Home decorating: Looking for more closet space?

If cramming in new spring clothing already proved too much for your overstuffed and disorganized closet, it’s time to expand. Nothing tidies a room and makes getting dressed less traumatic than a well-organized, capacious closet. Ready to redo yours? First, think hard about the design, says Melanie Jackson Bergin, California Closets’ lead designer.

“A closet is such a personal thing, everyone has different needs and expectations,” she says. “Decide what you want. Do you want your thousands of shoes displayed, or do you want to maximize space? If you’re limited with how much room you have, then you have to compromise and design for maximum storage.”

Jackson gives us tips to create a great closet:

»Keep obstructions minimal. For example, if you need a light switch or outlet in the closet, put it on a sidewall that you won’t be putting shelves or rails on.

»Really pay attention to the height of your storage system. Keep things reachable, but also up high enough so that your clothes won’t drag on the floor when you hang them.

»Don’t clutter your new closet: Sort, save or purge. If you don’t love it or if you don’t wear it, donate it!

Thinking about building your own?

“Be honest: What is your skill level?” Jackson says. “If you think you can handle it, go for it. The biggest do-it-yourself nightmare we see is when the person didn’t find all the studs,” she says, referring to the wall’s wood posts. “A year goes by and the closet starts to fall apart.”

Now for fun

The fun part is adding interior railing, shelving and drawers. For efficiency, shop online — taking care of delivery, too. Organize-It, CSN stores and ClosetMaid have a gazillion fittings and finishes. Don’t forget lighting: Wire in a flush mount with pull cord to eliminate switchs, or use a battery-operated LED Touch Light. Finally, hang your clothes.

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