4 Tips and Features to Maximize Reach-In Closet Space

Give Your Reach-in Closet a Cleanse

Suffer from a plain Jane reach-in closet that doesn’t really meet your needs? Does it feel overcrowded and disorganized? Well, then it’s time you figure out a better closet solution. Luckily, this blog will give you some great tips to start your closet cleanse!

These simple updates will make your standard reach-in closet much more functional, spacious, and enjoyable to use—no matter the size. Whether you have a 2-foot-wide reach-in closet or a 6-foot-wide closet, these little suggestions on which features to include will make a big difference.

Let’s take a look!

1. Install Drawers and Dividers.

That’s right, we said it: Drawers inside a reach-in closet. You might be asking, is there enough space to fit them? And the answer is yes, probably. You don’t need to cram your closet full of drawers, simply add in a few custom ones that fit the space as well as your need.

The benefit of adding drawers is visual organization. Your closet looks miraculously cleaner and less cluttered, and the drawers give a home to random accessories or articles of clothing that previously were just stuffed anywhere in your closet. To really get organized, you can even add in dividers to these drawers to keep everything in place so you can find everything you’re looking for at the drop of a hat.

Usually, we recommend putting clothes that don’t normally get folded, such as socks and under garments, in drawers while keeping nicely folded clothing displayed on open shelves in closets. The goal is always to be able to find things quickly while keeping everything organized. You can even have a drawer dedicated for accessories, such as men’s ties, and use plexiglass dividers to keep the drawers in order.

2. Add Open Shelves & Bins.

Not into the custom drawer idea? Try this one on for size: How about open shelving with color coordinated bins instead? This gives a similar look, feel, and organizational bliss as adding drawers, but with perhaps less work involved. It’s also less committal as you can change closet accessories and organizers up more easily than if you install permanent drawers.

For instance, as your daughter grows up and out of that pretty princess phase, you can swap out those petal pink bins for a set of more chic white or wicker baskets. Just a thought.

If you want something more permanent and timeless, you could also opt for pull-out chrome wire baskets with optional lining. Metal is classic, and the pull-out feature is very handy whether you use the wire mesh bins daily or less regularly.

3. Bring Order to Your Hanging Bars.

One mistake we see being made time and time again is a lack of order found on the closet rod. If your clothes are just being thrown on hangers and into your reach-in closet without much of a thought, you’re likely missing out on valuable square footage!

Our recommendation is installing hanger rods at different lengths based on need. If you have a lot of dresses, hang a rod high enough to keep the dresses from grazing the ground. One common mistake is trying to hang the rod higher than it needs to be with the assumption that you will use the floor space for additional storage. The issue here is that the dresses will cover up the closet floor, making it difficult to find what you are looking for. Instead, the smarter idea is to hang the rod as low as possible without the dresses touching the floor and adding two shelves above the rod.  

If you need to hang pants and/or skirts, the rod can be hung lower and three shelves can be built in above it. The benefit of adding storage space above hanging clothes rather than below it is that it optimizes the functionality of your reach-in closet and ultimately reduces clutter.

4. Shoe Shelves Equal Clean Floors.

Shoe shelves are a must. We’re sticklers about keeping your floors clear of any belongings—that means shoes, too! But here’s our helpful hint: don’t angle your shoe racks like you see in stores. It isn’t as practical as you think. Time and time again we see shoes slipping off these racks, making them more for presentation than functionality. Instead, keep your shoe racks level.

Our other helpful hint is getting custom adjustable racks. This feature is equally beneficial because fashion changes and so does the weather. Flats may be in one season while platforms may be trending the next. And don’t forget about the annual swop out of summertime sandals to clunky hiking boots and hip knee-high boots. It’s always best to keep storage flexible and organized with adjustable options. Plus, if you decide down the line you don’t need as much shoe space, you can use the shelves for handbags or other accessories.

Conserving Closet Space to Make Space

Creating a closet system is completely personal—and remember, it’s also highly customizable. Reach-in closets are notoriously small and shallow, which can present storage challenges, but with proper thought, strategy, and features, it can open up new possibilities and transform your cluttered closet into an airy, enjoyable experience.