Walk-in closets are a perennial favorite among home buyers. But older homes and small townhouses and condos may have only small closets — or worse — no closets at all in some rooms.
While not ideal, lack of closet space is not an insurmountable obstacle. Once you’ve paired down your wardrobe to a reasonable number of pieces, use our handy step-by-step guide to make the most of the storage you have.
Wardrobes. This one may seem obvious, but wardrobes are an excellent closet alternative. An armoire can be a beautiful statement piece. Find antique versions at flea markets or estate sales or more modern styles at retailers like IKEA. If you need a lot of storage, consider buying multiple, simple wardrobes and lining them along one wall of your room. The best part about a wardrobe is that you can close the door and your mess is gone.
Open storage. Done right, open storage can be visually appealing. By using a combination of garment racks or hanging rods and shelves, create a storage system that looks like art. The key is planning it to fit cohesively within your existing architecture. Place your clothing with care. One attractive method is to organize the clothes by color. Alternatively, arrange them by length. For items you’re storing on shelves, a folding board is a great, small investment. Not only will it make your sweater collection look neat, it makes folding a breeze.
Create your own walls. If a wardrobe isn’t an option, but you still want to be able to close the door on your clothing storage, create a barrier. Try suspending a curtain from the ceiling, hiding your clutter and creating a luxurious feel. Room dividers accomplish the same thing, but may be more expensive. Finally, a tall bookshelf makes a great wall that doubles as storage for folded items, shoes, and purses. If placed in a corner, create your own makeshift walk-in closet.
Get creative. Employ cool accent pieces to provide additional clothing and accessory storage. A wall ladder can be the perfect place to hang scarves or high heel shoes. Vintage suitcases and trunks make excellent storage containers. A suspended tree branch or an oar might make an interesting hanging rod — and a cool conversation piece.