Creating and planning custom closets in your home is probably one of the best things you can do for yourselves as homeowners. Organization is key to reducing your stress level and having an organized closet is a HUGE step to meeting that goal.
Where do you start when you want to plan to have custom closets installed in your home, either professionally installed or a DIY installation? Let’s start with how much stuff you have stuffed in your closet. Obviously, custom closets aren’t limited to bedrooms but that will be the focus here. There are a number of space saving, task-based closets that can be built in some places you may not have thought about before.
First things first, though.
It doesn’t matter what type of custom closet you have in mind, the main thing you need to do first is to organize the materials that will go in it.
The rules of cleaning out any disorganized room or closet is to take everything out and divide it into one of three piles:
- Keep or repair.
- Donate it or give it away.
- Trash it.
A really good suggestion I read regarding the clothes that you will keep stored in your closet, you should divide them into the 4 seasons and only store the current season’s clothing in your closet. If that sounds like too much work, then you could divide your clothes into 2 seasons like I do:
You might consider having a 3rd party assist you in making the tough choices. That’s exactly what they do on TLC’s Clean Sweep. They simply ask the tough questions. Let’s face it… some people are pack rats. They have a tough time letting go of anything with the smallest amount of value to them. That’s okay… to a certain extent.
If you’re going to the trouble and expense to have a custom closet installed in your home, you need to spend some quality time with what is stored inside.
Maybe you don’t want to do one of the 3 things I mentioned above. You could very well store a few of the "keep" items in a different area of the home, as long as you plan to use them. Make some tough choices, if need be, and then pick up the phone and call a custom closet company if you still think you need a better system than the builder-installed kits.
Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Order Custom Closets
There are many variables in closet dimensions so pick and choose what suits your situation.
- *Do you want a place to sit in your closet?
- *Would you like a mirror in your closet?
- *Is ironing something you would need to do in your closet as a convenience?
- *Is a TV or radio in your plan?
- *Do you want to have a window in your dressing room or closet? Keep the window sill higher than 3′ 6" for obvious reasons. If you’d like some daylight in your closet, I would suggest a skylight or transom-type window.
- Do you need a secure place to store jewelry, watches and valuables? Think "safe".
- How would you like to store your purses / handbags? Hook or shelf?
- What type of lighting do you prefer?
- What type of material would you prefer that the closet system be made of?
- Do you want a cedar-lined closet?
I’m sure you can think of a few more questions on your own.
Read the details about 7 excellent ideas for improving any closet where they discuss:
- Using every square inch of your closet space.
- Knowing your wardrobe and your habits as they relate to your clothing.
- Visibility. Visibility is key when you’re on the run. Think about the multitude of materials that allow you to see what you’re reaching for, like wire baskets and glass doors.
- Flooring options.
- Air flow.
- The pros and cons of cedar.
Questions to Ask a Professional Custom Closet Company
I cite a separate source on how to choose a custom closet company for the following because there are a lot of very important questions to ask before you have a company come into your very own personal space and build a custom closet system for you. Here are the questions you need to have prepared for the closet company:
- How long have you been in business? Are you a franchisee?
- What warranty do you offer? Does it apply only to me, or future owners of my home?
- What colors do you have available for the melamine (laminate) material?
- Is the melamine thermal-fused or cold processed? Thermal-fused melamine wears much better.
- Is the particleboard furniture grade, or industrial grade? Industrial grade holds the screws better and is thicker.
- Is there any plastic used in the hardware? Metal parts are preferred.
- What is the standard shelf depth you use? Builders’ standard is 11.5 inches, but having deeper shelves such as 14” or 16” is greatly preferred for holding larger sweaters and even suitcases.
- How are your drawer units constructed? How is the drawer handle hardware fastened? Are full extension glides included? Full extension glides provide the best support for your drawers and are a really good idea to put in, even if it is an upgrade. Construction of drawers can be a big differentiator in quality.
- Do you offer oval clothing rods? Just like an egg’s oval shape provides strength, chrome oval-shaped clothing rods are stronger than rounded ones. Metal rods are usually a better choice than wooden ones.
- Does your installation include tearing out the old closet? Will you do wall repairs and touch-up painting?
- What accessories do you offer, and how much are they? Is there an alternative to these accessories? You will see accessories like valet rods, shoe fences, sliding belt racks, sliding tie racks, jewelry trays, acrylic shelf dividers, hampers, pull-out ironing boards, pull-down upper clothing rods, and many others. They are all great, but you need to watch how they might add up. My favorite accessory is a valet rod, which gives you a place to stage clothing for packing or put up the dry cleaning when you get it home.
Source: Lorie Marrero of Lifehack
If You’re Handy, Save Some Money and DIY:
More info on custom closets: