Finding smart storage solutions for your home is not always easy, especially with a plethora of shops and showrooms you can visit. Even with the large variety of options, putting your own personal touch on your storage space can be fun!
It’s also been shown that customized spaces generally increase the overall resale value of your home.
I wanted to compare four popular closet/storage space retailers in order to help you determine which one would work best for your project. They each come with their pros and cons so let’s take a look.
The Container Store
First and foremost, I absolutely love this store. They have everything you need for storage from large garage shelving all the way down to small jewelry baskets for your bathroom and everything in between. You can most often find a physical store near major shopping retailers or you can browse their online catalog.
Through their affiliate retailer, Elfa, there are also pre-designed closet spaces you can choose from or you can make your own from scratch using their online tool. In addition to closet spaces, there are also pre-designed solutions for garages, offices, pantries, and living rooms too.
I would make sure you measure your space before you use the design tool online so you can be sure your custom storage will fit.
Another useful resource that they have is you can have an Elfa installer come to your home and install your new closet for you (or shelves, or whatever you need). Though this is an additional fee, it is not a necessity. You can always forgo the professional installer and DIY the installation if you wish.
The main difference between The Container Store and the other stores on this list is their physical store location and the ability to DIY your installation. For these reasons, it is also the most cost-effective solution so it would be perfect for those on a budget.
Going from least expensive to the most expensive, California Closets is the overall best option for complete and total customization. Even though they are the pricier option, it is for good reason. California Closets has been at the top of the closet design game since the late 1970s.
No detail is spared when it comes to designing your dream closet here. You can opt for built-in hampers, charging stations, and safes. They even have options for wine storage! The inspiration for their designs comes from multiple sources and they have options from the lines of top home designers like Martha Stewart and Marie Kondo.
Their process is pretty straightforward. I suggest you visit a showroom in your area first so you can physically see the sets they have as well as all the color options. Once you have an idea of what you want, you then schedule an in-home consultation with the company.
One of their consultants will come out to your house, measure the areas, and then collaborate with you in order to achieve your dream space. They’ll also discuss any upgrades and additional features you want to add and give you a quote the same day.
Afterwards, they will give you a 3D render of the finished project so you can see exactly how it looks. Then it is just scheduling the installation! They have financing options as well so you can find something that works within your monthly budget.
Closet Factory and California Closets both have some similarities. For one, each company uses the same type of material (engineered particleboard).
Even though particleboard may have gotten a bad reputation in the past, the process to create this material has come a long way. Also, particleboard is much more customizable than real wood since it can easily be contoured on-site to go around existing structures.
Aside from that, they have comparatively similar prices. The main differences are their showroom locations and the finished structure type.
Although Closet Factory is a reputable company that is well-loved, they only have showrooms in 29 states. So before you fall in love with one of their designs, make sure they service your area first. You can do this by entering your zip code online or giving their customer service line a call.
Another key difference is that Closet Factory only installs free-standing closet structures. This means it will not be mounted to the wall (aka a hanging structure). Whether or not this is good or bad is completely up to individual customer preference.
It should also be noted that Closet World doesn’t have as many types of rooms as California Closets does. For example, there are no entryway options. But don’t count them out! Their customer service and warranty options are absolutely the top in the business and the price is comparable to the next top retailer.
Somewhere in between The Container Store and California Closets is Closet World. I would consider this retailer to be mid-tier when it comes to pricing as their closet options fall closer to the average national rate.
One notable difference between Closet World and the other three options is that closet world has the smallest selection of closet solutions. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want something simple and pre-designed. They offer far better deals, especially when doing multi-room installs.
Another very large setback for Closet World is that they only service California and Nevada. This means that for many people, they won’t even be able to receive a consultation. But if you DO happen to live in one of those states, consider a consultation with them as they have shown to have top-notch customer service & financing options.
They also offer free installation if you spend over a certain amount on your custom space.
The process is similar to other home design companies wherein they will visit your home and measure the space before working with you to pick out specific finishes and hardware that you need.
In terms of pricing, the Container Store is going to be the most budget-friendly option for most homeowners, with California Closets being on the “luxury” side (albeit with much more options for customization).
The Container Store and California Closets are also going to be the most readily available and most likely already in your area, with Closet World and Closet Factory servicing only select areas of the states.
The level of customization is the best with California Closets but is closely rivaled by Closet Factory and Closet World. The Container Store also has a “build your own” feature on their website but the options are limited if you don’t choose a modular piece.
Each retailer has varying degrees of warranty options but all of them offer either free or cheap “moving” packages. This means if you decide to move houses, the installers will come and move your unit for you as well (although it might not be a perfect match to your new place).
I suggest you have a free consultation with as many of these companies as you can so you can be sure you get not only the best price, but a custom closet that matches your vision perfectly and functions how you need it to.