Clever Closets Around the House

See your closets in a new light. These extra storage spaces around your house can organize your family's accessories, hobbies, and more.


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hall closet coats shoes
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Hall Closet: Season by Season

    The coat closet sees a lot of traffic -- and a lot of clutter. And just what piles up in your closet will change from season to season. Outfit your closet with organizational gear that is useful year-round. An over-the-door pocket organizer is perfect for corralling mittens and hats during the winter, and umbrellas and sunscreen in the summer. Hooks on the back of the door and along the closet wall are smart closet additions, as well. And no matter what the season, shoes will always track in something from the outdoors. Use a shoe rack to keep footwear organized. Set the rack on a large jelly roll pan or other tray to collect the muck from the bottom of shoes and boots.

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Hall Closet: Multifunction

    In an attempt to corral stuff for the entire family, the hall closet can easily spin out of control. A little storage organization can regain order. Use adjustable shelving to arrange -- and rearrange -- your space as needed. Shelves that hold flip-flops and beach towels in the summer can be moved to accommodate boots and a basket of outwear accessories in the winter. Tuck the off-season items away on a high shelf. Turn the door into a family communication center by mounting a memo board for notes and reminders, a basket for mail and bills, and hooks for keys.

3/21
Hall Closet: Kid-Friendly

    Combat kid closet clutter by customizing a storage spot just for them. Trade the closet rod with cumbersome hangers for a row of hooks to invite little hands and on-the-go big kids to easily stash jackets instead of tossing them on the floor. Add shelves down low to store sports bags for grab-and-go ease and bins for accessories. Leave open space on the floor to kick off shoes or use a shoe basket. On a blank wall inside or next to the closet, mount a clipboard for each kid where you can write daily notes and reminders and a hook for putting backpacks and lunch boxes where they won't be forgotten.

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Home Office Closet: Room within a Room

    By adding a few roomlike features, you can turn a closet into a practical home office that can be tucked away behind closed doors when not in use. Make the storage space feel more like a room with a colorful coat of paint and a pendant light to brighten your work surface. Use table legs and wall brackets to convert a prefinished wall shelf into a slim desk, then bring in ready-to-assemble modular storage units for books, files, and office accessories. Hang decorative bulletin boards on the wall for the finishing touch.

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Home Office Closet: Built-In Shelves

    Not sure how to make the best of a narrow closet in a bedroom or an extra linen closet? Turn it into a home office bookcase and position a work surface nearby in the room. Outfit the small compartment with sliding shelves and trays for easy access. Before you assume the cost of having them custom built, check out kitchen cabinet and pantry storage systems that might have sliding trays that fit. (For wire design systems, line the bottom with a piece of fabric-covered wood.) Use woven baskets and sturdy recycled gift bags for catch-alls on large shelves, and store papers, books, and accessories flat on shallow trays.

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Home Office Closet: Simple Makeover

    Outfit a small, narrow closet with shelves you can install yourself to give the space an organizational boost. Shelves placed close together provide a smart way to organize cumbersome rolls of wrapping paper. The rolls will lay flat and be protected from being crushed. Take a trip to an office supply store for file storage boxes and tags. Be sure to measure the height and width of your shelves to ensure what you buy will fit neatly on the shelves.

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Craft Closet: Ultimate Scrapbook Station

    Nothing wastes precious scrapbooking work time like having to pull out all the supplies and tools before starting each time. Devote a closet near your dining room table (or other space that acts as your work surface) to keep those supplies at your fingertips. Practicality starts in this scrapbook closet with a pegboard mounted inside the door. Hooks keep scissors, spools of ribbon, and transparent pouches of stickers in quick reach. Deep trays of stamps and inks hang on the pegboard where they won't interfere with shelves inside the closet when the door is closed. Inside, high shelves store photo boxes and bins clearly tagged with their contents, while plastic pouches hang papers neatly from clothes hangers. A cart of drawers provides lots of room for sorting tools, ribbons, and embellishments.

8/21
Craft Closet: Gift Wrap Supplies

    Don't have a full closet to dedicate to a gift wrap station? Just designate a corner to keeping all your supplies in one place so you can take what you need to the nearest table. Use a rolling cart or small storage unit with drawers to organize tissue paper, collapsed boxes, and gift bags. Rest a wire basket on top to stand up rolls of wrapping paper. Then, hang a wall-mount grid that accommodates small trays for keeping ribbon, scissors, and tape at your fingertips. Another option: Mount a piece of pegboard and hang ribbon and tools from hooks.

9/21
Craft Closet: Arts & Crafts Galore

    Dedicate one closet to all the arts and crafts supplies in the house and you'll always have exactly what you need on hand for school projects, home decor creations, or just creative play. Start by filling the closet with basic adjustable shelves, then use a variety of storage boxes and containers to organize your supplies. Canvas boxes with dividers work well for storing papers and fabric scraps vertically where they can be flipped through easily. Use clear storage boxes and containers so the contents are visible. And use boxes with lids for easy stacking.

10/21
Craft Closet: For the Kids

    If your kids are budding Picassos, designate a closet as storage central for all of their paints, brushes and other supplies. Buy bins or baskets that are the same size and assign supplies to each one. Look for plastic baskets with handles, which are easy to clean and easy to transport from closet to a work space. To prevent supply overload, sit down with your kids every few months to weed out empty bottles and dried-out markers.

11/21
Linen Closet: Corral & Conquer

    Towels, sheets, and blankets are necessities but can be a headache to organize. Keep your linen closet in tip-top shape with a few organizing tools. Use shelf dividers to create cubbies on existing shelves. Label each cubby as the designated spot for specific linens -- a spot for kids bathroom towels, guest towels, twin sheet sets, queen sheet sets, etc. Use baskets to round up extra toiletries and cleaning supplies. High shelves are ideal for storing large, infrequently used items such as bulky comforters and extra pillows.

12/21
Linen Closet: Roll with It

    Save space in a shallow linen closet by rolling up towels instead of folding them. Put lost space to use by installing towel racks on the back of the door to hang wrinkle-susceptible linens, such as tablecloths. With these delicate linens out of the fray, they won't be crushed by sturdier towels and blankets.

13/21
Kitchen Closet: Pantry Savvy

    Plan out your pantry to store all of your kitchen must-haves. Instead of installing shelves from wall to wall, these shelves stop short, leaving room on the wall to mount a broom and mop holder. By sacrificing a just a few inches of shelf space, these cleaning necessities have a place to call home, and any storage space that was lost was regained by mounting basket-inspired shelves along the back of the door for condiments and spices.

14/21
Mudroom Closet: Transformed Space

    This space once housed a closed-off, cluttered closet. The decision to remove a closet door can be a scary one, but opening up this closet had a positive outcome. With the door gone, the space was fitted with custom cubbies that meet all the requirements for a savvy mudroom closet. Shallow cubbies fill the back of the space, leaving room for a bench extension in front, the perfect perch for taking off shoes. With an open storage space such as this, don't forget about adding a little style. Line the back of the space with wallpaper, or paint it a fun color.

15/21
Kids Closet: Toy Storage

    Nothing says the closet in a child's bedroom has to be dedicated to storing clothes. Use a dresser in the room for storing a kid's small apparel and make the closet her own special toy room. Add storage cubes or a small bookshelf for books and games and a petite coat rack for hanging dress-up clothes. Take care of shoes and other accessories not stored in the dresser with an over-the-door pocket organizer.

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Kids' Closet: Baby Changing Station

    Creative thinking makes the most of this small closet in a nursery. By removing the door and building in a simple cabinet with a top, the space is now a handy baby changing station. To make this transformation in your nursery, include storage shelves and a drawer in the base cabinet. Up top, cut a semicircle from the existing (or added) shelves at the doorway opening to allow headroom for Baby and grown-ups. These shelves put nursery necessities within easy reach.

17/21
Household Closet: Cleaning Supplies

    Make a clean sweep of your utility closet by organizing all the household cleaning supplies -- you'll make cleaning a breeze when you can find everything easily in one place. Separate cleaning supplies in containers for specific rooms: a bathroom bucket with cleaner for the toilet, shower, and glass; a bedroom caddy with a dust cloth, surface cleaner, and linen spray. Stash sponges and used rags in wire trays and baskets to let air in and moisture out. Store gloves, cleaning wipes, and extra supplies in a hanging shoe or sweater organizer mounted on the inside of the closet door next to hooks holding the broom, mop, and dustpan.

18/21
Household Closet: Laundry Room

    Despite their heavy workload, laundry rooms are often squeezed into small spaces where clutter can make the space feel even more cramped. To give the room a more spacious feel, replace closet doors with simple canvas curtains that slide neatly out of the way when open. Above the washer and dryer, mount a storage shelf for laundry detergents, fabric softeners, and stain removers.

19/21
Household Closet: Extra Storage Space

    Make the most of otherwise unused space -- such as beneath a staircase -- by building a closet. If the bonus space is near the kitchen, add shelves and countertop to create a butler's pantry. Off the basement media room, create a mini library for DVDs, CDs, and portable electronics.

20/21
Household Closet: Garage Storage

    Conquer garage clutter with handy metal bins. Assign a specific item to each bin, and you'll avoid the frustrating search for a tape measure or a roll of tape. Fasten sharp tools, such as saws, to a pegboard storage system, so reaching into a bin doesn't become a hazard. Keep screws and nails in small boxes and round up all of the boxes into one bin, so you can easily find a deck screw or finishing nail.

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