When your closets are so full you can’t close the door, when you can’t fit another hanger on the pole, and even the hooks on the backs of your bathroom and bedroom doors sport multiple hanging outfits, it’s time for a wardrobe closet.

Wardrobe closets are distinguished from chests of drawers by the inclusion of hooks, shelves, and even space for hanging clothes. They are multi-purpose storage units that incorporate all the best space-saving designs.

Wardrobes can also be incredibly economical. Unless you are lucky enough to find one you like at a swap meet, garage sale, or just on the side of the road, the cheapest wardrobes are constructed from heavy duty metal frames and covered with canvas that zippers shut. While not terribly elegant, these portable wardrobe closets offer both shelf and hanging space for garments and other items for less than $30, although the sturdiest models are often closer to $100. They can be found at most major retailers like Walmart and Target, and get quite good feedback in terms of storage and durability. The simple design also makes them impossibly easy to assemble.

The next step up in wardrobes is self-assembled pieces from retailers like Walmart, Target, and Ikea. The cheapest, which can be as inexpensive as $100, are usually made from particle board treated to look like solid wood, and can be quite stylish. The materials and design, however, are not always of the highest quality, and the units can be unstable, not particularly strong, and have a tendency to split or crack if they are moved too often. Assembly instructions can often be baffling to customers not used to putting together their own furniture, and customers complain that pieces are often missing. The retailers always replace missing pieces, but it does add to the time before a working wardrobe is acquired.

wardrobe_closetThe same retailers also offer more expensive, yet more durable, and ultimately practical, wardrobes of solid wood or wood and class construction. Customers are still expected to assemble them, and assembly can still be confusing, time consuming, and exasperating when a piece is missing, but the final products have a much better chance of standing the test of time. Reliable, elegant custom wardrobe closets of this variety usually start at around $200, depending on materials. More luxurious models, made out of finer materials, can be as much as $400, even at the discount retailers. Ikea has larger models that hit $500.

For the most expensive models, it may be worth the extra money to have your local trusted handyman assemble the furniture, as an inexperienced assembler can accidentally damage the wood finish, strip screws, or even break a glass panel.

If you shop at the right time, and search for deals, it’s often possible to get free delivery on the self-assemble models, even over the internet, especially if you are buying other items that put you over a certain pre-determined checkout price. Finding a free delivery deal can save you a considerable amount of money, easily $30 on heavy items. Amazon.com is an especially good place to find free delivery deals.

If self-assembly is not your style, both the large national chain retailers and your local furniture stores offer solidly built assembled furniture. Prices will vary mainly on size, quality of design, and materials used, and could be anywhere from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands for a luxury piece or antique. Large national chain retailers will probably charge for delivery, but local furniture stores often over free delivery within their delivery zone.

The final possibility is having a wardrobe custom designed for you. This possibility will never be cheap, and could be anywhere from several hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on the designer and carpenter’s expertise, the materials used, and the size of the wardrobe closet. The advantage is that you will have a unique piece designed exactly to your wants, needs, and desires. If you don’t know a local furniture designer or carpenter, you can ask for recommendations from a local interior designer.

If you do decide to buy over the internet, I would like to add one word of warning. It’s often hard to distinguish between the look of particle board versus solid wood when looking at pictures online, but once the piece is in front of you, there’s no mistaking the difference.

While the best deals are often available only online, I would recommend going into a brick and mortar store first and seeing what your piece, or a similar piece, looks like in person before ordering online. Because, even when you get free shipping, you rarely get free shipping on returns.

No matter what your budget or design expectations, there is a wardrobe closet on the market, or that can be made specifically for you, that will solve your storage needs.

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