Tips & Guides

Some helpful tips for measuring and installing your custom organizing system.

Here is some practical advice about getting one step closer to a more organized you. Need help measuring? Want some ideas on what to expect when your closet components arrive? We've compiled these helpful articles so that you can get the most out of your new closet.

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How to measure your closet

When you are measuring your closet organizers first draw the layout on sheet of paper then label each wall from left to right (A, B, C, and so on). Then measure each section (wall) using a tape measure. Write down the dimensions on your drawing. Next measure the following:

  • Ceiling height

  • Base board height (base molding) and depth

  • Door frame (outside to outside dimensions. Notate which direction your door swings or slides)

  • Any obstructions (access panels, light switches, windows, vents, attics, crawl spaces, plumbing, ect.) Make sure you measure the full dimensions of each obstruction, then measure how far away from the end of one wall to the beginning of the obstruction.  Do the same for the other side and from the ground up to the ceiling down.


Tip: Double check all measurements. Sometimes it’s helpful to have someone other than yourself to re-measure.

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Construction types

There are two types of closet organizer systems.  Those that need the floor for supporting the installation, or the European type that is supported only by the back wall.  Some companies only do the floor standing closet organizers that you typically see at the big box stores like Home Depot.  They do not take much skill to install, so they can hire workers without any experience.  The European type is up off the floor, similar to upper kitchen cabinets.  There is more hardware involved in the European type, which requires more knowledge to install.  We produce both types of closet organizing systems, because we have found that people choose which type usually based on aesthetics.  So the choice is yours.

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Finish and hardware choices

Melamine is the best choice for custom closet systems. It is very abrasion resistance, does not fade, will not give you splinters and never needs refinishing. Melamine is available in a variety of solid colors, wood grain simulations and designer creations. White gives you the best bang for the buck and is still the most requested finish. White is also timeless, it will never go out of style. Simulated wood grains are warmer and surprisingly natural looking, but with an upgrade charge. Designer colors are not what you want to pick. They may not be offered in the future, which makes altering your system impossible. You also may grow tired of today’s fad color. Robin egg blue is cute for a baby boy, but when he turns 16, he will hate it.

Wardrobe tubes, baskets, drawer pulls, accessory racks are available in different metal finishes. Oil rubbed bronze, brushed nickel and stainless steel are popular. Polished brass, satin brass and chrome are still available. Again, choose wisely. Your closet system is a life companion. Timeless style trumps todays fashion fads.

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Inventory your wardrobe

Before designing your closet system, you need to make an assessment of what the system will accommodate. Purge the items you will never wear again. Items that are worn out, don’t fit or are no longer your style, should be donated or given away.

Now decide if you are a Form or a Function type of person. Do you want to create a piece of art or do you want your closet to be efficient and user friendly. Try to blend the two types with Form following Function. Sure crown molding looks nice, but by putting molding on your tops shelf, you will lose a lot of potential storage capacity. That is a typical choice.

Then decide how you want to organize your closet. Will it be by:
Seasonal wear
Work or play clothes
Height of garment

If you organize by height of garment, thereby making sections in the closet for long, medium or short garments, then you will get the most efficient capacity. You can still sub categorize by Monday through Friday and weekend clothing for instance, by having them in their own sections.

Next measure the linear storage needs you want for your garments. If you are putting all of your long dresses in one section, line them up together on the clothes rod, and measure the total width. Do the same for your medium length and short garments. How many pairs of shoes do you want in the closet? Are you typical of the 20/80 rule? If you wear 20% of your shoes 80% of the time, then maybe only that 20% should be readily accessible and the other 80% can be stored in a less accessible location. Or do you want to see all of your shoes in one section, which needs to be in a prime real estate area of the closet? How many sweaters, purses, ball caps do you have. Should these be on shelves or do you want them in drawers(not as efficient)? After you have made your choices on how you want to organize and have an inventory of your wardrobe, then you can design your closet with the knowledge you need.

If this seems too daunting or just not your thing, give us a call for an In-Home Design Consultation. We are professionals and done this thousands of times. We can help!

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