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Let's face it, most of us feel like we are a bit crowded into our closet space. Stuff is hard to find, the floor is all cluttered with shoes and boxes, you're dressing to go out to dinner or for work and you can't find that top you wanted to wear... So you visit some closet company web sites, look at some very large and fancy closets and say, "Yeah that's what I'm talking about." These people can do magic with closets, right?

Well, up to a point. Space is finite, and while there's always room for improvement, a closet designer cannot open the fifth dimension to install a beautiful closet system in a space that does not exist. We witness this every week with clients that we see. Folks will have a list of all the things they want in their closet: hamper, drawers, eighty pairs of shoes, belts, ties, scarves... long dresses, oh, and lots of shelves for sweaters... a


nd the space may only measure four by six feet. If you are lucky enough to have a room size walk-in knock yourself out.

For the rest of us, having realistic expectations is essential for designing an efficient and functional closet space. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Analyze: Define your biggest closet problem and consider what solutions would help the most. Do you struggle with hanging space, shoe storage, a lack of shelving?
  2. Prioritize: When space is limited you need to decide what design features will make your closet most efficient. Are your closet rods jammed full? Start there and build around that feature. 
  3. Compromise: So you had a vision of drawers and a hamper, or more shelving, and your designer advises that you need the space for hanging clothes. Think about alternative solutions like a place in the bathroom for that hamper, or consider redesigning a guest room closet to handle some of the overflow from your walk-in.
  4. Build in flexibility: One of the great features of a 32mm closet system is the flexibility inherent in the system. Not sure if you will need more shelves or more hanging space, use long vertical panels for your hanging sections so that you can swap out the rod for shelves at a later time.
  5. Purge: You've probably heard it before but it's worth repeating. The choice is between quality of life and nostalgia. Closet space is a valuable commodity in your life. Don't squander your precious space on something you haven't worn since the Roosevelt Administration. If you want nostalgia start a photo album.