If you are in the process of building a new home or tackling a remodeling project – consider your master walk-in closet a priority and you may just end up thanking yourself daily for the decision! Investing a little time and effort up front will bring happy returns. With this in mind, I’ve gathered a few thoughts on the subject.
1. Consider your stuff.
Go spend some time in your present closet with a notepad and pencil. Take note of pretty much everything in there. Next, think about what you WISH was in there and add that to your notes. And last, make a list of contents in your current closet you seldom use, just in case there isn’t space for everything. On a different page, make notes about what you like about how your current space is organized. Make even bigger notes of what drives you crazy! Are there shoes or dirty clothes thrown everywhere? Are your hanging clothes bunched up so tight you can’t tell what’s on half the hangers? Jot down all of the “problematic” issues. Include your “pet peeves” (mine is the floor – I want to be able to see it!)
2. Establish a budget.
Your builder may have given you an allowance, but it’s ultimately your decision. If choices must be made, consider spending more money up front on things that are difficult to add or change down the road like kitchen cabinets, bathroom vanities or fixtures, and most importantly storage spaces. New furniture and fancy landscaping are easier to upgrade at a later date. Another suggestion is to sit down with your builder and review all of the big ticket items involved in the construction process and see if there are areas you can shave the budget slightly and divert those dollars to enhancing your closet. For example, lowering your overall appliance budget by $1000 may have little impact; it could mean the difference of simply shopping a good appliance sale rather than buying a full price item. But the impact of an extra $1000 in your closet budget will be impressive.
3. Do your homework.
Search the internet and educate yourself on solutions to the issues you wrote down when you were sitting in your closet taking notes. Do you have lots of jewelry? Shoes? Luggage? For shoes, your options might include over–the-door hanging shoe organizers or a built-in cubby unit topped with crown molding. There isn’t a wrong or right – it’s really about what works best for you (and your budget of course.) Cope Closet’s hardwood shoe rack options include both a stand-alone version and built-in, but I personally love the over-the-door shoe organizer. I keep occasional shoes on my two tiered hardwood shoe rack which sits under my hanging dresses, while “most used” shoes are at my finger-tips in an over-the-door organizer. Formulate ideas about how to improve your storage shortfalls in ways that will work for you.
4. Get a professional involved.
Just like your kitchen cabinets, rules and best practices apply when planning closets, so gather up all your notes and homework and find a pro. Trying to pack a lot of anything into a relatively small space, without the help of a professional can create more problems than you realize. Even in the realm of choosing professional assistance, you have options. If you have a fairly large budget, there are businesses out there completely devoted to designing your dream closet. Reputable closet companies really know their stuff and they can incorporate fancy solutions into your closet design. They will offer options in accessories, drawers, and bells and whistles; however, system optionsmay be limited, as most deal primarily with laminate materials. Closet pro companies are popular in remodel situations. Another great alternative you may not be aware of are builder supply stores. These businesses specialize in a handful of products essential to new construction that need a professional installation. Some examples of products available through these businesses are insulation, glass and mirrors, shower enclosures, garage doors, hardware, flooring, and closet shelving. Also, lumber companies sometimes have an “After Paint” division, same thing as a builder supply store, except they only handle products that come after your walls are painted (in the construction process)…and that includes closet shelving. These businesses often cater to builders, but most are happy to help retail clients as well. The huge advantage – builder or homeowner – is a one stop shop for several necessary items. Like closet pro companies, reputable builder supply businesses are very knowledgeable about the products they sell and install. And particular to closet shelving, they usually sell several different types of shelving and closet systems – wire, melamine, and hardwood. Builders supply stores are a great solution, especially in new construction, where you can take advantage of multiple services under one roof. And because they carry different product lines, they can get you organized on just about any budget.
Remember, well organized storage spaces are essential to a well organized home. These small spaces can pack big returns!