When I built my new house, I gave a lot of thought to the closets. There wasn’t a lot of choice in where they would go, or how big they could be, but the organizing systems- that’s where I figured a little planning could make a lot of difference.
The most useless closets are generally those with one shelf and one rod below it to hang clothes; there is always a ton of empty, unused space. I look for at least two layers of hanging space, adjustable if possible (so that it can work later for a tall person or a child,) and the opportunity to add sliding baskets, or shoe racks, or whatever the user needs.
I chose two brands that have those features, and used them both in different areas.
I used Rubbermaid kits for most of the closets due to budget considerations, and they are working out very well.
For the master bedroom walk-in, I chose Elfa. It certainly cost more, but for something we use every day, it is worth it. The baskets slide easily (and replaced an entire dresser), the entire system is built to last forever, and… it is just a pleasure to use. And I know I can go back to the store any time and buy more add-ons, if I have a sudden urge for a shoe rack, or wood trim.
Both good choices. I would put Elfa everywhere if I could afford it, but for now all the closets are working well for us.
Note: because this was a new build, we were able to add extra blocking at the framing stage. That means that pieces of 2×4 were added all the way around the closets at the height of the hanging rail, behind the drywall. That way, we were able to attach the rails securely every few inches. There is a lot of weight on that rail when these systems are used. It is very important to make sure they are attached to studs with heavy-duty screws. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.