Unless you’re building a new home on an unlimited budget, odds are that your apartment or house will have limited storage, including closets that just aren’t big enough to accommodate your storage needs.

But, if you take the time for closet designs, you’ll be amazed at what you can fit, and how much easier the organization will make finding your favorite items.

The easiest and least expensive way of increasing your closets’ storage capacity is with inexpensive storage alternatives available at all the major retailers. Hanging shoe files that store your shoes in vertically stacked slots can clear your closet floor while organizing your shoes for easy selection. They also prevent your shoes from scuffing each other on the closet floor. Most hold at least 10 pairs of shoes, and start as low as $10.

Similar storage units for sweaters reduce hanger use, and also improve the durability of your sweaters, which tend to stretch when you hang them. The sweater units tend to be slightly more expensive than the shoe organizers, but can still be bought for less than $20. Similar closet design systems are available for pants, shirts, handbags, and any other odds and ends you might have cluttering up your closets.

Walk in closetOnce you’ve taken your shoes off your closet floor, you have additional storage opportunities. Line the floor beneath your hanging clothes with cheap plastic drawers, and you basically have an extra dresser in your closet. As a bonus, most of these drawers are clear, allowing you to locate the items you want without opening every drawer. Prices vary, but sturdy units can be had for less than $20.

And, don’t forget the inside of your closet door. Storage options similar to the ones above, but equipped with a hook that attaches over the top of the door, mean that even the door can become a practical storage space. Prices for door storage units also start under $20.

If these quick fixes don’t solve your problems, you can step it up a notch and go online and design sturdy wood organizing systems to fit your storage needs. Prices vary wildly, but if you design it yourself, stick to standard pieces, and are willing to do your own installation, you can design a permanent, sturdy storage system for a standard size non-walk-in closet for less than $250. Prices go up from there, depending on closet size, materials used, and model design.

For a nominal extra fee, these online sites will design your closet for you, and you can always get your trusted local handyman or carpenter to install them for you once they arrive. The average handyman’s hourly wage varies widely by area, but usually falls within the $50 to $100 range, with a two-hour minimum. It sounds expensive, but you have to remember that it’s a one-time charge that will make your day to day life easier for as long as you stay in your apartment or home.

Finally, if you are desperate to maximize every last inch of your closet space, you can hire professional closet designers to visit your home, appraise your space, discuss your storage needs with you, and then design and install the perfect closet storage system for you. Access to professional closet designers may vary according to your area, as they are concentrated in dense urban areas where space is at a premium and salaries are high, such as Manhattan, but with enough effort, you should be able to find one in your area who suits your needs. If you can’t, try asking a local interior designer, who may be able to do the closet design themselves, or, alternatively, could steer you in the right direction for a professional closet designer.

Having someone personally design a closet specifically for your needs is never going to be cheap, but rates will vary depending on the size of the closet, how intricate the design is, the materials used, and what geographical area you are in. An in-demand professional organizer in Manhattan can charge multiples more for the exact same custom closet design of the exact same quality with the same materials than an organizer in Alabama can.

You can expect to pay at least double for a professional who comes to your home and personally designs your closet, rather than having an online site design your closet and a handyman install it. And the prices will only go up from there. But, it’s a permanent home investment that will add to the resell value of your home or apartment.

If you rent, it is important to remember that it may be necessary to get your landlord’s permission before installing a permanent closet design.

Whatever your walk in closet design needs or budget, there is a productive solution available to you to maximize your storage space without unnecessarily minimizing your wallet.

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