4 Expert Tips To Choose A Closet System

Closet systems may look similar in showrooms and on e-commerce portals, but they transform into vastly varying personal storage spaces the moment you begin to put your stuff in them. You may be a TV reporter always on the move and on-call 24/7. Or, you could be a 40+ team leader, settled comfortably in a secure job. Naturally, your closets will have vastly different "mandates."

Read on to find out which closet will best suit your needs and why. These are important tips that will land you your much-needed and much-desired closet system.

How Do Closet Systems Make Your Life Easier?

Well-thought, well-planned, and well-organized storage systems can let you live an uncluttered domestic life, significantly reducing time spent on organizing stuff at home. You will be surprised, people in the US pay $30-$80 per hour to professional home organizers!

A sensible closet system can:

  • Reduce the re-cluttering rate. With unscientific closets, clutters can return with alarming speed, and you are back to square one within a fortnight! Well-designed closet systems can reduce re-cluttering significantly.
  • Improve closet hygiene: Unkempt closets invite bacteria formation. They are common breeding grounds for fungus, mold, and mildew, especially in rainy months. A neat and tidy closet keeps bacteria at bay.
  • Make your room more hospitable. Have you ever viewed your room from the lenses of a visitor? An untidy closet can be an eyesore for you and others. A well-arranged closet system adds charm to your room.

So, what is a sensible closet system? It's the one that meets your needs and adjusts to your lifestyle and habits. Your search begins with the style of the closet.

Chocolate Manufactured Wood Closet System
Silver Steel Metal Closet System
Black Silver Metal Freestanding Closet System
White Metal Wall Mounted Closet System
Pure White Manufactured Wood Closet System
Tuscany Brown Manufactured Wood Closet System

What Are The Main Closet Systems?

Walk-in closets

Versatile, scalable, and adaptable, these closets are designed to take in all types of your clothes, footwear, accessories, and personal care and vanity items. From single-user requirements to family needs, they cater to varying mandates.

You will come across walk-in closets running across a wall or L-shape designs intersecting two walls. Some features of walk-in closets are:

  • A combination of drawers, cabinets, and open shelves
  • A central island where you can store stuff that is not utilized or only occasionally utilized
  • A vanity zone with a mirror door that stores your personal and vanity merchandise
  • Sloping shelves to display your footwear in showroom style
  • Sections with hanging rods of different heights

You will opt for a walk-in closet if:

  • You are a family of different age-groups and different needs. This closet is a one-stop destination for the entire family.
  • You have wall-space of about 10' to dedicate as exclusive closet space.
  • You have a large variety of clothes, footwear, accessories, personal and intimate wear, activewear etc. to go into one big closet.
Chocolate Manufactured Wood Walk In Closet System
White Manufactured Wood Corner Walk In Closet System
Bark Gray Manufactured Wood Walk In Closet System
Manufactured Wood Walk In Closet System
White Manufactured Wood Walk In Closet System
Cherry Walk In Sets Closet System

Reach-in closets

These are the closets that you find in the hallways, children's rooms, and bedrooms. They are usually of lesser depth than walk-in closets. This is because their shallower return walls limit the access of your arm-reach.

Contemporary reach-in closet designs offer enhanced storage capacities through:

  • Mounting systems that offer adjustable shelf arrangement
  • Slotted channels that let you reconfigure the storage areas dynamically
  • Cube organizers that fit into various closet spaces
  • Drawers that can fit into multiple spaces
  • Shallow sliders for folded and small items
  • Sections with hanging rods in different heights

Reach-in closets are for homes that don't have exclusive closet spaces and have to utilize hallways or compromise room spaces for the purpose. That is why these closets are designed to use lesser depth than walk-in closets.

Silver Metal Reach In Closet System
White Manufactured Wood Reach In Closet System
Manufactured Wood Reach In Closet System
White Solid Wood Reach In Closet System
Bark Gray Manufactured Wood Reach In Closet System
Manufactured Wood Reach In Double Hang Closet Kit

Wardrobe

These are stand-in closets, the affordable option for limited space and budget. There are wardrobe designs that don't need as much space as walk-in or reach-in closets, and yet serve the same purposes at a lesser cost.

Wardrobes have hinged doors, and this feature offers extra storage space without requiring additional space. You can easily hang small belongings on hooks fitted on the inside of these doors.

Inside the wardrobe, you will come across drawers, built-in cabinets, shelves, and hanging sections with rod. So, it's pretty much a closet by another name.

The toddler version of wardrobes is the armoire. It can take in all the stuff of your infant in a single, neat and tidy closet unit.

Wardrobes are for nuclear families, singles, and young live-in couples who don't have very elaborate closet needs, also ideal for people who move houses quite often, since they can be transported easily. They are also excellent for undivided spaces such as studio apartments. 

Lintel Oak Manufactured Wood Wardrobe
Mahogan Manufactured Wood Sliding Door Armoire
Gray Steel Plastic Freestanding Closet System
White Manufactured Wood Freestanding Closet System
Light Acacia Manufactured Wood Open Wardrobe
Bark Grey Manufactured Wood Freestanding Closet System

What Are the Best Sizes For Closets and Their Components?

Proper sizing of a closet and its components is key to their efficiency and sustainable uncluttering. Take the below size-guide as baseline dimensions:

Sizes for walk-in closets

Standard closet dimensions are:

  • Width: 6' to 12'
  • Height: 4' to 6'
  • Depth: 3' to 4'

Dimensions for sections for hanging clothes:

  • Width: 4' or 6'
  • Height: 4' for coats and jackets, 2' for folded clothes such as pants, 3' for shirts and blouses
  • Depth: 2'

Since these sections have different height requirements, you could also divide them, with the 4' tall section going on the top, while the 3' and 2' sections can be at the lower compartments of the closet. All hanging sections should have a minimum of 6" air space on all the sides.

An alternative size arrangement is double-hang, wherein you can configure short and long hanging heights in the same section. Hanging heights for long and short rods will be 4' and 2' respectively.

For large walk-in closets of 12' width, there should be about 2' of walkway space on all the sides.

Important: Walk-in closets for the disabled persons should have a walkway space 30" wide and 48" deep, as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

As for shelves, these are the size-guides:

  • 14" depth and 12" width. This will comfortably accommodate folded garments without disturbing their crisp folds or creasing them.
  • A gap of 18"-20" between shelves for optimizing their usage and for adequate air circulation.
  • The upper shelves will be at the height of the upper hanging rod -- about 60" to 66" from the floor.
  • Middle shelves will be at the belt level -- about 36" from the floor.
  • No shelves below 30" height, as they are ergonomically not advisable.

You can have closed cabinets on the lower part of closets for storage of footwear and miscellaneous items.

Gray Classic Corner Walk Closet System
Solid Manufactured Wood Freestanding Closet Storage Units
Poplar Wood Walk In Freestanding Closet System
White Manufactured Wood Hanging Closet System
Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Closet System
Frost Wall Mounted Closet System

Sizes for reach-in closets

These are not as deep as walk-in closets, just deep enough to hang coats and overcoats perpendicularly to the back wall, and shallow enough so that you don't have to step in to take the coats out.

Standard dimensions of reach-in closets:

  • Width: 6' to 8'
  • Height: 4' to 5'
  • Depth: 2' to 2 ½'

Also, because reach-in closets are less deep, their return walls should be of maximum 12" depth, or else they will create deep crevices that will be difficult to access without stepping in.

The rest of the dimensions remain the same as those of walk-in closets. 

Carmel Solid Wood Deluxe Closet System
White Manufactured Wood Wall Mounted Tower Kit
Freestanding Starter Kit Closet System
Manufactured Wood Hanging Closet System
Manufactured Wood Freestanding Hallway Unit
Brown Wood Metal Closet Organizer

How Can I Personalize My Closet?

These are some innovative ideas:

  • Display small artefacts, figurines, and small planters on the shelves
  • Show off your fashion jewelry --  funky bracelets, shiny earrings, tasseled waistbands… don't hide them inside drawers but hang them artistically on hooks. They can make a very interesting visual display and also convey your excellent taste.
  • Put in view waist belts, hairbands, and other body accessories.
  • Cover the inner wall or closet door/s with wallpaper of a theme or design that matches the entire closet persona.
  • If you have a vanity section, decorate the mirror with an ornate frame.
  • Hang a string of tiny LED lights on the closet edges.
  • Light up your closet. Apart from creating a bright and vibrant mood, lights will also prevent bacteria formation.
  • Finally, go after the hangers! Have them of as many varieties and colors as you can. When they are not hanging clothes, they will double up as hanging artifacts!

Lily is a modern designer with great appreciation for sleek architecture, a love for art in its many forms, and a passion for sharing her experience with people. If you’re looking for advice on how to modernize your old-fashioned place or make your new restaurant a visual blast, she’s definitely the one to ask.