Help with closet organization:::
September 5, 2013 in Design Dilemma
Hi all,

Our bedroom closet is TINY, and laid out kind of annoyingly. It's 2ft deep, by 5ft wide, however, the doorway is only 30" and down on one end. So half of the closet is not visible or generally accessible without seriously climbing in and then you just knock everything off the hang rack to the floor.

Right now there's just one hangbar, and two shelves above it, and we literally use it to hang clothes and nothing else. We have a little bit of stuff piled on the lower shelf literally right above the hang bar, but otherwise nothing else is used and it goes all the way up and we have about a 9ft high ceiling. Folded stuff and linens go in the dresser, shoes are on a shoerack in a room by the door (no shoes are kept in our bedroom). It's just an old house with old closets.

We are in the middle of a basement project that includes redoing the basement down there to make it all up to code, and luckily or unluckily, the vent for that bathroom went through the wall in that closet. So I am considering trying to find a cost-effective (read: cheap!) way to maybe reorganize/organize that closet before we hang our clothes back in there next week (wall to be patched next week) that maybe includes two bars?

I don't have a clue how to make this work but as much as I would like to break through the wall and make it a functional closet, my husband is not down with that.

Here's a diagram of the closet from facing the closet (it has a regular door that closes) and one of the layout "from above" to show the footprint.

Suggestions? Thanks!
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Too bad your husband isn't for opening the wall. The best solution (I too have lived in an old house and tried to fit an elephant into a shoe box), is to create a larger opening: i.e double doors, that allow access to the entire space.
Instead try installing shelves on the inaccessible half of the closet. At least you won't be knocking things down. On the door side add a rod extender to create a double hanging rack. You can hang shirts on one rod and pants below , for example. The extenders are very inexpensive and hang from the existing rod.

Good luck!
1 Like   September 5, 2013 at 7:09PM
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Thanks! I pushed for a larger opening and it's just not happening.

I did actually try a rod extender and EVERYTHING was dragging on the floor, with the top row overlapping the bottom row, it was actually less functional than the single bar. I think if we could raise the single bar that would help with that.

As for shelves, I am looking into that as well. The big issue we have hanging things is that our walls are 90 year old plaster. You cannot hang ANYTHING from it, or the entire wall crumbles completely around the area, and not just for an inch, for a good foot around it. So I am trying to find something maybe free standing vs mounted to spare us that ordeal. If we can build something that is custom fit, that could be a good option. I don't know if we'd USE the shelves but they'd be there.
0 Likes   September 6, 2013 at 4:44AM
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This type of closet is really common. And it sucks! I'll give you a few options. They'll involve calling a local closet company, or ordering materials online and attacking it yourself.

1. Remove the lower of the two shelves, and raise the bar to 85". Re-install that shelf at 42" and put another bar below. The reason your extender thing didnt work is that, it doesnt factor in proper heights needed to hang clothes. This design will give you the same shelving, and another bar -effectively doubling the hanging capacity compared to what you have now - albeit you wont have space to hang long items, so they'll have to go into another closet

2. Install a 12" or 18" wide tower of shelving on the left of the closet, and have double rods then going off where its hard to reach. This would allow the shelving to be moved from above to the side, and be more accessible. Again as above, you got your double hanging, if the rods are spaced at the proper heights.

I would advise against the shelves in the unreachable side. Many times customers ask about this, and its usually a bad idea. They're going to be fairly deep, and just be a place that crap gets thrown, and forgotten about. They're going to be covered by your clothes, so you'll have to push your clothes out of the way to grab stuff - depending on how jam packed your closet is, this will be a hassle.

Below are what they could look like with my suggestions.

Thanks, and for a shameless plug, check out my pictures of what I do for some ideas!

0 Likes   Thanked by accordingtoame    September 6, 2013 at 5:15AM
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THANK YOU. That is so helpful. Great diagrams. I really like the idea of the lower shelf, which would allow me maybe to put things in there like bags or something, though same goes for the on the left option. Both seem to be a good idea to accomplish this. I did cull a significant amount of stuff out of the closet yesterday, but I would say it's still a good foot behind that wall full of stuff. I do have a few longer things (namely my tall husband's suits and two dresses) that I'd have to figure out how to hang because they might not fit well either way, but that shelving option sounds like it could work pretty well, and give me a place for anything else that could eventually accumulate.

I will talk to my handyman about this (aka my dad) and get his input because he will be doing that patching on the wall, and he might have a good idea on how to accomplish this. We do have a few closet companies here that I have checked out as well, though they may not work on budget at this point. I do want it to look nice because if and when we sell down the road, a useful closet will sell better than the way they are now.

Thank you!!!
0 Likes   September 6, 2013 at 8:58AM
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