carving out more closet space

It’s rare that anyone feels they have enough closet space.  Most of the time, no matter how much one has, our stuff expands to fill what we have.  But especially in older houses and apartment buildings, sometimes bedrooms have either a 12" deep by 36" wide closet enough to hang 4 dresses or no closet at all.  Here are two quick suggestions for creating closets when there are none.

Your typical (generic) room layout, rectangular with a window in the center of the outside wall, probably a door in the opposite wall in the foreground (not shown) or one of the adjacent walls.

First: always keep in mind which wall is your ‘bed’ wall since beds typically take up the most space.  Second: pick a ‘storage’ wall.  The general idea is to efficiently consolidate all your storage along one wall in the room to avoid random bump-outs here and there which sacrifices floor space.  Add a closet on either side of the window.  I would suggest one closet should be for long items and an adjustable shelf.  The other closet would be double-stacked (two rods, one on top of the other) for shorter items.  Then place a built-in bench below the window, with a hinged-lid for more storage of things like blankets or sweaters.

Building two closets and a bench is definitely not the cheapest way to go and if you rent you may not be able to do anything permanent.  Creating walls with wood studs is not difficult and closets could be created using 2×3 (1.5" x 2.5") studs instead of 2×4 (1.5" x 3.5") which would take up less space.  But hanging, taping and spackling gypsum wall board (drywall) is not one of my personal favorites.  It would depend on your level of DIY abilities.  It’s definitely a project worthy of a good local handyman.  That type of work, framing and drywalling are basic skills that a small-project contractor or handyman could do in a couple of days.

On the cheap or temporary fix:  measure the wall you’ve chosen as your ‘storage’ wall and buy two matching wardrobes and a cool bench or storage box to go in between.




I tried to link the product web pages to each of the photos.  Just in case:  the top two are from Ikea.  Middle left wardrobe is Ikea, middle right bench is west elm.  The bottom armoire and bench are also west elm.  The good thing about buying furniture is portability (you can take it with you) and re-purpose your pieces.  There are many options for different sizes, budgets and styles.

Don’t forget some good closet accessories which help make your closet space go a long way.

Wicker storage boxes from west elm, hanging organizer from Ikea and expanding shelf from The Container Store.

Check out some quick and good tips on closet organizing from the National Closet Group here.

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