9 Essentials for the Ultimate Clothes Closet

Closets are a topic we love to explore on AT: real-life ones, fantasy ones, messy ones, and OCD ones. Today we're looking at the basic things that make up the ultimate clothes closet - not necessarily a huge walk-in room of its own, but a more succinct space where everything you need for your clothes is organized in one place...

  • Hangers: AT readers have recommended everything from wooden to flocked to padded canvas hangers. Whatever your personal preference, a closet full of matching hangers looks, feels, and stays more organized than a tangle of wire and plastic.
  • Hooks: A couple of robe hooks on the closet door come in handy when you need to hang something quickly or have it readily accessible.
  • Shoe Rack: A rack, shelf, or other storage system should keep your shoes in order and allow you to see everything at once.
  • Shelves: Shelving can create vertical storage space both above and below the main closet rail. To incorporate shelves into your closet, use an organizing system or install a simple shelf on your own.
  • Drawers: Drawers and drawer dividers are great for organizing smaller items of clothing like socks, underwear, scarves, and accessories.
  • Mirror: To check your clothes before you go out into the world, you need a floor-length mirror, either inside your closet or located somewhere nearby. We have IKEA's Stave Mirror (a good, cheap basic) hung on our wall.
  • Iron and Ironing Board: In reality, your closet may not have room for an iron and ironing board, but in an ideal world, you'd be able to store these necessities alongside your clothes. There are lots of ironing boards out there designed to minimize the amount of space they hog: fold-out boards, the ironing ladder, and even the ironing blanket.
  • Hamper: The hamper shares the ironing board's dilemma - it should be stored with your clothes, but space limitations may not make that possible. Portable laundry baskets make the best hampers, since they simplify the trip from the closet to the washing machine.
  • Lighting: Good lighting makes all the difference in a clothes closet. We've blogged a few solutions on AT: the Philips SpotOn Light, lighting for a curtained closet, and door-operated closet lights.
  • Photo: Better Homes and Gardens