A well-organized closet offers grab-and-go convenience, maximizing space and saving time while making rooms look smarter and cleaner. Does “grab and go” organization sound like an impossible luxury? Then you may be a victim of the “clutter and mutter” closet—the kind where you mumble, “Where did I put that?” while digging through an avalanche of stuff.
Fortunately, there are a lot of great closet storage and organization solutions that can help even the most disorganized decorators experience the benefits of closet clarity. Enjoy clean, stylish, and crisply organized closets anywhere in your home with these space-efficient systems and storage ideas.
Smarter Storage Starts Here
Storage challenges come in all shapes and sizes, from shoe collections that could outfit a millipede marathon to large seasonal wardrobes or crowded front entryways. Since the biggest challenges call for the boldest solutions, we’ll begin our tour of closet organizing ideas with a look at complete storage systems for reach-in and walk-in closets, and then suggest some complementary accessories for storage of particular items—even if you have to create your own closet.
What’s a closet system?
Closet systems are multi-component kits that typically combine two or more different types of storage, including hanger rods, open shelves, and drawers. Some offer multiple configuration possibilities, while others can be expanded or adjusted to fit your closet’s dimensions. By making better use of vertical space, these systems put your entire closet to work. If a kit doesn’t include all the types of storage you need, you can supplement it with dedicated storage accessories (such as baskets or tie and belt racks) from the same brand.
The Pros and Cons of Wood & Wire Closet Systems
Traditional reach-in closets start you off with a hanger rod beneath a wooden shelf—in other words, a whole lot of wasted space. Contemporary lifestyles need a more comprehensive approach, and that’s where closet systems excel. Whether you’re looking for a stylish solid wood system, a more affordable laminated wood organizer, or a completely customizable wire system, there’s a closet organization kit perfect for any walk-in or reach-in closet.
Wood closet kits offer superior style and strength for durable, well-ordered storage. Some kits feature solid and laminated wood construction in classic finishes such as cherry, maple, and mahogany. Most are oriented toward clothing storage, with open shelves and rods for easy accessibility.
Some of the most popular brands at hayneedle.com include:
Arrange A Space, which offers customized solutions for closets of all sizes, including various combinations of long rods, double rods, long and short shelves, and large or small multi-drawer cabinets, all in a single integrated wall-hanging system.
John Louis Home creates deluxe kits made from 100% solid wood, with an almost limitless number of configurations. Their elegant kits include options for both walk-in and reach-in closets.
ClosetMaid was the first to manufacture the ventilated wire shelving used by most closet organizers today. Since 1965 ClosetMaid has been producing easy-to-install, affordable, and infinitely customizable laminated wood organization units for closets of all sizes.
A lower-cost option for clothes hanging is Easy Track, whose adjustable kits provide multiple-height hanging in discretely divided areas, along with central off-the-floor shelving.
Sauder’s kits feature tower-like units flanked by length-adjustable garment rods, with the towers incorporating glass doors, fully extending drawers, and open shelves.
A more affordable option for general organization or clothing storage, wire closet systems have a trim contemporary appearance, with a more balanced mix of open shelves and hanging rods (if you need drawers, wood kits are definitely a better option).
Rubbermaid is the leading brand in this category. Their adjustable closet systems are sized for small to regular sized reach-in closets, and come in white and titanium finishes to suit a variety of decors.
ClosetMaid supplies fully customizable, stylish wire units for closets of any size. Everything from hanging rods to wire shelving and drawers can be built into any closet size for the ultimate design with Hayneedle’s affordable organization options. The vinyl coated steel is made of 90% recycled materials and is durable enough to keep your closet organized for years to come.
Closet Organizing without a Closet
Apartment dwellers and residents of older homes are often faced with a more difficult organizing challenge: rooms with no (or overly small) closets. If that’s your dilemma, there are a couple of solutions we’d recommend:
Wood and soft-sided wardrobes are stylish and versatile closet alternatives that are as sophisticated or as casual as you want them to be. On the low-cost end, canvas wardrobes from Honey Can Do or Organize It All feature easy zip access and pockets for shoe storage.
An even more creative option for modern decors is to use a wall-hanging closet kit screened with a stylish room divider, and store your stuff right out in the open.
These are fashionable alternatives to closet organizers that can be stacked or stand alone in any space to add storage to a smaller living space.
Add a bench near a closet to provide extra storage and a great spot for putting on socks and shoes.
Most of these closet alternative units can be further customized with bins and racks to store just about anything, and come in a stylish finish to match any decor.