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Fri, Oct. 18

Column: Tips to make the most out of limited closet space

(Courtesy image)

(Courtesy image)

Question: Where do I put my shoes and boots? They are in a pile on the bottom of my small closet! And this is after I purged!

Answer: Placing shoes and boots can be tricky. Without redesigning your whole closet, a simple way would be to hang all of your clothing in order of height. Once that is done, you will have different heights left underneath where you can put stackable shoe racks or high boots.

Question: How do I make the most out of my small closet?

Answer: Two things you can do to increase space in a small closet are:

• Add a second level of hanging in part of the closet. You can have the closet custom-built or you can find a second rod that will hang off the first (but the spacing is usually short).

• Add a second shelf at the top 12 inches from the ceiling. If you custom-build your closet, this will be part of the design; otherwise, you can add one out of wire or wood from Home Depot. You can then start storing out-of-season items at the top and have more

room for frequently worn items.

Question: What is the best way to light a small closet?

Answer: The best lighting for a small closet is a "Day-Glo" or "Daylight" fluorescent tube over the door. This way the light will shine toward the clothing and not down on to the shoulders of the garments.

Question: When organizing clothes, I keep sweaters with sweaters, jackets with jackets and so on. However, I feel I might be missing out on some great pairing or layering options. How would I go about creating good matching outfits by pairing them in my closet accordingly?

Answer: It is always best to keep "like with like" if you can see everything. For example, if you have a walk-in closet and have all of your sweaters and T-shirts on shelves, all of your pants together and all of your shirts together, then you can visually mix and match, creating outfits in your mind while standing and sipping your coffee. If you keep things put away as "outfits," you will most likely wear the same things together all the time and get less use out of your wardrobe as a whole.

Question: I have a nice closet that's fairly large. I need to keep it organized so that I can see all my bags and jewelry without them being all over the place.

Answer: Here are some great tricks for organizing purses. Firstly, you can buy some bookends to keep them standing upright. Or invest in some canvas cubes or boxes and sit them on their side on a shelf. This will create cubbies to keep them contained. Jewelry can be more difficult, but there are many organizer sold that can hold jewelry. Consider clear containers so that you can see what's inside. Also, you can use belt racks to hang necklaces and bracelets so they can be seen more easily.

Tracey Shadley is the owner of Organize A-Z in Northern Arizona. She specializes in custom closet design, home staging and decluttering. For more information or to submit questions, visit

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