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Best Closet Features

Get secrets from these well-appointed closets with stand-out organization strategies and smart storage solutions.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Go to the Closet Door

      "You can't afford to ignore the door," organizing expert Donna Smallin Kuper says. Use an over-the-door shoe holder for shoes and other small accessories. Install adhesive-back hooks to wrangle belts, necklaces, scarves, and more.

    • Double Rods

      "Most closets only have one rod, which leaves a lot of wasted space," Smallin Kuper says. And the trick for maximizing space will only set you back $20. This adjustable rod (from The Container Store) suspends from the upper bar via hooks and adds more hanging real estate for shirts and pants, while leaving plenty of hanging space on the top bar for dresses and longer garments to hang down.

    • In Step

      While pocket organizers work wonders for flats, more substantial shoes need a little extra storage room. Store wedges, heels, and ankle boots in stackable, drop-front boxes (also from The Container Store), which protect footware from scuffs and dust. Plus, the flat top provides a surface for placing a basket or bin for extra storage.

    • Reaching Great Heights

      For closets with extra-high shelves, stow a flat-folding step stool right in the closet to make reaching top shelves easy and fast. The flat fold design of this stool takes up only a sliver of space in this every-inch-counts closet.

    • Stack It Up

      Shelves are a prime place to stack sweaters and jeans, but without a little support, the stacks can become haphazard. Prevent the jumble with high-sided, low front bins like these from Great Useful Stuff. "If you need something from the bottom of the stack, just pull down the Velcro front," Smallin Kuper says.

    • Shine a Light

      Add light to your closet without the expense of a hardwired fixture. Install battery-operated puck lights on the walls, which turn on when the door is opened. (Find the lights pictured here at Improvementscatalog.com.)

    • Standard Closet Revamp

      Behind a pair of doors in most bedrooms, you expect to find a standard 8-foot-wide by 3-foot-deep closet. But in this bedroom storage space, size is where predictability stops. The organization starts with standard fare: a plastic-coated wire closet system. But beyond the shelving and chrome hanging rods, you'll find versatile wooden-frame drawers, pressboard compartments, and canvas bins, all mounted easily on vertical supports. Add a mix of containers to the plan, and you've created a layout that is organized for personalized storage in a single spot with limited square footage.

    • Organizing Bells and Whistles

      On one side, wire shelves holding boxes of shoes and accessories complement a pair of hanging rods. Wooden drawers strategically mounted waist-high provide bureau-style storage for undergarments, while creating a small vanity area for finishing touches. Below the drawers, cubbies make it easy to see and access another dozen pairs of shoes.

    • Use the Door

      A plastic coated over-the-door rod capitalizes on underused space inside the closet door, creating a roomy home for long garments.

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      Organize By Type

      Fabric-covered boxes are labeled to hold different groups of clothing designed for different purposes. With a folded step stool tucked away on the floor, off-season clothes, extra purses, linens, and more can be retrieved from a high top shelf.

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      Accessory Organization

      A decorative napkin holder cleverly repurposed to hold a wallet, pairs nicely with a leather tray and jewelry tree to keep personal accessories at fingertips.

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      Drawer Storage

      Bureau-style drawers are outfitted with fabric-covered drawer organizers that keep underclothing tidy. A sachet adds a sweet scent.

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      Closet Sections

      Multiple sections with hanging bars are positioned on both sides of the closet to accommodate hanging shirts and other short length apparel. Baskets slipped into open shelving hold folded items, and undergarments stash privately in canvas drawers. Shoes are within easy reach—either from a slanted wire shoe shelf or in see-through storage boxes.

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      A Place for Pants

      A rolling trolley for pants adds an upscale touch to this closet portion, neatly organizing slacks on cedar posts.

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      Folded Clothing Storage

      Premade pallets of thin cedar planking and a chrome vertical divider snap into place on a wire shelf to keep folded clothing neatly stacked and separated by type, season, or owner.

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      Petite Walk-In Closet

      This once disaster-zone closet became a well-organized storage sanctuary with a few smart and simple changes. Adding drawers, clever storage, and a cube tower gave everything in this closet a designated home.

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      Crafty Cupboards

      Precut cork squares affixed to a cupboard door with adhesive spray become a handy spot for clothing receipts or reminders. Shelf paper is easily adhered to modular pieces before installation.

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      Clear View

      Clear storage boxes reveal what's inside, so no more digging for items. Plus, these small boxes neatly organize jewelry in a single space.

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      Labels for Organization

      Label holders guide you easily through your morning routine. Affix these holders to shelf fronts to designate spots for specific clothing items, which make it easy to find what you're looking for. These labels also make putting away clean clothes a breeze.

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      Wall Storage

      Easily installed, this over-the-door full-length mirror eliminates nail holes in woodwork. A slat-board system holds hooks for purses and hats—and looks great. It can cover a whole wall or just the area above or below a chair rail.

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      A Chic Walk-In Closet

      Organize your closet and claim every inch of space. Determine what to keep and what to toss by answering the following questions: Does it fit? Do you wear it? Is it in good shape? If you answer no to any of these, consider it safe to get rid of it.

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      Chic Design That's Functional

      Removing one of the shelves in this closet opened up space to lean a small wall mirror and display a few personal mementos. It's also the perfect spot to store perfume because your closet is a cool, dry place, and you can easily spritz it on while getting dressed.

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      To the Rack

      With pressed shirts, jackets, and dresses taking up most of the hanging space, this clever wall-mount trouser rack fits snugly on the depth of the side wall and provides 10 spots to hang dress pants. Plus, the rods swivel, making it easy to grab just one pair of pants at a time.

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      Packed with Storage Potential

      Located in a spot where it's easy to grab things on the way out and drop them off on the way in, this shelf nook is the perfect catchall for pocket items. In the drawer, a long, removable canvas organizer keeps socks in one place.

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      Single-Door Closet

      Live large and make the most of small space. In this closet, a simple self-assembled shelving unit provides loads of adjustable space for folded T-shirts, jeans, and sweaters, while also accommodating boxes and baskets filled with camisoles and undergarments.

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      Stick with It

      A pair of stick-on utility hooks helps squeeze every inch of space out of this slender wall. Easy to use and cheap, these hooks are deceptively strong and keep soft items from getting crushed.

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      Seasonal Stowaway

      When winter is done, bulky jackets and sweaters don't need to steal prime hanging or shelf space in your closet. Instead, stash them in a large cardboard box on the top shelf. Clean winter boots will fit nicely alongside, and when it's time to bundle up again, out-of-season summer clothes and sandals can take their place.

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      Hidden Storage

      Hidden behind the hanging clothes on the back wall of your closet, this coatrack with hooks doubles as a smart belt and scarf hanger in what was untapped closet storage space.

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      Next Slideshow 15 Closets that Put Carrie Bradshaw to Shame

      15 Closets that Put Carrie Bradshaw to Shame

      Nobody else has Carrie's enviable wardrobe, but these stylish spaces prove it's possible to rival her closet. Some are so sprawling that they dwarf most kitchens, but all of them will give you a shot of inspiration for your own closet. Take a peek inside -- and try not to faint on the fancy carpet.
      Begin Slideshow »

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