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5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

Have you ever imagined re-designing your closet and creating the closet of your dreams? Well, this was me for the first five years we lived in our house, but last summer we finally pulled the trigger and created the closet of my dreams! It has been almost a year now and I want to share some tips with you on how to design your dream closet!

Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream ClosetThis post contains affiliate links.

5 Tips for Designing The Closet of Your Dreams
1. Take your time

As I mentioned above, I lived with my closet for five years. I tried simple organizing tricks like bins and stack-able shelving to try to make the existing space work without spending much money, but in the end, the original closet design just wasn’t efficient. It didn’t even accommodate adult size hangers! True story. It was always a mess, I could never find anything and it’s constant disarray left me so stressed out. So I vigilantly researched closet systems until I found one that met my needs, fit my budget and that I liked visually. You can read more about my full closet design here.Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

2. Be realistic

This one is kind of a hot button for me. How many times do you see a closet in an ad or somewhere on Pinterest where there are only five things in the closet? Come on, you know what I am talking about! This paints such an unrealistic picture of a real persons closet. I don’t know about you, but I have WAY more than five things in my closet and you likely do too. So don’t let a sales person talk you into a plan that doesn’t give you the storage you need. Count the items you have in your closet and determine how much your new closet needs to accommodate and leave room to grow a little. On the flip side, be realistic with yourself. My closet is only 25 sqft. It was that size when we started, and it is still that size. Would I love to have a closet that is 100 sqft, heck yes! But that wasn’t going to happen without completely redesigning our entire upstairs and likely sacrificing a bedroom. So I maximized the space I had. It really is amazing how much a well designed closet can hold. Currently, my closet holds 70 pairs of shoes, 145 hangers, 76 sweaters/folded items, lots of accessories, and 65 necklaces all in only 25 sqft. Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream ClosetGarrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

3. Use vertical space to your advantage

This one is key, especially if you are working with a small space like I was. The width of my closet is only about 5ft in either direction. This is not a lot of space. BUT I also had 8ft to work with vertically and you better believe I used all of it! At the top of my Ikea PAX units I added bins for things like clutches and scarfs. I also labeled all the bins so I never have have to guess where something is. These are the bins I used and I labeled them with index cards and magnets, but I wish I had used these instead because of the built in label slot. I also used the vertical space on the back wall. I kind of have a necklace addiction and I needed a place to store ALL of them, so I hid them behind the mirror on the wall.Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

4. Give everything a home

If you only take one thing away from this post, this is the ONE! I cannot stress this enough. Give everything a home! If you don’t, crap ends up on the floor. Simple as that. You are only cheating yourself if you design a closet that doesn’t accommodate everything you need to fit in there. So survey your closet in its current state and take note of the items that habitually end up on the floor or stashed in a corner. Those are things your new closet MUST address in addition to the usual closet criteria. For me, those items were jewelry, accessories, and shoes. My original layout did not have a good home for those items and they were always the first things to get out of hand. Now, I have a resting place for all of these.Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

5. Make maintenance easy on yourself

This one is pretty important too. Whenever I post a picture on social media of my closet I always have people that comment on how tidy and organized it is. Now I am not going to lie to you and tell you I never throw things on my stool and leave them there for a few days. You know, the “I love this outfit and didn’t see anyone today so I am going to wear it again tomorrow pile”? Oh yea, that’s a real thing 😉 But other than that, my closet does usually look this tidy. Why? Because when I designed it, I made it easy on myself to put things away. This wasn’t an accident and kind of goes along with number 4. If everything has a home and you make it easy to put things away, you don’t mind taking the extra five seconds (literally) to drop that pair of sunglasses in their slot, or fold that sweater and put it back on the shelf. Before my closet makeover, I hated dealing with my sweaters because they were all stacked on top of each other and the stack always fell over when I was grabbing one from the bottom of the pile or looking for one. Then I would have to reorganize ALL of them just to grab one or put one away. Talk about a pain! So when I designed the PAX unit for folded tops and sweaters, I purposefully placed the shelves very close together. This way, no more than six items can reside on each shelf making it MUCH easier to not only find things, but to put them away. If putting things away requires a lot of work you will never do it. Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream ClosetGarrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

Bonus: This may sound silly, but for me, if things look pretty I am much more inclined to keep them tidy which is why I added the cute stool and fur rug 🙂 Plus the stool helps me reach the top shelf. Short girl problems 😉Garrison Street Design Studio - 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

I hope these tips will help you design the closet of your dreams! If you like something you see in my closet you can find the full source list in my closet reveal post.

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5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet

This post, 5 Tips For Designing Your Dream Closet appeared first on Garrison Street Design Studio.


    1. That’s a great question Megan. Truthfully, they have held up amazing! I haven’t had any trouble and they still look brand new a year and half later minus a little dust from my laziness 😬 I honestly believe the PAX system is the best bang for your buck to get a very custom closet and I don’t get paid by IKEA in anyway to say that 😉

  1. Hi there, thank you so much for this! I have been looking at the PAX for a while now and your closet is almost identical to mine in size. Did you remove your baseboards for the closet? Mine are pretty hard to remove (super hardwood) so I am trying to avoid it if I have to.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so glad it helps. Yes, we did remove the baseboards and then re-installed them around the PAX. We did this for a few reasons. A) we didn’t have enough space not to B) we replaced the carpet with tile C) we wouldn’t have been able to secure the PAX to the wall if the baseboards were still installed and considering their size, I definitely recommend securing them to the wall. I hope this helps and am available if you have more questions. 😉

  2. Hi! Your closet looks great! I am about to install the Pax system in my closet. Quick question: How wide is the area between your closet frames? If I install the deep frames on each side, I will only have 30” in between. So I’m trying to decide if I can live with that or if I need to install the smaller depth on one side of my closet to give me a little bit more elbow room!

    1. Thank you so much Ashlyn! I only have about 24 inches so I would think 30 would be just fine, but it’s also a little bit of personal preference 😉 Best of luck!

  3. How many inches did you set between each sweater shelf?
    I have 21 sqft and a sloped ceiling so my PAX frames will have to be modified. I’m designing now and hoping to do it in the spring. Your closet is inspiring as it is finally an example close to mine. Thank you in advance for your answer.

    1. Thank you! I am so glad it is helpful. There are 3 peg holes between my shelves which is about 5 inches. They are completely adjustable though so you could definitely modify to fit your needs. I hope that helps and good luck with your planning 😉

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