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Designing a Functional Closet

Depending on what year your house was built, your closet may have the standard “one shelf and one rod”.  Trying to organize a closet with this design is almost impossible.  You may be able to neaten it up for a while, but eventually it will end up looking just like it did before you started working on it.

designing a functional closetThe problem with a closet like that is the design.

All of the storage is overhead.  Even if you are able to fold clothes and store them up high eventually they will topple over and be a mess.  Stacking anything is never a good idea whether it is in the kitchen or closet.  When you want that one thing that is on the bottom of the stack it can be awfully frustrating trying to pull it out without causing everything on top to fall.

The goal is to have more shelves with less on them. 

Having just one rod to hang clothes on is never a great idea for several reasons.
  • If you hang shirts and pants on the same rod that you hang dresses, you will quickly discover there is wasted space underneath that is not functional.
  • Usually shoes are stored in the bottom of the closet and they rarely end up in an orderly fashion.
A better design for this particular closet, and other closets would be something like this:

Photo courtesy of Organize4U

…to everything in its place!

This particular closet system gives you flexibility to change with the times.


I always recommend installing shelving that adjusts.  


Adjustable shelving allows you the option to create space where you need it for shoes, pocketbooks or other items.  Stacking these things is no longer necessary. This design also allows for double hang which increases your space by 100%.  The unit in the middle accommodates shoes that almost always remain in an orderly fashion because a specific place is created for them.  After designing and installing a closet system that was functional, this client was able to organize her entire closet by herself.


Of course, before you try to do ANYthing with your closet space, make sure you take everything out and purge, purge, purge!  Donate clothes that no longer fit or are no longer in style. Ditto with shoes, purses, accessories – anything that’s just taking up space!


Finding a system that works may take trial and error, but there’s no sense in organizing stuff you’re not going to use anyway!


What’s your closet looking like these days?  Perhaps it’s time for a little makeover of your own!

Kim Pittman

Kim Pittman

Kim has successfully helped create time and space for hundreds of people in Southwest Georgia. In 2005 she started Organize 4U with a vision to help individuals live clutter-free and productive lives. She organizes areas in the home, including pantries, attics, storage buildings and garages. Kim also custom designs and installs closet systems that enhance storage capacity. Her expertise also includes office space and systems. For organizational tips, find her on Facebook at Organize 4U. And you’ll find lots of great organizational info, including before and after shots, on her website Organize4U.org.
Kim Pittman

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