How to plan a closet makeover

Storage may be a rare commodity in your home. But with a few tricks you can give your closet a makeover – and your clothes, books, tools and other stuff the space it needs.

How to plan a closet makeover

Take an inventory

Most closets and cabinets can benefit from a more efficient design, but before you spend any money on new shelving, evaluate your possessions and decide what you really need to store. Only keep these:

  • Items being used currently or have been used within the past year by you or your family.
  • Items that have strong sentimental value.
  • Items that will be needed in the near future.

As you plow through the clutter in each room and start the process of cleaning out, make quick decisions about whether each item should be stored, repaired, given away or thrown out.

  • Sort everything into appropriate bags or boxes, so that you can act on your decisions immediately.
  • Put items you plan to keep near the storage area where you want them to go.

Stack clothes that need repair in the mending basket by the sewing machine; set other items that need repair on the work bench.

Label the charity box of giveaways and put it in the garage or even into the car trunk, ready to be delivered.

Seal the box or bag of tossables and put it with the garbage before you start having second thoughts about your decisions.

Work out the dimensions

When you design a closet for your own wardrobe, measure carefully!

  • You'll need to help you figure out how many feet of shelving your shoes will take; how deep the rod section for your slacks and blazers needs to be; and how wide a shelf your sweaters will use.
  • Use graph paper to work out how the different elements will fit.

Making a closet system work

Don't be afraid to redesign an existing closet to suit your lifestyle. Keep in mind three key elements of an efficient and hard-working closet.

  1. Enough space to store a season's wardrobe without compacting and wrinkling any of its pieces.
  2. Complete visibility of all the elements in your wardrobe at once, so you can makes fast, good choices.
  3. Easy access to all the closet's contents, from a pair of socks to a tuxedo.
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