How to organize closets effectively

Whether it’s a kitchen cupboard, a clothes closet, or a general storage closet, the principles are the same: store anything you use frequently between waist and eye level. Put items used less often near the floor and the least-used ones overhead. Store small things on a low shelf where you can see and sort through them easily. Because few people can reach more than 10 inches above their heads, higher shelves should hold less frequently used objects, such as luggage.

Clothes closets

A minimum of 3 to 5 feet of rod space holds an average wardrobe. You can increase this by installing two rods, one above the other, to hang shirts, skirts, jackets, and trousers. Leave enough full-length hanging space for long coats, dresses, and bathrobes.

If you can tailor closet shelves to fit your possessions, you’ll not only save space but will avoid time-consuming stacking and unstacking. When installing new shelves, use metal tracks and shelf supports that allow you to adjust shelves as your needs change. Or double your present shelf space with some freestanding platforms; they can be any length and need not span the entire closet. If your shelves are so deep that you can’t reach the back, consider adding slide-out bins.

Try to keep closet floors clear. Place shoes on low shelves or in shoebags. Hang such items as tennis rackets, brooms, and mops from hooks, nails, or spring clips.

Ample light makes it easier to keep a closet neat. You might want to install a light. Battery types are available. Painting the walls with white semigloss paint adds brightness.

To keep closets fresh, allow for good air circulation. Install a vent in the door, or substitute louvered doors. A can of charcoal on a shelf will absorb moisture and counteract mustiness.