Take a walk down the shelving aisle at Walmart, Menards, Home Depot or Lowes, and consumers should prepare to be overwhelmed by the organizational options available on the market today. Often requiring some basic home assembly work, these pieces cover a vast range of closet organizer needs from keeping clothes that require a hanger off the floor, to providing shoe nooks and shelving for clothing that is typically folded, such as t-shirts and jeans.

Shoppers that are comfortable ordering online can find a large variety of websites that offer custom storage options. Sites like Closetstogo.com and Closetmaid.com do require a little bit of work gathering specifications that need to be entered into their systems to ensure a custom fit. Closet Maid does offer some basic pieces that are available at Home Depot. Shopping sites like Ebay and Amazon should also be a source that buyers spend a little time looking into.

Most of the large retailers offer a few basic options that can be built upon to create a custom look for any closet.

1. Wire rack systems that have become very popular over the years, are available at most retailers and can be customized to a shopper’s specific needs, giving them the freedom to place shelves and hang bars as they choose. Walmart offers a 4-8 foot titanium kit for $102 that includes:

  • Two 48.28” shelves
  • Three 26.25” shelves
  • Four 47.5” uprights
  • Eleven shelf brackets
  • Two 48.25” hang rails
  • One 48-96” telescoping rod
  • Nine rod support hangers
  • All necessary hardware

Once the basic brackets have been secured to the wall, buyers will need to conduct some experiments where placement is concerned. The advantage of these types of systems, is that they can be rearranged at any time, giving shoppers the opportunity to try several different placements until they find what works best for their space and individual needs.

2. Basic shelving units that resemble bookshelves, come in a variety of sizes that differ in width as well as the number of shelves per piece. Lowes offers both free-standing units, as well as units that can be combined with wall mount shelving systems. A 31 1/2 inch organizer with two shelves costs about $13. Stackable shelving units start at around $20 and can cost up to $150 depending on the size and storage capacity.

These first two options alone can be combined to create a truly custom look without the custom prices that specialty stores charge.

3. Shelf and bracket pieces are one of the most cost effective ways to add organizational storage space to a closet. At around $5.00 for a 10×24 inch pine shelf, with brackets costing even less, shoppers looking to create a space for items that typically end up on the floor can save a bundle. Spending as little or as much as the budget will allow is pretty simple with these basic, yet effective options.

4. Complete closet systems, available at most of these retailers, not only cover the basic wire rack system as described earlier, but are often offered in solid wood varieties that include drawers. The base price for these more elaborate systems is around $200 depending on size and retailer. The larger systems can cost up to $500-600. When ordering online, several stores offer free shipping for any orders over a specific price. When buying in-store, shoppers need to take weight and transportation needs into consideration when purchasing a larger, more expensive unit. Some retailers may provide delivery and installation services, for a cost. Delivery rates can vary from flat rates to charges based on miles, and usually start at $20. Installation services can vary greatly, even between different locations of the same retailer. Consumers should always ask about these services before making any decisions.

5. Shoe racks are one of the most important components of a closet organization system. At Walmart, shoppers can find a 50-pair shoe rack, similar in style to the wire rack system for clothing, starting at $33.00. For the same price, shoppers can find a 15 cube wood laminate shoe rack at Lowes. Larger wood laminate varieties can cost up to $150, depending on size and shoe capacity.

6. Custom built hanging closet organizers are a good choice for shoppers who don’t mind investing extra money in a unit that will truly fit their space and needs, and often even add to the resale value of their home. Prices vary greatly, so buyers should shop around and gather quotes from multiple sources before moving forward on a project like this. Often, a representative will come to the home to take precise measurements and will help the consumer decide on a design that works for their individual needs. While shoppers can order similar units through the internet, this should be left to those familiar with taking measurements who possess the skills necessary for assembling the closet unit themselves. A very general price range for a custom, solid wood closet organizer is approximately $500-$5000 for smaller units, and even up to $10,000 for larger, walk-in closet spaces.

Consumers who aren’t afraid to think outside the box should consider units that were meant for a pantry or kitchen space. A re-purposed pantry organizer, also available at the larger home improvement retailers, cost roughly the same as the complete closet storage kits, though a little on the higher end of the price scale. Most are solid wood, or wood laminate and offer drawers and cabinets in addition to shelves. While likely too large for smaller closets, these prefabricated kits, if chosen carefully, can yield very useful results in the right closet space.

The most important guidelines to follow when purchasing a closet storage organization unit are to take precise measurements, always ask about delivery and installation services and prices, and to shop around using all of the sources available before making a purchase. Larger retailers like Walmart often have a huge inventory of merchandise that is only available through their website. A little time spent researching options will produce a valuable storage space in the long run.

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