Consider installing a double closet rod to maximize your storage space. You may need more space for any number of reasons. Are your growing children's wardrobes expanding by the day? Have you taken up tennis or gold and need a place to hang new duds? Do you share living and storage space with another person to cut back on expenses? Did your older house come with a closet only big enough to hang one suit and one dress? Luckily, there's a cure—or at least a quick fix—for this situation: double-hanging.
Double-hanging is accomplished with a second rod below the existing rod to hang another level of clothing. In a standard closet, shirts and tops might hang from the top rod while slacks folded over hangers would go below.
The second rod can be installed into the wall with regular hardware, or it can be free-hanging (attached to the primary rod). A free-hanging style may be a specialized system (generally a dowel and metal rods topped with hooks) available in the closet sections of most stores for under $25. Another style can be as simple as a thick dowel or pipe and some sturdy cord from the home store for under $10. This might provide more flexibility as you can choose the length of the rod as well as the height of the hanging cords.
No tools to drill with? Wrap your cord several times around the rod and tie it off. No way to cut a metal pipe? Plan ahead and have the store do it, or use an easier-to-size wooden dowel.
- Choose a hardwood dowel so it will bend less easily.
- Even hardwood will bow with time and weight, so consider 2 rods rather than a single very long piece.
- Consider whether your new rod will put undue stress on the existing rod—it may need added support of its own.
Double-hanging is great for men and kids, whose clothes are usually short enough for bi-level hanging. Women's clothes are more problematic: skirts and dresses come in all lengths, and tops can be crop-short or tunic-long. To accomodate abnormal clothes, consider the shape of your closet.
Most older closets are deeper than they are wide. If space permits, a rod (and bonus shelf!) can be mounted front-to-back, perpendicular to the existing rod. Mount combination metal rod/shelf brackets onto the side wall of the closet. Make sure it is far enough below the existing rod to make the shelf a useful height, at least 12 inches. This will make the new rod about shoulder height—enough space to accommodate skirts, most dresses and slacks (without folding) and still leave a little floor space underneath. If you like, hang your lower rod from this new rod.
- To avoid having the rod jutting awkwardly into the doorspace, make sure there’s at least 12 inches of space between the doorframe and the side wall.
- Mount the brackets securely to the wall studs to adequately support the weight of the clothing.
- Don’t worry about the side-to-side rod space that is lost; it’s more than made up by the front-to back space.