12/07/2011 09:29 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cleaning Tip: Closet Design Savvy

Flickr photo by Rubbermaid Products

When designing or reconfiguring a closet, follow these tips:

1. Sort your wardrobe. Group each type of clothing (jackets, shirts, skirts, pants, and dresses) and hang them together on a rod or rack. Measure how much space is required for each category.

2. Maximize space. Install rods where they are most useful. Position rods eleven to twelve inches from the back wall, allowing items twenty-two to twenty-four inches of depth and thirty-two to thirty-six inches of vertical hanging space.

3. Install drawers. Small items like socks and scarves are best stores in drawers. Bear in mind, however, that drawers are the most expensive component of a closet. If you have a dresser elsewhere in the room, consider limiting or eliminating closet drawer space.

4. Build in cubbies. Cubes are a see-at-a-glance solution for storing such items as sweaters, purses, hats, jeans, and shoes.

5. Accessorize your closet. Add bells and whistles such as specialized racks for belts, ties, shoes, and bags, which keep these smaller items from becoming a jumble.

6. Use every inch. Claim air rights by adding shelves above racks for extra storage. Hooks on closet doors afford quick access to frequently used items like tote bags.

The nuts and bolts: Clothing can weight a lot. To avoid collapse, make sure to select the correct anchors when attaching rods and shelves. For Sheetrock walls, the anchors should be attached to the studs. For lath and plaster walls, use molly bolts, which have spring winged tips that expand once inserted into the wall and distribute weight better than a regular screw bolt. For plaster and brick walls, use lead or plastic shields.

For more cleaning tips, check out What's A Disorganized Person To Do?