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How to Plan a Closet: Closet Remodeling Ideas

So, you've decided that your closet needs a complete refresh! Well, where do you start? The perfect closet is different for everyone. No two people are identical, therefore, no two closets should be exactly the same. And it's not all about measuring, although getting your dimensions right is important. Form follows function and your closet design should center first and foremost around what it needs to hold. If your clothes won't fit into the closet, you won't be happy — no matter how elegant the design. Plan your perfect closet around your individual needs by considering the following wardrobe questions, and then carefully measuring your available space to determine how best to incorporate your personal storage requirements into your closet remodel.

Every successful closet remodeling project gathers details on what needs to be stored and how much space each item will require BEFORE putting any design ideas down on paper.


1 Shirts, Slacks and Scarves:

  • Are your shirts hung on a hanger or folded in the closet? This is an important consideration when determining how much hanging versus shelving space you need.
  • Do you hang your slacks the long way or do you fold them on a hanger? Pants that are folded require less vertical space and are therefore a good candidate for a double hang closet section. Additionally, there are special pull-out racks available to efficiently store pants in this manner. However, they require more horizontal space on the rod than trousers that are hung the long way from the cuff or waist on pant hangers. Some people do not like to fold their pants on a hanger because they believe that method leaves a crease or mark where the pants touched the bar of the hanger. Hanging pants the long way requires an adequately sized medium hang clothing rod section.
    closet remodeling with pants folded on hanger
    Double hang is the most efficient storage solution for pants folded on a hanger See Project >

    closet remodeling that will hang pants from cuff
    Medium hang for pants hung by the cuff See Project >
    closet remodeling that will hang pants from waist
    Medium hang for pants hung by the waist See Project >
  • Do you fold or hang your ties and scarves, or both? This is important to decide on in advance, because it will determine whether you need drawers or some type of hanging system for tie and scarf storage.

2 Shoes:

3 Belts, Handbags and Jewelry

4 Laundry

  • Do you need a hamper for laundry and for dry-cleaning? There are several ways of integrating a laundry solution into the closet, with built in baskets or bags being the most popular. Built in hampers can either tilt out from their hiding place, or pull out on a rack. Double basket solutions are the most popular, as they allow you do some basic sorting of your laundry as soon as you are finished wearing it.
  • tilt out hamper baskets
    Tilt out hamper See Project >
    pull out hamper hamper with pull out baskets
    Pull out hamper See Project >
  • Do you want to be able to iron or steam your clothes in the closet? No one really likes to iron clothes, although everyone's clothes look better freshly pressed. You will probably be willing to do more touch ups on wrinkles if your ironing board is conveniently locaed and easy to set up.
    closet ironing board
    Ironing board that folds out of a drawer See Project >

5 Lighting, Mirrors and Electronics

  • Do you need lighting design in your closet? A custom closet lighting system is one of the most economical ways to add that special "WOW" factor to your closet remodeling project, transforming the finished project into a work of art. The new LED closet lights are low voltage, easy to install and don't require the services of a professional electrician. They add practicality as well, by lighting under shelves, along the sides of the panels, above crown moulding, and inside cabinets.
    closet remodeling with lighting system
    Closet with lighting system See Lighting Projects >
  • Do you want a mirror incorporated into the closet design? Some people like to hang them on the back of the closet door, but this does not work for every closet and more options are possible with a little planning. Different types are available — from hidden full length pull-out mirrors that work well for reach in closets and require very little space, to a set of cabinet doors that can be set up to function as a three way mirror when opened.
  • pull-out-mirror
    Pull-out mirror See Project >
    closet remodeling with three way mirror
    Three way mirror See Project >
  • Do you want an electronics charging station in the closet? With so many closets becoming the new hub of the home, more and more homeownersare looking for the convenience of being able to charge personal cell phones and other electronics on the countertop of a closet hutch or other closet organization piece. USB and regular outlets can be built into the countertops as pop-ups to provide this convenience as long as you plan in advance of building the final closet. The advantage is that you don't need a long cord going to a wall outlet near the baseboard.
    closet remodeling with pop-up electronics charging station
    Pop-up electronics charging station See Project >

6 General Closet Organization Considerations

  • Do you need drawer dividers in the closet ? Should they be removable? The answer to these questions will depend on whether you require drawers and what you intend to store in them.
  • How many ties, shoes, bags, shirts, dresses and jackets do you have? Which is the longest tallest and widest?
  • Do you have any unusual closet storage needs such as specialty clothing for sports?

There are thousands of ways to organize a closet — your closet should be as unique as you. The above list of considerations is just the first step in designing your perfect closet. After you know what you want to store and how much space it will all take, it is time to sit down and draw up a plan for your new closet system. Refer to our "Tips on Measuring and Designing Your Closet" when developing your plan. Be sure to measure everything accurately and check your measurements in more than one place along the wall in case your walls are a bit crooked (most homes have walls that are crooked to some degree). If the designing and construction seems a bit overwhelming, the talented designers at Closet Works are always ready to help you achieve that perfect closet design. For those who are dedicated to DIY, our e-commerce affiliate,, is ready 24/7 to provide you with all the closet components you need to build your dream remodel.