Upgrade closet doors for better organizing

What do closet doors have to do with organizing? Well, consider how it feels to dig into a closet with an ordinary room door on it. In some cases, you’d need to take a lunch because you’d be in there so long!

A slightly better alternative is sliding doors; however these allow only part of the closet to be available at a time. So for organizing purposes, you can only do part of the closet without sliding panels to reach the other side.

The best option for me is bi-fold doors. With these, you can see everything in your closet when you open all of them. And, of course, these are the best for keeping a closet organized as well. These doors do take a bit more space than sliders but it’s worth sacrificing that few inches. If you happen to have a very wide closet opening, you can attach extra panels to the bi-fold to make double bi-fold (four sections).

While you’re under construction replacing doors, you may want to open up the wall above the opening to allow better access to the wasted space there. You can add a second shelf before ordering and installing the doors.

Inside the closet:

Now that you have easy access to the inside of your closet, consider the use of space. Are your shoes piled on the floor with sweaters falling off the top shelf and everything between in chaos? That’s easily remedied.

  • Hanging rods: What’s the height from the floor to the hanging rod? Is there space to add a second rod below it? If not, consider moving the higher one up to allow for this. Doing so will double the hanging space. Rule of thumb: tops on top and bottoms on bottom.  Ensure you allow for clothing that takes more vertical space by making the lower rod shorter than the top one. I like to put a shower rod cover over the rods so the hangers slide easily. And you can choose a color to match your décor.
  •  Shelving/drawers: In a large closet, you may wish to add shelving, baskets or drawers inside. Closet organizing stores have plenty of options for this.
  •  Shoes: These stores also carry shoe storage racks and cubbies, but you don’t need to get fancy about this if your closet and budget are small. Home decorating stores also offer choices for shoe storage. The only one I caution against is the vertical shelving that allows for more than 25 pair of shoes. I find this unstable.
  •  Hangers: I recommend hangers that are all the same look whether plastic, wood or the new velvet coated ones. Each option had its pros and cons. The important thing is that by using the same style, your closet will look organized all the time. Remember the hangers should all be hung the same way to keep that organized look.
  •  Baskets/Boxes: On the top shelf (remember you have two upper shelves now.) You can store out-of-season items such as sweaters/T-shirts, heavy socks, shorts and other light items.
  •  Dividers: On the lower shelf, you could install vertical dividers (also available in organizing stores) to prevent in-season items from falling over, like sweaters/T-shirts, yoga wear etc.

How many of these ideas will you incorporate into your closet? When will you start the makeover? I’m interested in hearing about your experiences.


© Moreen Torpy

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Moreen Torpy is the De-Clutter Coach, a Trained Professional Organizer, Author, and Speaker. Her new book is Going Forward: Downsizing, Moving and Settling In. See www.goforwarddownsize.com for more about the book including where to purchase it, and www.decluttercoach.ca to learn about her organizing services.



  1. I’ve maximized the space in my closet by placing a standalone shoe rack on the floor – when I run out of room on the rack, it’s time to get rid of some shoes. On the shelf I’ve placed a regular shelving unit, the type you would usually put on the floor, and I use it to hold bags, bulky sweaters, and other assorted items.

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