Wardrobe Design Checklist

Whether you’re redesigning an existing wardrobe or creating a new flexible solution, in order to maximise the functionality of your space, a wardrobe design takes careful consideration. Wardrobe Design expert Sally Hart from the Clever Closet Company  says that the design process starts by asking the right questions. This checklist has been created to help you identify what you need and what’s achievable so that you end up with a wardrobe that’s wonderful to use.

  • To door or not to door?

    The first point to consider is will your solution have doors because that will affect how you’re going to layout the interior. If you choose to have doors, think about where the obstructions – hinges or cross over sliding doors – will be and section your wardrobe in accordance with the doors.

  • How much hanging space do you need?

    Sally Hart wardrobeWhen it comes to delegating what will hang and where, the first step is to establish how much linear hanging is required by running a tape measure across all of the garments. Once complete, determine the length of your garments so they can be comfortably accommodated in groups of similar lengths, and useful space can be achieved around these sections.

    Sally further explains, “I would bring everything up into the mid range and put hanging space below shelving. Rather than do double hanging, you are better off running the hanging all along the bottom of your solution, then if you need more hanging, go up.”

  • Size up your shelving needs

    Wondering how much shelving is required for items such shoes, bags, hats, and suitcases? Calculate how many 60cm wide shelves would be useful. As a rule, the reason for that is because when it’s broken down into a shelf, it will fit two items folded neatly with no wasted space. Watch the depth of your shelves too.

    Sally says, “People will often make their shelving too deep which is a big mistake too. elfa shelving is a really good depth. What you need for a wardrobe depth is 60cm for hanging clothes; if you make the shelves that deep, you will have to have the shelves between 30-50cm apart height wise so you can reach into the back – by then you’ve got too many items on one shelf and it’s too hard to keep tidy.

     It’s much better to have shelves that are shallow and spaced close together so this applies perfectly to the elfa® or Neata™ system. If you’ve got an adjustable wardrobe system and have shelving that’s say 36cm deep, just over half the depth of the wardrobe, you’re better to put more shelves in rather than big deep ones.”

  • What else needs to fit in?

    Neata cupboard with Ironing Board

    Howard’s Neata Shelving is fully adjustable and customisable.

    If you’re dealing with a relatively small space, you may need to consider housing other items such as vacuum cleaners, the Christmas tree, a safe and/or a laundry hamper within your wardrobe. Incorporate these into your planned space now or it could become an issue later.

    Sally explains, “Some people have got plenty of space and it’s really easy but for others there’s no way they’re going to fit in everything they need so at that point you need to consider your priorities. Determine whether you have a realistic goal – is all the stuff that you want to store actually going to fit and if it’s going to fit is it going to be accessible?

    If you’ve assessed that your goals are too ambitious and you’re not going to fit everything in, then you can decide how you’re going to deal with that. For example, a seasonal switch. Here is where an adjustable system such as elfa® or Neata™ is great. In wintertime you usually need more shelving for jumpers and tracksuits; you can actually pull these shelves out and pop them up the top in summertime to increase the hanging space. The cost of getting some adjustability into a system is really quite valuable if it offers you the opportunity to access what you’re using all the time at the time. Basically what you do is categorize what you need to store. The first thing you think about when you’re doing those priorities is categorize items according to your hanging, shoes, folded gear, bags.”

  • How many drawers do you need, if any at all?

    When it comes to a wardrobe, you really only need drawers to house underwear and socks. T-shirts and jumpers are better stacked on shelves, because when they’re in a drawer it can be challenging to see what is at the bottom of the pile. Consider limiting the number of drawers within your solution, incorporating more shelves and populating these Howard’s totes or baskets as needed.

    Sally explains, “Drawers are good for underwear and socks but shelving is far better for anything that’s going to fold because you can’t see the item underneath the top one in a drawer – so that will save you money and it means that your space functions better as well.”

  • Do you need storage for accessories?

    Jewellery DrawerHow do you store your belts, ties, jewellery and scarves? Do you prefer hooks, racks, drawers or baskets? The method of storing your accessories generally comes down to the size of the space. If you’re after a space saving solution, consider an over-the-door solution, jewellery drawer or an in-wardrobe accessories hanger.

  • Avoid accumulating clutter.

    To avoid accumulating clutter within a wardrobe Sally suggests you stop it at the door, “So the first thing is thinking clearly when people offer you something, be able to say no. Be very clear minded and have a mindset of ‘I’m not taking things into my home just because they’re either free or someone thinks I should have it’. Elect what comes into your home to begin with.”

Need assistance?

View our full range of products online or alternatively, take a few photos and sketches and visit our in-store experts (with measurements in hand!). We’re only too happy to help.


Thank you to Sally Hart for her expert wardrobe design advice. See more from Sally Hart here.

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© Copyright Howards Storage World, 2015.

Accurate as at September 2015.