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JAMES AND MORRIS CAREY \ On the House Organized closets create more space



Published: Sat, January 29, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Ample storage space is becoming an important selling feature in new home construction.

But those of us who aren't in the market for a spacious new house must make the most of the storage space we have. One way to do this is to add an inexpensive built-in closet system that can maximize the space available.

It's important to select a versatile system, so consider the interchangeable kind that allows you to alternate between hanging rods and adjustable shelving. No matter how carefully you plan, you won't know exactly what configuration to use until after you have made several attempts at organizing.

Having a system that allows you to alternate between shelves and hanging rods can make it easier to manage your wardrobe from season to season.

For example, in the winter you might want more rods for hanging outerwear, while in the summer you might want more shelves for folded T-shirts. Also, the ability to reconfigure the space will minimize waste if your storage needs change in other ways.

Folding clothes correctly

You can also maximize your use of space by folding your clothes correctly.

First determine how many stacks or "columns" of clothing you can fit onto each shelf using its full width and depth. Keep in mind that height is adjustable, and therefore not as critical. A shelf should be fully covered front to back and side to side. To achieve this, fold and refold the clothing items until a stack fully covers a shelf from corner to corner.

Once you have determined the proper folded size, you might want to make a "folding template and shelf scoop" from a thin, stiff sheet of plastic or cardboard. It will help your fold your clothes for storage and enable you to load and unload a shelf to its maximum capacity.

To make a template-scoop, measure the width and length of the folded article and transfer those measurements to the plastic or cardboard. You can make one in each of various sizes for different size shelves. Simply fold the article around the template for uniform size, then use the template as a scoop to add or remove an article of clothing from the stack.

You can also use the scoop to place an item between two others in the stack. Just slide it into the desired spot and use it to scoop out the stack of clothing above it. Insert the additional item of clothing and use the scoop to return the removed clothes to the top of the stack.

XFor more home improvement tips and information visit www.onthehouse.com.




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