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About Closet Storage Systems

FAQSo, if you've found yourself on the Frequently Asked Questions page, you're probably looking for some more info on closet storage systems or just doing some research.  Throughout the years, several questions have come up over and over again, so we have compiled a list in hopes that it helps our viewers understand the in's and out's of closet organizers.

Here are some questions and answers that deal with DIY closet storage projects, full service companies, custom closets and more.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Still curious about closet organizers?  Check out our blog page for more info!

What materials are closet storage systems made of?

Most modular and custom closet organizers are made of laminated wood or the widely used industry term, melamine; this is the main building material for closet organizers.  Melamine is a compressed wood product;  it is very durable and held together by adhesives (melamine).  It is often used in furniture and sometimes as countertops.  It is more sturdy and dependable than plywood and comes in laminate and veneer finishes.

Some providers of custom closets will also use MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard.  This is similar to Melamine, but the particles that make up the sheet are smaller and finer.  It is most often used in furniture, shelving, cabinetry, mouldings and is also available in laminate and veneer finishes.

You will find that many companies will use a combination of the two, making use of both MDF and melamine together in the same custom closet organizers, each utilized in a way that is functional and durable.

If you are looking for a higher-end product such as solid or veneer wood, some full service closet storage companies who design and produce custom closets offer this as well, but not all, and it will usually cost the consumer about 2 to 3 times the cost of the melamine or MDF closet organizers.

How much do closet storage systems cost?

Depending on what route you take (modular, do it yourself or full service) the cost of closet organizers can differ.

Wire shelving and closet organizer accessories from a retail store can average about $200-$800 for a typical walk-in closet (less for reach-in closets).

Compressed wood modular units can also be found at retail stores.  Depending on an individual’s needs, the price for an average walk-in closet can be about $500 to $2,000 dollars (less for reach-in closets).

Custom-designed closet organizers that you purchase online and install yourself can usually average anywhere from $800 to $5,000 (less for reach in closets).

If you chose to go through a full service custom closet company, you may spend anywhere between $1,000 and $15,000 dollars.  An average sized walk-in closet usually runs between $2,000 and $3,500.  The average cost will be higher than a DIY project; however you get professional help from the beginning of the project to the end.  These companies provide the design, tear-out of the old closet storage units and installation of the new closet storage systems which for some is well worth the added cost.

*prices listed in examples are average ball park figures

Do all closet storage systems come with warranties?

This is a good question to ask and the answer varies from company to company.  Most will have standard warranties on items purchased, but it is advisable to check into this before buying closet organizers from anywhere.  If a fully customized closet is being installed, check to see if the company you have chosen provides a warranty on both parts and labor.

How do I decide what kind of closet storage systems I need?

First, determine your needs and budget.  Review what is involved with all types of closet organizers to see what is reasonable for your situation.  There are local and online custom options, some of which provide design, labor and materials, modular closet storage units that you install yourself and helpful accessories that you can add to existing storage systems.  Once you have a good handle on what you would like accomplished,  then you can explore different types of closet storage systems and solutions that fit your needs.

How do I determine what kind of components I need for my closet?

Before beginning a closet remodel, it's good to take a closet inventory.  Take note of how much space you need for shirts, long hanging items, skirts, shoes, accessories, folded items, coats, boxes, linens and laundry.  You can use our closet inventory form for help if needed.  Once you have taken into account what you wish to store, you can plan your closet accordingly.  Be sure to include sections or components for all types of closet storage items and lengths of garments.  If you fold a lot of your clothing, include plenty of shelves or drawers.  Footwear is a good example also. For instance, if you have 12 pairs of shoes at 8" wide per pair, make sure you design at least 96" of shoe shelving or include 12 shoe cubbies.

How long does the process take?

DIY closet organizers may take a day or so to research and a day to purchase at a retail location or at least a week to ship if purchased online.  There must also be time allotted to inventory the closet, strip the closet of existing shelving and install the new closet organizers. On average this process takes about 1-3 weeks.

A full service custom closet company will assess your needs with you, provide a design and perform installation, but remember also that time will need to be dedicated to visit a custom closet showroom, attend a design consultation and work with your designer to perfect the design.  Your presence most likely will be required at the home during installation as well.  On average, this process can take 3-8 weeks.

Do closet storage systems increase the value of my home?

Yes!  Any addition or home improvement, including closet organizers, will increase the value of your home.  By how much really depends on your location, neighborhood and realty statistics regarding what is most important to homeowners in your area.  Plus, anyone interesting in buying a home that has a closet storage systems versus a home that doesn't, this presents an instant advantage for the home with a closet organizer.

Are DIY closet storage systems easy to install?

The ease of installing closet organizers for a DIY project is more of a matter of opinion.  That being said, all DIY closet storage solutions should come with detailed instructions.  Also, the DIY closet storage systems industry is doing well which is a reflection if its product's success rate.

What should I do if there aren't any full service custom closet companies in my area?

If it has been decided that custom closet storage systems are needed, but there are no full service custom closet companies that service your area, you can order custom or modular closet organizers online and install them yourself.  If you do not have the skills or you are not capable of installation, it's possible to order a custom closet system over the internet and outsource the actual installation to a local service or handyman.

Where can I buy modular closet storage systems?

Modular closet storage organizers are ready to assemble out of the box.  If you wish to add some shelving sections or hanging sections along the wall to assemble your own closet organizers, this is a great DIY project.  Modular closet storage systems can be purchased online and shipped to your home or purchased in a retail store.  If a local closet company advertises itself as custom, you will most likely not find any ready-made units, accessories or modular systems for sale within their offerings; stick to online and local stores who carry units in the style and colors you prefer.

How do I choose the right full service custom closet company?

If there is more than a few full service custom closet providers in your area, it can be a bit intimidating to choose just one.  Most customers have said that they have received bids from more than one company.  It is always a good idea to call a few closet companies, ask plenty of questions and visit their showrooms.   There are a lot of considerations with full service custom closet companies and if you need a reference to help in chossing one, our custom closet organizer checklist may be a good guide.

Seeing examples of a company's work will not only give you an idea of what your finished project may look like, but you will be able to see materials, colors and hardware up close which can help in making a decision.  Different companies may offer different design options, pricing and policies; and although design and budget are important, remember that this is a big project that will be a permanent fixture in your home - so it is important to feel comfortable with a company's customer service and policies as well.  If you still can't decide based on the design, cost and service differences, customer references and referrals can tell you a lot about other customer experiences with a particular company.

What size drawers are most functional in closet storage systems?

Many closet companies (modular and custom) have standard sizes of drawers, but of course sizes vary and it is best to consult the closet provider for details.  Most companies keep drawers to 24" wide, the depth of standard drawers ranges from 12" deep to 20" deep, and the standard heights are between 6-12" tall or 4" tall for jewelry drawers.  For items like socks, undergarments, and t-shirts, 8" tall or so is almost perfect.  If the drawer is too tall, items may get jumbled, wrinkled or you may not see the items at the bottom and forget that they are there. 

Adding drawers to closet organizers is all about organization and convenience, so drawers that are too big for your needs can get cluttered and drawers that are too small for your needs won't serve their purpose.  It's better to have two standard size drawers instead of one large drawer if you have a lot of one type of item.  If you believe that you have a normal amount of socks, t-shirts, undergarments and drawer items, then one "standard" drawer for each type of item should be sufficient.

How can I optimize closet storage space with high ceilings?

Many closets have high ceilings with a lot of unreachable space.  If you have many  books or keepsake items that you don't frequently use, you can add shelving or cabinets to the top of your closet organizers or design closet organizers that reach the ceiling.  You will need a step stool or ladder to access these items, but you will have space to store them none-the-less.

If you have high ceilings, but don't want storage items or clothing too high up, you may take advantage of your ceiling height by adding track or pendant lighting.  This can add a bright, cheery feel to your space and give it a custom look!

For those who want to take advantage of high closet ceilings and have a lot of clothing, there is an amazing accessory called a garment lift.  This is a closet rod supported by two bars on either end that move up and down on a hinge.  A long handle hangs from the pole which a person could pull to bring the closet rod,and clothes hanging on this rod, down towards them for easy access.  Since the garment lift swings down and out from the wall, caution should be taken to make sure there is enough space in the closet for this accessory to function properly.  Garment lifts are most common with custom closet organizers since they need to be anchored to a system on either side, but can be found online or in some retail stores as well.


Still curious about closet organizers?  Check out our blog section for more info!

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