If closet organization professionals were to gather around a campfire and tell scary stories, we guarantee that at least some of those tales would be about nightmare closets—a.k.a. spaces that are known for being strangely shaped and extra-challenging to organize. But at Strickland’s Closets & Home Organization, we aren’t afraid of scary stories or odd-shaped closets. Read on for the most common challenging closets, along with our ideas for easy solutions.

Odd-Shaped Closets

1. Sloped-Wall Closet:  This odd-shaped closet can be found tucked away under a roofline—which means that there’s a shortened back wall and more floor space than actual space.

How to even out this odd-shaped closet: Look at your hanging rods from a different perspective. That sloped wall won’t limit you as much if you position your rods between the return walls and back wall. You can then build out the sloped wall with shelves so it doesn’t remain unused.

2. Cave Closet:  Cave closets are either narrow boxes or sport deep, dark L shapes. Either way, they can make getting ready in the morning feel like a spelunking expedition into crammed-together clothes.

How to shape-up this strange-shaped closet: Focus your attention on the hard-to-reach wall in your cave closet and build out from there using shelves, bins, and other handy organizational accessories.

3. Too-Small Historic Closet:  A generation or two makes a big difference when it comes to closets. Because people used to have much smaller wardrobes, they often only needed armoires or very small closets for their clothes. Today, one of the main complaints from people who own historic homes is that the closets are miniscule.

How to think big with a smaller-than-average closet: The key to conquering the challenge of a too-small historic closet is to skip cookie-cutter solutions. Custom shelving will take your small space and narrow corners into account so that all your closet’s angles are utilized.

4. Builder Grade Closet:  With builder-grade closets, space isn’t the problem. These closets tend to be under-utilized rather than odd-shaped. They’re usually fairly large but only come with cheap, plastic-covered wire shelving that doesn’t have much organization potential.

How to build up to a better closet: Say it with us: No more builder-grade wire shelving! Instead, take advantage of your closet’s size by going for a floor-to-ceiling organizational system: custom shelves and cabinets, pull-down hanging rods, or even a larger-than-life shoe rack.

5. After-Thought Closet:  After-thought closets are often a previous homeowner’s best effort to add a closet to a room that didn’t previously have one. They’re usually shoved into a space without a lot of long-term planning and the resulting shape can look jigsaw-inspired.

How to put more thought into your after-thought closet: The good news about this strange-shaped closet is that you can improve it based on knowing what doesn’t work. If there are outdated and impractical sliding doors, swap them out for double doors or incorporate glass door cabinets. If there’s a nook or cranny in your way, use custom shelving and fold-out accessories to make the dimensions work for you. Remember, you know your own needs (and the closet’s current cons) best.

A challenging closet doesn’t have to be a nightmare. If you need some help turning your less-than-ideal space into something special, stop by Strickland’s Closets & Home Organization today!