How many times have you said you were going to take the time to clean out your clothes closet on the next rainy day and before you know it another season or year passes by and you haven’t done a thing except clutter and cram more clothes in the same small space.
If you take a look in your closet I am sure you will find only a handful of pants, shirts, dresses that you wear regularly. The rest are worn occasional and some never worn. Every time you reach to throw the old clothes out you procrastinate and continue keep them, maybe only for the memories of times passed, you want to believe that someday you might wear them again.

Remember photos and pictures are for capturing memories and not the old clothes you wore. Now is the time to get rid of the old clothing and shoes that don’t fit you or are years out of style, bite the bullet and give them up. I know especially for many women, this is a painful task to consolidate and narrow down your existing wardrobe to only the things that are still in style, still fit you and clothing that is comfortable.

Recently I planned and decided to increase our closet space and make an opening from our master bedroom into the garage attic to build a new walk in master closet. The attic space is next to our master bedroom so I thought this would be perfect large space to build a closet for my wife and me. I originally thought since we would both share the new closet since we shared a 7’x7′ walk in closet for the past twenty years and surely a new 12’x14′ closet with a center island, sitting area and try on area would be more than enough space with room to spare for both of us. Well, did I underestimate how much space my wife needed and how fast the hanging space, shelves, shoe racks and 20 drawers would fill up with only my wife’s clothes.

When the new closet was complete I decided to let my wife use the entire new space for her clothes only. I ended up with half of the old original closet space about 3 1/2′ of double tier hanging space and 4 drawers- of which are all still empty. This is even less space than I originally had before the new master walk in closet was built. This is when it occurred to me that she definitely has way too many clothes and could never wear even 25% of the clothes that went into the new closet space.

I mean this new closet was fit for a Queen with 24′ of double racked hanging space, an 11 shelf x 36″ wide shoe rack, 20 deep depth wide drawers, 2 full length mirrors for try on, leather ottoman to sit and try on shoes, electric outlets in the center island for ironing small items and approx 20 various size adjustable shelves. All custom made maple wood cabinetry with ebony satin drawer faces with brushed nickel accessories and hardware. The solid hardwood floors are Brazilian Cherry and the entrance to the room has matching stained wood double French doors to give an open feeling into the bedroom.

This is an example of having too much space and filling it with items not needed. You see my wife moved all of her clothes, old and new, out of the other 5 closets in the house and put them all into the new walk in closet. Don’t get me wrong I am all for organized space and she is fortunate to have a wardrobe room of this size all for her own clothing. I promised her that if I see any new clothing or shoes come into our home, an older item must be thrown out to make space for the new one and if she didn’t do it I would.

My point is, if you don’t have the room for extra closet space, take the time to cleanout, plan and organize the valuable space you already have. From my experience it can work, I was able to organize my original closet space and increase the storage with two rows of hanging closet poles, adding storage racks to the back of the swing out closet door, install a separate tie and belt rack and a narrow shoe rack that holds 10 pair of shoes. I also utilized the top shelf above the hanging space and installed a 20″deep shelf to replace the standard 12″ shelf. This along with consolidating my wardrobe to only the clothes I wear and eliminating old shirts and pants that are outdated or worn out, I was able to gain additional space in the existing closet.

If you are considering making space for a new larger walk in closet, I suggest you take some time to plan out the room item by item calculating how much space you presently have and how much space you really need for each type of organized area. Measure your present hanging space and use this as a start of how much additional space you would want. Consider making 2 different hanging heights for women’s clothes. Taller space for long dresses and medium tall space if you plan to hang pants by the full length instead of folded on the hanger. Shelf space should be made adjustable for different size items like handbags, hats or shoe boxes.

Shoe racks should be made in different sizes accordingly from short spaces approx 4″-6″ for sandals to medium spaces 6″-7″ for sneakers or heels and larger spaces 8″-10″for boots. If you are planning drawer storage make a couple of narrow depth drawers 3″- 4″ for undergarments or swimsuits so they can lay flat, some 4″-6″ drawers for socks, and deeper 6″-8″drawers for sweaters or bulky items or handbags. Install a couple extendable valet rods to have a place to set clothes out on hangers for the next day or a place to quickly hang dry cleaned items before they are put away.

For do it yourselfers- many different size storage units, shelving, closet poles and drawers can be purchased from home centers. If some of these choices seem a little overwhelming you might want to consult with a custom closet contractor. They can design the closet for you and give you the best organized solution to fit your personal storage needs.