Cool stuff: Your fantasy off-site closet

By Teri Karush Rogers | August 6, 2009 - 9:53AM

Most New Yorkers understand that California Closets can only take you so far. Sooner or later, your kid will demand her closet back and your husband will notice that behind the scrim of his five favorite suits, “his” closet is now a hers.

For many of us, a box of heavy-duty garbage bags and a trip or twelve to Housing Works comes next.   

But for about the price of a monthly parking space in Midtown (haven’t you already traded yours for a Zip car anyhow?), you can outsource your refugees to a climate-controlled Long Island City loft, where they will be photographed, repaired, cleaned, stored indefinitely, and returned to you on a whim in as little as 90 minutes. 

Eight-year-old Garde Robe’s $350 monthly fee includes one clothing rack (holding up to 50 garments), one accessory box, 10 shoeboxes, two seasonal switches per year, and one delivery a month (additional deliveries cost $45 + $2 per item). Or you can choose the shoe-only package: 30 pairs can be stored for $225/month plus tax.    All your items can be viewed online too, so that you don’t forget what you have.

“Our demographics run the gamut from celebrities and socialites who never wear the same outfit in public twice to your average New York working woman who doesn’t have enough free time on her hands,” says vice president Doug Greenberg. "Many of our clients came to us saying they had their clothes in a spare bedroom and just got sick of it"

Still, $4,200 a year plus tax is a hefty sum (in our case, roughly equivalent to being assessed for a new elevator every year).  Don't people who can afford that also tend to be in possession of an apartment with enough storage space?  

Greenberg says he gets that question all the time, and that the city's chronic closet shortage is blind to socioeconomic status: "Believe me, I have seen a lot of $10 million-plus homes with completely inadequate closet space."

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