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Design Considerations

Closets and home storage areas usually have common situations or conditions that a designer should consider when designing a storage solution. 

Accessibility  It’s essential to know if there are any special storage needs or handicaps to be accommodated, e.g. user’s height, extent of reach, ability to bend.

Adaptability  Organized Living freedomRail allows today’s storage spaces to be adjusted to handle tomorrow’s needs. Additional components can be added at any time.
    
Adjustability  freedomRail closet components can be moved up, down, left or right to fit your changing needs. Classica components can be moved up and down.
  
Baskets and Drawers  Determine the appropriate depth to use. Placing small supplies in partitioned shallow drawers helps prevent “fishing” and disorganization. Deep drawers are meant for larger, bulkier items. Determine the appropriate type to use. Items are clearly visible when in freedomRail O-Box Chrome Baskets.
     
Categorize  Organize drawers and shelves by grouping like items (e.g. hair items, make-up, bath, first aid, cough/cold/allergy). Help manage these categories by using labels, drawer organizers, baskets or bins.

Child-friendly  Make the closet child-friendly by storing the items children are responsible for (books, toys, music, towels, bedding, etc.) at their eye level or lower.
      
Climate Certain areas of the home, especially the basement, attic and garage, can be subject to damaging heat, humidity, cold, water and insects. These conditions should dictate an item’s location, container type and storage system.
        
Compartments Groupings are well maintained when they are compartmentalized. Create partitioned areas within the closet design, e.g. place shelving or O-Boxes next to hanging.

Fishing Fishing for a small item in a large container of items (e.g. a small toy at the bottom of a large toy box, a particular pair of socks in a deep drawer) creates disorganization as items are scattered and dumped in the search. Shallow drawers, drawer dividers and small bins on shelves are good solutions.

Future  If space permits, allow for some expansion of storage needs for new purchases.
                  
Group & Categorize  Encourage clients to group like items in logical categories that work for them, e.g. by height, length, frequency of use, food category, color, style, season, etc.             
Designs are typically based on an inventory of the user’s items. Once unwanted items have been purged and the remaining items have been grouped into categories, the space requirements (height, depth, width) for each category can be determined. Watch our S.P.A.C.E. video for sorting and storage tips

Keepsakes  Locate the keepsakes in the least accessible areas of the closet (preferably in labeled plastic containers, on the lowest or highest shelves or in the corners). If space is at a premium, the best space for keepsakes may be in the basement, attic or garage. However, the temperature and humidity of these areas must be considered. 
     
Labels  Grouping like items in drawers and containers and labeling them (use pictures for children who can’t read) makes it more likely that household members will return items to their proper places. You can find dozens of free, printable labels on our Pinterest page.  

Location The following is a good guideline for the location of items on shelves within a storage area:
  • top shelves - large lightweight and least-used items (e.g. seasonal)    
  • middle shelves (shoulder to waist) – most-used items
  • bottom shelves (below waist) – heavier, larger, less frequently-used items
  • shelf ends – least-used items
Positioning shelves and drawers (rather than hanging) just inside a walk-in closet’s door creates a greater sense of space inside the closet. As a general rule, position long hang garments in the corner. 

Outside the Box  Closet space isn’t the only place for storage. Look for open wall space within a room to create attractive and practical storage units (e.g. corner  of room, above and beside furniture, flanking a fireplace). 

Purging As a client restocks their new closet, they should eliminate items that are no longer needed (damaged, out-of-style, wrong size, etc.).
   
Reveal or Conceal Drawers, freedomRail Chrome Baskets and 30” O-Boxes and Go-Boxes with doors protect but conceal items. 
   
Safety  Be aware of the location of shelf corners. Household traffic patterns and heights of family members should dictate shelf placement. Allow room for fire extinguishers in areas where they are especially needed:  kitchen, laundry room, garage. Do NOT block heaters, vents, electrical outlets or switches.
 
Shared Space There’s more than one way to divide a shared closet: side-by-side in a reach-in, left and right sides of walk-in, up and down (appropriate for tall and short couple, older and younger siblings, parent and child) and by percentage of space. With the skillful location of storage components (e.g. O-Boxes between two areas of double hang), a shared storage area will appear more divided and the contents will stay more separated. 
      
Sports Equipment Other than tennis rackets (store these inside the home to preserve the proper tension of the strings), it’s best to store sports equipment together in one location, preferably in the garage or basement. 

Vertical Space The goal of every good design is to maximize the vertical space in a closet or storage area. freedomRail shelves adjust up and down in 1.25” increments, significantly reducing wasted space between shelves. freedomRail allows for triple hang in a young child’s closet, a much more appropriate configuration for the lengths of a child’s clothing.
    
Visibility freedomRail Tiered Profile Shelf has a built-in stair step that maximizes visible shelf space and can be installed level or at an angle, depending on the customer’s needs. Using Profile or ventilated shelving for the upper shelves allows items to be easily viewed from below. Liners are available for Chrome Basket Inserts, allowing the contents of the baskets to be either concealed or visible. However, wood shelves are ideal when small items that may otherwise topple over are being stored.