With a few inexpensive yet smart ideas, we can make our storage spaces much more organised, contemporary looking and even time saving

Most of us seldom give a thought to our wardrobe interiors. We are simply satisfied with its ‘outside' look, giving little thought to what goes inside. Well, what do you do when your contractor provides no design support and does not deliver what is most important in a wardrobe - a space to organise things.

This realisation dawned on me last Saturday at a friend's place, as I watched her arranging daughter's things in the wardrobe. It was quite a task, fitting in clothes (regular, party wear) accessories, bags and stuff occasionally used. The sizes of the clothes were varied, but the shelf sizes – the same. This encouraged me to write on ideas to design efficient wardrobes that ‘create' space with better organisation of space. The most common mistake we make is to tailor ourselves to wardrobes. With a few basic, actually inexpensive yet smart ideas, we can make our storage spaces much more organised, contemporary looking and even time saving.

Not many are aware that today custom designed sliding wardrobes to suit the individual needs are made in India just like in Europe and specialised factory has been set up in Hyderabad to produce wall-to-wall customized wardrobes. Your custom designed wardrobe is dispatched in two weeks and installed in just few hours.

I share some suggestions of using wardrobe accessories that are not commonly used so far in India.

- ‘Pigeon shelves' offer a great option for breaking down large shelves into manageable spaces for specific clothes, which tend to slip when piled up. We normally stack ironed clothes like shirts and trousers. Pigeon shelves designed with specific sizes will help in keeping them well sorted and easily accessible.

-Add drawer dividers for socks, tie, kerchiefs, undergarments, blouses and small clothes. Well thought out drawer heights and small lockable compartments can increase utility.

-Wire basket organisers commonly used in modular kitchens, are fast finding their way into wardrobes too. It helps to throw things like towels or some clothes that are not always folded.

-Add tie and belt holders which can be pulled to hang these. The vertical drawer can be a unique organiser for ties, belts and scarves keeping them neatly out of sight. In this you can also plan space to place things that come out of pocket at the end of the day like the wallet, cufflinks, keys, pens, cards that are needed again next morning.

- Combination shoe racks to keep your expensive footwear intact without losing form. Also wire shoe racks can be part of your party closet to help find matching footwear easily while getting ready for office or a party.

-Many special metal accessories are also available to hold items like ironing boards, vacuum cleaner hose neatly organised.

-To conserve space and make rooms look larger and more contemporary, install wardrobes with sliding doors. The sliding doors can be very stylish by combining glass and veneer finishes suiting your taste.

-Another way of conserving space and combining multiple uses into your wardrobe is to incorporate a dresser. You can get a folding dresser mirror installed along with small drawers to hold cosmetics and jewellery within the wardrobe. This fitting allows the mirror to slide in when not in use, enabling a great utility within a narrow space. -Wardrobes or storage system in a passage or entrance of the house can be very handy when guests arrive. These wardrobes can accommodate miscellaneous stuff making the house clutter free.

-When buying new wardrobes or organizing accessories, always opt for high quality hardware rather than just good looking ones. Wardrobes need to be used on daily basis and hence they should be functional and sturdy. Most organizing accessories have moving parts and hence check for a good warranty period. Finally, you can get your wardrobe designed interactively in CAD-CAM systems available today with specialist wardrobe manufacturers. These solutions make it easy to design with a wide range of organising accessories. It is always good to discard unwanted stuff to accommodate more useful things. Stuff accumulates and a well-organised storage helps you stay organised and find things when most needed.

(The writer is Head of Interior Design at Luxus and guest faculty at NIFT and can be contacted at ‘pratima@luxusindia.net')