So many homes have what I call ‘the builder special’. This closet has a single wire shelf and rod, hung at approximately 72-78″ high. This is fantastic if you are 6’+ and wear a lot of dresses that require storage. If you are not in this demographic, however, your space is most likely wasted and/or underutilized.
With respect to offices or spaces that are not bedrooms, I often find that the best way to add organization and utility to a closet is by adding shelves. You may do this by simply adding a free-standing shelf unit. To measure, be sure to take into consideration any support brackets that are below your existing shelf/rod. The height of the shelving unit must be able to push to the back of the closet. If you go with an adjustable shelving unit, you may put the top shelf at a height to allow you to slip it under the existing shelf/rod. Something like free-standing wire shelf below from Amazon with a height of 54″ will fit under any shelf at that height. You simply need to adjust the top shelf down to a lower height to accommodate whatever you want to store there. With these units, shelves can be moved to any height you need. Consider purchasing extra shelves to add to those provided to give you more flexibility. In addition, shelf liners are available for most sizes of freestanding shelves. If you plan to store items that are smaller or oddly shaped, consider shelf liners, at least for those shelves. (see link below)
If your closet is 72″ wide, consider purchasing one 36″ wide unit and a 30″ or even 24″ wide unit to fill the space. Take into account any base molding that may impact the width of your closet.
Another option is to remove the existing shelf/rod and install a wall-mounted system. This will allow for maximum flexibility but does take some time and basic carpentry skills. ClosetMaid has some kits that may be installed. The kit below from Amazon offers 48″ wide shelves that are braced by brackets that insert into vertical supports.
This kit is 80″ tall and all shelves are adjustable. I highly recommend adding additional brackets and shelves to customize your storage for your needs. Place the heaviest items on the bottom and the lighter items on higher shelves. Based on the size, adjust your shelves to just accommodate the height of the tallest item on that shelf. Consider containing smaller items such as tape, boxes of paper clips, or sticky notes in bins. If you wish, you can further customize by selecting each component of the shelves that best fit your space. For example, the top rail and the shelves could be purchased in 6′ lengths (or a 4′ and adding a 2′).
Another product that I love and use often is FreedomRail. This is available from www.OrganizedLiving.com. Similar systems are available at Lowes and Home Depot, however, I like the extreme flexibility and copious options with FreedomRail. When designing storage for an office space, take into consideration the items that will be stored. Do you want to move a filing cabinet into the space? Will you store office supplies? Books? Consider this when selecting your storage. Wire shelving is fine when storing boxes or containers. It doesn’t work as well with books or smaller items that might easily fall through or tip over. Below is an example of the FreedomRail system with wood shelves.
Ultimately, no matter the solution you put into place, you should first consider what and how you want to store the items in your closet. Pull out everything and put items into categories (i.e. copy paper, general office supplies, resource materials, etc…). Then determine how you want to store them. Lastly, determine the spacing of the shelving needed.
I offer virtual custom closet consultations utilizing FreedomRail and a 10% discount to clients on their purchase of a FreedomRail system. These systems ship directly to you and are extremely easy to install. To schedule your consultation, email Darci@NaturalOrderLLC.com.