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Home Remodeling & Maintenance

Get Your Closet Under Control

Streamline your bedroom by maximizing your closet space.

You can benefit from a bedroom-closet overhaul if your clothing is smooshed together, if wasted space exists above and below a single shelf and pole, and especially if you throw away money buying duplicates of things you already have but can’t find.

Most closet organizing systems come in either coated wire, with components that hang from a rail fastened to the studs in the closet wall, or laminated particleboard, based on floor-mounted components. Choosing between wire and laminate depends less on cost than preference; wire shelving can leave “ripples” in folded cloths, but shelf liners solve the problem. Laminate, especially with drawers, looks built-in. One key to quality is metal, not plastic, hardware.

You can keep costs down by using just poles and shelving. Bigger-ticket items, such as drawers, doors and hampers, add up quickly. Anything you can put in a drawer can be put on a shelf, and you can always supplement with less-expensive components, such as bins, baskets and hampers from other sources.

When you begin shopping, request a design consultation from each closet company to see what’s possible on your budget. Most closet organizing systems offer an online design tool with customer support. Check out (sold online only);; Elfa, sold by the Container Store (in-store consultation only); and ClosetMaid ($5 for two designs online, or complimentary in-home consultation with its MasterSuite line).


ClosetMaid’s online store sells closet organizer kits ranging from $43 to $122. In a walk-in closet, you’ll need at least one kit for each side of the closet. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can have a reach-in closet professionally designed and installed with components from ClosetMaid’s laminate MasterSuite line for $700 to $900 for shelves only.

As a finishing touch, add wireless LED puck lights that stick or screw on, such as the motion-activated LED closet lights with swivel feature (three for $30 at or the LED light bar, with four pivoting lights ($20 at