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Closet organization

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
OK, so we all have too much clothing now. Whether it's because we lead several different lives that each require their own wardrobe, or because we got a little too ebay-happy, or because we're drizzt; our closets are bursting and we're leasing storage units even when we don't have to hide our obsession from our loved ones. So my question is this: what techniques or products have you used to maximize storage space? How do you hang clothes without an enclosed closet? Which tie hangar lets all the ties slip off too easily? Which shoe rack is the perfect height? What closet accessories do you see as indispensible? For reference, I'm going to be moving in a couple of weeks (just downstairs thank goodness; I hate moving) to an apartment with a ton more space and an extra room that is begging to be a dedicated closet. I'd love to put something in similar to what GQ featured a few months back, complete with comfy armchair and bottle of Scotch. I'm not overloaded with clothes yet but could see myself getting there eventually--clothes and equipment for military, civilian, and outdoor life are just barely coexisting peacefully. I don't expect to have such a luxury of space forever though, so... As I see it, requirements are: Expandability Efficiency Flexibility Mobility--no building shelves into the walls. and in the grand tradition of the StyleForum, Underpriced Muchos gracias in advance for any valuable tidbits you can share. Tom
post #2 of 13
-- Shoe racks. I got mine from They are made by woodlore/allen-edmonds. I bought 4 and stack them 2 + 2. Really great. Best closet organization thing I've done. -- Store away clothes that aren't in season. I put away in garment bags all of my clothes that are strictly summer-wear and move them to the attic (where my wife and I have racks for hangers) and to a spare closet. Frees up tons of closet space. This includes storing all sweaters during the summertime.... -- Add a lower rack for hangers in your closet. It makes things less pretty to look at but much more functional b/c it frees up yet more space. I've got all my "weekend" clothes on one lower rack of hangers, which I only access . . . on weekends generally. -- Get those "multiple hanger hangers" (I have no idea what they're really called) for slacks -- at least your casual slacks. That way, you don't have each pair of slacks taking up horizontal closet space, as they each hang up vertically. Again, not as convenient to access the slacks, but saves a huge amount of space.
post #3 of 13
For shoes, I have the rack pictured in the URL below from Bed Bath and Beyond.  I really like the fact that it utilizes the space on the back of a door and that it accommodates almost any shoe size without resorting to stacking or other such things.  Before I got that rack, my shoes were either scattered across the floor or stacked on a shelf, neither of which were efficient uses of space or good ways of storing shoes. Shoe rack dan
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
kabert--like this? As for both types of shoe storage mentioned, how do they fit boots?  Not dress boots (yet anyway).   I'll add my little bit of knowledge as well and mention that this type of tie hanger does a terrible job: Thanks guys, and keep it coming. Tom
post #5 of 13
The best I've done to my closet are hanging cedar blocks and wooden hangers, both of which I got at Bed Bath and Beyond.  They have boxes of wooden hangers pretty cheap.  I find it sad to look into a closet with very nice clothes draping all over the place off of flimsy plastic hangers.  Wooden hangers are a must. I rent a room and the closet though decent sized is not big enough, so I bought a clothing rack with a shelf on top of it that sits on the other end of my room from my closet. I hang my coats, suits and ties on this rack and my hats, beanies, and scarfs on the top shelf of it. Bed Bath and Beyond has quite a few choices when it comes to storage, check them out. Eric
post #6 of 13
Yes, tiger, just like the one you pictured above. The shoe racks could handle boots no problem; if you stack racks as I have, then boots would only fit on the top level. By the way, if you're running out of closet space, consider getting an armoir or even temporary clothing rack(s) (which can be bought from home stores like Bed Bath & Beyond I would guess).
post #7 of 13
I have a really cheap tie rack, the kind that has staggered brass hangers that stick out that are connected inside so that they all move together. It works pretty well, actually, though the ties are viewed on edge, so you have to fan them out to look at them. Takes up very little room, which was unusable anyway in my case. I hang braces on a hanger with plastic-covered spikes sticking out the sides (similar to that tie hanger). I fold jeans and other pants and stack them above the closet rod area on the shelf. I really need shoe racks, because my shoes are getting cramped in the bottom of the closet. Almost all my hangers are now wood, the shirt ones from Ikea, and the suit hangers from Marshalls/Ross/etc. I agree, hanging clothes on plastic hangers looks bad and makes them look bad. Putting shirts on good hangers saves their collars from getting bent out of shape, for example.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
If anyone has recommendations for hanging clothes outside of closets (which will most likely be reserved for uniforms) they would be much appreciated. This is the biggest thing I've been struggling with and at one point even resorted to stringing a length of parachute cord across a room for more hanging space. Has anyone tried to build a free-standing rack? I like the idea of two levels of hanging clothes, but not sure I have the infrastructure for it right now. Are those cedar boxes from Woodlore at all worthwhile? I'm a bit of a packrat and am worried that they'd just turn into a catchall. Is it easy to organize them? Thanks. Tom
post #9 of 13
Would something like this work ? Sams Club I'm sure if you searched you could even find something like this with wheels. I think that would be rather useful if you have lots of space.
post #10 of 13
In my walk-in (with the typical eye-level hanging bar) I have a woodlore shoe rack, and I'm contemplating another. These fit nicely underneath my dress shirts--suits and jackets hang too low to accomodate this kind of rack. All slacks are on the 5-bar "tree" hangers somebody mentioned. I also have woodlore tie hangers that hold 40 ties on brass pins attached to a cedar hanger. If you get one of these (BB&B has them), file down rough spots and corners so you don't snag your silks. We have an over-the-door gizmo with many hooks, but it's mostly for my wife's scarves and shawls--I've managed to put my belts and braces here. If you have a wide enough shelf above your top bar, get those modular 10-12" stackable metal-grill shelves (such as those at BB&B) and extend all the way to the ceiling. For me, that increased the utility of this area threefold--rarely-worn shoes are stored up here in shoeboxes, along with bulky sweaters and other stuff I don't use often. My wife puts her sweaters in vertical fabric "shelving" that hangs from the bar on her side. Lastly, I've put an old, deep bookcase along the end wall which holds sweaters, polos, and tees, plus my assortment of collar stays, cufflinx, cologne, and doo-dads up top. This should more properly be a bureau or dresser, I suppose, but it works beautifully for this purpose.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I like the idea of an old bookcase and the easier access it gives to stored clothes. I should be able to pick one up over here cheap--no Bed Bath and Beyond in Germany as best I can tell. I'll put some of these suggestions into use and hopefully have a picture-worthy closet at the end of it. I might not be able to pick up one of the Sam's Club racks over here, but now that I know they exist I should be able to find something. Thanks for the information all, looks like I'm going to have to find a way to get Woodlore delivered over here. Tom
post #12 of 13
Closet organization is a pretty big issue for me, as the only clothes closet in my entire apartment is in the bedroom.  (A previous owner stripped out all the closets in the living area to enlarge it.)  My clothes closet is a narrow, walk-in closet with built-in shelving.  I maximize space two ways: 1. Consolidate.  I hang sportscoats with complementary slacks.  Odd vests (usually of the formal/going out at night variety) are hung with the sportscoats and slacks as well.  Not only does this save space, it provides me with a ready-to-wear outfit should I feel indecisive. 2. Create a "clothing annex."  I fold and store out-of-season clothes in a drawer that sits below my television (in a built-in TV cabinet).  I am thinking of getting a rolling clothing rack like the type posted by Alex_O and storing bulkier clothing in my storage locker in the basement of my building.
post #13 of 13
Like I said earlier, I have a clothes rack and am quite pleased with it. The only thing bad about it is that it doesn't look great in your room. Eric
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