Design Closet Organizers

Design Principles

It is crucial to adhere to established wardrobe and system dimensions, as outlined in the articles “Wardrobe Dimensions.” When conceptualizing a closet design, prioritize standard shelving and seamlessly incorporate custom lengths where standard sizes may not suffice. This approach not only keeps costs at a minimum but also streamlines the installation process.

Craft a sophisticated and organized storage system that clearly addresses the customer’s requirements without necessitating lengthy explanations. Leverage the capabilities of 2D and 3D Design Software to help clients visualize the design and comprehend its benefits.

In the creation of the organizer, focus on maximizing hanging and shelving space while introducing accessories that genuinely enhance the customer’s needs. While adding accessories presents an opportunity for upselling, it’s essential to strike a balance, as an excess of unused accessories may lead to customer dissatisfaction and a decline in referrals over time.

Adhering to some basic “Rules” is crucial for optimizing the design process, resulting in not only a more effective and efficient design but also a streamlined installation process. This approach not only minimizes labor costs but also mitigates the necessity for return visits, ultimately contributing to increased profitability.

Shelf Width - The One Foot Rule

When designing a closet organizer, it’s crucial to ensure that you’re delivering optimal value for your customer’s investment. Shelving, in particular, is an area where designers often encounter challenges in creating efficient layouts. To overcome this, designers must familiarize themselves with effective closet design principles, enabling them to guide customers towards practical and satisfying solutions. This not only enhances the aesthetic and functionality of the closet but also boosts your chances of receiving referrals.

The effectiveness of shelving design hinges on its intended purpose, with a predominant use in closets being the organization of folded items. Nevertheless, it is imperative to consistently evaluate the specific needs of customers. For instance, a surplus of shoes might necessitate alternative design considerations.

For the optimal arrangement of folded items, it is recommended to adhere to the “One Foot Rule.” Given that folded items generally occupy around 1 foot in width, the shelving width should be increased accordingly (e.g., 1 foot, 2 feet, 3 feet). Utilizing an 18-inch or 1.5-foot shelf, for instance, allows for a single stack of folded clothing with 6 inches of wasted space.

In the context of a shelving tower with multiple levels, any wasted space is multiplied, resulting in the customer paying for unused material. In essence, this translates to a diminished value proposition, or “less bang for their buck.” It is essential to optimize the shelving design to maximize utility and value for the customer.

Consider the following shelving width recommendations:

  • Shelf 12” Wide: Optimal for items like folded t-shirts, sweaters, or jeans, as many of these items fit best within a 12” space.
  • Shelf 14” Wide: Suitable for purses, t-shirts, sweaters, accommodating 2 pairs of women’s shoes, and hats.
  • Shelf 18” Wide: Ideal for 2 pairs of women’s shoes and a standard-width drawer.
  • Shelf 21” Wide: Well-suited for 3 pairs of women’s shoes or 2 pairs of men’s shoes.
  • Shelf 24” Wide: Accommodates 3 – 4 pairs of women’s shoes, 2 stacks of t-shirts or sweaters side-by-side, folded pants, and a standard-width drawer.
  • Shelf 30” Wide: Recommended for 3 pairs of men’s shoes or 4 pairs of women’s shoes. While folded items are acceptable, they may result in some wasted space.
  • Shelf 36” Wide: Excellent for 3 stacks of sweaters, t-shirts, or folded items side-by-side. Also accommodates 3.5 pairs of men’s shoes or 5 pairs of women’s shoes. This is the maximum width for significant weight on the shelf and the maximum width for 12” deep shelving.
  • Shelf 42” Wide: This is the suggested maximum width for shelving, as anything longer may lead to sagging. For units with multiple shelves (e.g., Medium Hang, Shelf Hang, or Towers), it’s recommended to use widths of 24” or 36”, except for a shoe-specific tower where a 30” wide shelf works best.

Adjacent Wall Rule

When dealing with walk-ins, or L-shaped closets, it is essential to allocate access space on one of the walls. Opt for the longest wall for the wardrobe and devise a system that spans from corner to corner. On the adjacent wall, leave a 24-inch gap from the corner to initiate the first system unit. This space allows ample room for hanging items (approximately 21 inches) and provides additional access space for visibility and selection.

For an efficient setup, consider making the first system unit on the adjacent wall consist of shelves or low-hanging storage as this will make access to the corner easier.

Keep It Simple Rule

Sherwood Shelving offers highly customizable cabinets, but increased customization brings complexity, raising the risk of errors. More intricate designs, such as adding cabinet backs, crown molding, or lighting, heighten installation difficulty. Researching the market to adjust prices for these features is crucial. Complex designs are harder to implement, prone to errors, and result in fewer profits and potential customer dissatisfaction.Keeping the design simple is usually a good rule of thumb.

As customer demand for elaborate designs grows, the Design Consultant plays a crucial role in educating customers on design trade-offs. The balance between appearance and functionality is exemplified in shoe shelving placement. Placing shoes below a hanging section increases costs and reduces ergonomic efficiency compared to having them above. The Design Consultant must guide customers through pros and cons, allowing them to choose between appearance and functionality, considering cost implications.

For instance, shoe shelving below the hanging section incurs higher costs due to longer gables. It requires customers to bend or crouch to access shoes near the floor. In contrast, a Shelf Hang unit with shorter gables is cost-effective and allows convenient access to both hanging clothes and shoes without bending. Designing within the capabilities of the Design Consultant and Installers is crucial to achieving a balance between aesthetics and practicality.

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