Designing Closet Organization Systems

Closet organization systems are one way to expand an existing clothes space and improve storage. It is possible to find existing closet organization systems at your local home improvement center retailer and many large discount stores. You can design and create your own closet organization system by combining your desired closet storage elements.

Storage Elements

Basic closet storage needs are met by a primary hanging bar and a few shelves. However, today’s homeowners often need more storage options than to keep their closets organized.

  • Secondary Hanging Bar - A secondary hanging bar provides the ability to hang clothing at more than one height. This allows shirts, slacks, skirts and other items to hang without problem and often doubles the amount of clothing that can be hung. In some cases, a closet organizer system will have several different hanging bars at differing heights so that clothing of different lengths can be organized into sections.


  • Shelves - Shelving is a must-have accessory in almost any closet organization system. Shelves can be placed in several different locations in the closet system to store sweaters, small items or smaller baskets of specific items. Standard shelving widths are 12 and 16 inches.


  • Drawers - Drawers are used in closet organizers to create a more cohesive storage system. In many cases, there are items that are better stored when they are placed in drawers. As part of an entire closet system, a bank of drawers eliminates the need for an external freestanding dresser.


  • Shoe Racks – Another common element in closet systems is a shoe rack or a series of shoe racks. Shoes are probably one of the most difficult to manage clothing items. A well designed shoe storage system can be made of simple shoe box compartments or a rotating series of shelves that allow shoes to be organized according to type of shoe, color and even season.

Designing the Closet System

Once you know the different elements you want to integrate into your closet system, then you will need to measure the space you have available.

Measure the inside width, length and height of the closet. You may decide that you can add higher storage space for items that will not be used regularly or are seasonal and can be stored until they are needed.

Using graph paper, draw out several different versions of your closet organizer system, keeping in mind that you may need to be somewhat flexible when you purchase your different elements. Also remember that if your system is going to be permanently installed, you will need to find the wall studs to firmly anchor the system to the wall for support.