The Closet Story: Innovative Solutions

Everything has a story and a purpose. So does the familiar, commonly-neglected closet.  

The closet has been around for a long time, so long that we sometimes forget how important it is. According to research, during the old-time, “The closet was a place to store treasured possessions, but it was also a place for prayer, reading, and quiet contemplation. It was by far the most private place in the house”

After multifamily housing became a dominant sector in the real estate market, the closet now has a greater purpose- bringing comfort and convenience to residents and increasing the asset value for property owners.

To determine whether a closet is a good investment or not, property managers normally consider three criteria: functionality, appearance, and sturdiness to answer the bottom-line question: whether it justifies a rent increase or not. In this article, we will use these criteria to compare the two most common types of closets in the market – wire and wooden shelving.

1. Functionality:

Wire shelving is often selected because of the cheaper price and utilitarian design, which is the reason why it is commonly seen at lower tiers apartment complexes or student housings. The wires are fairly easy to be installed and removed. However, the gaps between the wires do not make it easy for the owner to thoroughly clean and maintain, and also limit storage capacity as it does not support the storage of small items, unless there is a flat surface placed on top.

Wooden shelving, which comes at a slightly higher price, seems to be able to solve the shortcomings of wire closets. Designed to have a continuous surface area, the wooden closet increases storage capacity by 54% and supports items of all sizes. You can put a pin, a pair of earrings, or a single key in it without fearing that it will slip through the wires and get lost. Besides, since wiping a flat surface is much easier than doing so in between wires, it is much faster to clean and maintain the tidy look of wooden shelving than wire shelvings. This is a crucial advantage because it will save property managers precious time in the make-ready process.

2. Sturdiness

Being made of lighter materials, wire shelving makes it easier for people who want to install their own closets. Wire shelving sellers often advertise their products with a picture of a lady putting together the closet while standing on high heels. On the flip side, the lightweight feature limits the amount of weight a closet can carry. A typical wire closet maxes out at 80 lbs, 5 times less than what a wooden closet holds. Tenants usually do not pay attention to this limit and often overload the closet with their belongings. Hence, a closet with bent wire is commonly seen after a few years of being used.

In contrast, sturdiness is an advantage of wooden shelving. At CLOZZITS, the closets are made of ¾ inches plywood with a durable melamine finish, guaranteeing support of up to 400 lbs. Also, wooden closet systems come with high-quality cabinet hardware, which significantly boosts the sturdiness and storage capacity of the closet, making it a more reliable choice for property managers who seek an amenity that still looks brand new after several leases.

3. Appearance

The look of an apartment is extremely important. It is one of the top factors that makes a prospective tenant say YES. As stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, marble countertops can now be found in almost every apartment, the commonly-neglected closet space will be your secret differentiator to stand out in the market.  

Wire shelving offers a simple and austere look. It is commonly seen in lower tiers apartments and student housing. A new grad who just moved out of his dorm will not feel like his life quality has improved by looking at the same old closet. Wire shelving, though cheaper, does not change the status quo and does not justify a rent increase.

If a high-end look is what you are looking for, choose wooden closets. The white wood design when installed immediately brightens up the room, setting an apartment apart by offering tenants a higher quality of life. Also, because wooden shelving is a furniture-grade amenity that gives tenants a transformational experience that is closely tied to their daily lives, tenants will be willing to pay more for it.  

As we always say at CLOZZITS: “ It is not just a closet”. When you look closely into advantages that a closet can bring to your net income and asset value, you will realize that it is indeed the most economical, yet effective investment to make.

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