Condo living sometimes means limited storage space. Our closet expert discusses features and design options to help maximize one Bethesda woman’s walk-in.
The closet experts at Closet America want everyone to find the perfect closet solution for their home. In our Ask a Closet Expert series, we answer questions from local DC-area residents about their storage issues, providing insight from our years in the industry.
Today, we answer a question from Julie in Bethesda. She says:
“I recently bought a condo in Bethesda, and I love it! I really enjoy being within walking distance of downtown. My only problem is that my bedroom closet is tiny, and I have lots of clothes. How do I fit everything in?”
Thanks for your question, Julie! We see your problem pretty frequently in Bethesda. Although the city’s median home prices have dropped, people are paying more per square foot these days, and condo living is on the rise. Every closet is a little different, but we have some suggestions for how to make the most of your limited space.
Install Stacked Hanging Bars and Shelving
Most closets waste a lot of space up top. When you’ve only got a single hanging bar with one shelf above it, it’s hard to utilize your full storage volume.
We suggest adding multiple wardrobe lifts. These are hanging bars that can be tilted up and down for easy access. It’s a clever way to use space at the very top of your closet without having to drag out a stepladder every time you need a sweater.
What about shelving? We find that a column of stacked shelving along the sides of your closet (or right down the middle) is your best bet. Multiple narrow shelves allow you to fit more folded clothing into your closet, and this arrangement also gives you more organizational options. You can have separate shelves for t-shirts, jeans, and your collection of Beanie Babies.
Utilize Lower Spaces
The area between the hems of your hanging garments and the floor often gets wasted as well. Making the most out of a small closet means using every inch available, so we recommend installing drawers and pull-out baskets into this lower area. Pull-out baskets are particularly versatile and great for everything from handbags and scarves to clothing that’s not really foldable, like socks and underwear.
Look for Creative Storage Options
The back of your closet door is a great place to mount hooks for hats, backpacks, purses, and even jewelry. If you need extra space for shoes, you might also want to install an extra shoe rack here.
You should also consider adding closet accessories designed to maximize space. For example, slide-out racks don’t take up much wall space and help keep your belts organized. A pull-out laundry hamper with a removable lining may save space if you’re currently using a laundry basket on the floor for dirty clothes.
Think Outside the Closet
If your wardrobe rivals Kate Middleton’s, Julie, you may have to accept the fact that it’s physically impossible to fit everything in your bedroom closet. But there are still workarounds.
First, we’d suggest rotating your seasonal clothing. Winter coats and sweaters can be put into storage bins under your bed during the summer to free up space and make it easier to find what you need. You might also consider renovating your hall closet with some of the features we’ve discussed and using that space to store clothes you don’t wear often.
Go Custom to Make the Most of Limited Closet Space
When you open your closet, Julie, your goal should be to see nothing but clothing and accessories stored neatly in every nook and cranny. If you spot any large patches of wall between your clothes, then you aren’t using your closet to its full potential.
To figure out a setup that will maximize your storage ability, you’re welcome to get in touch with us and arrange a free consultation with one of our storage experts. Small closets are a challenge, but a good design specialist can create big plans for getting the most out of them.
Lead Image Credit: Payton Chung (CC by 2.0)