A Guide to Closet Remodels

By Kelly Boyer Sagert · June 30, 2023 · 6 minute read

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A Guide to Closet Remodels

Remodeling a closet can be a great way to get organized while getting rid of clutter. But creating an inviting, functional space takes more than just extra hangers or storage boxes. When planning a closet model, you’ll want to keep a few things in mind, including what you intend on storing there, how much space you have, and your budget.

Ready to roll up your sleeves? Use this guide to help you get started.

Clear Out the Closet

If you can, start a remodeling project with a blank slate. In this case, that means clearing out whatever is in your closet now. You’ll appreciate the extra breathing room when it comes time to measure the space (more on that in a minute). Plus, you’ll have a chance to see exactly what will be stored in the closet after the remodel, which will help you determine what clothing rods, drawers, storage bins, and containers might be needed.

Recommended: How Much Does It Cost to Remodel or Renovate a House?

Size Up Your Space

Accurately measure the size of the closet and, if desired, see what potential extra space exists. The following tools can help you get the job done:

•   Measuring tool: This can be a 25-foot flat tape measure or, if preferred and needed, an electronic measuring tool. The latter can measure longer walls.

•   Acrylic square finders (two): With these, verify whether closet corners are actually square.

•   Angle finders for closets with slanted ceilings: This allows the angle of the roofline to be properly measured.

•   Paper: Record all numbers; graph paper can be especially helpful when sketching out measurements and closet remodel ideas.

New to measuring? Here are some tips to help you get the right figures the first time.

•   When doing a hard measurement, round down by the nearest quarter of an inch.

•   When doing soft measurements, round down to the nearest whole number.

•   Measure walls in three places and use the smallest of these measurements: near the top, in the middle, near the bottom.

•   Measure from top to bottom.

•   Check inside corners.

•   Check the angle of pitch for any sloped ceilings.

•   Note and measure any obstacles, which can include light fixtures and switches, trim, and vents.

Consider Closet Features You’d Like

Not sure what to include in your closet remodel? Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing.

Add Lighting

From LED lights that shine on specific areas of the closet to illuminated rods and shelves to lights that focus on cabinets, lights are popular closet features.

A Dressing Room

Because not every house has bedrooms with enough square footage for dressing room space, some homeowners are choosing to transform an extra bedroom — or even an underused dining or living room — into a walk-in closet/dressing room.

These rooms typically have some kind of seating and mirrors, and even pieces of art. They can range from reasonably simple rooms containing a makeup table and comfy seat to luxurious spaces.

Walls That Wow

People who have a more straightforward paint color or wallpaper pattern in their rooms are sometimes willing to experiment with bolder hues or eye-catching patterns on the walls in their closets.

Stylish Extras

If your budget and lifestyle allow, here are some features that are in demand today and may be worth considering. Some are DIY, while others may require the help of a contractor.

•   Ventilation systems to remove smells and dehumidifiers to remove moisture

•   Entire walls devoted to shoes

•   Crown molding

•   A sliding ladder

•   Built-in drawers, called cellarets, to keep socks, ties, and more well organized

•   Laundry cabinet storage with a removable liner to carry the load to the washer

•   Jewelry organizer with multiple compartments, some with locks

Closet Remodel No-Nos

The best remodel is one that allows you to make the most of your closet. As you’re making your plans, be mindful to avoid the following:

Dead Space

People often waste space above the top shelf in their closets. It’s true that you can fold and store clothes on that shelf, or use the space for storing boxes. But keep in mind that the higher an item is, the more difficult it is to access.

Wasted Space Behind Swing-in Doors

If possible, try to avoid closet doors that swing in, because shelves can’t be built there and clothes hung there will continually be banged into. But if this is your setup, fear not. The space can still be salvaged by the addition of a hook board where scarves, ties, and other thin objects can be placed.

Shallow Shelving

When shelves are too shallow, clothes hang over top of them and the closet can look sloppy. Lots of closet systems have 12-inch shelves; make sure this is deep enough for your needs or choose other shelving with more depth.

What Will a Closet Remodel Cost?

On average, a closet renovation costs around $358, according to the home services website Thumbtack.
A good rule of thumb is that the cost per linear foot is $125. Add-ons will affect the cost. Here are some amounts that someone might expect to spend:

•   Professional organization services: $40 to $60 an hour

•   New lights and outlets: $55 to $65 an hour

•   New door: $180

•   Paint job: $200

Designing a custom closet costs between $1,059 and $3,068 on average, according to HomeAdvisor.com. The materials used, organization elements included, permits, and whether a wardrobe is added affect the pricing. Of course, if you’re looking to sell a home, a custom closet design may be of more value to a buyer than an off-the-shelf closet organizing product.

Another factor is whether the closet is a reach-in or walk-in type. Reach-in closets are typically smaller, but when organized well can be functional. These closet remodels can cost between $500 and $2,500 and are often found in smaller bedrooms and hallways.

Or, if you’ve been watching TV remodel shows and are longing for the walk-in closets created there, this type may cost more, while offering plenty of room for clothing and accessories and a good view of what’s located where.
When it comes to paying for a closet remodel, homeowners have several options. Examples include using your personal savings, using a credit card and then paying the balance in full when it’s due, or taking out a unsecured personal loan.

Recommended: 11 Types of Personal Loans & Their Differences

The Takeaway

A closet remodel can range from practical to astounding, suitable to luxe. Take measure of exactly what you want — first deciding whether to expand the space or enhance what you have — and then carve out a budget for that vision.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and get some home repairs or renovations done, see what a SoFi personal loan can offer. With a SoFi Home Improvement Loan, you can borrow between $5,000 to $100,000 as an unsecured personal loan, meaning you don’t use your home as collateral and no appraisal is required. Our rates are competitive, and the whole process is easy and speedy.

Turn your home into your dream house with a SoFi Home Improvement Loan.

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Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.


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