There are many different kinds of closet organizing systems. The challenge is finding or making one that fits your budget, needs, and personal style. Here are some suggested steps to help make the process easier.

Step One in Closet Organization: Budget

Decide on a budget. This is included as the first step because what your budget is will affect all other areas of your decision making process. You need to know how much you can or are willing to spend on organizing your closet before you go looking at closet organizing systems. It can be very tempting to justify the cost to yourself of buying a top of the line closet organizing system and then have buyer's remorse after you look at your credit card statement and realize that you really couldn't afford it. Decide on a budget and stick to it.

Step Two in Closet Organization: Make or Buy

Decide if you will be making it yourself, buying a pre-made closet organizing system and installing it yourself, or buying a professionally installed system. If you're not sure which way you want to go, start shopping around. The easiest way to find a closet organizing system company to professionally install your system is to go to dexonline.com and do a search in your area for closet organization. If you're going to be buying a pre-made system that you install yourself, shop around at local stores (The Container Store, Target, Home Depot) and/or online. If you want to make it yourself, check out the pros and the pre-made closet organizing systems in order to get some ideas about how you want to make your system.

Step Three in Closet Organization: Features

Figure out which components you want in your closet organizing system. You're going to want to sit down and really think about how you use your closet. How can you organize your closet so that it makes the most sense with your lifestyle? How can you organize your closet in order to make your life easier? Which features do you really want? Where will those features go in your closet?

Step Four in Closet Organization: Measurements

Take measurements. So why didn't I tell you to measure before you started shopping around? To help prevent impulse buying. Shopping around is just to give you an idea of what is available to you and to help you decide which direction you want to go with your closet organizing system. Now that you know what is available, take measurements of your closet. Buying a closet organizing system that is either too big or too small for your space will leave you frustrated and probably angry with the company that sold it to you. Get measurements of everything that you want to come with your new closet organizing system and make sure to measure where each piece will go.

Step Five in Closet Organization: Visual Aids

Get a visual aid. If possible, you'll want to get a virtual "tour" of what your closet will look like with the closet organizing system that you want to buy. A virtual "tour" of your new closet organizing system can go a long way in helping you really visualize how the system will look in your space. Draw out your space and what your new closet organizing system will look like in that space. Empty out the closet and use things around your home to help you get a clear visual. For example, if your ironing board is about as big as a cabinet piece that you want, put your ironing board in your closet where you want the cabinet to go. If you have a shelving unit that you want to install in a specific area, put masking tape on the wall to represent where you want your shelving system to go. Masking tape can take paint with it so be sure not to press the tape on the wall too hard or leave it on for very long.

Step Six in Closet Organization: Time to Buy or Make It

Buying or making your closet organizing system. You should now be ready to buy or make your closet organizing system. If you are buying a system, make sure that you know what the warranty is on the system and the return policy. If you are having a closet organizing system professionally installed, make sure you know the length of the warranty on the labor.

After you get your new closet organizing system installed, make sure that you go through everything before you put it back into your new closet. You don't want to be filling up your new closet with clutter so make sure that everything you are putting back are things you actually use on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you haven't used it within the past year, you're probably not going to use it again so toss it or give it away.

Ordering anything online can be a little scary, and ordering a custom product can be even more challenging. Here are a few suggestions to make ordering custom closets online a little easier and more secure.

1. Get familiar with your closet layout. Take exact measurements of each wall including the height of each wall. If the ceiling height varies in your closet, determine exactly where the change occurs. For wall widths, take measurements at both the floor level and at the highest level you can reach, and if you want to be extra careful take measurements mid-way. You'll want to use the smallest of these measurements when designing your closet, since this is the most restrictive dimension.

2. Make a simple sketch of your closet using a heavy lead pencil or pen and notate the measurements of each wall. You don't necessarily need to make your sketch to scale, but that would help you understand the potential of your closet.

3. Now that you have a sketch of your closet's layout start thinking about a logical floor plan. When designing your floor plan be realistic about the size of your space and any obstacles in your closet. Most people tend to over design a closet space in a effort to maximize storage area. Don't make a plan that blocks a door from swinging completely open or would create a cramped space. Better to move items to another storage area than create a tight and difficult closet. Remember that hanging clothes need at least 24 inches of depth and the minimum shelf depth for folded clothes is 12 inches.

4. When you have your closet floor plan finished begin assessing what type of articles you need to store in your closet and how much space you need for each type. Most people need more space for hanging clothes followed by folded clothes, shoes, purses and dirty laundry respectively. Determine if you want to have drawers in your closet and how many you need. Having drawers in your closet can free-up additional space in your bedroom.

5. Now that you have a rough ideal what you are going to store and how you are going to store it, it's time to create your closet design. The best way to do that is to find an online design program that can can design your closet to-scale. Several closet companies have online design programs geared to their individual products. Some of these online programs are very complicated and take some time to learn, but there are also some easy to use programs.

6. You need to design your closet one wall at a time. However, you also need to consider how the designs on each wall will meet at the corners, in walk-in closets. Some online design programs don't connect closets at the corners because of style of the product they offer. It's better to use companies that offer closet systems that utilize all of your closet space including the corners. After you find a program that you like start designing.

7. Some professional designer tips:

Try to create a balanced and visually appealing design. You're investing your time and money, be sure you like the finished product.

Locate drawers at the center of your closet design, directly across from the door so they are the first thing you see when entering the closet. Drawers make a good visual focal point and they typically need the extra clearance provided by the central location.

Use the corners for hanging space not shelves. Corner shelves are sometimes too deep and clothes get lost, but corners work well for hanging clothes.

Don't underestimate how much space you require for hanging clothes, and don't plan too much area for long hanging. With today's fashions most people don't need more than 12 to 24 horizontal inches of long hanging space.

8. Now that you have the perfect closet design let's talk about the products available online.

The Material- Almost all of the online closet companies use particle board with a melamine laminate veneer finish. Particle board is a very versatile and inexpensive material primarily used for the manufacture of low-end furniture. Unfortunately, particle board can also be brittle and vulnerable to moisture. The only company currently offering an alternative material is Speedy Closets. These components are constructed using MDF (medium density fiberboard) over a real wood frame. This is the same type of system used for the doors in your home. The system is very strong and highly resistant to moisture. All online closet companies use a melamine veneer as the surface material. Keep in mind the quality of melamine varies from the paper thin stuff you see on the cheap furniture from big box retailers, to high impact resistant melamine that looks and feels like real wood.

Closet Systems- Most of the online closet companies offer very similar style closet systems. These systems are usually held together using plastic fasteners and are hung on the wall like a kitchen cabinet without doors and the shelves are typically adjustable. The disadvantage to adjustable shelves are the hundreds of unattractive holes that line the interior of the closet sides. High quality custom closets never have numerous visible holes on the surface. Speedy Closets offers a floor based closet system with no visible holes lining the interior of sides and the highest quality melamine veneer online.

Price - Be sure you are getting an acceptable quality for the price of your closet. Compare the price from at least two online companies for similar closets systems. Be sure that you are also comparing similar quality products. While price is important, make sure the final product will be acceptable to you. Conversely, if you don't plan on staying in your present residence for long, perhaps you don't need to be concerned about the durability of particle board or wall hung closet systems. However, if you are concerned about aesthetics and quality of your closet system, be sure to do your research on the materials and style of closet you want.

Installation - Installing a closet can be a difficult and time consuming task even for someone handy with tools. If you have large closets you could find yourself sorting literally hundred of parts and spending days assembling your system. However, there are several companies that offer pre-assembled closets at no additional cost. With pre-assembled closets you can install your system in a fraction of the time and usually without any power equipment. Regardless of which type of system you order, always secure your closet to the wall using the hardware provided with the kit.With these insider tips you should be better equipped to order your custom closet online.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Bill_Lloyd

It is a fact that women are interested in closets more than men. The idea of having a big closet to organize and have fun with excites many women while men show no interest in that at all. Men usually want little to do with a closet and don't care one way or another what it looks like. This means that when you have a big master bedroom closet, the woman of the house is in charge of deciding what it will look like and how it will be used.

Only the bigger more expensive homes used to have walk in closets but now they are becoming more common in all types of homes. If you do have a large master bedroom closet, you will probably be looking for ways to manage the extra space. Typically women will have no problem figuring out what to do with all the extra room, as they own a lot more clothes and shoes than a man.

Anytime a woman walks into a big closet, you can almost hear her mind thinking of all the ways she would like to use the space. On the other hand, a man will have little interest in a closet of any size. This means that walk in closets are good for both parties because the woman will want to take over the space and the man won't care. This will make them both happy.

Some closets now are so big that they need light in them. Many walk in closets in expensive modern homes are almost the size of a small room and you need to figure out the best lighting solution. They may come with one light on the ceiling but that light may not be sufficient to properly light the area. You will then have to install more lights or bring in a lamp or two to do the job. A favorite lighting solution is track lighting that will look great and highlight the different areas of the closet that you want.

If you have a big closet, you will need to determine how much space each person gets. Usually, 75% of the closet will go to the woman and the man will be left with about 25%. This is because women often have a lot more shoes and clothes than men and they need the extra space. Actually they want the extra space too whether they have more clothes or not. Luckily, men don't usually care about such things and are agreeable to whatever makes their wives happy, at least in the world of closets!

Closet tubing: what you can expect to find

Profiles and sizes

Closet tubing comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. The most common shapes, or profiles, are round and oval. Round closet rod is sold in 1-1/16 inch diameter tube and 1-5/16 diameter tube. It can be purchased in steel, stainless steel, and aluminum.

Round closet rod generally carries more weight due to the shape of the tube and usually has a thicker wall. While either size is suitable for a closet, for maximum weight bearing capacity use 1-5/16 diameter rod.

Oval tube isn't truly oval in shape but more of an oblong rounded shape with two flat sides. It normally measures 15 x 30 mm or approximately 1-1/8 x 1-1/4 inches. Oval tube is manufactured in steel or aluminum.

Materials

Metal closet rod is available in Steel, Stainless Steel, and Aluminum. Steel is typically sold with a Polished Chrome finish; this is the most common closet rod material and finish. Its advantages are strength and durability at a lower price. Stainless Steel is typically sold with a satin or brushed finish. It offers the strength and durability of steel with the added advantage of rust and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel is ideal for humid and sea-side applications.

Aluminum is sold in a variety of anodized finishes. Anodizing is a process in which electricity is used to produce a hard and durable surface. Aluminum tubing is much lighter in weight but with a similar load bearing capacity to steel.

Evaluate your needs

Length - The first thing you should consider for your installation is the length of the closet rod. The length should be determined by measuring the wall to wall distance. Dry wall often has very slight waves or undulations in it so that the distance between walls may differ from one spot to another. For this reason it's important that you take your wall to wall measurement at the exact spot where the closet rod will be installed. Usually the closet rod is mounted at least 12 inches from the back wall. Having someone help you measure will make the job much easier and give you better results. If you need a closet rod over 8 feet long some profiles and finishes are available in extended lengths up to 12 feet.

Weight bearing needs - Next, decide what kind of clothing will be stored on your closet rod. While a mix of garments is expected in a normal closet, an Arizona wardrobe will be much different from a Minnesota wardrobe. Cold weather clothing will weigh a lot more and that should be taken into consideration. A closet rod in a coat closet will need to support a lot of heavy items while a closet rod in a nursery closet will not need to support much weight at all. Keep in mind that the longer the closet rod the more likely it is to sag when loaded with clothing. Center supports and shelf/rod brackets will keep the closet rod straight. As a general rule, closet rods under 5 feet don't require center support. For longer spans consider using center supports every 3 or 4 feet.

Finish - After the practical needs of your closet are determined you can concentrate on aesthetics. Profile shape, color, and finish should fit the d├ęcor of the closet and surrounding room. With so many choices available you should have no problem finding something to suit your taste.

Mounting Flanges

Mounting flanges are the supports that attach to the wall and hold your closet rod up. Each type of rod will have mounting flanges made specifically for it but there are common types of flanges used for all tubing. Open flanges are made with the top portion open like a "U" so the closet rod can be easily lifted out. Closed flanges completely encircle the end of the mounted closet rod and do not allow removal without unscrewing the flange from the wall. 32mm pinned flanges are made to work with 32mm systems or European Closet systems. These are closet systems that have pre-drilled holes spaced at 32 millimeters running up and down the closet side panels. While 32mm flanges can also be screwed in place, this isn't necessary and foregoing screws allows adjustment of the closet rod up or down if you wish. 32mm flanges are available for round and oval tubing in open and closed variations.

Accounting for mounting flange space

Since the mounting flange may have a back-plate, the flange you use will determine the cut length of the rod. For instance, if the wall to wall measurement is 60 inches and you are using two open flanges you'll need to subtract ¼ inch from the total length of the rod. Each open flange has a 1/8 inch back plate. 1/8 + 1/8 = ¼ inch of space that will occupy the total length of 60 inches. Some closed flanges have an opening all the way through so that your closet rod will actually touch the wall. In this instance the rod itself could actually be 60 inches long. Be sure to find out what space your mounting flanges will take up and factor that into the total length of the application. Each flange has a cuff, the part that encloses and supports the end of the tube. The cuff will be between ½ inch and 1 inch deep. Keeping in mind the cuff depth you may want to cut the closet rod just slightly shorter to give yourself some "wiggle room".

Cutting Closet Tubing

While it is possible to cut closet tubing yourself it's usually worth it to pay a cutting charge if that service is provided by your supplier. If you do decide to cut it yourself use a saw blade made for cutting metal. Be sure to use your saw as directed by the manufacturer to prevent accidents!

Installation

Once you have everything measured and cut you may proceed with installation. This step will be easier with some assistance so get a friend to help. You've already made sure that your tubing is adequate for your closet, now you need to make sure that it's firmly and securely mounted in place. The mounting flanges are far more likely to tear loose from the wall than your closet rod is to bend so it's critical that this step is done correctly! If the closet rod is to be attached to dry-wall be sure that it is located so the screws go through the dry-wall and into a wall stud. Dry-wall alone is not sufficient as a mounting surface. If you're unable to screw into a stud, plan on using a wood mounting board on top of the wall. This should be firmly attached to the wall studs and will provide a suitable point of attachment for your mounting flanges. If you do use a mounting board remember to subtract its thickness from your wall to wall measurement when determining your closet rod length. Depending on the type of flange you're using, it may be screwed in place before the rod is set or it may need to be slid onto the rod prior to screwing in place.

Using Your Closet

Once everything is in place you can start filling your closet. While metal tubing has a very durable finish it can scratch if used roughly. It's always a good idea to use quality hangers to protect your clothes and your closet rod. Plastic hangers will ensure that the finished surface remains scratch free. Wood and metal hangers are fine just as long as the hook has a smooth finished end. Wire dry cleaning hangers have sharp ends and should be avoided.

Using the information presented here you'll be ready to make an informed purchase and complete your closet installation like a pro!

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