Professional Tips for Designing a Custom Closet

1. Try to create a balanced and visually appealing design. You're investing your time and money …. so be sure you like the finished product.

2. Determine how much of each clothing storage "type" you need (eg hanging, folded, drawers). Some professional organizers recommend doing a detailed inventory …. but who has the time. Just make a general estimate of what you use now, and note any shortcomings. For example: you have 10 feet of hanging space, but could use another 2 feet.

3. Do not underestimate how much space you require for hanging clothes, and do not plan too much area for long hanging. With today's fashions most people do not need more than 12 to 24 horizontal inches of long hanging space.

4. Locate drawers at the center of your closet design, directly across from the door so they are the first thing you see when entering the closet. Drawers make a good visual focal point and typically need the extra clearance provided by the central location. If you're designing a large closet, include an island in the center of the space that incorporates your drawers.

5. Use the corners for hanging space not shelves. Corner shelves are usually too deep and folded clothes get lost. However, corners work well for hanging clothes where occasional use items can be moved to the back.

6. Leave ample vertical space between shelves for folded clothes. The minimum height is 8 inches, the maximum is 18 inches and the optimum height 12 inches. Too little height creates deep dark spaces and too much height wastes space and stacked clothes fall over.

7. Use pre-assembled cabinets in your design when possible. Shelf widths and heights are designed to standard industry measurement. This removes some of the guess-work for first time designers. High quality pre-assembled cabinets can be found at Speedy Closets (

8. Plan sufficient space for your shoes. If you have an average number of shoes you may be able to place them under the hanging clothes sections. Otherwise, you should plan a full closet section for shoe storage.

9. Shoe shelves should be a minimum of 2 feet wide to accommodate two pairs sitting tandem. Wider shelves should increase by increments of 12 inches (or approximately one pair of shoes).

10. Make a space for your dirty laundry hamper. Keep in mind that you must tote that full hamper to your laundry room. Retractable hampers that slide on runners is an ideal system for most closets. A good place to see a variety of durable hamper kits online is at Hafale (

I hope these tips are helpful and good luck designing your custom closet.