Most of us are living in rental spaces or homes that we lovingly shopped for and chose. Regardless of whether you love your apartment or house, the same can not often be said for the size or design of the storage areas that came with these homes. Given the opportunity to design a house with perfect closets, what are the important things to consider before actually deciding on how big your closets really should be?

Here are some tips and ideas which may help when you thinking about the real purpose of your storage. Proper closet design and space allocation will result in a well functioning house where you have a good balance between living and storage space.

Before the current trend towards closet makeovers, creating extra storage space where there was none before and oversized walk-in ensuite closets, our storage options were often limited to just the essential 'tiny square closet with a clothes rod and a hat shelf'. Now with renovation projects creating new and imaginative storage spaces, and new construction allocating space for large walk-in closets, you need to give more thought as to what makes a good closet design, since it's harder to make a larger storage space effective without proper planning.

So the first big question when designing each of your storage areas is whether it should be a walk-in or not. The biggest factor for most people will be the space (and therefore cost) that a walk-in closet requires. If that's not a concern for you, then the second question should be "do I really need a walk-in closet"? Remember, if you have too much storage space, it will typically be used, and the danger of clutter is just as much a concern as if you have too little room to store your items.

Even though you have the option to design a bigger storage space, you may decide that this isn't actually the most effective decision in certain cases. If so, then just remember that small closets require just as much effort in the design process in order to create efficiently functioning storage spaces. Especially since space is limited, an oversight in the design process, such as an opening which is too small, may end up wasting valuable storage space.

Whether you closet is large or small, it will be essential to install good lighting, which will light all corners of the closet. There is nothing worse than not having enough lighting so that you can't see what is at the back of shelves or under ledges. Make sure that the lighting you install is positioned in a way that the shelving and objects stored don't block the light, and also keep in mind the shadow you will cast when you are looking for something in your closet.

The last thing to consider is the style of shelving, compartments, racks and hangers that you require in order to store all of your belongings. There are wonderful storage rack designs these days that offer a number of pull-down, pull-out, or swing-away options which let you store your belongings neatly, but allow you to put them out of the way of other items when you don't need them. Make sure to install enough shelves etc so everything has a place, but don't add too many so that you end up having to move items in order to access other items.

Remember that designing your closet to maximize the amount of stuff that you can store is important, but if you cram too much stuff into your closets, then the effectiveness is minimized if you can't actually quickly find what you are looking for, or there isn't a good spot to put the items you are trying to put away. Make sure the organizer system you choose has enough compartments or drawers or shelves to easily store everything you are storing.


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