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Living Space: 10 fast and fabulous closet upgrades

By By Kathryn Weber
June 6, 2013 at 1:06 a.m.

Good lighting, mirrors and plenty of shelving are key to making your closet work.

Wouldn't it be nice if you were as happy with the walk-in closet in the master bedroom as you are with all the other rooms in your house? Peering through design magazines and websites, the pages of elegant, organized closets make the task seem easy. And in truth, it doesn't require a huge expense to improve the look and feel of your closet.

Here are 10 ways to update your closet quickly and with an eye on your budget:

1.Add more lighting. Banish bare or dim fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. If you have a single overhead fixture, replace it with a fixture featuring multiple lights or track lighting that can be directed where you need light the most.

2.Beautify. Just because it's a closet doesn't mean it can't be pretty. Add rugs, chandeliers, artwork and accessories. If you have a blank wall, add wallpaper.

3.Streamline hangers. One of the key things that makes a closet look disorganized is a hodgepodge collection of hangers. Instead, invest in large sets of hangers, like Huggable Hangers from HSN. For about $58, you can get sets of 72 in 13 colors with 36 shirt and suit hangers each at HSN.com. Try using two colors - one for winter and one for summer clothes.

4.Add more mirrors. Closets often lack light, and mirrors bring both light and the illusion of more space. Add them to doors, walls and the tops of dressers to make your closet shine.

5. Take a seat. Every closet needs a spot to sit down or hold various items. Add a padded storage ottoman that can do double duty, such as a burlap trunk from Home Decorators at Homedecorators.com.

6. Make it convenient. In addition to getting dressed, closets outfitted for other clothing needs like ironing, shoe polishing and steaming wrinkles are especially helpful. Install an ironing board cabinet. Add a basket or bag to collect dry cleaning and a folding luggage rack for packing a suitcase. Add hooks wherever there's space to hold garments, belts, handbags, scarves or hats.

7. Box it up. Add soft storage boxes to organize shelves, cubbies and drawers. Separate your dress socks from your athletic socks with soft-sided organizers like the valet boxes available on HSN.com.

8. Separate seasonally or socially. Divide up your clothing by season or use. Keep dressy or other clothing you seldom wear away from items you use frequently to maximize space. Next, separate by season, then by color. Now you'll never have to go through every shirt in the closet to find a particular sleeveless top.

9. Splurge a little. If you have some extra room in the budget, look at buying cabinets with rollout shelves or outfitting your current shelves with rollout shelving. These really make finding what you're looking for a snap.

10. Take advantage of height. If shelves and rods don't extend all the way to the ceiling, add more. You could double your storage space just by installing extra shelves.

Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.

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