Thursday, September 30, 2010

16 September Featured Space: Bedroom - Conquering Closets {part 5}

It wasn't easy.  It took longer than I expected.  But it's done.  And I feel A-MAZING!

When our basement flooded, so did our walk in closet.  And although I couldn't round up a picture of the walk-in before the flood, here is a quick glimpse of what it looked like after {with things a lot more strewn about then I would have typically liked...}

It was a really good sized closet that we used to store ALL of our season's of clothing, shoes, undergarments, baseball caps, handbags and lower level linens.  And there was room to spare... 

So, when it was time to move upstairs to our guest room, it was time to move the clothes with us.  Not knowing how long until we can completely refinish our lower level, means not wanting to run up and down the stairs each time I need some clothing.  Completely great for exercise, however, not such a productive use of time.

The guest room actually came with double closet storage {since it was originally a master bedroom before we finished our lower level}

Then I decided to steel one side of the double closet space, for a desk.  Imagine the hubs excitement when he realized that a desk on one side meant both of us sharing the other.  This took A LOT of convincing.

By adding curtains to the closet fronts we were able to easily conceal away the contents of the closet spaces.

Then came the challenging part.  Time to pick and choose through years worth of clothing, to put into an itty bitty closet space.

I will admit, this was not necessarily easy, but the most liberating and amazing feeling!

Here is what I did.  I decided to pretend that I would be going on a month vacation getaway.  What would I pack?   What are my most favorite articles of clothing?  What are the most practical?  How many pairs of shoes would I bring?  How about handbags and accessories?  Yep, I thought about it all.

And then I picked.  I walked through our old walk in and snagged only my most flattering and favorite fitting tops.  I only allowed for three pairs of my favorite jeans and a couple of dress pants.  I also dug through piles of clean clothes that were waiting for a home.

When all was said and done, I was left with LOADS of things still in our old walk in, and two large garbage bags full of clothes I decided I probably would never wear again, and most likely only was if I had nothing else to choose from.

Having a small pile of all of my most favorite clothes was INCREDIBLE!  I knew that now I wouldn't have to sit and ponder about what I was going to wear or how I was going to pair an unflattering shirt with something to cover it up with.  I knew that each day I would love what I was choosing.  I also knew that I would have a lot easier time keeping up on laundry, because if I didn't, I wouldn't have anything to wear {instead of defaulting to all of those old clothes that really didn't do me much justice!}  Plus, knowing that I had bags of clothing to donate, is a pretty fantastic feeling as well!

And because I just adored all that I picked, it was kinda fun hanging it all up in it's new home.

Yep, that's right!  Top is hubs, bottom is mine.  Shelving is shared.  Mission is complete!  It can be done!  And let me tell you, I really didn't have to sacrifice much at all, and there are A LOT more clothes in there than a month vacation worth.  I was surprised the amount we were able to keep at our fingertips!

I used the shelving cubes {which are just cheapo stack-able closet organizers we snagged at the Home Depot}, to corral all of our sweaters that we don't like to keep on hangers {to avoid hanger marks}.

And to hold some of our personal bedroom items as well!

But my favorite part about the stacking shelves is that some extra baskets I had from downstairs, actually were the perfect fit!  {they are these baskets from Ikea}

I used three of them to corral my scarves, undergarments and socks.  And one more to hold belts for both the hubs and I!  {Of course they still need some cutesy labels, just have to get to that yet!}

When it came to hanging up my clothes, I had always heard you should be able to keep about an inch in-between each hanger.  This allows you to easily see and access each piece of clothing, and also keeps them hanging nice. 

I seriously couldn't even do that when I had a whole walk in!  Eeek!  But again, now that I can, it feels GREAT!

And then I sorted my clothes by sleeve length and color.

Sleeveless, Short Sleeve, Pants, Long Sleeve.  Most of my long sleeves are actually cardigans or jackets that I wear over the short sleeves in the cooler months, which is why they are tucked closer to the back.  

And when sorting by color, I used the ROY-G-BIV method!  IHeart an organized rainbow of colors!

And what about those other baskets you ask?

Well, one holds all of my cami's and tanks {22 to be exact!} and the other holds shorts and skirts and sleeveless shirts!  Packing tons of storage punch!

Speaking of baskets, I was able to use another for my most fav handbags!   And it tucks away perfectly under my hanging clothes, right next to my selected fav shoes!

And for those little extra's like ties and necklaces, we just used more of what we had and installed a Command Hook for the ties and used extra closet rod space for the necklaces!  

For the remainder of our items {like swim gear, sleepwear, additional undergarments, painting outfits, etc...}, we also have a chest of drawers.

I now know how much easier life is with such a streamlined closet space holding only my most favorite and essential clothing, while also knowing I really didn't sacrifice much at all.  In fact, I feel like I have gained a whole lot.  It made me realize that I need to be A LOT more picky about the clothing I purchase, because I seriously would be just fine without the remainder of my goods still downstairs.  I have been living with less for a couple of months since the whole flooding thing happened, and it really has made things easier and more simplified for me.  Giving complete meaning to the whole "Less is More" philosophy.  

Oh, and I can't forget to talk about the moola.  When we did all of the wallpaper and painting, the only storage investment was on the stackable white shelving, which came in at about $40.  Other than that, as much as I wanted to snag some Huggable Hangers, I decided that I couldn't spend another dime on this update.  So all of the baskets and shoe storage and hangers were all from either our walk-in or other areas of the house.  Showing that organizing doesn't need to cost much or anything, it's all about paring down and creating a more simplistic lifestyle!

Anyone else letting go to gain more?  Anyone else tackle their own bedroom closets this month?  Are you all surprised at how functional such an itty bitty closet space can be?  I kinda heart it!


  1. Wow! You guys did great! I LOVE sorting through clothes and pairing everything down to just the essentials - getting rid of stuff I never really wore to begin with is a great feeling!


  2. When we downsized to our apartment, we lost two HUGE walk in closets. I've been slowly paring down, but this gives me the motivation to just go for it. I love the "one month vacation" strategy!


  3. You are one busy bee!

    I recently went into my closet and did a huge purge before my yardsale a couple weeks ago. Sold lots of stuff! It was hard to face the facts of what didn't fit or just didn't look good anymore... but it did feel better! I organize by rainbow too. Other than that our closet is a shameful mess... it's on our to do list before the end of the year! Thanks for the inspiriation... again ;)

  4. If only you could see my walkin closet, it a tip. You have some nice colours going on there.
    Must be great to be organised

  5. Jen..It's beautiful! I am so convinced that we can live simply by having as little as possible! You have definitely proved that! As bad as it is that you lost your basement, it has proven to you and your readers that it IS possible to be organized with little space! Great job!!

  6. It's a lovely bedroom! The colors are so soothing and elegant. I love that comforter! Would you mind sharing your source? Thanks.

  7. Hi Sumana!

    The bed is a mix and match of bedding from Pottery Barn {}, which was my splurge, and a quilt from Ikea and throw pillows from Crate & Barrel. I really like to mix & match colors and textures to give it less of a "matchy matchy bed-in-a-bag" feeling.

    Hope that helps!


  8. I stumbled on your blog from ourhumbleabowed and love all your ideas and the before/afters. Great work! I had to downsize when I moved in with the boy as I had to share a wardrobe for the first.time.ever! I had a big clothes swap with girlfriends and they came and took most and the rest went to op shops. I need to cull again and agree anything you dont feel good in then its time to go ... quality over quantity!

  9. I am still in disbelief that you were able to do so much with such a small closet. I know I have to tackle mine. I have my stuff in two closets and two dressers in the master bedroom, a dresser in the guest bedroom, and shoes on the floor of the master bedroom and in the basement and mudroom. Just typing it all out makes it clear that I need to purge. I will soon, but first things first MUST finish our playroom to keep the kiddos occupied while I do all this other organizing.

  10. Love LOVE what you've done with such a TINY space :-) Thanks for sharing!

  11. I have a tiny house and a tiny closet to share with my husband. Where do you hang your longer items like dresses?

  12. I love what you did with all the baskets and the 1 month vacation idea! I too want to organize my closet as I recently got married and am having to learn to share the space :) My question is, what do you do with your dresses? I have some nice/formal occasion dresses that I'm not sure where to put! Thanks!


  13. @Girls, I don't have any "long" dresses, however, you could use over the door hooks for those. That's what I would do if I needed too. :)


  14. Having an organized closet really helps you pick the right clothes especially if you are in a hurry to go out with your family and friends. Imagine the time wasted in going through piles of clothes that we no longer wear. :)

    Thanks for sharing your pictures. Great job in organizing your clothes. Will definitely go back to read more of your posts.

  15. You have totally inspired me! I like to consider myself pretty organized, but not organized beautifully. I totally swooned over your kitchen, which means my kitchen {and husband} are in for a BIG shock! haha!So about your closet:
    Silly question, but where are your pants? I always hang ours, as we don't have a large dresser, just wondering, lol!



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