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6 Ways to Solve Closet Space Problems

By Marla Caceres, Brand Publishing Writer

Sometimes a clothing collection outgrows its home. Sometimes a house or condo’s smaller square footage just doesn’t allow for a giant walk-in closet.

Solve Closet Problems But don’t worry, says Wendy Rossi, a Boca Raton-based interior designer with Baer’s Furniture, a collection of fine furniture stores with 15 locations throughout Florida. “Homeowners can look to furniture pieces to solve their storage problems,” Rossi advises. “Dressers, armoires and chests can do a great job of keeping extra clothes organized.”

Here are tips from expert designers and organizers on how to use furniture to handle clothing overflow.

1. Think outside the dresser

A traditional piece like a dresser or chest of drawers is a great go-to for organizing clothes. But there are less-obvious storage opportunities, too. Your nightstand, for example, can serve as more than just your bedroom’s junk drawers.

“Nowadays, nightstands have gotten very big,” says Rossi. “They used to be 24 inches wide, now they’re 28, 32 on the small side, and they get bigger from there.”

If you have enough space on each side of your bed, consider bachelor’s chests instead of nightstands. They’re a bit larger than nightstands (about 3 feet wide or more with three drawers) but small enough in scale to look appropriate in place of a nightstand.

Dressers have been super-sized as well. They’re taller than previous versions, accounting for the need for increased storage. Still, for some, more space is mandatory. “If a client says the dresser isn’t enough, I try them to do bachelor chests on each side of the bed,” Rossi says. “If each has three drawers, that’s another dresser.”

2. How much storage do you really need?

Before buying extra furniture, figure out exactly how much extra storage you’ll need — you might need less than you think you do.

“My first piece of advice to a client in this situation would be to sort and purge your clothes before making a furniture purchase,” says professional organizer Stacey Agin Murray. “You may think you own 17 pair of pants, but after a good sort and purge session, you may find that two are stained, three don’t fit anymore and one you never liked anyway. Suddenly you don’t have as much clothing as you thought.”

3. Buy the right piece

The piece you choose won’t just need to store sweaters and T-shirts — it will need to harmonize with the rest of your bedroom furniture. In this case, both function and form are equally important.

Luckily, furniture manufactures are taking note and designing pieces that look great and help homeowners meet storage challenges.

“Manufacturers are understanding that the consumer would like their extra storage pieces to look pretty and blend into their home’s decor as opposed to being industrial looking,” Murray says. “With more and more people downsizing (not affording “McMansions” anymore), I predict a trend of making storage pieces on a smaller scale will be on the rise.”

4. Measure, measure, measure

You may have fallen in love with the perfect piece that fits in with your decor and will store your extra clothes, but make sure it’s the perfect size for your bedroom, too.

“Measure twice, buy once,” Murray says. “I’ve seen too many people buy something that may work to store their clothes, but it ends up overpowering their space.”

Rossi agrees, and advises that you measure, create a floor plan and then visit the store before deciding on any furniture purchase.

5. It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Once you’ve purchased your piece, organize the inside to make the most of the extra storage space.

“In many cases, a piece of storage furniture is one large space. The likelihood of clothes being piled one on top of another is high,” Murray says. “The use of organizing products in such a space will help to break up the space and separate clothing types for easy retrieval, and enable the owner to put the clothes back easily, too.”

An armoire or a wardrobe can be fitted with a bar to make room for hanging clothes. Slim, velvet-lined hangers take up less space than traditional, bulkier hangers, allowing you to hang a few more garments.

Drawers can be fitted with dividers, and baskets or boxes can break up larger, open spaces.

6. Go custom

If you can’t the perfect piece, don’t settle for just-good-enough. Instead, look into purchasing a custom-made piece that will work well and look good.

“Baer’s Furniture does a lot of custom furniture,” Rossi says. “You can get a custom piece made to match the finish of the furniture you already have in your bedroom.”