelf all the way across with center open for vacuums carpet shampooer. It will be great. Thanks Again.

Chris

RE: maximizing closet space with blind corners

I can't see the blind corner pic of your closet for some reason... but I think it'd be worth it to line either side with shelves about 18" deep. Allow the rest of the 29" as space to step/lean in to access the shelves. I wouldn't crowd the hanging clothes into that area.

Use a shelf for t-shirts, 1 for sweats, 1 for purses, 1 for misc stuff/stacked plastic shoe boxes (labeled), 1 for night shirts, etc

I lined the back of one of my closets with 15" deep shelves. On the upper shelf over clothes rods I'm putting a few shelving spacer thingies, like this - (I'm just moving stuff over and putting in area close to room / space it will eventually 'live') -

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Here is a link that might be useful: closet with blind corners

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kdw72697

Wow, gardenweb kind of chopped this message up. Below is hopefully a direct link to flickr, since the pics didn't seem to load:

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 4:13PM
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Shades_of_idaho

I posted to you on one of your flicker pictures.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2012 at 6:10PM
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jakabedy

I know some people will build shelves in there, You'll still have clothes hanging in front of the shelves, but you'll at least have that shelf space that isn't (A) overhead or (B) on the floor under the clothes. It might be a good place for shoes, or purses, or folded sweaters. But I'm thinking you need the hanging room. Short of knocking out the walls on either side and installing a different type of door (triple track slider?) for the new larger opening, you're going to have that black hole.

We have similar closets, and I haven't tried to do anything special with them. About all I do is rotate the clothes in the closet so that the clothes for the current season are right in front of the opening and the out-of-season clothes (and seldom-worn clothes) are the ones in the black hole. I also try to purge regularly to make sure I'm not suffering simply so I can continue to store things I'm never going to wear again. This is a tougher job with DH, actually, who at last count had 73(!) shirts in his closet.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 11:34AM
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marti8a

That is a tough one kdw. Someone here posted a closet system that wasn't a closet as much as a wall of drawers and full length cabinets. I hope they will post it again as I have forgotten the name of it. That or taking out the closet doors and putting a bigger one in is the only thing I can think of.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 3:09PM
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kirkhall

Marti, I think you are thinking of a wardrobe wall.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 4:18PM
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kdw72697

73 shirts??!!! WOW! I'm pretty sure my husband and I don't have 73 of anything combined! ;)

I do try to purge a minimum of twice a year, and I do rotate hanging clothes into the black hole (well put!) out-of-season. I do like the shelf idea that ShadesOfIdaho posted to my flickr page, though. Maybe I can do shelves on the bottom and hanging clothes over the top? I'm not hanging any ball gowns that require full-height hanging space.

It's certainly not the worst house-related problem to have, that's for sure. But it is just odd that they built them this way in every single bedroom. Black Hole or not, the relatively generous closets are the main reason we are still able to live in our small house (no attic, no basement, no garage).

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 9:07PM
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colorcrazy

Depends on how you want to store your clothes. Shelves would work if you have a lot of folded items and not as many that are hung. We have double rods in our tiny closets, with just a very high shelf at the top. If you don't have sweaters, etc. to put on the side shelves, I agree that putting the out of season clothes in the "black holes" makes sense. That is what I do in my tiny (3 ft wide) closet. The door is only two feet wide!

    Bookmark   May 22, 2012 at 10:50PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
desertsteph

I have mostly foldable clothes - t-shirts, sweats, shorts. Shelves on at least one side would work for me. i plan to put a shelving unit in my closet for those things. I have about 5' of hanging space at the back ( plus about 1.5' on either side). I probably don't have enough 'hanging' type clothes for that 5' span. my flannel shirts and a skirt rack maybe.

maybe you could put in a double rod for most of the area open to the doorway - with 1' or so (if needed) for longer items.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2012 at 1:17AM
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geokid

I also posted this on your post in the organizing forum.

We had similar closets in our old home. We turned the narrower ones into mini walk-ins with hanging clothes on either side of the door and nothing in the middle. We did the same with our wider closet, but we were able to put some hanging clothes in the middle. I did a real quick sketch of what our wide closet looked like.

The black lines are the walls and the blue lines are either shelves or hanging rods.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 11:05AM
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kdw72697

That's really cool! Thanks for posting a drawing.
I have to go stand in my closet now and think about this!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 5:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Shades_of_idaho

"I have to go stand in my closet now and think about this!"

LOL LOL LOL I have done exactly the same thing. This is a GREAT idea. Saving it even though I do not need it right now I might later. Would be great for our hallway closet.

Thank you geokid!!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wire Shelving

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 6:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
geokid

You're welcome! It really worked well.

If you put the shelves at about 42" and 84"' you can easily reach to hang clothes on the top rods. Or just have a small stool handy. Or whoever is taller gets the top rows. :)

The long hanging side we hung at about 6'. There's still some room on the floor underneath for a laundry basket for dirty clothes.

We used wire shelves and the metal wall-mounted rods. You just need to find the stud and attach it all the way up. It's fairly easy. And then you can move shelves as needed and cut the wire shelves and rods to size. It's pretty inexpensive too!

    Bookmark   May 24, 2012 at 7:29PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Shades_of_idaho

Well this is not my thread but I have been seriously thinking more on this. The wire shelving is a good idea.I have wood shelves in there now. We also have vaulted ceilings so the existing top shelf in the closet can easily be moved up. I AM going to do this with shelves down one side all the way as we do not need long hang in that closet and one row of hanging for the coats.Shelves under or above that. Top shelf all the way across with center open for vacuums carpet shampooer. It will be great. Thanks Again.

Chris

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 5:23PM
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desertsteph

I can't see the blind corner pic of your closet for some reason... but I think it'd be worth it to line either side with shelves about 18" deep. Allow the rest of the 29" as space to step/lean in to access the shelves. I wouldn't crowd the hanging clothes into that area.

Use a shelf for t-shirts, 1 for sweats, 1 for purses, 1 for misc stuff/stacked plastic shoe boxes (labeled), 1 for night shirts, etc

I lined the back of one of my closets with 15" deep shelves. On the upper shelf over clothes rods I'm putting a few shelving spacer thingies, like this - (I'm just moving stuff over and putting in area close to room / space it will eventually 'live') -

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 5:57PM
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