Closets can make or break the sale of a house. Whether or not a home includes closets that are large enough to accommodate the average consumer has become a major selling point in today’s home market. Usually people are forced to sacrifice closet space in a home – especially while renting – resulting in closets that are overflowing, crammed full and lacking proper storage systems.
Combine unhappy, disorganized closets with the logistical problem of sharing a closet with a spouse or between children and the situation can seem downright dire. The secret to an organized, shared closet is fairly simple however and it all starts with the right mindset. Read on for how to achieve balance among the chaos.
The First Step For Organizing a Shared Closet
The first step to organizing a shared closet – whether it’s between roommates, children or spouses – is to take everything out of the closet and truly assess the space. A closet without toys spilling out or suit jackets scrunched into the corners is much easier to measure and plan out than one that has not been cleared out.
From here, it’s best to sit down and discuss how each person would like to use the closet. Parents should think about the needs of each child sharing the closet. Some good questions may be: “Will the closet need shelving for folded items?” “Do I want to store shoes in the closet or by the front door?” “Do toys need storage space in the closet?” “Is there enough space to create separate areas for each person or will everything be mixed together?”
Storage Solutions for Shared Closets
At this point, compromise becomes important as well as choosing a storage system that works for both parties. There are several commercially available systems that allow for complete customization of a closet depending on the needs and size of it. Once installed, these systems can help organize each area of the closet and can easily divide the space for use by more than one person.
Alternatively, homemade or DIY organization systems can be made for closets shared by more than one person or child at little to no cost. Most closets already have a wooden shelf over the clothes bar supported by a middle bracket. By purchasing another bracket and using it flat side down on top of the shelf, a seemingly built in divide is created. More shelf brackets can be used on each side to further divide up the space and create sections for folded items that may fall over such as sweaters or for boxes to slide into place.
Cloth-covered boxes are fairly expensive when it comes to closet storage. Using shoe boxes or taller, cardboard boxes and covering them with wrapping paper or fabric in can create a polished storage system for much less. Color coordinate the boxes for each user to ensure that he/she knows which box holds his/her items. Boxes can be used to store small items –mittens, scarves, socks, etc. – or seasonal items that may take up precious closet space otherwise.
Another easy, DIY idea for storage in a shared closet is to install another clothes bar below the first one. This immediately doubles the space for items that are short in length such as pants or t-shirts. Rods can be found in the closet section of a home improvement store, or can be made from inexpensive PVC piping. If the home is rented, one option to avoid drilling into the closet’s wall is to hang the second clothing bar from the first one using cording.
Once each person’s goals for the closet have been identified and agreed upon, it’s much easier to make them a reality by starting or installing storage systems. Place items that won’t be stored in the closet into a large box to sort, organize and properly store elsewhere later.
Check back tomorrow for part two of sharing a closet for a post on when to sell, when to donate and when to store clothing!
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